The West Wing: Season 1, Episode 4

Five Votes Down (13 Oct. 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.2
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When an admittedly weak gun-control bill the White House has been backing turns out to be five votes short of House passage, Josh makes deals and threats to several Democratic reps, while ... See full summary »

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Title: Five Votes Down (13 Oct 1999)

Five Votes Down (13 Oct 1999) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael McGuire ...
Congressman Cal Tillinghouse
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Congressman Christopher Wick
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Rep. Katzenmoyer
Sara Botsford ...
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Leela
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Storyline

When an admittedly weak gun-control bill the White House has been backing turns out to be five votes short of House passage, Josh makes deals and threats to several Democratic reps, while Leo appeals to Hoynes for help. Elsewhere, while working the bill, Leo misses his anniversary, which he tries in vain to atone for, but eventually his wife Jenny decides to leave him. Written by meebly

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Drama

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13 October 1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While President is high on his back pills, he tells his aide Charlie that "Charlie's a great name." Martin Sheen, who plays President Bartlet, named his youngest son "Carlos" but nicknamed him "Charlie". See more »

Goofs

During the cold open President Bartlet delivers a speech in which he references a civil procedure professor he had. Civil procedure is a first year course at most law schools. Bartlet received a B.A. in American studies and a minor in theology from Notre Dame and a Masters and a Ph.D. From the London School of Economics. He never attended law school and would never have had reason to have a civil procedure professor. This may be explained as rhetorical flourish but it is most likely that the biography of the President not being fully fleshed out at this point in the first season. See more »

Quotes

President Josiah Bartlet: You know what Toby?
Toby Ziegler: Sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: You're what my mother calls a pain in the ass.
Toby Ziegler: Well, that's what my mother calls it, too, sir.
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Connections

Referenced in Spise med Price: En ristet med det hele (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
What he pays me for.
15 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode endeared me more to the characters. I love how they fight so hard for a bill that they know isn't even what they really want, because they have to save face and get what they can. Just seems so fruitless, its hard not to feel for them. Then they don't even get to enjoy what little victory there would've been thanks to Hoynes(really speaks to how upset Leo was that he would still go to the VP's AA meeting after that). I swear, after five minutes in politics I wouldn't have a single strand of hair left to yank out in frustration. Just makes me wish they could get a real solid win. And as Josh said,

"Sam, LBJ never would've taken this kind of crap from Democrats in congress. He would've said, 'you're voting my way in exchange for which I might remember you name, pal'."

I wish the other dems. would just get behind their administration. They've made it clear that Bartlet does what he wants whether that goes against party politics or not, but he also always does what he thinks is right. That's better than a Pres. who does something he knows or feels is wrong just because it's what is expected from a democrat. As when Leo is telling Rev. Al in the first episode that Bartlet went around the country trying to convince teen girls not to get abortions, I strongly disagree with that, but I respect him for not acting like a machine that just spits out a leftist's agenda. Josh's meetings with Katzenmoyer and Wick were great though,

"President Bartlet's a good man. He's got a good heart. He doesn't hold a grudge...that's what he pays me for."

"You know, I realize as an adult not everyone shares my view of the world, and with an issue as hot as gun control I'm prepared to accept a lot of different points of view as being perfectly valid, but we can all get together on the grenade launcher! Right?"

Leo's personal stuff brought the episode down a little, just never cared for romantic relationships in my dramas, but the in office scenes were great. Coming off the excellence of A Proportional Response might have also taken some of the shine off this one, but there really are no bad episodes of Sorkin's West Wing.


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