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The West Wing
Season 2 Descriptions

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2.1 In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part 1)  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-04-00 Rerun 12-27-00

All the President's (Martin Sheen) men and women scramble in the chaotic wake of an assassination attempt that leaves some victims fighting for their lives. Meanwhile, as a manhunt continues, the wounded drift in and out of surgery recalling how Bartlet's team came together during the dark months of his longshot primary campaign. Elsewhere, the press department is hounded by the media for details of the shooting while a military crisis looms in Iraq.

2.2 In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part 2)  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-04-00 10 p.m. Rerun 01-03-01

All the President's (Martin Sheen) men and women scramble in the chaotic wake of an assassination attempt that leaves some victims fighting for their lives. Meanwhile, as a manhunt continues, the wounded drift in and out of surgery recalling how Bartlet's team came together during the dark months of his longshot primary campaign. Elsewhere, the press department is hounded by the media for details of the shooting while a military crisis looms in Iraq.

2.3 The Midterms  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-18-00 Rerun 12-13-00 8 p.m.

As one of the President's staff, Josh (Bradley Whitford) recovers from bullet wounds, the rest of the team pushes on to the "mid-term" congressional elections in November -- but as C.J. (Allison Janney) deflects press requests on how the assassination attempt has affected the mood in the White House, she knows that nearly everyone bears psychological scars in its aftermath. In particular, Charlie (Dulé Hill) is affected when he learns more about the shooting and reacts coldly both to Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and Zoey (Elisabeth Moss). For his part, Toby (Richard Schiff) surveys the President's newfound popularity in the polls and proposes that the administration pursue a course that would turn up the heat on extremist groups while Sam (Rob Lowe) convinces a friend, Tom Jordan (Jamie Denton) to run for Congress after the death of Grant Samuels, the current congressman. Elsewhere, Bartlet is obsessed with an obscure school board election in New Hampshire for purely personal reasons.

2.4 In This White House  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-25-00 Rerun 01-17-01

When a confident Sam (Rob Lowe) is outmatched by a novice Republican adviser, Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter) on a political point-counterpoint television program, an impressed President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) offers to hire her as assistant White House counsel despite her party affiliation-- a bold move that sends shock waves through the resentful staff. Elsewhere, Toby (Richard Schiff) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) attend a deadlocked White House summit between representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the leaders of AIDS-ravaged African nations to discuss the high price and availability of much-needed drugs. However, the President is concerned for the safety of President Nimbala (Zakes Mokae), the eloquent leader of one of the nations, after news spreads about a bloody coup back home in his country.

2.5 And It's Surely to Their Credit  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-01-00 Rerun 01-31-01

President Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) controversial -- and conservative -- new choice for associate White House counsel (Emily Procter) has rough sledding on her first day when she suffers the wrath of her hostile boss Lionel Tribbey (John Larroquette), gets a chilly reception from her co-workers and is humiliated by two other staffers, Mark Brookline and Steve Joyce (Steven Flynn and Paul Perri). Also, when Josh's (Bradley Whitford) insurance company turns down his claim for his recent life-saving medical bills, Sam (Rob Lowe) tries to convince him to sue the people who shot him -- the Ku Klux Klan. In addition, C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to shame the outspoken General Ed Barrie (Tom Bower) who is critical of the President into meeting with her.

2.6 The Lame Duck Congress  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-08-00 Rerun 03-07-01

A wily President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) considers the extraordinary option of recalling the Senate from a winter holiday to push through a ratification of a new nuclear test-ban treaty -- despite the lame-duck status of many Senators who will not return in the next session -- while the drunken Ukrainian leader, Vasily Konanov (Eugene Lazarev) thunders through the White House demanding to see the President. Elsewhere, Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to hear that even if the Senate returns, the White House might still lack the necessary votes; Sam (Rob Lowe) learns something when he grudgingly works with new Republican assistant counsel Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter); a stubborn C.J. (Allison Janney) argues against allowing reporter Danny (Timothy Busfield) private access to the President for a series of exclusive stories; and Donna (Janel Moloney) is on a mission to get the President to back legislation on repetitive stress injuries.

2.7 The Portland Trip  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-15-00 Rerun 03-21-01

While President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and some of the staff are en route overnight to Portland for a major education speech, Leo (John Spencer) remains behind to monitor a tense situation in the Persian Gulf when a foreign tanker is suspected of smuggling contraband oil and fires on U.S. Navy helicopters sent to investigate. Elsewhere, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is on a tight deadline when he debates with an opposing party's congressman, Matt Skinner (Charley Lang) -- who happens to be gay -- the merits of a bill brought before the President that would prohibit same-sex marriages. On the plane, Toby (Richard Schiff) tries to re-work Sam's (Rob Lowe) questionable speech on education while Charlie (Dulé Hill) offers a novel idea that would result in more teachers. In addition, new hire Ainsley (Emily Procter) is content to perspire freely in her overheated office while secretary Margaret (NiCole Robinson) worries that her boss, Leo, might be tempted to take a drink after he signs his divorce papers.

2.8 Shibboleth  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-22-00 Rerun 03-28-01

As Thanksgiving nears, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) has his own hot-potato issue when a boatload of persecuted Chinese evangelical Christians arrives in California seeking asylum, while a perplexed C.J. (Allison Janney) must choose between two turkeys for the Presidential pardon ceremony -- with the other destined for the chopping block. While Bartlet's staff argues over sending back the illegal immigrants, Toby (Richard Schiff) wants the President to appoint Leo's (John Spencer) controversial sister Dr. Josephine McGarry (Deborah Hedwall) for a minor education post, fully aware that her opposition to school prayer will cause the controversial subject to emerge again. Elsewhere, Toby, Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Sam (Rob Lowe) make plans to watch football while Charlie (Dulé Hill) is dispatched by Bartlet to find the precise cutting instrument for Thanksgiving dinner.

2.9 Galileo  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-29-00 Rerun 04-11-01

President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) prepares to address thousands of elementary students nationwide as a NASA space probe descends on Mars, but a host of thorny problems suddenly land on his doorstep, including a fire in a Russian nuclear missile silo, a missing F-15 fighter whose pilot is AWOL -- and a last-minute loss of communication with the Mars spacecraft. In addition: the Icelandic ambassador is peeved at the President for missing their meeting; Josh (Bradley Whitford) is still smarting after being delegated the responsibility of choosing the subject of the next official stamp; a reluctant C.J. (Allison Janney) is forced to attend a concert where she will encounter some angry applicants whom she rejected as her new press deputy; and an embarrassed Sam (Rob Lowe) is confronted by former date-mate Mallory (Allison Smith) at the concert.

2.10 Noël  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 12-20-00 Rerun 12-19-01

Christmas draws near as an unstable Josh (Bradley Whitford) is ordered by Leo (John Spencer) to consult with a doctor who specializes in analyzing trauma victims. What's particularly telling is Josh's identification with a dead fighter pilot who recently took his own life by deliberately crashing his jet -- a man who coincidentally shared his birthday and experienced emotional trauma after being shot down over Bosnia. Elsewhere: the President wants to personally sign all of his Christmas cards -- which total hundreds of thousands; Sam (Rob Lowe) confronts a representative of the Energy Secretary who publicly advocates release of federal oil reserves; C.J.(Allison Janney) gets personally involved when a foreign White House tourist becomes extremely agitated at the sight of a painting donated by the French government.

2.11 The Leadership Breakfast  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 01-10-01 Rerun 04-18-01 8 p.m.

As a bi-partisan friendship breakfast with members of Congress nears, President Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) staff vigorously debates the merits of including a patient's bill of rights and minimum wage increase among the incendiary topics while C.J. (Allison Janney) jousts with the new chief of staff of the Senate Majority leader (Felicity Huffman) over the press conference's agenda and location. Elsewhere: Leo (John Spencer) asks Josh (Bradley Whitford) to apologize for him to a powerful news columnist after he unintentionally insults her; Sam (Rob Lowe) lobbies C.J. to move the media briefing room away from the White House to free-up much-needed space; and Sam and Josh start a cozy fire in the Mural Room -- unaware that the chimney flue has been welded shut for more than 100 years

2.12 The Drop-In  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 01-24-01 Rerun 05-30-01 8 p.m.

Leo (John Spencer) tries to convince an unenthusiastic President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) about the merits of an expensive and errant missile defense system while the chief executive ponders the political benefits of chiding hard-core environmentalists over the actions of eco-terrorists when he addresses their convention. Meanwhile, Bartlet endures the formalities of accepting the appointments of a range of foreign ambassadors but he enjoys one in particular -- the presentation of the charming Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees) who returns as Great Britain's new U.S. ambassador. In addition, C.J. (Allison Janney) treads lightly when she is dispatched to New York to dissuade a comedian, Corey Sykes (Rocky Carroll), who once uttered a well-publicized but offensive joke in the President's presence from performing at the annual Will Rogers dinner.

2.13 Bartlet's Third State of the Union  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-07-01 Rerun 06-06-01 8 p.m.

There's electricity in the air as the President (Martin Sheen) addresses the Congress for his third State of the Union address -- which was intricately composed by Toby (Richard Schiff) -- and while Josh (Bradley Whitford) anxiously tracks public response via a phone poll, a crisis looms when five American drug agents are taken hostage by Colombian rebels. As Josh spearheads the sampling efforts, he crosses paths with sassy pollster Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin) and they renew their sexual chemistry. Elsewhere, Bartlet earns Abbey's (Stockard Channing) ire when his speech omits mention of her passionate issues, including violence against women while an important cable TV political show host (Ted McGinley) sets up in the White House for a live post-speech analysis.

2.14 The War at Home  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-14-01 Rerun 06-13-01 8 p.m.

After his State of the Union speech, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) boldly greenlights a daring military mission to rescue five federal drug agents taken hostage by Colombian terrorist commandos -- until complications arise -- while Toby (Richard Schiff) is confronted by an angry, liberal Senator (Ed Begley, Jr.) who threatens to launch a third-party run for President. Elsewhere, a frustrated Josh (Bradley Whitford) tries to conduct a poll to sample reaction to the speech which he hopes will provide support for a new gun protection law but he wonders why his assistant Donna (Janel Moloney) keeps urging him to ask out an attractive pollster (Marlee Matlin). In addition, C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to convince the host (Ted McGinley) of a TV political program to include a controversial policeman (Richard Riehle) as a guest who was the President's invitee at his speech while Abbey (Stockard Channing) is livid with Bartlet for what he said and didn't say in his speech.

2.15 Ellie  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-21-01 Rerun 12-05-01

The President (Martin Sheen) wings back from a Tokyo trade summit, a firestorm of controversy awaits him when Surgeon General Griffith (Mary Kay Place) hints that marijuana should be decriminalized -- but Bartlet is even more incensed over his meek middle daughter Ellie's (Nina Siemaszko) public assurances that her father would never fire Griffith. When he confronts Ellie, the President gets a sobering reality check about their relationship. Elsewhere: Toby (Richard Schiff) floats an idea of putting a controversial Senator on a special commission to study social security reform and encounters resistance to the notion of raising the retirement age; Sam (Rob Lowe) tries to head off the misleading story that the White House refused to screen an incendiary new film promoted by a savvy movie producer.

2.16 Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-28-01 Rerun 06-20-01

While a contemptuous Toby (Richard Schiff) is assigned to meet with a noisy, unruly mob protesting the World Trade Organization, Donna (Janel Moloney) asks Sam (Rob Lowe) to consider fronting an executive pardon for the grandfather of her friend (Jolie Jenkins) who was imprisoned for espionage in the 1940s. Elsewhere, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) fumes when there are complications in his plan to select the bucolic -- and historic -- site for his Presidential library; as part of Bartlet's tradition of setting aside one day for personal petitions to the White House, C.J. (Allison Janney) must grant an audience to an earnest group of cartographers who want to adopt a new global map that is more respectful of Third World nations; Sam is still smarting over the news of his father's infidelity.

2.17 The Stackhouse Filibuster  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 03-14-01 Rerun 06-27-01

The President's (Martin Sheen) staff waits impatiently for an elderly but stubborn Senator (George Coe) to yield the floor as he stages a marathon filibuster hoping to stave off a vote on Bartlet's Family Wellness Act bill while Toby (Richard Schiff) is leery of the Vice President's (Tim Matheson) sudden interest in supporting another bill tightening fuel-emission standards. Elsewhere: C.J. (Allison Janney) anxiously paws through her memory as she seeks to locate a missing ceramic cat statue given to the President by a Mideastern potentate who expects to see it displayed during his upcoming visit; Josh (Bradley Whitford) strains to finish business in time to catch a flight for a weekend visit to the spring-training camp of the New York Mets in Florida.

2.18 17 People  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 04-04-01 Rerun 08-15-01

After a foreign terrorist is caught at the border with explosives, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) ponders the impact of ordering a heightened security alert for the nation's airports while an exasperated Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to learn of the President's secret affliction with multiple sclerosis -- and he details its political and legal ramifications. In other White House corridors, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) try to punch up an upcoming presidential speech with snappy one-liners while Josh jousts with Donna (Janel Moloney) over many contentious subjects, including the exact start date of her employment. In addition, Sam and Ainsley (Emily Procter) fuss over the 14th Amendment and equal rights for women.

2.19 Bad Moon Rising  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 04-25-01 Rerun 12-26-01

The President's (Martin Sheen) vaunted administration could be brought down by the tiniest oversight as Bartlet secretly summons chief counsel Babish (Oliver Platt) to discuss how his failure to divulge his multiple sclerosis condition could be a criminal violation of full disclosure -- which would give his enemies enough ammo to destroy him. Meanwhile: a fuming Toby (Richard Schiff) orders C.J. (Allison Janney) to smoke out the insider who leaked vital information on the President's reversal on school vouchers; Sam (Rob Lowe) feels queasy when he learns that an aging oil tanker is leaking onto the coast of Delaware causing an ecological disaster -- and he could be liable since he brokered the deal for the behemoth in his previous shipping firm job while aware of the needed repairs; Josh (Bradley Whitford) clashes with a questioning Donna (Janel Moloney) as the U.S. prepares a huge cash loan to prop up the collapsing Mexican economy again.

2.20 The Fall's Gonna Kill You  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 05-02-01 Rerun 08-29-01

While White House counsel Babish (Oliver Platt) methodically grills staff members on their prior knowledge of the President's (Martin Sheen) multiple sclerosis condition, Josh (Bradley Whitford) secretly commissions pollster Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin) to conduct a hypothetical survey of public opinion before making the announcement. Meanwhile, Sam (Rob Lowe) is happy to learn of a lowered surplus estimate that will reinforce the administration's case for a revised tax cut; Josh seeks more funds to support the overwhelmed Justice Department in its prosecution of tobacco companies; Donna (Janel Moloney) seems to be the only one concerned about the blazing earthfall of a failing Chinese satellite.

2.21 18th and Potomac  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 05-09-01 Rerun 09-05-01

Thorny issues encircle the White House as the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff grapple with breaking the news of his illness in an exclusive national broadcast while the newly elected president of Haiti flees for his life and asks for sanctuary in the U.S. embassy -- which would place the compound under army attack. C.J. (Allison Janney) and Leo (John Spencer) weigh the dicey arrangements of keeping the blistering news a secret until the telecast while White House counsel Babish (Oliver Platt) finds a disturbing detail in the First Lady's (Stockard Channing) medical treatment of Bartlet. Elsewhere, a frustrated Josh (Bradley Whitford) needs $30 million more from a Senate committee to continue the Justice Department's case against Big Tobacco companies but hits a roadblock when he solicits the crucial votes of two Democratic Senators, and virtuous Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) pays sticker price for a new car because she fears anything less will violate federal stipulations about receiving gifts.

2.22 Two Cathedrals  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 05-16-01 Rerun 09-19-01 and 07-31-02

The Haitian army besieges the American Embassy there and Bartlet (Martin Sheen) continues his campaign to sufficiently fund the Justice Department's case against Big Tobacco. Additionally, Toby (Richard Schiff) gets a surprising job offer and the President gets some sage advice from an unexpected corner.

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