The West Wing: Season 2, Episode 8

Shibboleth (22 Nov. 2000)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 308 users  
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Dozens of Chinese stowaways are discovered in a container ship in California; Toby looks to pick a fight over school prayer with a recess appointment; Thanksgiving at the White House sees C.J. in charge of turkeys and Charlie looking for the ultimate carving knife.

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Title: Shibboleth (22 Nov 2000)

Shibboleth (22 Nov 2000) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Josephine McGarry
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Margaret
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John LaSalle
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Jhin Wei
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Storyline

A container ship is caught attempting to smuggle nearly a hundred people from China into California. Toby urges the President to appoint Leo's outspoken sister to a position in the Department of Education as a way of starting a battle over school prayer. C.J. discovers that she is expected to arrange White House Thanksgiving ceremonies which include the traditional Presidential turkey pardoning. The President sends Charlie on a seemingly endless mission to find the ultimate carving knife. Written by Murray Chapman

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Drama

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22 November 2000 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When President Bartlet asks the Chinese man seeking religious asylum whether he can name any of Jesus' (12) apostles, he lists only 11 names. Technically, this is not incorrect: two were named James. See more »

Goofs

Toby places Jamestown in the 16th century, when in fact it was founded in the 17th (1607). See more »

Quotes

C.J. Cregg: They sent me two turkeys. The more photo-friendly of the two gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children's zoo. The runner-up gets eaten.
President Josiah Bartlet: If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch.
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We Gather Together
Performed by the Cedarmont Kids
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User Reviews

 
The runner-up gets eaten
4 November 2012 | by (Jersey City) – See all my reviews

The most embarrassingly awfully-written moment in show history...a moment so masturbatory, a barf bag should come with the season 2 DVD extras. Religious refugees from China are given a test of faith by Bartlet, and the way they pass is so contrived...well, to make an in-reference, even high school girls don't write this badly. A damn shame too, because the episode also features a run of dialogue that is perhaps the most multi- scene, non-stop funny in the history of the show, as C.J. tries to get the president to pardon a turkey (hm, make your own parallels...). Sorkin's worst beside his best. Jed has Charlie running around in the search for the "perfect" carving knife...then, in one of the most poignant scenes in show history, reveals the reason: he's giving his family knife (a present from Paul Revere) to Charlie.


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