Synopsis: Zoey Bartlet is brought home. President Bartlet has a pissing contest with the Speaker of the House over the budget and lets the government shut down. And Donna goes on a fact finding trip to the Middle East.
Reaction: Still great and fun. The series continues to grow and flourish.
7A WF 83429 - The title refers to the FBI case number: 7A = Missing Person, WF = Washington Field Office.
Jefferson Lives - The actors Martin SheenMartin Sheen, William DevaneWilliam Devane and Steven CulpSteven Culp have all portrayed a Kennedy in various roles in film and television. Sheen has played both [?] Robert Kennedy, in the made-for-TV movie The Missiles of October, and President John F. KennedyJohn F. Kennedy, in the miniseries Kennedy. Devane portrayed JFK alongside Sheen, in The Missiles of October. Meanwhile Steven CulpSteven Culp played Robert Kennedy in Thirteen Days.
7A WF 83429 - After Bartlet resigns the presidency, he and Leo are discussing President Walken's next move. When Bartlet says "So what's Walken going to do, cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war?", he's quoting Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar.
Jefferson Lives - The title refers to a variation of John Adams' reported last words in reference to his contemporary Thomas Jefferson, unaware that Jefferson had also passed several hours earlier. Both men died on July 4, 1826.
The Stormy Present - James CromwellJames Cromwell has portrayed a President in several films such as RFK, W. and The Sum of All Fears.
Separation of Powers - Matthew PerryMatthew Perry received an Emmy nomination in 2004 for his portrayal here of Joe Quincy.
Slow News Day - The DVD containing this episode contains three deleted scenes from an excised story line concerning Donna and Ryan's efforts to get new policy announcements from the policy staff. The scenes were removed so that the episode would come in under the required length, but the episode still contains a few references to the plot line.
Han - Although Josh Lyman makes a lot of insulting Wisconsin jokes, Bradley WhitfordBradley Whitford is actually from Wisconsin.
Eppur Si Muove - Cherry JonesCherry Jones has played the President in 24.
Access - INFO REVEALED IN FUTURE SEASONS) The end of the episode notes that CJ "remains the only woman to serve two terms as press secretary." This episode was likely completed before the decision was made by producers to put CJ in as the Chief of Staff beginning in the season 6's "Liftoff."
Memorial Day - Martin SheenMartin Sheen did in fact throw the first pitch in each of his several takes filming the first pitch scene, and missed the catcher on some of the takes. One of his missed throws struck the Oriole mascot, and the mascot responded by clapping both "wings" to his side, falling over, and sticking both feet in the air, in imitation of a cartoon bird being hit by a rock. This is especially ironic, in light of the fact that a minor subplot revolves around the President being unable to throw and former President [?] Franklin D. Roosevelt accidentally hitting someone when throwing out the first pitch.
Aaron SorkinAaron Sorkin resigned from his job as Writer and Executive Producer after the fourth season, following a protracted dispute with NBC Executive Jeff Zucker. After leaving the show, Aaron SorkinAaron Sorkin claimed that when he began watching the season five premiere (the first episode to be written without him) he turned it off after less than a minute, and never watched another episode. He likened the experience to "Watching someone make out with my girlfriend."
The Warfare of Genghis Khan - The nuclear test depicted is similar to a nuclear test conducted in 1979 by an unknown nation. To this day, the country that conducted the test is not known, but Israel is one of the suspects.
Han - The premise of this episode is untenable, as North Korea and the United States have never had formal diplomatic relations.
Following the departure of Aaron SorkinAaron Sorkin and Thomas SchlammeThomas Schlamme after season four, Richard SchiffRichard Schiff felt that most of the new writers didn't really understand the character of Toby, and would write him just as grumpy, without nuances. Schiff ended up being unhappy with his work on the show, specially disliking Toby's storyline as the leak in the last season.
Senator Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton wrote an open letter addressed to Josh Lyman when he suggested closing a military base in upstate New York on the show. In the same letter, she praised Toby Ziegler for saving Social Security in an earlier episode.
Seven hours have passed since Zoey's kidnapping and and the Republicans are in charge of the White House. Rifts are appearing in the leadership of both parties further complicated by the arrival of a ransom note demanding the release of terrorists.
A North Korean pianist announces his intention to defect in the Oval Office. While the staff passionately debate his request they also fight to get the President's choice of Vice President nominated by a new and hostile Speaker of the House.
While Will gets an enticing offer from the new Vice President, Josh finds himself responsible for a crucial mistake that could sorely embarrass the Administration. He isn't the only one on the wrong side of the tracks as Amy finds out first hand why she shouldn't handle the First Family.
Leo is left manning the fort when the President goes AWOL whilst visiting tornado victims. Josh is not in the position to lend a hand as he deals with the fallout from a gross miscalculation and lack of judgment.
Deputy counsel Joe Quincy is quietly enlisted by Toby to approach the ailing Chief Justice about possible retirement. With Josh still incapable of lobbying effectively, Leo brings in help to hammer out the budget, but success looks a long way off with a hostile Speaker making negotiations tricky.
The entire Bartlet family tries to gather for an early Christmas dinner at the White House, but inevitable delays occur as the president must deal with an overseas crisis. Ellie is held up at her lab, and five-year-old grandson Gus is having tantrums. In addition, Doug Westin (Jed and Abby's son-in-law) approaches Josh about running for an open congressional seat in his home district. Josh, Leo and the New Hampshire Democratic Party have already chosen a viable local candidate, but Doug persists.
Bartlet travels with former presidents Newman and Walken aboard Air Force One to the funeral of another former president. Meanwhile, Leo sits in the situation room dealing with demonstrations that are wracking Saudi Arabia and threatening to topple the royal family and CJ tries to deal with rumors of military mind control experiments. On board the plane, Toby tries to write Bartlet's eulogy as the crisis in Saudi Arabia grows worse.
Toby awakens at 3 a.m. with an idea of how to save the social security program for future generations, leading him to meet in secret with the president and volunteer to "touch the third rail" of American politics. Toby meets with influential Republican senator Gaines about putting aside partisanship in the interest of preserving the critical safety net, and he gets a favorable response, but someone who saw them together leaks the meeting to the press.
A nuclear device is tested in the Indian Ocean, but none of the known nuclear powers will claim responsibility, leading to the possibility of a terrorist group holding missile tests. Vice President Russell, heretofore dismissed by west wing staff as a joke, a four-term congressman alleged to be securely in the pocket of a large Colorado mining company, recalls a junket he'd taken early in his political career in which a drunken Israeli statesman confessed to secret missile tests. Russell visits the sit. room and puts the military and national security leaders at ease
A Navy Hawkeye AWACS crew is missing in North Korea, a Broadcaster has called CJ a chicken and a proposed tax break for stay at home moms causes Josh stress. Amidst the usual West Wing mêlée, Leo finds himself hearing things about the man who saved his life in Vietnam, that he doesn't believe.
The president and staff are about to head for Brussels to sign an international free trade deal that Josh has just spent a lot of time and effort negotiating, to nearly everyone's satisfaction; at the 11th hour, the CEO of an IBM-like company tells Josh that the first effect of the new agreement, of which his company is a huge beneficiary, will be the immediate transfer of 17,000 programming jobs to India; the head of the communications workers' union, which is representing the affected programmers, brings one of the programmers to Josh's office.
A fact finding codel to the Middle East is torn apart by an explosion. Key members of the administration and their loved ones are caught in the mess. The President is forced to consider retaliatory military action the unstable area, with possible repercussions that could last decades.