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The West Wing: 17 People

Toby, thinking that there's something going on with Bartlet, connects the dots and figures out that the President has multiple sclerosis. Toby is the 17th person to find out about the President's ailment and quickly becomes the second person -- the first being Abbey -- to forcefully challenge him on the political and legal ramifications of hiding his disease. Meanwhile, Bartlet decide whether or not to order a heightened security alert for airports when a terrorist is caught at the U.S. border carrying explosives. Elsewhere, Sam and Josh try to add one-liners to the President's upcoming speech while Sam and Ainsley argue over equal rights for women.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 2x18
Production Number: 226218
Airdate: Wednesday April 04th, 2001

Director: Alex Graves
Writer: Aaron Sorkin

Alternate Airdates:

FR (France 2) Nov 20, 2003

Special Guest Stars
Emily ProcterEmily Procter
As Ainsley Hayes

Co-Guest Stars
Peter James SmithPeter James Smith
As Ed
William DuffyWilliam Duffy
As Larry
Main Cast
Martin SheenMartin Sheen
As President Jed Bartlet
John SpencerJohn Spencer
As Leo McGarry
Bradley WhitfordBradley Whitford
As Josh Lyman
Janel MoloneyJanel Moloney
As Donna Moss
Rob LoweRob Lowe
As Sam Seaborn
Richard SchiffRichard Schiff
As Toby Ziegler
Dulé HillDulé Hill
As Charlie Young
Episode Notes
Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg) does not appear in this episode.

With only 3 guest stars, this episode has the fewest guest stars of any West Wing episode.

The 17 people that know about Bartlet's condition are: Abbey Bartlet, Zoey Bartlet, Ellie Bartlet, Liz Bartlet, John (Bartlet's brother), Leo McGarry, John Hoynes, Admiral Percy Fitzwallace, Dr. Herman, Dr. David Lee, Toby Ziegler, 5 other doctors, and Bartlet himself.

Episode Quotes
Toby: So I'm led to wonder, given your condition and it’s lack of predictability why there isn’t simply a signed letter sitting in a file someplace. And the answer, of course, is that (laughs) if there was a ... a signed letter sitting in a file someplace, somebody would ask why.

Josh: I'm just saying, if you were in an accident, I wouldn't have stopped for a beer.
Donna: If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights.

Josh: Did you get the flowers?
Donna: Yes, I did.
Josh: Did you like them?
Donna: They were very pretty.
Josh: Do you know why I sent them?
Donna: I know why you think you sent them to me.
Josh: It’s our anniversary.
Donna: No, it’s not.
Josh: I’m the sort of guy who remembers those things!
Donna: No, you’re the sort of guy who sends a woman flowers to be mean. You’re really the only person I’ve ever met who can do that.
Josh: I’m quite something.

Sam: You're going back to Smith College, the cradle of feminism, to argue in opposition of the Equal Rights Amendment? They're gonna hate you.
Ainsley: I'm a straight Republican from North Carolina, and you don't think they hated me the first time around?

Sam: We're not making fun of the host.
Ainsley: Who are we making fun of?
Everyone: Republicans!

Sam: When I was downstairs, I made a decision. I'm gonna register with the Republican Party - and I'll tell you why, if you're curious. It's because they're a freedom-loving people.
Ainsley: We also like beef.

Toby: It's seventeen people, by the way.
Bartlet: I'm sorry?
Toby: You knew. We weren't counting you. It's seventeen people.

Cultural References
Sam: Certainly not if Phyllis Schlafly over here has her way.

Phyllis Schlafly is well-known for her arguements against the Equal Rights Amendment.

Josh: Hey, Ado Annie, I sent you flowers!

Ado Annie is a character from the musical Oklahoma!.

Episode References
Donna: Knock knock. Who’s there? Sam and his prostitute friend.

This refers back to season one where Sam inadvertantly slept with a high-priced call girl in the "Pilot" and continued being friends with her throughout the season.

Other Episode Crew

MusicW.G. Snuffy Walden
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