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 311 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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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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Trivia

Shibboleth is used in modern parlance to mean any language usage that signifies a social or regional origin. The use originates from a story in the biblical book of Judges, in which one clan rooted out spies from another clan by asking them to say the Hebrew word, which both clans pronounced differently. The actual meaning of the Hebrew word is "an ear of grain." See more »

Goofs

When Charlie leaves the Oval Office after Bartlet gifts him the knife, the sound of the door clicking shut is heard even though Charlie leaves it ajar. See more »

Quotes

C.J. Cregg: In the following days we'll be meeting with the Reverend Al Caldwell, members of Beijing's embassy and INS agents. The President has asked Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn to run these meetings, so it's entirely possible that by week's end we will have alienated Christians, China and our own government.
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West Wing Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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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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