The West Wing: Season 4, Episode 1

20 Hours in America: Part I (25 Sep. 2002)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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After Bartlet gives a campaign speech at an Indiana farm, Josh, Toby and Donna are left behind by the presidential motorcade and must work their way across the state with the help of the ... See full summary »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Meredith Walker
Valorie Armstrong ...
Mrs. Harrison


After Bartlet gives a campaign speech at an Indiana farm, Josh, Toby and Donna are left behind by the presidential motorcade and must work their way across the state with the help of the farmer's daughter and, later, a teenage campaign volunteer, enduring many setbacks along the way. Josh and Toby obsess and bicker over how best to play the president's intellectualism, viewed by many as snobbery, against Republican opponent Robert Ritchie's "regular guy" persona, while Donna must keep them on track and communicate with the real Americans they encounter along the way. Back at the W.H., the president deals with a terrorist attack at an Iowa college swim meet, meets with Leo, Nancy and Fitzwallace to discuss how to handle the prospect of the U.S. and/or Israel being accused of a conspiracy in the death of Qumari minister Sharif, and interviews secretarial candidates, including a second round with Debbie Fiderer; the wandering party finally arrive at a city with an airport (presumably ... Written by meebly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

25 September 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Features a young John Gallagher Jr., who would later star in "The Newsroom," written and created by "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin. See more »


When Josh, Toby, and Donna are in Indiana at the empty ballroom sitting at the round table, there is a bottle of Yuengling Beer. Yuengling is not sold in Indiana. See more »


President Josiah Bartlet: I didn't know you were superstitious.
Charlie Young: I'm not. Plus, there are tribes in South America who don't think a photograph's a good idea to begin with.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah...
Charlie Young: You ever see any pictures on my desk?
President Josiah Bartlet: No.
Charlie Young: You ever wonder why?
President Josiah Bartlet: Charlie, just out of curiosity, in your mind, how much time do I spend thinking about your desk?
Charlie Young: Fair point, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: How long have we been talking about this now?
Charlie Young: A couple of minutes...
See more »


I Don't Like Mondays
Written by Bob Geldof
Performed by Tori Amos
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User Reviews

Admiral Sissy Mary
18 November 2012 | by (Estero Island) – See all my reviews

As a follow-up to one of the most hard-hitting episodes in show history, this double-length season-opener is perhaps the funniest ever. Relaxed and smooth the smooth of a fifty year-old whiskey (i'm imagining). Josh, Toby, and Donna get accidentally left behind by the motorcade after an event in Indiana. A comedy of errors (running out of gas, a time zone change, a wrong-way train, mean girls on bikes...) follows. Amy Adams (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, THE MUPPETS) plays a modern farmer's daughter. Ernestine Jackson and Tommy Lafitte play diner proprietors who possibly offer the most funny-per-second in show history (get the dry rub). Sam is forced to spend the day staffing the President, making him realize how much dumber he is than Josh. C.J. struggles with resentment from Simon's "little brother", until Charlie schools him. Debbie finally earns the personal secretary position, and Ms. Tomlin is a delight. Qumar reopens the investigation into Shareef's death, leading to some tense (but still funny) scenes between Jed, Fitz, and Nancy. Just when you thought you'd never see her again, Mallory appears. She takes a tired Sam home...let your imagination go where it will, because we won't see her again for two years. In the midst of all this lightness, domestic terrorists set off pipe bombs at a college swim meet. Jed's remarks in the aftermath may put a lump in your throat. Fantastic.

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