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Recap / The West Wing S 05 E 04 Han

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A young North Korean pianist visiting the White House informs Bartlet of his wish to defect to the USA, causing a problem for the administration as they are engaged in long-term negotiations with North Korea. Eventually, Bartlet has to tell the pianist that it's his choice, but they'd greatly prefer it if he didn't defect, as it will certainly cause the North Koreans to pull out of the negotiations.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: After the joke version of the speech was almost recited at his confirmation as Veep, Russell goes up to Will and Toby afterwards to ask them to send him a copy of the manuscript because he thought it was hilarious.
  • All for Nothing: The pianist doesn't defect, but the negotiations break down anyway because the North Koreans aren't happy with the size of the flags.
  • Bait-and-Switch: V.P. Russell talks to Toby and Will after seeing the joke speech at his confirmation. It seems like he's about to tear them a new one, to which they try to profusely apologize for... and then he reveals he thought it was Actually Pretty Funny and wants a copy of it for himself.
  • Bowdlerised: When he's coming up with the joke version of the speech for the new VP's confirmation with Will, Toby says that "the Vice Presidency has been described as not worth a bucket of warm spit." In the actual quote, it's warm piss. This may be a research failure since they do use the word on the show.
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  • Death Glare: Russell gives one to Will and Toby when he sees the insults they made about him in the speech on the teleprompter.
  • Oh, Crap!: Toby and Will when they realize that they submitted the joke speech, which Bartlet nearly read aloud at the confirmation and Russell sees on the teleprompter.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: C.J. is not happy about the fact that everyone else except her and the President want to send the pianist back because of the negotiations. They fall into Jerkass Has a Point, since North Korea's nuclear program was on the table, and their biggest customers hate the U.S, but C.J. still says that they have come a long way from "Give me your tired, your poor."

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