After being offered "a proportional response" to the Syrian military's downing of a U.S. military plane on a medical mission (and carrying his newly named personal physician), the president demands an option that will have greater impact. Leo gradually must talk him down, while Bartlet snipes at everyone, including Abby. The president ultimately agrees to the initial option, but is not happy about it. Charlie Young is introduced as an applicant for a messenger job whom Josh decides to hire as Bartler's personal aide (note: he mentions being sent to Josh by Mrs. De La Guardia, who is later introduced in season four as Debbie Fiderer, who becomes Mrs. Landingham's replacement). Written by
Did You Know?
In the movie The American President
(1995) (also written by Aaron Sorkin
and considered the catalyst for creating this show), the president must deal with a very similar situation. In the movie, Libya bombs a US missile defense system and the president is pushed to make a "proportional response", at the end of which he ruminates "Someday someone's going to have to explain to me the virtue of a proportional response". The events are very similar to those in this episode, including that line, mirrored almost word for word by President Bartlett. See more
Actress Kim Webster had a recurring role in the series as Ginger, a Communications office assistant. In this episode only, her character is not referred to by name, and she appears in the credits as Kim. See more
Toby's right - what's the good of being in power if you can't haul your enemies in for questioning?
References Hard Copy
West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony See more