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The West Wing: Isaac and Ishmael

In this special episode, the White House is put on lockdown and the staff tries to help a class of gifted high school students come to grips with the events of September 11th.

Episode Info

Episode number: 3x0
Production Number: 227206
Airdate: Wednesday October 03rd, 2001

Alternate Airdates:

FR (France 2) Dec 14, 2001

  • Currently 9.7/10
9.7/10 (3 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Michael O'Neill
As Ron Butterfield
Ajay Naidu
As Raqim Ali
Jeanette Brox
As Student
Jonathan Nichols
As Agent Cleary

Co-Guest Stars
Mongo Brownlee
As Secret Service Agent
William J. Jones
As FBI Agent
Willie Gault
As Agent #2
Arjay Smith
As Boy #4
Ben Donovan
As Boy #2
Chastity Dotson
As Girl #2
Dan Horton
As Agent #1
Frantz Turner
As Agent Greg
Kristine Woo
As Girl #1
Marcus Toji
As Boy #3
Susie Geiser
As Marjorie Mann
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
Janel Moloney
As Donna Moss
Rob Lowe
As Sam Seaborn
Richard Schiff
As Toby Ziegler
Stockard Channing
As Abbey Bartlet
Dulé Hill
As Charlie Young
Episode Notes
This episode didn't fit any of the timelines of the current storyline, but was designed as an episode to deal with issues that arose in the wake of September 11th.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
Buffalo SpringfieldFor What It's Worth 

Episode Quotes
Student: What do you call a society that has to just live every day with the idea that the pizza place you are eating in could just blow up without any warning?
Sam: Israel.

Bartlet: We don't need martyrs right now. We need heroes. A hero would die for his country but he'd much rather live for it.

(about a man who had been in a Nazi concentration camp)
Toby: He said he once saw a guy at the camp kneeling and praying. He said "what are you doing?" The guy said he was thanking God. "What could you possibly be thanking God for?" "I'm thanking God for not making me like them."

Boy: Do you get scared coming to work at the White House?
Josh: No. I mean, we're bystanders, basically, and we work around a lot of people who routinely put themselves in harm's way-the Secret Service and the military. You know, the protection detail? They practice a thousand different scenarios for a gun: who tackles the president, who opens the car, who's covering the perimeter, and there's one guy whose job it is to stand in front of the bullet. Not get the shooter-stand in front of the bullet. I've seen him do it. My family members have a habit of, uh, dying before you're supposed too. So it's just me and my mom now and... You guys know I guess, that I got accidentally shot a little bit or something at Rosslyn. So, she'd like to see me in the private sector. But I tell her my government salary may not be a lot, but I still make more than the guy whose job it is to stand in front of the bullet, so how do I tell him I'm quitting?

Abbey: Sarah ... God said to Abraham, "Look toward the heaven and number the stars and so shall your descendants be." But Abraham's wife, Sarah, wasn't getting any younger, and God wasn't coming through on His promise... I was very young when I had my kids. I was very, very, very, very young. I was barely even born yet when I had my oldest daughter, Elizabeth. Anyway, Sarah was getting older, and she was getting nervous because she didn't have any children. So she sent Abraham to the bed of her maid, Hagar, and Abraham and Hagar had Ishmael. And not long after they did, God kept His promise to Sarah, as He'd always intended to, and Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. And Sarah said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of the slave woman will not be heir with my son Isaac." And so it began: the Jews, the sons of Isaac. The Arabs, the sons of Ishmael. But what most people find important to remember is that, in the end, the two sons came together to bury their father.
Josh: I think most people also find it important to remember that the whole thing took place about 73 million years ago.

Warning: The West Wing season 3 episode 0 guide may contain spoilers
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