Sunday, January 16, 2011

Top Ten Favorite "WEST WING" Episodes

Below is a list of my ten (10) favorite episodes from the award winning television series, "WEST WING" (1999-2006). Here they are:


1. (2.01) “In the Shadow of Two Gunmen – Part 1” - In this superb continuation of the Season 1 finale, the Bartlet Administration is in chaos after an assassination attempt on the President. Josh Lyman, C.J. Cregg, Sam Seaborn, and Toby Ziegler flash back to the formation of the Bartlet campaign.

2. (1.19) “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet” - A memo written by Mandy Hampton outlining a strategy to defeat Bartlet for re-election is uncovered by the press, leading to tension between her and the rest of the staff. Chief of Staff Leo McGarry begins to renew the staff and the President's fighting spirit by suggesting they begin taking risks.

3. (4.01) "20 Hours in America - Part I" - Josh, Toby and Josh's assistant Donna Moss are stranded in Indiana when the presidential motorcade leaves a campaign stop without them, leaving Sam to staff the President alone. Leo is informed that Qumar has reopened the investigation into the death of its defense minister, Abdul ibn Shareef.

4. (2.18) "17 People" - Toby is told about the President's multiple sclerosis, becoming the 17th person to know, and he and the President have a heated row over the matter. Meanwhile, the President considers an extensive security alert for the nation's airports, and staffers struggle to punch up a speech the President is set to give at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

5. (6.13) “King Corn” - The presidential candidates journey to Iowa, where Democrats Vice President Robert Russell and Congressman Matt Santos, and Republican Senator Arnold Vinick, are all told by their handlers that when they appear before the corn growers association they must support subsidies for ethanol as fuel, regardless of their true feelings.

6. (1.06) “Mr. Willis of Ohio” - West Wing staffers court votes for a new census-taking methodology bill and the President's youngest daughter Zoey has an unfortunate encounter in a Georgetown bar.

7. (3.22) “Posse Comitatus” - In this third season finale, Bartlet makes a life-or-death decision regarding a foreign diplomat who is a known terrorist. The flirtation between C.J. and her Secret Service bodyguard, Simon Donovan, is limited by their professional relationship and then cut short by tragedy. Josh defeats influential women's rights activist Amy Gardner in the welfare-bill battle and their relationship is left uncertain. Bartlet meets with his campaign opponent, Governor Robert Ritchie of Florida, at a Catholic fundraiser.

8. (6.02) “The Birnam Wood” - Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David result in a momentous peace accord. President Bartlet fires White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, who was strongly against the talks. Moments later, Leo suffers a massive heart attack. ("The Birnam Wood" is a reference to the warning given to Macbeth in the Shakespeare play of the same name, in which he is warned that "Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until / Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill / Shall come against him.")

9. (4.21) “Life on Mars” - On his first day at work, new Associate Counsel Joe Quincy uncovers a scandal of mammoth proportions, sending shockwaves through the administration. As he researches the possibility of classified Mars report, he discovers the Vice President John Hoynes' affair with a Washington socialite, and the President must make a decision.

10. (3.13) “Night Five” - Bartlet consults a psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley Keyworth, for a troubling sleep disorder and receives a sobering personal assessment. C.J. lobbies vigorously to help secure the release of a White House reporter who has been taken hostage while on assignment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Toby clashes again with his ex-wife Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt over a speech for the United Nations that takes radical Islam to task.

1 comment:

Fernanda said...

As an avid WW fan, I say you probably picked some of the best, although It would have been hard for me to pick just 10...