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Recap / The West Wing S 07 E 22 Tomorrow

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Today is Inauguration Day. Josh and Donna wake up in bed together, confirming their relationship. President Elect Santos quietly enjoys a cup of coffee at sunrise. Bartlet stands in his residence at the White House and seems upset, but his wife, Abby, tells him that he "did a lot of good." Santos and his wife, Helen, prepare for their long day by attending church and eating breakfast.

Will gives his last press briefing, and the other staffers—namely, C.J., Charlie, and Kate—discuss leaving the White House. Josh arrives early and tries to convince C.J. to stay, but she assures him she isn't needed, and that Danny is waiting for her in L.A. with "a tub of sunscreen." She gives him a sticky note with "WWLD?"—What Would Leo Do?—written on it. Charlie arrives and tells C.J. that another name was added to the list of presidential pardons: Toby Ziegler's.

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Kate, C.J. and Will visit the Oval Office to tell the President that an ice storm has arrived in New England, derailing a train and injuring several. However, as the crash happened on a border between two states, neither governor has sent the Guard in to help. Jed orders one of them to do so and dismisses Kate and Will. C.J. pointedly gives the President the pardons, and he tells her offhandedly that he "hasn't decided yet" whether or not to sign Toby's.

Mallory, Leo's daughter, arrives to talk with C.J. She declines seeing her former flame Sam, who will arrive later, as well as the President, for whom she has a gift. C.J. promises to deliver it to him.

The President signs all of the pardons except for Toby's, telling Debbie that he hasn't decided yet. He leaves the office and goes on a walking tour of the White House, personally thanking all of the staff by name for their hard work and service. He tells Will he will help him campaign for Oregon's 4th District if he chooses to run, and gives his own copy of the Constitution to Georgetown Law-bound Charlie. He writes a note to President Elect Santos as Debbie insists he get ready for the inauguration. C.J. arrives to give him Mallory's present, but Debbie takes it, trying to keep him on schedule. The President tells C.J., "It's been a pleasure," but she insists, "The pleasure was all mine," and leaves. The President remains in his office for a moment before signing Toby's pardon. Margaret delivers the pardon to C.J., who sees the name and is pleased.

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Bartlet is predictably late getting ready, but so are the Santos'. Abby points out that no one has been late to see him "eight years to the day," and that he'll have to get used to it. The First Lady is concerned that he may have "re-entry issues," since he hasn't been involved in normal society for some time, and that she invited their three daughters to the farm to make him feel better. Jed balks at this, having hoped for peace and quiet, but decides to let it go.

As the inauguration takes place, the remaining staffers pack their offices; a dedicated team removes and packs all of the Bartlet's possessions, showing the beginning of the Santos administration. The Santos staff arrive, including Josh, Sam, Bram, and Donna. Charlie tries to wish Bram, the new Executive Assistant, luck and gives him a joking tip, but Bram is distracted and doesn't really notice him. Unemployed for the first time in years, Charlie invites Kate and Will to a movie. They decide they have "nothing better to do" and leave the White House. As she leaves the White House for the last time, C.J is approached by a tourist and his daughter who see her leave and, not recognising her, curiously ask whether she works there; slightly wistfully, C.J informs them that she does not and wholeheartedly agrees with the tourist when he remarks that working in the White House must be something special.

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Donna, new Chief of Staff to the First Lady, is shown an office, which she mistakes for the First Lady's, but the huge space is actually hers. She smiles to herself, clearly proud. Debbie shows Ronna, President Santos' new executive secretary, around the office and informs her of her new duties, assuring her that she will be fine.

After the inauguration, the two presidents stand together, and Bartlet wishes him luck before leaving for New England. On the plane, Bartlet opens Mallory's gift. Inside is the framed "BARTLET FOR AMERICA" napkin that Leo had given him to convince him to run for the presidency. He sits next to Abby and looks out the window. Abby asks, "What are you thinking about?" and Bartlet replies, "Tomorrow."


  • And the Adventure Continues: A fairly low-key example. Although one administration is handing over to another, the process of governance continues regardless.
  • Brick Joke: A subtle one from the pilot; before they head off to the inauguration, Abby Bartlet teases President Bartlet about how he'll struggle to reacclimatise back into everyday life after being treated like the most important man in the world for eight years, pointing out that he hasn't had to go to the bank, use a telephone or drive a car for himself in all that time. In response to the latter, Bartlet confidently declares that it'll be "like riding a bike, except with more tonnage." In the pilot episode, a subplot revolved around the consequences of the President riding a bike... and crashing it into a tree.
  • Compromising Memoirs: Discussed; when the state governor whom Bartlet manages to get in touch with seems to get a bit chippy at Bartlet asking him to send his state's National Guard out to help at the train derailment, Bartlet secures his cooperation by threatening to give him "a lead role in my upcoming memoirs".
  • Jurisdiction Friction: A non-law enforcement example; the minor train derailment which forms a subplot occurs at a hazy point between the New Hampshire and Massachusetts borders, meaning that the state governors are dithering over exactly which state sends out the National Guard. The situation is resolved by Bartlet calling both governors at the same time, picking one at random and telling him not to be such a damn idiot and send his state's National Guard out anyway, since no one in this situation cares which state goes to help as long as someone does.
    Will: We may have witnessed the last act of governance of the Bartlet administration; acting as school marm on a snow day.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: An intentional example on the part of one party. On leaving the White House for the last time, C.J is approached by a tourist and his daughter who obviously don't recognise her and curiously ask her if she works in the White House:
    C.J: I'm sorry, what?
    Tourist: We thought we saw you come out of the gate. Do you work at the White House?
    C.J: No. [A pause as it clearly sinks in for C.J] No. I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't.
    Tourist: [Innocently, not thinking anything of it] Must be somethin', huh?
    C.J: [Wistfully, clearly thinking of a lot] Yes. Something. [She turns and walks away]
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