The West Wing: Season 5, Episode 8

Shutdown (19 Nov. 2003)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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President Bartlet refuses to let Speaker of the House Haffley hold him hostage on the budget and allows the government to be shut down.


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President Bartlet refuses to let Speaker of the House Haffley hold him hostage on the budget and allows the government to be shut down.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

19 November 2003 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the early part of the shutdown Will is looking for coffee and C.J. tells him to "try Swings at 17th & G." M.E. Swing Company ( is located at that address and is across the street from the OEOB (Old Executive Office Building, part of the White House complex). See more »


A girl on TV Says that her family came to Washington to see her Grandma and the Constitution. "But the Smithsonian's closed. Now we only get to see Grandma." The Constitution is in the National Archives, not the Smithsonian. See more »


President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, I'm not going to negotiate with anyone who holds a gun to my head. We had a deal. I don't care if my approval ratings drop into single digits. I am the President of the United States, and I will leave the government shut down until we come to an equitable agreement.
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References Days of Our Lives (1965) See more »


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

A walking lawsuit...
7 December 2012 | by (Jersey City) – See all my reviews

The fatal flaw in this one (and it's such a fun ride that you probably won't even care) is that the scene where Jed wins his one-on-one showdown with Haffley, cuts away before completion. It's easy to imagine that choice was made because the writers had no idea how they would realistically get to where they needed to go. But we'll allow that conceit, as it gets our heroes back on their feet. Much of this, including an unprecedented visit to the Hill by the presidential party, is orchestrated by comeback kid Josh. Russell has some surprisingly good moments. And the star of the show? Debut character Rina (Melissa Marsala), the mysterious sexpot who cleans the place up while all support staff are required by law to be away. She would do six episodes, but the producers would completely {CENSORED, rhymes with "bliss"} away her potential, including (and especially) her tantalizing chemistry with Toby.

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