Follow TV Tropes

Following

Recap / The West Wing S 04 E 22 Commencement

Go To

Josh is in his office, looking through folders, while his TV (which is muted) is showing a report on former Vice-President Hoynes. Charlie comes in and tells Josh President Bartlet wants the vetting files from five years earlier. Josh says he's eliminated McKenna (for health reasons) and Lyndell, whom he and Bartlet like, but whom the House Speaker doesn't because, among other things, he meditates in an Asian garden. This last part triggers something in Charlie's memory; there was a note in his wallet reminding him three years earlier, he and Zoey buried a bottle of champagne in the Arboretum, and they made an appointment to drink it the night she graduated from college. Josh tells Charlie he has to get the bottle; Charlie thinks it's too late, because she's going to France with Jean-Paul, but Josh thinks he should give the bottle to her as a gift to show her he's not mad at her (though Josh admits he doesn't know what he's talking about). Josh changes subjects and asks Charlie what he'd think of one particular nominee. He rips a piece of newspaper, puts it on the board he has of potential VP candidates, and hands a vetting file to Charlie. We see the newspaper clipping is a picture of Leo.

Advertisement:

In the Situation Room, Dr. McNally and Admiral Fitzwallace tell President Bartlet and Leo a van's been abandoned in Sacramento, and Dr. McNally recommends upgrading to Threat Condition Bravo and increasing security at the airports and seaports. President Bartlet reads about a torrential downpour in the Pacific Northwest, clarifies "the five of them" are just missing, and tells Admiral Fitzwallace to find them. He and Leo leave.

Amy finds Donna near Josh's office, and asks her to tell Josh the Wellingtons are back on for the trip, and Donna says she'll be on it. Amy mentions that when Josh showed her the candidates for VP he had thought of, she said, "Wow, well, this is a windfall," and he got very quiet at that. She worries over whether he thought she thought it was great Hoynes had to resign, when that's not what she meant at all. She asks if Josh mentioned anything about it, and Donna says he didn't.

Advertisement:

Toby is pacing in the outer Oval Office when C.J. arrives, and congratulates him on the big day. Toby wants to know how she knows, but before they can get into that too much, Will arrives, and wants to know if they're being asked to help write the commencement speech. Toby says they wouldn't be asked to do that the morning of the speech, and when Will asks if Toby is nervous about the speech, Toby says he has other things he's choosing to be nervous about. Turns out Will knows about the big day as well, and when Josh comes in, Toby accuses him of telling everybody about the house. Josh owns up to this, calling the buying of the house a bold, romantic gesture, and he wanted to get everybody in Toby's corner. Charlie comes out and says they can enter. All of them go into the Oval Office, where President Bartlet is on the phone. Leo invites them to sit down, and then asks Toby how Andi is. Toby says in ten days, they can go to the hospital and pick a day to induce labor. Leo says Toby should check her into the hospital today. President Bartlet gets off the phone, and tells the others while he doesn't think it'll come as a great shock to them, he had Shareef killed by a Special Ops squad. Leo asks if anyone needs Bartlet to stop or needs and minute, and no one does. Leo goes on to explain all the evidence presented to, among others, Admiral Fitzwallace, Nancy McNally, Oliver Babish and the Attorney General, including the fact Shareef tried to blow up the Golden Gate bridge. Leo also says there were no U.S. laws broken, but concedes some international ones might have been. President Bartlet half-jokingly says Leo didn't have to elaborate. C.J. wants to know why the President is telling them this now; President Bartlet explains he's just ordered Threat Condition Bravo, and Leo adds five Bahji sleepers they had tracked to Central New York have disappeared. Josh wants to know how hard it is to keep track of the sleepers, and President Bartlet agrees. Will asks where Shareef's plane did land, and Bartlet dismisses them all, though not before joining in on congratulating Toby about the house. Everyone leaves except Will, who wants to know if Bartlet needs help with the commencement speech. Bartlet admits he doesn't have anything on paper, but says he'd like to talk about creativity, and asks Will to get started on that.

Advertisement:

As Josh walks through the lobby, he meets Wesley Davis (Taye Diggs), the Secret Service agent who's in charge of Zoey's detail. Josh teases him about how cushy an assignment it'll be, and Wes reminds Josh he can kill him and make up an excuse for doing so.

President Bartlet goes to the residence, where Molly O'Connor, Jamie Reed and Randy Weathers, Zoey's new security detail, are waiting for him. Ron Butterfield enters with Wes, and Bartlet thanks him for heading the detail. Bartlet is skeptical about the other three's abilities to handle themselves, so Ron says to Wes, "Attack Randy." Wes heads towards Randy, but before he can even touch him, Molly grabs him, flips him over, takes his gun and pulls it on him. Bartlet is impressed. Zoey walks in and is distraught her father made the agents go through that. Turns out Molly was originally part of Ellie's detail, and Bartlet is happy to hear that, since Ellie is still up and running. Wes says they start at 6 that evening. Bartlet asks Zoey once again if she'd reconsider going abroad with Jean-Paul for three months, and do something else instead. Zoey thinks Bartlet's living in a fantasy, and leaves. Bartlet half-jokingly tells Wes he's authorizing him to kill Jean-Paul if the situation arises. Leo and Admiral Fitzwallace come in, and Fitzwallace also teases Wes about his assignment. As Wes, Ron and the other agents leave, Leo, Admiral Fitzwallace and President Bartlet enter Bartlet's private study, and tell the President a Syrian cargo ship (flying a Nigerian flag) docked in Portland is missing a container. President Bartlet at first decides to give the FBI (who's searching the ship) an hour before having the Coast Guard close down the port, but when he remembers the "torrential rain in the Pacific Northwest", he decides to close the port down immediately. Admiral Fitzwallace exits, and Leo tells Bartlet about the fact Andy's doctor can induce labor.

C.J. goes to her office and screams when she sees Danny sleeping on her couch. Carol walks in and apologizes for not telling C.J. about Danny, and exits. Danny is sleepy and a bit out of it, but he remembers he flew back from Germany, where he's discovered a link between the U.S. government and Shareef's plane being shot down. C.J. reminds Danny he's said this before, but Danny insists he's got the link now. C.J. says there are nationally security concerns, so he can't run the story now, and Danny says he's been jerked around for months on the story, and wants to sit down with her and Leo. He says he'll give her a couple of hours.

On a suburban street, Toby helps Andy, who's blindfolded, to get out of his car. He leads her to the walkway and then lets her take off the blindfold. Andy recognizes the house as belonging to Congressman Jefferson Wyler. As they walk into the house, Toby reminds Andy she always called this her dream house, and Toby reveals he put a down payment on it. Andy's stunned that Toby bought the house, and Toby reveals it can be her house as well if she agrees to marry him. Andy responds, "Can you get the down payment back?" She admits it's an incredible gesture, but she can't marry him, and points out she's said no many times before. Toby says he thought she was just being cute those other times, and points out how he's tried to change. Andy denies just being cute, and says Toby is just too sad for her. Toby denies it, but Andy points out he takes forever to trust someone. Toby points out being the son of a mob killer made it hard for him, but he thinks the kids won't have that problem. Andy doesn't believe this, however, because she thinks Toby will make it clear to their kids the world is hopeless. Toby wants to know if Andy felt this way when they were married. Andy apologizes for saying this, and says she's going to the car because her ankles are hurting. She walks out, and Toby, upset, closes the back doors of the house. Just then, he hears Andy yelling his name, and when he goes outside, she's leaning against the car, and she tells him, "My water broke."

Will and Abbey are walking to the lobby, and Will tells her how he wrote a nearly-4,000 word speech in five hours, which will be okay as long as Bartlet doesn't change it. They see Bartlet in the lobby, and sure enough, he wants to make changes. Bartlet gives Abbey a necklace of black pearls, which she admires. As they walk to the limo, Bartlet says instead of creativity, he wants the speech to be about the limits of reason, and passion and intuition in American life. He tells Will to get into the limo with them so they can work on the speech on the way to Georgetown.

In Leo's office, Margaret gives Leo the present he's giving to Zoey for graduation; a pen, which Margaret thinks is too little (Margaret: "Does it do other things?"). C.J. comes in and tells Leo Danny is waiting for them in the upper press room. As the two of them head over, C.J. and Leo speculate as to what information Danny has. They find Danny typing on his computer, wearing sunglasses. Leo says Danny will talk with C.J. briefly and then come with him. C.J. thinks Danny is asleep, but Danny denies it. The three of them head into the copier room. C.J. and Leo tell Danny about Threat Condition Bravo and the five Bahji sleepers. Danny agrees to hold onto the story for three days if he gets an exclusive about the sleepers, and Leo agrees. Danny then reveals he found out the pilot of Shareef's plane had an American passport.

Donna is at her desk when Amy comes by. They admire each other's outfits, and Donna confesses she wasn't able to tell Josh about the Wellingtons. Amy says they're off the list again. As they walk through the lobby, Amy wonders again if Josh was offended by her "this is a windfall" statement, and Donna assures her he isn't. They get into a waiting car together.

Andy is lying in bed, with Toby standing beside her, when the doctor comes in. After teasing her about going into labor ahead of schedule, the doctor tells Andy she's going to have the babies immediately, but she won't require a C-section. He tells Toby one of the babies will be coming out in about 15 minutes. Andy apologizes to Toby for what he said, but he tells her not to worry. As she starts to have a contraction, Toby puts his hand, which is wrapped in a rag, in front of her, and says, "Bite my hand when it hurts."

As the Georgetown building where the graduation is being held fills up, Bartlet and Will continue to discuss the speech. Bartlet wants to make more changes, but Will points out what he really wants is a speech that'll convince Zoey not to go to France. An aide goes to get Bartlet, and he greets the Georgetown chancellor. Bartlet says he doesn't need the teleprompter, as he's got the speech written down, though he realizes he doesn't have access to his pockets where the speech is. Bartlet insists he's fine, and as he walks out to the podium, to great applause, Zoey takes a picture of him.

That night, Donna is working at her desk when Amy joins her. She tells Donna the Wellingtons are back on; Donna isn't happy because of how inconvenient it'll be, and Amy agrees, but tells her the Wellingtons are important, and if they work together, they can figure something out. Donna agrees.

At the National Arboretum, Charlie and Josh are walking through the park. Josh isn't sure Charlie knows where he's going. Charlie reminds Josh he was the one who suggested Charlie do this in the first place, and Josh points out he almost immediately tried to take it back. Charlie, however, claims to like the gesture. They accidentally walk into a brook, and Jamie Reed calls out to them; he recognizes Charlie, who realizes Zoey is there. As Josh stays near the brook, Charlie walks across a small bridge and sees Zoey standing by another part of the brook. She tells Charlie he's late; Charlie points out she was driven in a car, and he had to climb the wall. Charlie also says he didn't think Zoey would be there, and he was going to give the bottle to her as a graduation present. Zoey says she came to drink it; she immediately says she really came to see if Charlie would come, but admits she has been drinking it. Charlie wants to know if he should let the people Zoey's supposed to join at a club that she's going to be late. Zoey calls Charlie a good guy. Charlie starts to talk about how he reacted upon seeing the note when Zoey kisses him. Charlie wants to know why she did it. Zoey claims she doesn't know, but admits she's worried because Jean-Paul wants her to take ecstasy, she's worried about her father being without her for three months, and she's confused about Charlie. Charlie points out he can't do anything about that part, since she's getting on a flight to France the next day. Zoey admits she deserved that, and wants to know if they can just enjoy the night for a while. Charlie reminds her she said she was going to the club, and Zoey, after kissing Charlie, hands him the bottle of champagne and walks away.

Leo, Admiral Fitzwallace, and Nancy McNally are in the Situation Room, along with several other staffers. Leo learns the FBI has the crew of the ship all present and accounted for, and by law, they can hold the crew members for up to seven days.

Zoey enters the club, greets a friend of hers, and then greets Jean-Paul. She apologizes for being late, and asks Jean-Paul if they can talk for a minute. Wes asks for a situation update from the other agents, and is amused by the fact Molly counted all the cars in the parking lot.

At Donna's work area, she and Amy figure out a place to put the Wellingtons. Amy again brings up Josh being offended by her "what a windfall" comment, and admits it's eating at her because she doesn't know why it's eating at him.

C.J. is at the podium of the briefing room when she sees Danny in the upper press room. She goes there and reminds him he's supposed to be sleeping, and the story doesn't go out for another three days. He asks her about the rumor of Bartlet groping himself at one point during the graduation, and C.J. admits he was trying to find his speech. She tells Danny they'll call the story the "Madras research project" for now.

As "Angel" from Mezzanine by Massive Attack plays in the background, Jean-Paul tells Zoey if she's feeling misgivings, she can decide to come for only a few weeks. Zoey says there wouldn't be much point in that, but doesn't speak clearly. She apologizes to Jean-Paul, admitting she feels lightheaded because she drank champagne. Jean-Paul responds that light-headed is good.

At Donna's work area, Amy picks up on the fact Donna is also bothered by Amy's "windfall" comment. Donna says she understood what Amy was saying, but reminds Amy Josh worked with Hoynes for a long time.

Amy: He left him.
Donna: And if you think that was easy, you're crazy. Josh doesn't leave people.
Amy: I get that he was close to Hoynes. What I don't get...
Donna: You have to *get* Josh.

Outside the club, Josh jokes to Wes how walking through the Arboretum was like walking through the jungle. Wes, distracted, asks for a sit rep.

Inside the club, as "Angel" continues to play, Zoey tells Jean-Paul she doesn't want to lie to him, and says again how strange she feels. Jean-Paul hands her another drink, and tells her to enjoy being drunk.

At Donna's work area:

Donna: His sister died in a fire while she was baby-sitting him. She tried to put it out, he ran outside. He went off campaigning, his father died. He wakes up in a hospital and discovers the President's been shot. He goes through every day worried that somebody he likes is going to die, and it's going to be his fault. What do you think makes him walk so fast? (walks towards some file cabinets) Anyway, when you look at the list of replacements and said, "That's a windfall," what he heard was "Thank you Josh, you did it again. More for us."
Amy: You said you have to *get* Josh.
Amy: You in love with Josh? (Donna doesn't answer, but closes a book she was reading)

In the nightclub, Zoey realizes Jean-Paul put ecstasy in her drink; Jean-Paul admits he gave her half a pill because he wanted her to enjoy herself. Zoey says she's going to the bathroom.

In the press room, Danny asks about the "Madras research project"; namely, who knew and when they knew it, was it retaliatory or preemptive, does it create a precedent, and do the President or the NSA fear retribution? C.J. says there was a decision directive, but doesn't know the answer to the other questions.

Outside the nightclub, Josh continues to natter on about being in the park. Wes asks the other agents if Zoey is planning on leaving. Randy thinks Zoey's still in the bathroom; Jamie thinks she isn't, but it turns out he mistook her for someone else. Wes goes into the nightclub, and says he'll go into the bathroom himself. As he goes in, he passes a waitress and asks her to check to see if anyone's in the bathroom. As the waitress goes in, Wes notices the back door is ajar, and calls for Molly over his radio. When the waitress comes back to tell him no one's in there, he thanks her and goes to check himself. When he comes out of the restroom, he asks the waitress if the back door leads to an alleyway. As Wes goes out the door, he continues to call for Molly. That's when he notices Zoey's panic button is on the ground. As Wes runs down the alley, he sees Molly lying on the ground in a pool of her own blood, and a bullet hole in between her eyes. Wes says into his radio Molly's shot and Zoey's been taken.

In the Situation Room, Admiral Fitzwallace is laughing as Nancy McNally tells everyone the cargo ship's captain swears there's only supposed to be 45 containers on the ship (which is what his manifest says), and swears there must be a typo. Leo says this is just going to make Margaret feel more paranoid, and says he's going to bed for a few hours. As he exits the Situation Room, he sees Ron running up to him. Ron tells Leo Zoey's been kidnapped. Leo looks ashen, and as he walks up the stairs, we see a black-and-white picture of Zoey's face. Leo starts to walk very fast and then run towards the residence as Ron follows, and we Fade to White.

This episode contains examples of:

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report