The West Wing

The Birnam Wood - S6-E2

Question: Can someone please explain to me the chronology of episode 2 of season six? I don't understand some things, there are scenes that seem to come before others (I'm guided because I see characters wearing the same clothes "supposedly" on different days, or things like that, that I don't understand). If someone explains it to me, I'd appreciate it, please.

Eduardo Sánchez Rodríguez

Holy Night - S4-E11

Question: How old is Toby's father? In the flash back it is 1954, and he looks early 20s. Making him around 65. Toby states his father "worked for Murder Incorporated" but that was broken up by the FBI in 1940. Could it be that Toby used Murder Inc as a catch all term for organised crime because it was something people had heard off (and less likely to offend than saying "the Jewish Mafia").

Pilot - S1-E1

Question: I don't really understand Josh's comment to Mary Marsh on TV ("Lady, the god you pray to is too busy being indicted for tax fraud."). Could someone please explain it to me?

Answer: It's in reference to the many televangelists and revival ministers usually associated with the right-wing that have been convicted of tax fraud (Jim Bakker and Tamy Faye being a more famous set). Occasionally, the more unscrupulous ministers have bilked millions from believers all in the name of God.

Nikki

In Excelsis Deo - S1-E10

Question: This is as good a place to ask as any. In various US TV shows (including this one, and this episode), someone says "I could care less", when they always seem to mean "I couldn't care less", ie. they have no interest in what's going on. Surely if they COULD care less that means they actually care a reasonable amount? Is there any logic to this, or is it just a really annoying innate lack of sense?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: A really annoying innate lack of sense. My friends and family say the same thing all the time, and I'm endlessly trying to correct them. I think people just don't know any better and (ironically) couldn't care less that they're speaking incorrectly.

The Dogs of War - S5-E2

Question: How did they find Zoe and who kidnapped her? At first they said that the Bahii were taking responsibility for it, then Leo tells Will that they never found the Bahii sleepers. Also, the man on the helicopter tells the President and the First Lady that Zoe was dropped off on the side of a road and she called 911 on her cell phone, then, later, on the ground, another man tells the Bartletts that they found her tied up in a closet. What really happened?

Answer: One of the kidnappers was having an argument with his girlfriend and dumped her. She called 911 about Zoe.

Posse Comitatus - S3-E22

Question: After Special Agent Donovan is shot and killed, the remainder of the episode is played out over an extremely haunting tune. I think the title may contain the word "Hallelujah." Does anyone know the actual title and the artist?

Answer: Yep, It's called Hallelujah it was written by Leonard Cohen, and performed on this occasion by Jeff Buckley (from his album Grace), although it can also be heard it in Shrek, The O.C. and Scrubs performed by various different artists.

umathegreatstationarybear

Answer: The song is "I don't like Mondays", originally recorded by the Boomtown Rats. This version is sung by Tori Amos.

Shibboleth - S2-E8

Question: Right before Toby asks CJ if she wants to come over for Thanksgiving, he calls her Toscanini. What does Toscanini mean?

Answer: Arturo Toscanini (1867 - 1957) was an Italian born conductor who was well known for being authoritarian and a bully. Perhaps this is a reference to CJ's commanding nature?

David Mercier

Season 1 generally

Question: I'm watching all of West Wing in order. I thought I remembered the scene of the drunk Ainsley meeting the president occurring before she's actually introduced to the audience in the TV program and subsequently hired. In which episode does the drunken dancing occur? Thanks for the help.

Betsilou

Chosen answer: We're first introduced to Ainsley in season 2, episode 4, 'In This White House', during Sam's appearance on the show Capital Beat, where as Josh puts it, "Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl (Ainsley)." Then later, during the same episode Leo hires Ainsley. It's not until episode 13, 'Bartlet's Third State of the Union', that it comes to Sam's attention that Ainsley still hasn't met President Bartlet, even after she's been working there a few months. Later in this episode, when Sam goes to Ainsley's office he finds her wearing a White House gym robe (she had sat on the bench's wet paint just as CJ had earlier), drunk, dancing and singing. A moment later President Bartlet shows up at her basement office and that's when Ainsley first meets him. Priceless.

Super Grover Premium member

Bartlet's Third State of the Union - S2-E13

Question: The music heard as the theme tune to the political TV show ("Capital Beat") CJ appears on - is that heard in other US shows? Because here in Britain it's the music for the ITN "News at 10" (or was a while ago, at least). Just curious as to whether it's recognisable in the US.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: As a frequent watcher of the show, I have never heard the tune and thought, "That sounds familiar," so I would guess that it is not a theme song to any other shows (political or otherwise) here in the States.

Macalou

Show generally

Question: Producers are currently unsure as to whether Martin Sheen is returning for another season. Even if he does though, in due course he'll have to be replaced, unless they include a constitutional rewrite into the script giving him 3 terms of office. I've heard reports that in the coming season a few characters will be introduced who might replace him as president. My question is, wouldn't the incoming president have his own principal staff, meaning that the current cast would need to be almost entirely replaced, not just the president?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: The current 'Inside Scoop' is that Bingo Bob would become Prez, keeping at least Will (Joshua Malina) in the show. It could be extrapolated that the producers will offer the main cast to continue with the show, and work out a storyline where Bingo Bob would offer them to stay with him.

Answer: Even when leaders are "cut off from the outside world," there's typically some way to get hold of them. A secure line unknown to the general public, a couriered message, somebody just got in a car and drove there; there would still be ways.

Captain Defenestrator

The Birnam Wood - S6-E2

Question: When C.J. gives the press conference announcing that after lunch the committees would meet to discuss the proposed topics, why do all the members leave in totally different clothes than just before? If it's supposed to be the same day, why would they change their clothes? The president also quickly changed his clothes to meet with the Palestinian president and the Israeli PM. Does anyone know why the costume change in that scene is still the same day? Or could it be a scene error?

Eduardo Sánchez Rodríguez

Answer: There are a couple of press conferences in this episode, so I'm not sure which you're referring to. The final press conference is at Camp David, which is in the woods, so some of the reporters may have changed from wearing suits at the White House to more fitting clothes for outdoors at the summit. It wouldn't also necessarily be the same group of reporters. Some of the faces would stay the same, but reporters get switched out as they go post their stories and others come to replace them, so they rotate.

Captain Defenestrator

Season 6 generally

Question: The fifth season begins at the end of the first year of the second legislature, and the sixth begins at the end of the third year of the legislature. Has it really been two years in season five? Another thing that doesn't add up to this time jump is Doug's career in Congress. In episode 5x09 (end of the first year of term of the second legislature) Doug wants the support of the White House to run for Congress (following the chronology of the series, the next year would be the Congressional elections, and therefore that's where Doug is going to run because it's the most logical thing to do and it doesn't say anything to make us think otherwise) in the mid-term elections that are held the following year, but in season 6 and 7 we see Doug running for Congress along with the presidential elections. A script failure due to wanting to make a time jump from season five to season six? If someone would explain it to me, I would be very grateful.

Eduardo Sánchez Rodríguez

Answer: Just because Doug wanted to run next year doesn't mean the election was the same year. It's not unheard of for a politician to spend months campaigning before an election.

Captain Defenestrator

Election Day (Part 1) - S7-E16

Continuity mistake: When Bruno and Bob are poring over exit polls, they mention that Santos seems to be leading in North Dakota, and comment that it is a state that hasn't gone Democratic in forty years. While that is true in the real world, in the fictional West Wing world, it is stated in Season 4 that Bartlet won the Dakotas in his landslide reelection.

marathon69

More mistakes in The West Wing

Pilot - S1-E1

Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend, he's my boss. And it's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam Seaborn: President of the United States.

More quotes from The West Wing
More trivia for The West Wing

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