The West Wing: Season 2, Episode 21

18th and Potomac (9 May 2001)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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With hypothetical polling numbers showing them its political suicide, staffers prepare to announce the President's condition. As they do, a military crisis flares up in Haiti and Josh faces... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sen. Andy Ritter, D
Paul Hackett
Sen. Warren, D


With hypothetical polling numbers showing them its political suicide, staffers prepare to announce the President's condition. As they do, a military crisis flares up in Haiti and Josh faces off against two senators who are against the Government's tobacco-industry suit. But as bad as the day seems to be going, a tragedy will come from a car wreck at 18th and Potomac that will effect everything. Written by timdalton007

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Release Date:

9 May 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Sam walks into the conference room late in the episode and says "I want to state right here, right now, in terms so plain and clear as to command their assent . . . " he is paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson's explanation for the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson stated its purpose was ". . . to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent . . ." See more »


The President is told that the Haitian army has "two Bradleys with 120 millimeter cannons". The Bradley infantry fighting vehicle is equipped with a 25mm auto-cannon; the 120mm gun is on the much larger Abrams main battle tank. It is possible, though unlikely, she is referring to the variant of the Bradley equipped with the 120mm mortar. See more »


Abbey Bartlet: Oh, Oliver. Do you know what peripheral neuropathy indicates?
Oliver Babish: No, but I don't really care that much.
See more »


References Petticoat Junction (1963) See more »


West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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User Reviews

Is she alright?
13 November 2012 | by (Jersey City) – See all my reviews

Staff tensions flare, as the press conference announcing Bartlet's M.S. approaches, with no word on whether he'll seek re-election. Then a car crash brings the death of the wonderful Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten), Jed's personal secretary of the past few decades. I'm sure that in the history of television, no minor character death ever felt so major. Kathryn only had a few lines per episode, if that, but she was always...perfect. On the one hand, you're mad at the creators, for killing her needlessly, and's hard to argue with how the impact of the death (brilliantly unforeshadowed) on the overall arc of the series was probably perfect. The end of the episode, when Charlie reveals the news, is searing. The final image, showing Jed reacting through figured glass panes, is throat-lumpingly rendered.

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