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The West Wing
Season 4 Descriptions



Episode Index  |  Main Index  |  Information Index
4.1 4.2 20 Hours in America (Parts 1 and 2)  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 09-25-02 2 hours Rerun 03-05-03 (Part 1) 04-09-03 (Part 2)

Two-hour season premiere sees President on campaign trail as probe of downed plane grows.

4.3 College Kids  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-02-02 Rerun 01-22-03

The President's (Martin Sheen) team reacts to the ongoing inquiry into its pre-meditated Qumari assassination by lawyering up as they gingerly approach Leo's (John Spencer) lawyer (Joanna Gleason) while a key judicial ruling on presidential third-party candiates throws a monkeywrench into the campaign. Elsewhere, in the fallout, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is upset with his girlfriend Amy's (Mary-Louise Parker) decision to accept a particular job interview; Sam (Rob Lowe), Toby (Richard Schiff) and Josh hatch a radical new idea to pay for college education; and the approval process of executive secretary-to-be Deborah Fiderer (Lily Tomlin) hits a snag when new evidence is uncovered.

4.4 The Red Mass  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-09-02 Rerun 04-16-03

The President (Martin Sheen) ponders the fallout of greenlighting a strike force to overtake a barricaded gang of homegrown terrorists in Idaho -- who include a young non-combatant in need of medical attention -- while his staff tries to negotiate with Bartlet's Republican rival for more, rather than fewer debates. Josh (Bradley Whitford) accuses his girlfriend Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) of stealing potential votes from Bartlet as a result of her efforts on behalf of a third-party candidate (George Coe).Leo (John Spencer) quietly meets with a high-ranking Israeli official (Malachi Throne) to discuss mutual strategy in the wake of the Qumari assassination investigation.

4.5 Debate Camp  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-16-02

While on a weekend retreat to prepare for the crucial debates, the President (Martin Sheen) is confronted with an Israeli air attack on Qumar that could enflame the Mideast -- but his accompanying staff has time to recall the Bartlet administration's first error-prone days in Washington, D.C. Bartlet also bitterly remembers the period for his failed nominee for Attorney General and Josh (Bradley Whitford) reminds Donna (Janel Moloney) of how her naivete almost cost her the job over a national security issue. Back in the present, Toby (Richard Schiff) ponders parenthood and Sam (Rob Lowe) makes a radical campaign suggestion.

4.6 Game On  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 10-30-02

Bartlet engages in the final debate of his career.

4.7 Election Night  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-06-02 Rerun 07-30-03

Election Day arrives as the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff begin counting exit poll votes across the country -- especially in a conservative California congressional district where the result has important implications for Sam (Rob Lowe) and its maverick campaign manager (Joshua Malina).

4.8 Process Stories  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-13-02

Election Night.

4.9 Swiss Diplomacy  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-20-02

The President (Martin Sheen) ponders the immense political ramifications of honoring a secret request from the hardline Iranian Ayatollah to allow his son to be flown to the United States for life-saving surgery.

4.10 Arctic Radar  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 11-27-02

Sam (Rob Lowe) packs up to begin his California campaign and refers talented campaign manager Will (Joshua Malina) to Toby (Richard Schiff) who reviews Will's speechwriting skills. Elsewhere, C.J. (Allison Janney) duels with a reporter who's upset over his new press room seat assignment.

4.11 Holy Night  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 12-11-02

The Christmas Episode. A winter storm blankets the northeast as a staffer gets a surprising visit from his father and Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and Leo (John Spencer) start to hear the footsteps.

4.12 Guns Not Butter  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 01-08-03

The staff comes together to fight a losing battle on a foreign aid vote in the Senate.

4.13 The Long Goodbye  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 01-15-03

In a special episode guest written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz, C.J. (Allison Janney) reluctantly returns to Dayton, Ohio, to speak at her 20th high school class reunion but her return home includes an impromptu encounter with a rich and handsome classmate (Matthew Modine) -- and a sobering understanding that her intellectual father is suddenly deteriorating from Alzheimer's Disease. While C.J. is confronted with a kaleidoscope of emotions, she can't help but check in on Toby (Richard Schiff) who struggles to fill in for her during news briefings.

4.14 Inauguration (Part 1)  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-05-03 Rerun 08-06-03

A situation in a thoroughly unimportant country on the other side of the world has the President and his staff re-writing his Inauguration address on the eve of his swearing-in as tensions between the White House and the Pentagon mount and the staff is stunned by the betrayal of one of their own. The first of a two-parter.

4.15 Inauguration: Over There (Part 2)  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-12-03 Rerun 08-13-03

Preparations for the Inauguration (and the parties that follow) continue as the White House scuttles the President's speech and moves closer and closer historic military action.

4.16 California 47th  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-19-03

En route to California to campaign for Sam's (Rob Lowe) congressional election challenge, the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff debate whether to announce his controversial tax plan that might in turn damage Sam's bid in conservative Orange County, California. In the meantime, Bartlet must keep tabs on a dangerous U.S.military incursion in a tumultuous African country.

4.17 Red Haven's on Fire  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 02-26-03 Rerun 12-31-03

The President (Martin Sheen) waits tensely for the results of a military strike to rescue three captive American soldiers in Africa while Toby (Richard Schiff) tries to help Sam's (Rob Lowe) California congressional campaign and Josh (Bradley Whitford) butts heads with the First Lady (Stockard Channing).

4.18 Privateers  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 03-26-03 Rerun 08-20-03

Abbey (Stockard Channing) is upset when an anti-abortion rider is attached to a foreign aid bill and asks Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) to work behind the scenes to torpedo the President's (Martin Sheen) proposal while Toby (Richard Schiff) gets in a legal bind when an ex-classmate (Jeff Perry) turns whistle-blower on a lawbreaking chemical company. Meanwhile, the Daughters of the American Revolution wants to disown Abbey when they learn that her distant relative was more pirate than patriot.

4.19 Angel Maintenance  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 04-02-03

At the end of an 18 hour return trip home from the Manila, just as Air Force One is about to begin its descent into Andrews Air Force Base, a cockpit indicator light leads the crew to believe that the landing gear might not be locked down and so the plane stays in the air while the problem can be looked at. Tensions in the plane and on the ground grow as people become more and more concerned that the plane may have been tampered with.

4.20 Evidence of Things Not Seen  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 04-23-03 Rerun 08-27-03

After a gunman fires three shots at the White House, the staff remains under lockdown as the President (Martin Sheen) negotiates the return of a downed spy plane while Josh (Bradley Whitford) interviews a candidate (Matthew Perry) for associate counsel -- and a spirited card game allows everyone to let off steam.

4.21 Life on Mars  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 04-30-03 Rerun 09-03-03

A seemingly benign press leak begins a day and night long journey that ends with the discovery of a scandal that affects the uppermost levels of the administration, though what the staff doesn't yet know is that this is merely the match that lights the fuse and that things are about to get considerably worse. Matthew Perry guest-stars as a newly hired White House attorney who has the bad luck of discovering the problem.

4.22 Commencement  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 05-07-03 Rerun 09-10-03

With the country at a heightened state of alert because suspected terrorists have disappeared, the President (Martin Sheen) wrestles with what message to give his youngest daughter Zoey's (Elisabeth Moss) graduating class at Georgetown. As C.J. (Allison Janney) has to stop Danny (Timothy Busfield) from filing a story, Charlie (Dulé Hill) decides whether to follow through a romantic promise he made to Zoey when they were dating.

4.23 Twenty Five  Credits  |  In Reality  |  Episode Page

Original Airdate 05-14-03 Rerun 09-17-03

In the season finale, a national crisis is thrust on the President (Martin Sheen) on the night of his daughter Zoey's graduation, forcing him to shut down Washington, D.C. as he orders the Fifth Fleet to the Persian Gulf -- all of which prompts Bartlet to consider executive action that would have been unthinkable just hours earlier. In the midst of the administration's greatest challenge, a conflicted Toby (Richard Schiff) still finds time to savor a personal milestone on the best day of his life.

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