The West Wing (1999–2006)
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In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I 

The President is rushed to hospital following a shooting; staffers field questions on protection measures and executive authority. Flashbacks show how key staff members joined the Bartlet campaign.


Thomas Schlamme


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Lowe ... Sam Seaborn
Dulé Hill ... Charlie Young
Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg
Janel Moloney ... Donna Moss
Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler
John Spencer ... Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman
Martin Sheen ... Jed Bartlet
Stockard Channing ... Abbey Bartlet
Timothy Busfield ... Danny Concannon
Tim Matheson ... Vice President John Hoynes
Elisabeth Moss ... Zoey Bartlet
Michael O'Neill ... Secret Service Agent Ron Butterfield
Jorja Fox ... Agent Gina Toscano
Anna Deavere Smith ... Nancy McNally


A pair of skinheads open fire as the President leaves a lecture theater, causing panic, chaos and injury. As the drama at the George Washington Hospital unfolds, C.J. and Leo field questions about exactly who is in charge while the president undergoes surgery, and Toby is asked about Secret Service protection measures. Flashbacks show the birth of the "Bartlett for America" campaign: Josh is courted by Leo; on his way to see Bartlett speak in New Hampshire he stops off to visit Sam at his Manhattan law firm; Toby is drinking at a bar, convinced he will be fired for advice he's given Bartlett. Written by Murray Chapman

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TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 October 2000 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the vice-president and Leo (John Spencer) discuss the assassination attempt, Nancy McNally (Anna Deavere Smith) mentions the whereabouts of various cell leaders, "including Bin Laden", is unknown. This is the only time that he is mentioned directly in the show. Of course the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks did not happen in the West Wing world, although Al-Qe'edah itself is mentioned a couple of times during the 2006 election. See more »


As Sen. Hoynes is leaving his office to go vote, a Tennessee state flag is visible to the right of the entrance to his office suite. Hoynes was a senator from Texas. See more »


Sam Seaborn: Josh. Hoynes: He's not the real thing, is he?
Josh Lyman: See, the thing ya gotta know about Hoynes is...
Sam Seaborn: It's okay.
Josh Lyman: No, I, I, I'm saying...
Sam Seaborn: Josh. What're you doing?
Josh Lyman: I don't know. What're you doing?
Sam Seaborn: Protecting oil companies from litigation. They're a client. They don't lose legal protection because they make a lot of money.
Josh Lyman: Can't believe no one ever wrote a folk song about that.
See more »


Referenced in Entourage: The Sorkin Notes (2009) See more »


Leavin' on Your Mind
Written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce
Performed by Patsy Cline
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User Reviews

Sam's hair
4 September 2018 | by qhtmikeSee all my reviews

When season 1 ended, with Sam's hair being short, as season 2 opens with the shooting, Sam's hair is magically longer than the entire season 1

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