"The West Wing" In Excelsis Deo (TV Episode 1999) Poster

(TV Series)


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3 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
The best episode ever!
wayneanderson_9913 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This episode pulls a heart string for all veterans. It's Christmas, a homeless Korean War veteran dies wearing a coat Toby donated. (His business card was in the pocket.) Toby was not impressed with the discontent authorities displayed to the man. Toby finds the guy's brother, and arranges a veteran burial with an honor guard. Meanwhile Mrs. Lanningham reflects on the loss of her sons during the Vietnam conflict. The President calls Toby into the Oval office to confront him about an honor guard he didn't know about. Mrs. Lanningham tells Toby he shouldn't have done that, and the President asks "What if every veteran comes out of the woodwork looking for an honor guard?" Toby replies "Hopefully, they do". Mrs. Lanningham goes with Toby to the funeral, then Sorkin puts together a montage cutting between a choir at the White House with members of the staff gathering together for Christmas, and the Vet's funeral. The choir is singing "The Little Drummer Boy". The montage is very well done, and is an excellent tribute to Veterans who served this country with honor and valor. I'm a HUGE WW fan, I own all 7 seasons, watched every episode, and this is my all time favorite!
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I agree with the previous poster.
dsandrews2 January 2009
I am a very conservative guy, and not a big fan of West Wing, BUT I happened to catch this episode in a hospital waiting room one day. I think this episode is the best thing I have ever seen on TV, period. The montage between the Arlington funeral and the children's choir in the White House was some of the best production I have ever seen anywhere. Pure genius! If it weren't for the show's generally liberal bias I would have become a big fan based on this episode alone. I have to give my props to the creative writers. I wish they had left out the political commentary and had been more balanced (over the entirety of the series). It wouldn't have hurt the quality of the series and this episode shows what they were capable of, if they would just entertain and not try to preach.
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The best Christmas TV show...ever
kfmilne15 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I had mixed reactions to the West Wing, for me it went from the sublime (1st season) to the ridiculous (after G. Bush was elected and they started their ideological vendetta). But brilliant first seasons and mediocre followups aren't a rare thing so they can be understood and maybe even forgiven.

But this episode even stands out from the rest of that great 1st year. It honors the season, our veterans, and our basic human goodness (rising above all the stupid and destructive stuff we do, if just for a moment). Created, directed, and produced in a thoughtful and clearly loving way it's many steps above the formulaic, obvious and inane that has for decades proved Newton Minnow right.

Watch it with people you don't mind crying in front of.
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