The West Wing (1999–2006)
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Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail 

On this year's "Big Block of Cheese Day", a college friend of Donna's asks Sam to help her get her late grandfather, accused of being a Communist spy inside the U.S. government, a ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Officer Rhonda Sachs
Stephanie Gault
Dr. John Fallow
Dr. Cynthia Sayles


On this year's "Big Block of Cheese Day", a college friend of Donna's asks Sam to help her get her late grandfather, accused of being a Communist spy inside the U.S. government, a presidential pardon; dealing with the recent revelation that his father had been having an affair for the past 27 years, Sam faces off with an F.B.I. agent, and later with Nancy McNally, over the pardon. Elsewhere, a group of cartographers completely re-educates C.J. on her perception of the globe, and one-time protester Toby, with the help of a straight-talking female security guard, speaks for the w.h. at a rally to protest against U.S. participation in the WTO and various free trade agreements. Written by meebly

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Release Date:

28 February 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title comes from a lyric in Don Henley's song "New York Minute". ("Lying here in the darkness/I heard the sirens wail/Somebody going to emergency/Somebody's going to jail") It plays in the beginning in Sam's Office. See more »


The geographer states the map maker Mercator was German; he was, in fact, Flemish. See more »


Leo McGarry: Little thing called team morale, Josh. You gotta make people feel good about themselves.
Leo McGarry: [walks into conference room where the staff is waiting to begin Big Block Of Cheese Day] All right! Shut the hell up everybody. I've fired more people than you before breakfast.
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Featured in Flat Earth Clues: Real Eyes (2015) See more »


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

...and a Wheat Thin the size of Lake Tahoe.
13 November 2012 | by (Estero Island) – See all my reviews

On "Big Block of Cheese" Day, Sam gets convinced to pursue a pardon for an accused, deceased spy from the 50s, whose granddaughter (Jolie Jenkins) is a friend of Donna's. He gets emotionally involved, and in his only Situation Room appearance, Nancy coldly sets him straight. Toby shares some lovely spark with an officer (Roma Maffia - NIP/TUCK) assigned to protect him as he talks to ineffectual, misguided protesters. The debut of the understatedly spot-on Clark Gregg (THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, THE AVENGERS) as Special Agent Michael Casper. The show has the season-2 success to spend money on Don Henley's "New York Minute", and the atmospheric darkness of the song lends great poignancy. And ringing the bells most loudly, is C.J.'s meeting with the Association of Cartographers Against Social Inequality. She learns that current maps have been teaching a false, racist view of the world for centuries. The lead cartographer is wonderfully played by John Billingsley (ENTERPRISE). Somebody get me a Peters map, please.

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