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The White House staff shifts into crisis mode after Bartlet collapses prior to his first State of the Union address. The tension between India and Pakistan heightens when Pakistan gives its commanders control of the nuclear weapons, which leads to the staff once again consulting Lord John Marbury. Meanwhile, Leo publicly discloses his past alcohol abuse and both Sam and C.J. have romantic encounters.
In this episode we learn that Bartlet suffers from MS.
This episode, along with "The State Dinner
", won Stockard Channing the 2000 Emmy Award for utstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Bartlet: I'm taking pills, C.J.
C.J.: Are you actually taking them or are you just carrying them around in your pocket?
Bartlet: You know carrying them around in my pocket was a pretty big step for me.
Bartlet: Is it possible I'm taking something called "euthanasia"?
Bartlet: That sounds more like it.
Bartlet: You know, I was watching a television program before with a sort of a roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with thier boyfriend, apparently becuase the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. Then they brought the boyfriends out and they all fought right there on television. Tell me Toby, these people don't vote do they?
Donna: So, if the Capitol Building blows up...
Donna: The man my country will be looking to is the secretary of agriculture.
Josh: It’s my country too.
Donna: Yeah, but you’ll be dead.
Josh: Which is why I really don’t care that much.
Josh: Donna, I really don’t anticipate the Capitol Building exploding.
Lord Marbury: You know, there are some marvelous flu remedies known in the certain remote parts of the subcontinent. Licorice root, for instance, combined with bamboo sap and a strong shot of whiskey. Ginger root, also, mixed with, uh, citrus peel.
Bartlet: And a strong shot of whiskey?
Lord Marbury: Actually, you can leave everything out except the shot of whiskey.
Josh: We’ve seen some pretty compelling polling samples. We need “people who work for it” and I’ll tell you what else.
Josh: "The era of big government is over."
Toby: Oh, when did this happen?
Josh: This morning, we had a meeting.
Toby: We decided to offend poor people?
Josh: The people we’re offending won’t be watching the State of the Union.
Bartlet tells Tribby that next year the Surgeon General will be stay behind from the State of the Union address in case there is an attack. However, the Surgeon General is not part of the Presidential line of succession and cannot assume the Presidency if a tragedy does occur.