When a bio-hazard alarm goes off in the White House, the staff are locked down where they are - forcing them to have conversations they would have otherwise avoided.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Agt. Broder


When a bio-hazard alarm goes off in the White House, the staff are locked down where they are - forcing them to have conversations they would have otherwise avoided.

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Release Date:

28 April 2004 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is a reference to 'Huis Clos', the 1944 existentialist play by Jean-Paul Sartre, which is most often translated into English as "No Exit". The premise of the episode is similar to the play's - in both works, several people are confined to rooms they are unable to leave and as a result have sometimes painful conversations that they would not otherwise have had. Toby and Will's conversation refers to the play without naming it, and Will repeats its famous line "Hell is other people." See more »


It is stated that Tularemia is plague. This is slightly misleading. While one of the colloquialisms for Tularemia is Pahvant Valley Plague, it was not the cause of The Plague of the 1300's (aka The Black Death). The Plague was caused by Yersenia pestis. See more »


References Late Show with David Letterman (1993) See more »


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

Who hasn't played Risk in the basement?
12 December 2012 | by (Estero Island) – See all my reviews

The White House goes into biohazard lockdown, isolating people in sealed rooms - paging Jean-Paul! Let's take a moment to acknowledge the work of writer Deborah Cahn. Perhaps more than any other single individual, she's the reason why the post-Sorkin era cannot be dismissed. Look at the episodes she penned - it's clear that she captured his voice, and housed that voice in the right settings, far better than the rest (this one's her third offering after "Abu el Banat" and "The Supremes"). This episode is also an object lesson in why the post-Sorkin years partially failed. There wasn't enough advancing of the cast relationships, in the right way, as here. All the concerns about Will being removed from the inner circle are forgotten as he and Toby argue the way to the heart of their conflict. It's written so well that you temporarily forget we never completely buy Will's defection. C.J. and Donna have a scene of unvarnished truth that advances their characters more than the past four seasons combined. Kate's professional standoffishness gets on Josh's nerves. Leo and Abbey are alone in the residence. She pops pills. And the most enjoyable thread of all has Jed, Charlie, and Debbie showering in the basement. The greatest Fiderer episode is just one of the many reasons why this one's brilliant. Plus some Butterfield, Reed Diamond (JUDGING AMY) in the first of three appearances as Dr. Gordon, and a lil' Brent Huff (THE PERILS OF GWENDOLINE IN THE LAND OF THE YIK YAK).

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