The West Wing Season Two: What's Next?

Summary of Season Two:

 

In the wake of the shooting, both President Bartlet and Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman have been hit. While the President is not seriously injured, Josh is critically wounded.

 

Josh survives, and the staff go on to face a myriad of challenges that include the President's hiring of a staunch Rebublican as an associate counsel, a trip to Portland, the discovery of Chinese refugees fleeing religious persecution, the loss of a costly Mars probe, Josh's post-traumatic stress disorder, and Bartlet's third State of the Union Address.

 

All of these challenges are rendered minor after the staff and the President are confronted with two serious events; the revelation of Bartlet's concealed serious illness to the public, and the death of one of their own. There is one question on everyone's lips; will Josiah Bartlet seek a second term?

 

Summary via West Wing Wiki

 

Episodes

 

Rewatch due by 03.16.15

 

1 In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)
2 In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)
3 The Midterms

 

Rewatch due by 03.23.15

4 In This White House
5 And It's Surely to Their Credit
6 The Lame Duck Congress

 

Rewatch due by 03.30.15

7 The Portland Trip
8 Shibboleth
9 Galileo

 

Rewatch due by 04.06.15

10 Noel
11 The Leadership Breakfast
12 The Drop In

 

Rewatch due by 04.13.15

13 Bartlet's Third State of the Union
14 The War at Home
15 Ellie

 

Rewatch due by 04.20.15

16 Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail
17 The Stackhouse Filibuster
18 17 People

 

Rewatch due by 04.27.15

19 Bad Moon Rising
20 The Fall's Gonna Kill You
21 18th and Potomac  

22 Two Cathedrals

Share Post


Link to post

Did the dog eat everyone's homework? :P

 

Season 2 is my favourite season. ITSOTG (both parts) is a big factor..

Share Post


Link to post

Oh yes!  ITSOTG are 2 of my most fav episodes.

 

"That girls' group with the funny name" - I love Toby.

Share Post


Link to post

"That girls' group with the funny name" - I love Toby.

 

It's embarrassing to admit how long it was (well after TWW ended) before I saw that group's name in print, and realized, EMILY was an acronym, and not the name of the group's founder or sponsor.

Share Post


Link to post

The only thing better than Toby's reaction to CJ falling in the pool is Martin Sheen's reaction to watching that scene (as heard on the DVD commentary).

 

I had already been an EMILY's List supporter for nearly 10 years by the time ITSOTG aired, so finding out CJ - my favorite - was involved was just one of the many things that tickled me about those episodes.  I love the backstories themselves, and the way they were interwoven into present-day events.

 

Bartlet in the car, demanding to talk to Zoey (who was busy vomiting in the other car) and ordering the car turned around to take Ron Butterfield to the hospital, was so great, and then Butterfield's - and my - realization that he'd been hit ... that limo spinning around to reverse course is a great shot.

Share Post


Link to post

The thing that gave me actual chills during ITSOTG was when Bartlet was looking in on Josh's surgery after footage of airports being closed, military movement, and everything else that was going on because of the shooting, and said "Look what happened."  It was so touching that in the midst of everything else, Josh was what mattered to him.  I also loved his obvious concern for Charlie's feelings when he found out that he was the intended target.

 

Bonus:  Sam taking the crab puff off of the snooty radio host's plate in the episode about dealing with the fallout of the shooting.

Share Post


Link to post

ITSOTG (both parts) is a big factor..

 

Definitely in my top 10 episodes and one(s) that I quote an awful lot. Also, the perfect balance of realistic, idealistic and funny....the West Wing trifecta

As a lawyer, I find myself paraphrasing Ron Butterfield's comment, that "if you tell us you don't like something, we will find another way to protect you."

And of course there is Margaret "I got his signature down pretty good", topped only by "I think they'd call it a coup d'état" We got checks and balances and balance of powers and Margaret vetoing things and sending it back to the hill.". Maybe the best interaction between them ever.

And there are goosebumps from "I only remind you that the President of the United States was shot last night while surrounded by the best-trained armed guards in the history of the world." Try saying it without emphasizing the word "world"!

And there is the best cold open E V E R in Part 2 at the Whistle Pig with that skin head scumbag-I think that is the formal description of him.  And I still remember Deborah's comment in the recap at TWOP pointing out that he is now Ron Butterfield's bitch!

And on other nights, I just quote Toby from New Hampshire Dairy Farmers coop "I'm pretty drink here".

And almost everyday I find myself saying to my kids "I am so happy to see you and Mom's going to be pretty pissed"

If the quotes are wrong, my apologies, but I am doing them without looking it up...but they are pretty ingrained.

 

On to The Midterms.....

Another supremely great cold open- "Is it comprehensive" followed by "Psychics from Cal Tech........wait, I am pretty sure that is physicists". Still makes me laugh. At that point you really believed that the characters really cared about each other and the actors really liked each other.

Edited by AriAu.

Share Post


Link to post

I use Toby's line "I have no new information since the last time you asked that question" all the time!

Share Post


Link to post

 

Bonus:  Sam taking the crab puff off of the snooty radio host's plate in the episode about dealing with the fallout of the shooting.

 

I love when he tells the president they are Alaskan crab puffs and Bartlet gets all snooty about non-NH crab but when he asked Sam if they were good, he damn near drooled and the President says "let's go".  Because really - we can be snooty about our state but good food is good food.

Share Post


Link to post

and then Butterfield's - and my - realization that he'd been hit ... that limo spinning around to reverse course is a great shot.

 

I love Ron Butterfield! The realisation scene was great. The whole start of that episode was (and still is) so exciting to watch play out. And the President is so funny. ("need an aspirin...")

When I first saw it, when CJ mentions that Sam was the one who knocked her down behind the car, and had her necklace - I had to go back to the shooting to see if he did in fact pull her to the ground with him. He did of course, but if you pause the frame or watch in slow-mo, it's kind of hilarious (CJ's expression!!) too.

Edited by marriedaniac.

Share Post


Link to post

And the President is so funny...

 

Nurse: Do you have any medical conditions?

Bartlett: Well... I've been shot.

Share Post


Link to post

I like to use variations of "I think it was clear by the way I ate the crab puff that it was a gesture of protest."

Share Post


Link to post

The scene with Ellie and Jed at the end of her episode -- I get a little something in my eye when Jed says, "all you had to do to make me happy was come home" (or words to that effect). Or, to quote the TWoP recap, "Well, if I wasn't crying already..."

Share Post


Link to post

I don't mind Sorkin reusing dialogue from one project to the next (assuming it's a good line to begin with and makes sense for each of the scenarios in which it's used), but that's one example where the impact of the second use was lessened by the fact I'd already heard it and, thus, by the context of their conversation, figured it was coming.

Share Post


Link to post

OK, my season 2 nitpick is: why didn't the President just sign the letter? He had time to do so - he could have simply scrawled it on any convenient piece of paper. I always found that plot line to be stupid.

Share Post


Link to post

I just met Ainsley. I think I love Ainsley.

 

Ainsely is one, if not, the best female Republican characters Sorkin created. 

Share Post


Link to post

Just finished "In This White House." I did not see that coup coming. I want to cry.

This show is so good.

Share Post


Link to post

ITSOTG - my bestie at work and I have a entire "threat level" chart at work for when it's a bad day and things are going wrong - varying degrees of green to red (including threat level midnight). Anyway, red is called "sam seaborn." We like to reenact Josh dripping wet in the conference room window and Sam pushing back from the table "well, i'm not gonna need that." It's so silly but very ingrained - "I'm THISCLOSE to Sam Seaborning this stupid place!"

 

(we also use Newsroom's "JOE BIDEN?!?!?" to recognize incredulity/stupidity.)

Share Post


Link to post

I just met Ainsley. I think I love Ainsley.

 

Yes.  And there is another female character who will arrive pretty soon that I love even more.

Share Post


Link to post

I'm beginning to be really annoyed by Donna. Nothing major; she just is like a leaky faucet. A little annoyance over and over.

CJ and Danny need to hook up or stop with the "will they won't they."

Ainsley and Sam would make a cute couple.

Share Post


Link to post

I'm beginning to be really annoyed by Donna. Nothing major; she just is like a leaky faucet. A little annoyance over and over.

CJ and Danny need to hook up or stop with the "will they won't they."

Ainsley and Sam would make a cute couple.

seriously, I am very invested in your newbie watching. Like, I can't wait to read your reaction to all of my favorite parts! #irrationallyexcited

Share Post


Link to post

I'm on The Portland Trip. The POTUS embarrassing CJ for making fun of Notre Dame could have been obnoxious but Martin Sheen is just so charming that it doesn't come across that way. I was meh on him at first, but now I love him.

Share Post


Link to post

Eh, to me, obnoxious behavior is obnoxious regardless of how thick the veneer of "charm" is.  I think Bartlett "got away with" too much behavior that would not be tolerated in someone we did not find "charming" or politically acceptable.  George Bush probably thought he was being "charming" when he rubbed Angela Merkel's shoulders, too.

Share Post


Link to post

I just finished The Leadership Breakfast. Felicity Huffman was in it. If anyone else watched Desperate Housewives, I couldn't help but think I might now have the backstory for why Lynette and Mrs. McClusky initially hated each other.

Share Post


Link to post

Ugh. They're not going to go there with Josh and Donna are they? (This is a rhetorical question. Please don't answer.)

I need more Ainsley. She and Sam would make a really cute couple.

Share Post


Link to post

I need more Ainsley. She and Sam would make a really cute couple.

From your lips....

Share Post


Link to post

I watched 4 episodes last night.  (Yes, I realize this sounds absolutely ridiculous. I kept telling myself 'One more episode and then I'll be productive." I am becoming increasingly addicted to this show. The last one I watched had the senator's long filibuster over autism funding.

 

This weekend a friend posted something about how she always felt The West Wing had a lot of sexism in it, and I don't know if that is coloring my view, but I am picking up on some as well.  Mainly how it relates to CJ, who is still my favorite character.  It started for me with the episode about Thanksgiving where she couldn't decide which turkey to save. It seemed like a very predictable, cliched' problem that a female staff member would have - to bond with the turkeys and not be able to be rational about it. And then in the filibuster episode, when she was writing her dad about how she caused a big problem through her mistake and her issues with breaking the cat statue, it just seemed they were writing her as very weak.  

 

Added to this, I've just gotten the perception in a lot of little ways with other characters as well - Ainsley being so nervous to meet the POTUS that she confuses a bathroom and a closet, etc.

 

Still love the show. Just a little annoyed. 

Share Post


Link to post

I watched 4 episodes last night.  (Yes, I realize this sounds absolutely ridiculous. I kept telling myself 'One more episode and then I'll be productive." I am becoming increasingly addicted to this show. The last one I watched had the senator's long filibuster over autism funding.

 

This weekend a friend posted something about how she always felt The West Wing had a lot of sexism in it, and I don't know if that is coloring my view, but I am picking up on some as well.  Mainly how it relates to CJ, who is still my favorite character.  It started for me with the episode about Thanksgiving where she couldn't decide which turkey to save. It seemed like a very predictable, cliched' problem that a female staff member would have - to bond with the turkeys and not be able to be rational about it. And then in the filibuster episode, when she was writing her dad about how she caused a big problem through her mistake and her issues with breaking the cat statue, it just seemed they were writing her as very weak.  

 

Added to this, I've just gotten the perception in a lot of little ways with other characters as well - Ainsley being so nervous to meet the POTUS that she confuses a bathroom and a closet, etc.

 

Still love the show. Just a little annoyed. 

I love this show more than anything, and have watched all episodes repeatedly, but Aaron Sorkin hated women, IMO.

 

http://time.com/3636226/aaron-sorkin-women-roles-hollywood/

Share Post


Link to post

I think Sorkin's brand of sexism is more patronizing than misogynistic, but I agree the man has serious issues when it comes to women.  I'm glad that some of his female characters (C.J. being perhaps the greatest example) have been played by women with that inherent something that makes the character come across much better than she's written.

Share Post


Link to post

I watched 4 episodes last night.  (Yes, I realize this sounds absolutely ridiculous. I kept telling myself 'One more episode and then I'll be productive." I am becoming increasingly addicted to this show. The last one I watched had the senator's long filibuster over autism funding.

 

The Stackhouse Filibuster is the prelude to the best arc of the entire series, imo. 

Share Post


Link to post

The Stackhouse Filibuster is the prelude to the best arc of the entire series, imo. 

That just made me "squee!!!!" at my desk.  Oops.

 

I thought a few recent episodes were on the slow side but now I feel like it is leading up to something!  

 

I just squeed again. My boss is about to get suspicious.

Share Post


Link to post

Hee hee.  Last year someone took the trouble to create a whole website just for the next episode.  seventeenpeople.com

 

(Don't click on it until after you've watched it though.)

Edited by PeterPirate.

Share Post


Link to post

Season 2 is by far the best season ever.  To me anyway.  There are episodes in each season that I like a lot, but every single episode in Season 2 was a winner.  Great story telling and a great arc that lasted throughout the year.  

 

You know, I have read over and over again that Sorkin didn't like women ... however, I guess I don't see it that way in TWW ... I do agree with the poster that said it's more about being patronizing rather than misogynistic.

 

I find each one of the characters on this show at one point or another did something "less than", so I felt that there was equal patronizing written for all the characters.

 

Off topic, but Sorkin wrote Sports Night too and I felt that his two women leads (Dana and Natalie) were written as strong women in a mostly man's world.

 

BTW ... I am a woman in my 50's ... and I don't always see the sexism that other people see.  Either I don't look for it, or it might be in relation to my upbringing.  ::giggle::

Share Post


Link to post

Sorkin is frustrating, because in one breath he will acknowledge that he can screw up – profoundly – when writing female characters by writing them simply as appendages of the men around them rather than as fully-realized people, but then he'll turn around and do it again.  Men have ideas, women are interrupting.  Lather, rinse, repeat over how many years now?

 

But I digress.  Season two is my favorite of the series (with the caveat I stopped watching somewhere during season five).  I love season one, too, and like seasons three and four, but season two fires on all cylinders.  Week after week, I'd be completely engrossed in the episodes, and then sit back as the end credits rolled and marvel, "That was something close to perfection."

Share Post


Link to post

I started 17 People last night and then had to stop it due to extenuating circumstances. BUT, I think you all should know, I think the title "17 People" is a throwback reference to the season premiere when the first lady told the doctor who was about to operate on POTUS that only 17 people in the whole world knew about his MS.

 

I'm sure none of you ever made that connection and I'm just really bright. ;)

Share Post


Link to post

I started 17 People last night and then had to stop it due to extenuating circumstances. BUT, I think you all should know, I think the title "17 People" is a throwback reference to the season premiere when the first lady told the doctor who was about to operate on POTUS that only 17 people in the whole world knew about his MS.

 

I'm sure none of you ever made that connection and I'm just really bright. ;)

 

I do have to say, I am loving living vicariously through your watching it new.

 

Please, don't pick up where you left off with 17 People ... go back to the beginning and start again.  It really should be experienced as a whole.

 

And for the record ... Abbey said this in ITSOTGP1:

 

There are 14 people in the world who know this, including the vice President, the chief of staff, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. You are going to be the fifteenth.

But good catch on the foreshadowing ...

Share Post


Link to post

And the 15th guy, in ITSOTG 1, was the anesthesiologist who put Jed to sleep for the surgery after he was shot at Rosslyn.

Share Post


Link to post

Well, I feel stupid. ;) I think I thought it was 17 because I realized the episode was going to be about that in some way. I turned it off as he was telling Toby. But I feel the last few episodes have been leading up to it.

Now I want to know who the 17th is since Toby was 16. And does it stay at 17? I'll find out soon!

Share Post


Link to post

Now I want to know who the 17th is since Toby was 16. And does it stay at 17? I'll find out soon!

 

Hurry up! We want to talk about it!

 

Some years ago we had a discussion about which lines we would choose to recite if given the chance to speak them in front of an audience or a camera.  I chose a passage from 17 People.  

Toby's rant in the Oval Office.

Share Post


Link to post

I watched 4 episodes last night.  (Yes, I realize this sounds absolutely ridiculous. I kept telling myself 'One more episode and then I'll be productive." I am becoming increasingly addicted to this show.

 

Ridiculous? No, you're just a normal, well-adjusted Wing Nut. Welcome to the club - we had jackets made.

Share Post


Link to post

Thoughts on 17 People:

Okay, the rhythm of Toby throwing the ball sounded very much like a heartbeat. Set a very serious tone for the episode.

The back and forth cuts from the seriousness of Toby, Leo, and the President vs the lightheartedness of the rest of the staff writing jokes for the dinner works well.

Donna and Josh - enough. Annoying. Who cares which work anniversary you celebrate or if you celebrate it. And they better not be doing a "will they/won't they" about them. Leave that for Ainsley and Sam. And make it a "will they" in that case.

I'm very bothered by the fact we are at 16 people. Who is the 17th going to be? Josh? I can't imagine Josh and Toby knowing but not Sam. But I can't imagine Toby and Sam knowing and not Josh. Hmm.

Toby is so smart - so smart, so cool, and so collected. The way he's connecting all the dots and remembering everything.

Where is CJ? She hasn't been around this episode.

Ok, scratch that. Toby is not so cool or collected. But he raises many excellent points. But POTUS is mad. He better not fire Toby.

"Knock knock. Who's there? Sam and his prostitute friend." Ok, Donna. That was good. I'll cut you some slack.

Oh wait. Charlie is going to be the 17th, isn't he? Because he's around the POTUS so much.

Never mind. The 17th is himself.

Poor Toby.

Share Post


Link to post

I am sorry you dislike Josh and Donna as much as you seem to. They were a huge part of what made West Wing what it was. At least to me.

About CJ's absence. I remember reading AJ was either off shooting a movie or something. They were working on a tight budget so the low lightening, meager cast was necessary. It resulted in one of the best episodes of the whole series.

Edited by Deputy Deputy CoS.

Share Post


Link to post

Bad Moon Rising was also excellent. I'm really curious how this will all play out. And how/when they will announce it.

Share Post


Link to post

Donna and Josh - enough. Annoying.

 

Indeed.  But as one who absolutely hated the Josh/Donna thing, I can perhaps assure you that at this point they'll be simply a minor annoyance in the midst of great episodes. 

 

And yes, CJ's absence was due to Allison having an unanticipated scheduling conflict -- I think she had to film additional scenes for The Hours.  It's a testament to how incredibly captivating 17 People is that I don't even miss my favorite character.

Edited by Bastet.

Share Post


Link to post

Indeed. But as one who absolutely hated the Josh/Donna thing, I can perhaps assure you that at this point they'll be simply a minor annoyance in the midst of great episodes.

And yes, CJ's absence was due to Allison having an unanticipated scheduling conflict -- I think she had to film additional scenes for The Hours. It's a testament to how incredibly captivating 17 People is that I don't even miss my favorite character.

It was so intense but so so good that I kind of want to watch it again tonight. But I also want to see what happens next.

Dilemmas. :)

Share Post


Link to post

I am not and was not a J/D 'shipper and got myself into all kinds of trouble on TWOP because of it, but in the end, it didn't take over the show, for better or for worse.

For fun, here is the really fun website dealing with 17 People......and yes, they do count to 17, well 16.

http://seventeenpeople.com/

Share Post


Link to post

I am not and was not a J/D 'shipper and got myself into all kinds of trouble on TWOP because of it, but in the end, it didn't take over the show, for better or for worse.

For fun, here is the really fun website dealing with 17 People......and yes, they do count to 17, well 16.

http://seventeenpeople.com/

 

What does that article mean "There's still a Sam. There's still a Mrs. Landingham (for now)."  What do they do with Sam and Mrs. Landingham? THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!! And why are they dragging Jimmy Smits into it? Does he come on the show later? Isn't Alan Alda that guy who was briefly a doctor on E.R.?  What are we rooting for them for?  

 

So many questions.   If you need me, I'll be busy calling in sick to work for the next week so I can get to the bottom of all of this! ;)

Share Post


Link to post

What does that article mean "There's still a Sam. There's still a Mrs. Landingham (for now)."  What do they do with Sam and Mrs. Landingham? THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!! And why are they dragging Jimmy Smits into it? Does he come on the show later? Isn't Alan Alda that guy who was briefly a doctor on E.R.?  What are we rooting for them for?  

 

Some of your questions will be answered sooner than others.  Try not to get too distracted and just enjoy the ride!

 

But Alan Alda was Hawkeye Pierce in the TV version of M*A*S*H.

Edited by Inquisitionist.

Share Post


Link to post

deaja, I am very sorry to have posted that without reading it again to see if it discussed future events. I had posted it once before during a discussion of that episode and I forgot to check it again. I hope it did not ruin it for you since I have so enjoyed reading your unspoiled view of the show. My son watched it a year ago and got so into it during last winter break that he pretty much "binged" his way through the first 4 seasons in a week and I LOVED discussing it with him through un-jaded eyes.

Share Post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now