The West Wing: Season 2, Episode 1

In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I (4 Oct. 2000)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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The President is rushed to hospital following a shooting; staffers field questions on protection measures and executive authority. Flashbacks show how key staff members joined the Bartlet campaign.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:


A pair of skinheads open fire as the President leaves a lecture theater, causing panic, chaos and injury. As the drama at the George Washington Hospital unfolds, C.J. and Leo field questions about exactly who is in charge while the president undergoes surgery, and Toby is asked about Secret Service protection measures. Flashbacks show the birth of the "Bartlett for America" campaign: Josh is courted by Leo; on his way to see Bartlett speak in New Hampshire he stops off to visit Sam at his Manhattan law firm; Toby is drinking at a bar, convinced he will be fired for advice he's given Bartlett. Written by Murray Chapman

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Release Date:

4 October 2000 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Moira Kelly's character Mandy disappears from the show and no mention of her character is made beginning with this season. See more »


The conversation between Abbey and the surgeon who operates on Bartlet is medical gibberish. She first asks him about Bartlet's PO2, which is a measure of the dissolved oxygen in his blood. She has no reason to ask this because Bartlet is not in respiratory distress. She then asks the surgeon if he is going to do a "laparoscopy." "Laparoscopy" is just a generic term for surgery that is done using small incisions and fiber optic cameras. She is probably referring to a "laparotomy," which is an operation done to look for abdominal bleeding and injury to abdominal organs. The surgeon responds that he will do this surgery because "we want to make sure the peritoneum is intact." This is the wrong reason to do a laparotomy. The peritoneum is the tissue lining the organs in the abdomen and to do a laparotomy, incisions have to be made through it. Hence it is self-defeating to do a laparotomy to "make sure the peritoneum is intact." See more »


Woman in Bar: [regarding the Presidential primary] I gotta tell you, I didn't even know Bartlet was running.
Toby Ziegler: Yeah, well, we keep that secret pretty good.
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Referenced in Entourage: The Sorkin Notes (2009) See more »


Leavin' on Your Mind
Written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce
Performed by Patsy Cline
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User Reviews

Possibly the best 90 mins of TV I've ever seen
6 August 2011 | by See all my reviews

I just watched the two parts of this episode again for the latest of countless viewings. After the cliffhanger ending of season one, they return to the scene. The highlight of the opening sequence is the reaction of Toby to finding Josh, who has just been shot. The episode makes brilliant use of flashbacks to show how the team came together from its earliest beginnings. The speech that Bartlett gives explaining his decision to "hose" the dairy farmers is possibly my favourite scene of a show that is filled with brilliant scenes. There is not a word spoken of the bond between Donna and Josh, but it is explored brilliantly by the background scene, and is shown brilliantly just through Donna's expressions. Overall, these two episodes stand out as the crown jewel of what is, in my opinion, the best dramatic show I have ever watched.

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