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The West Wing: A Proportional Response

Still angry about an American jet being shot down in the Mideast, President Bartlet overrules a plan for a “proportional” military strike put together by the joint chiefs of staff. Bartlett wants a more severe attack, but the type of attack he wants would result in thousands of casualties. While Leo tries to cool Bartlet down, C.J. talks to Sam about the possible ramifications of his ongoing relationship with Laurie, the call girl. Meanwhile, Josh hires an African American teenager as an aide to the President.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x3
Production Number: 225902
Airdate: Wednesday October 06th, 1999

Director: Marc Buckland
Writer: Aaron Sorkin

Alternate Airdates:

FR (France 2) Jul 13, 2001

  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (3 Votes cast)
Special Guest Stars
John Amos
As Admiral Percy Fitzwallace

Guest Stars
Janel Moloney
As Donna Moss
Renee Estevez
As Nancy
Suzy Nakamura
As Kathy

Co-Guest Stars
Chad McKnight
As Staffer #2
Christopher Kriesa
As Officer #3
Devika Parikh
As Bonnie
George McDaniel
As Officer #2
Ivan Allen
As Roger Salier
Jana Lee Hamblin
As Bobbi
Kathryn Joosten
As Delores Landingham
Kim Webster
As Ginger
Marvin Krueger
As Officer #1
Mindy Seeger
As Chris
NiCole Robinson
As Margaret
Rose Rollins
As Suzanne
Victor Love
As Mike
Andrew Shaifer
As Reporter #4
Hunter Von Leer
As Officer #4
Jack Montoya
As Floor Manager

Timothy Busfield
As Danny Concannon
Main Cast
Martin Sheen
As President Jed Bartlet
John Spencer
As Leo McGarry
Allison Janney
As Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg
Bradley Whitford
As Josh Lyman
Rob Lowe
As Sam Seaborn
Richard Schiff
As Toby Ziegler
Dulé Hill
As Charlie Young
Moira Kelly
As Mandy Hampton
Episode Notes
This is the first apperance of Dulé Hill (Charlie Young) and John Amos (Admiral Percy Fitzwallace).

Admiral Percy Fitzwallace is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Though he isn't credited, this episode marks the first appearance of recurring guest star Timothy Busfield (Danny Concannon).

Episode Quotes
Josh: What's the good of being in power if you're not going to haul your enemies in for questioning?

C.J.: Admiral Fitzwallace is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Leo McGarry is White House Chief of Staff, I'm your host, C.J. Let's play our game.

Toby: How the hell did I get into trouble?
Josh: Today? All you had to do was get out of bed.

Sam: Have you ever tried to overthrow the government?
Charlie: No, sir.
Sam: What the hell's been stopping you?

Bartlet: C.J., on your tombstone it's gonna read: "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc".
C.J.: Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.

C.J.: What this is about, Sam, is you're a high-profile, very visible, much-noticed member --
Sam: You just said three things that all mean the same thing.

Josh: You know what, C.J., I think I'm the best judge of what I mean, you paranoid Berkely shiksa feminista! Well that was way too far.
C.J.: No, no. Well, I've got a staff meeting to go to and so do you, you elitest Harvard fascist missed-the-Dean's-list-two-semesters-in-a-row Yankee jackass!

Episode Goofs
Timothy Busfield makes his first appearance as a reporter called Danny - but he's not credited even though he plays an important and significant part in this episode.

When President Bartlet, Sam, and Toby are standing in front of Bartlet's desk, Sam's glasses appear and disappear as the camera changes angles.

Cultural References
C.J.: Menudo’s in the building.

Menudo is a Latin boy band popular in the 1980s and 1990s that once featured Ricky Martin as a member.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorAaron Sorkin
Executive ProducerJohn Wells  |  Thomas Schlamme  |  Aaron Sorkin
ProducerKristin Harms  |  Llewellyn Wells
Co-ProducerMichael Hissrich
Production DesignerJon Hutman
EditorChristopher Nelson (1)
CastingBarbara Miller (2)  |  John Levey  |  Kevin Scott (1)
Unit Production ManagerJean Higgins
First Assistant DirectorTony Alder
Second Assistant DirectorBrian Bettwy
MusicW.G. Snuffy Walden
Director of PhotographyThomas Del Ruth
Warning: The West Wing season 1 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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