The President (Martin Sheen) wings back from a Tokyo trade summit, a firestorm of controversy awaits him when Surgeon General Griffith (Mary Kay Place) hints that marijuana should be decriminalized — but Bartlet is even more incensed over his meek middle daughter Ellie’s (Nina Siezmaszko) public assurances that her father would never fire Griffith. When he confronts Ellie, the President gets a sobering reality check about their relationship. Elsewhere: Toby (Richard Schiff) floats an idea of putting a controversial Senator on a special commission to study social security reform and encounters resistance to the notion of raising the retirement age; Sam (Rob Lowe) tries to head off the misleading story that the White House refused to screen an incendiary new film promoted by a savvy movie producer.
THE WEST WING "ELLIE" TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN STORY BY: KEVIN FALLS & LAURA GLASSER DIRECTED BY: MICHAEL ENGLER TEASER MODERATOR [VO] Now we have some questions about drug use in general and marijuana in particular. DR. MILLICENT GRIFFITH [VO] Yeah? FADE IN: INT. DR. GRIFFITH'S OFFICE - NIGHT An online chat is in progress with the Surgeon General. MODERATOR JerseyGirl wants to know if marijuana can make you sterile. DR. GRIFFITH Is this JerseyGirl asking the question, or JerseyBoyfriend? MODERATOR Both. WEDNESDAY NIGHT DR. GRIFFITH Okay. Well, there's no evidence so far that marijuana has a permanent effect on the male or female reproductive systems. A few studies have suggested that heavy marijuana use may have an effect on male testicular function, but that effect would be reversible. So, if JerseyBoyfriend is concerned then he should mention it to his doctor. MODERATOR Pixelad wants to know if marijuana can cause cancer. DR. GRIFFITH No conclusive study to date has shown that it does. However... and this is a big however... cellular, genetic and human studies all suggest that the smoke from pot is a risk factor in acquiring respiratory disease. So, if Pixelad wants to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without throwing up, he should put the bong back in the closet behind the Allman Brothers albums where it belongs. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Donna is following the chat. DONNA Josh! [to herself] What the hell kind of name is Pixelad? [loudly] Josh! JOSH I'm done? DONNA Yeah. JOSH Efficiency, Donna. DONNA Yeah. JOSH Efficiency and professionalism, and we're out of here at nine o'clock on a Wednesday night. DONNA Doesn't hurt the President's in Tokyo. JOSH Yeah, well, there does seem to be a little less work to do when he's in a different hemisphere, but nonetheless... DONNA Efficiency and professionalism. JOSH With a healthly dollop of leadership skills... the well-placed, well-worded memo. Nobody goes off the reservation, everybody does their job. Turn off your computer. Let's go. DONNA No, I'm going to stay and watch this. I think maybe you should too. JOSH What is it? DONNA The Surgeon General's doing an online chat. JOSH What's she talking about? DONNA Decriminalizing marijuana. JOSH See you tomorrow. Josh exits. Pause. Josh comes back. JOSH What's she talking about? DONNA [reading] "Do you favor the decriminalization of marijuana?" JOSH [reading] "That's not for me to say. I can tell you that marijuana poses no greater public health risk than nicotine or alcohol..." DONNA [reading] "...and doesn't share the same addictive properties of heroin and LSD." JOSH [reading] "Yet, bizarrely, to many of us in the health care profession, the law categorizes it as a Schedule I narcotic while putting a government seal on a pack of cigarettes." DONNA Yeah, somebody didn't get your memo. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT JOSH [VO] C.J. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. Yeah. JOSH [walks in] I need you to take a look at this. C.J. What is it? JOSH It's a transcript of an online chat Millicent Griffith just did, page 8. Donna walks in. DONNA Toby's headed to his office and Sam's on the phone. JOSH I can't talk to him right now. DONNA He says it's important. JOSH I'm gonna be there in a minute. [Donna exits.] C.J. [reading] "The Allman brothers? JOSH It gets a lot worse. [paces with his hand on his forehead] C.J. "Marijuana poses no greater public health risk than nicotine or alcohol doesn't show the same addictive properties as bizzarely categorized as..." and I quit! JOSH Let's go. They walk out of her office. C.J. Is she kidding me with this? JOSH Nope. C.J. When did it happen? JOSH She finished five minutes ago. Talk me through the next twelve hours. C.J. These people got a story. I guarantee you they called AP already... Carol, get me the wires! CAROL [passing by] Yeah. C.J. It's too late for the Times and the Post, but LA and San Francisco will have it. It will be above the fold, the Today show will lead with it, Russert's gonna do a segment. Josh spots Toby walking towards them. JOSH Toby! TOBY Guys, I'm in the Blue Ribbon meeting, I got labor yelling at me, I got a real situation developing over there. JOSH Yeah, but there's a bit of a situation developing here too. TOBY What's going on? JOSH Read that. C.J. Page 8. [to Josh] Why didn't you call me? JOSH While it was happening? C.J. Yes! JOSH So you cold do what? TOBY When did it happen? JOSH She finished about five or ten minutes ago. TOBY You saw it happen? JOSH Yeah. TOBY Why didn't you get me? JOSH What were you going to do? Sam approaches them. They're all standing in the bullpen with large clocks showing world time above their heads. TOBY End the interview! JOSH How? TOBY By ending it! SAM Listen, something's happened. C.J. We know. SAM How do you know? TOBY Josh was watching in real time. JOSH I'm not gonna belay into the computer screen, Toby. SAM What are you talking about? TOBY The Surgeon General, what are you talking about? SAM Never mind. What did Griffith do? TOBY She reversed our position on marijuana. JOSH All right. First things first what time is it in Tokyo? TOBY They're fourteen hours ahead. JOSH I thought it was thirteen. TOBY Eastern daylight. JOSH So it's fourteen hours ahead. TOBY Yes. JOSH Are we sure it's ahead, and not beind? C.J. Guys, there are clocks on the wall. Everyone but Sam looks at the clocks. JOSH Okay, so it's almost 11 o'clock in Tokyo. C.J. Yeah. TOBY Ginger! GINGER [VO] Yeah. TOBY Get Larry and Ed. C.J. And anybody else in my office. TOBY We'll be in the Roosevelt Room. They walk to the Roosevelt Room, Sam following behind reading the transcript. JOSH I'm sorry... 11 in the morning, 11 in the afternoon? C.J. It's 11 A.M. SAM The Allman Brothers? TOBY Keep reading. JOSH So if it's not a story until tomorrow morning then they're not gonna have it until tomorrow night. We bought it! C.J. We bought two days. TOBY How? SAM Plane ride. JOSH When does he leave? C.J. Seven P.M. Thursday. JOSH Tomorrow? C.J. Yes. JOSH Local time? C.J. Which local - theirs or ours? TOBY It will be 7 P.M. Thursday in Japan when he leaves. JOSH And he lands here when? Everyone gives each other an annoyed look. SAM Okay, the flight is 13 hours long. C.J. [covers her face] This isn't happening. SAM He's going to travel Easward from Tokyo, leaving at seven pm, so when he crosses the international dateline TOBY He will have traveled back in time to what? SAM Three A.M. C.J. Which puts him down in Washington at P.M. Thursday. JOSH He's gonna land in Washington an hour before he took off? SAM Yeah. JOSH And that's not a story that beats the Surgeon General? Donna walks in. DONNA Toby, they're calling for you over there. TOBY [getting up] I'm gonna go get yelled at some more. Josh, you need to get Leo. JOSH Call Tokyo. DONNA Yeah. [to C.J.] Carol's got the wires. C.J. Thanks. [runs out] JOSH This clock should be in military time. SAM Yeah, 'cause that's less confusing. JOSH The man's gone a hundred and fifty hours. How can it be Thursday the whole time? SAM Listen. Japan is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time... JOSH Don't. DONNA [on the phone in the back] Sophie, this is Donna Moss. Could you locate the Chief of Staff for me please? JOSH What were you talking about before? SAM I've just been told by someone I believe that a full-page ad had been taken out by the Family Values Leadership Concil that is going to appear in 22 newspapers tomorrow. It lists many prominent people and it congratulates them for denouncing the movie Prince of New York. JOSH What's the problem? SAM The President is one of the prominent people they congratulate. JOSH The President denounced the movie? SAM No! JOSH Then how can they run that ad? SAM I have no idea. But I don't like who we're being congratulated by. DONNA [hands Josh the handset] Josh. JOSH Yeah. [takes the phone] Yeah, Leo, we got a couple of problems here. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Sam sees a rubber ball hit his glass window. He walks over to Toby's office, who continues throwing the ball. SAM I'm here. TOBY Thanks. SAM We're doing this again? TOBY [puts on a baseball cap] Yeah. SAM 'Cause I just got you off that little bellman's thing. TOBY [takes the cap off] Here's my problem. Sam sits down. TOBY The AARP wants the President to put Seth Gillette on the Commission, so does the AFL-CO, it's important to them and for that reason I think it's got to be important to us. SAM There's another good reason. TOBY It neutralizes him. SAM He can't attack the Commission if he's on it. TOBY Which is why if we ask he'll say no. SAM Maybe, maybe not. TOBY Yeah, but we can't risk that. First of all, we need him on the Commission, or else labor and seniors will be suspicious from the getgo; second, if he's not going to be on the Commission, it can't be because he turned us down. SAM So either we get him on the Commission, or if we don't, we make sure it's because we never asked him. TOBY Yeah. GINGER [walks in] Sam? He's on the phone. SAM Thanks. [to Toby] Yeah, I don't know the answer to that. TOBY Okay, well. Thanks for stopping by. SAM Yeah. As Sam picks up the phone in his office, Toby throws the ball at him again. The ball bounces off the glass but Sam doesn't so much as flinch. SAM Charlie! CUT TO: INT. AIR FORCE ONE - NIGHT Charlie is sitting in a chair with a book. CHARLIE Moshimoshi. Konichiwa, Sam. Ikaga dess ka. SAM [VO] Yeah, listen, did you have a phone conversation with a movie producer named Morgan Ross? CHARLIE Yeah, last week. SAM Can you tell me about that conversation? CHARLIE He's got a movie coming out. SAM "Prince of New York." CHARLIE Yeah, they wanted to screen it at the White House. SAM What did you say? CHARLIE [VO] Well, they sent me the print the week before and I looked at it. SAM And you passed? CHARLIE Yeah. SAM Charlie, was the President involved in that decision at all? CHARLIE [VO] No, he lets me choose the movies. I just didn't think he'd like it so I got him "Dial M for murder" instead. Sam? SAM Okay. CHARLIE Domo arigato. [hangs up] SAM Yeah. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is on the phone. C.J. is gesturing at him at the door. JOSH Well, there'd be fallout from women voters and, I'm pretty sure, the AMA, to say nothing of the First Lady. C.J. Leo? JOSH [covers the handset] I had about nine people on the conference call at several points of longitude. When's your first briefing? C.J. An hour. JOSH Can you show support for the Surgeon General without supporting her policy? C.J. Yeah. JOSH Show me. C.J. Try me. JOSH [in a mock-reporter voice] C.J., did you know that Dr Griffith was going to criticize the administration's drug policy last night? C.J. I don't agree with your categorization of the comments; I think she expressed her opinion about the health effects of certain illegal drugs. JOSH Well, she basically called for legalization of marijuana. Does the President agree with it? C.J. Wrong again, and I will refer you to the Surgeon General's comments. When asked if marijuana should be legalized, she said and I'm quoting, "It's not for me to say." And she's right, and it's important that people understand this the Surgeon General's not a law-maker, she doesn't set drug policy, the President does, and the President is 100% against legalizing drugs including marijuana. JOSH Yeah. [into the phone] Leo, I can take it to the next step. Okay. Okay. [hangs up and stands] C.J. Leo wants me to show her support. JOSH Yeah. C.J. Josh? JOSH Yeah. C.J. While I'm showing her support, what are you showing her? JOSH The door. He puts on his coat and leaves. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY C.J. [VO] Good morning. REPORTERS [VO] C.J.! C.J.! C.J. [VO] Hang on. Katie. KATIE [VO] Did you know the Surgeon General was going to criticize... CUT TO: INT. WAITING ROOM OUTSIDE SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Josh is sitting on a couch, watching C.J.'s briefing on television. KATIE [on TV] ...the administration's drug policy last night? C.J. [on TV] Well, first of all, I disagree with your characterization of her comments. She expressed her opinion about the health affects of certain illegal drugs. Jeff. Josh gets off the couch and moves to stand in front of the T.V. JEFF [on TV] C.J.... KATIE [on TV] I'm sorry, but didn't she say that... C.J. [on TV] Actually, what she did say, and I quote, is that there has been no conclusive... C.J.'s briefing continues on the television as the door to the Surgeon General's office opens. A man and woman exit. The Surgeon General appears in the doorway. DR. GRIFFITH Josh? JOSH Dr. Griffith. DR. GRIFFITH You wanna come in? JOSH Yeah. They go inside the SURGEON GENERAL'S OFFICE. DR. GRIFFITH How've you been feeling? JOSH Well, I've been fine. DR. GRIFFITH They're checking your blood pressure once a week? JOSH Yeah, 130 over 87. DR. GRIFFITH Hmmm. It's a little high. Uh, what about the right leg and arm? JOSH There's a little stiffness. DR. GRIFFITH Yeah. You know, the guys at GW did a fantastic job. It's a beautiful scar. JOSH [surprised] When did you see my scar? DR. GRIFFITH At the hospital. JOSH I don't remember. DR. GRIFFITH You were unconscious. How 'bout your back? JOSH There's some pain. DR. GRIFFITH It's in your head. JOSH [laughs] Along with all manner of things. DR. GRIFFITH Well, you know, Josh, just because the White Supremacists didn't kill you, doesn't mean that that crap you eat isn't gonna. JOSH I eat fine. DR. GRIFFITH You eat like you're still in college. JOSH I was in great shape in college. DR. GRIFFITH You were nineteen in college. You could eat Tupperware and your system would deal with it. JOSH Millicent, what were you thinking about? Dr. Griffith pauses behind her desk, her back to Josh, before turning around to answer him. DR. GRIFFITH I was asked a question, Josh. JOSH I understand, but your answers... DR. GRIFFITH My answers were correct; is anyone challenging me on the facts? JOSH Not yet. DR. GRIFFITH Well, they won't. As a doctor, I have an obligation to tell the truth. Come to think of it, as a person I have that obligation as well. Dr. Griffith sits down in her desk chair and Josh takes a seat in a chair in front of her desk. JOSH The truth is different if you're a GP or a member of the Stanford Faculty Club than if you're the country's chief medical practitioner. DR. GRIFFITH Well, no, I think truth is pretty much truth across the board, never more so than if you're the country's chief medical practitioner. JOSH Did you know that 69% of Americans oppose legalization? Only 23% support it. DR. GRIFFITH The number gets a lot higher than that if you ask people under 30. JOSH Well, that's a shock. Did you know that the number gets even higher than that if you limit the polling sample to Bob Marley and the Whalers? DR. GRIFFITH I mentioned that particular age group because an awful lot of them seem to be in prison. JOSH Is that what this is about? DR. GRIFFITH No! JOSH Because the criminal justice system is nowhere near your jurisdiction... DR. GRIFFITH I wasn't commenting on the criminal justice system... JOSH Millicent! DR. GRIFFITH I wasn't commenting on the criminal justice system! Josh stands up and starts pacing. JOSH [quoting Dr. Griffith] "Yet bizarrely the law categorizes it as a schedule one narcotic?!" DR. GRIFFITH I was commenting on medicine. JOSH I've had three conversations with Leo McGarry in the last 12 hours. The reason I've come here... DR. GRIFFITH Josh, I'm not a politician, but it's not like I haven't lived here for two years. JOSH C.J.'s up there right now giving you our support. I'm sorry, but we need you to resign. DR. GRIFFITH [pause] No. JOSH Dr. Griffith, I say this with all possible respect, but... you serve at the pleasure of the President. DR. GRIFFITH [standing up] And I'll continue to, right up until the moment he fires me. Josh looks at her for a moment before nodding. JOSH Okay. [beat] Thank you, ma'am. He moves towards the door to exit her office, but she stops him. DR. GRIFFITH Josh. See the doctor, get a lollipop. She tosses a lollipop to him from her desk. Josh catches it and looks at her for a moment longer before opening the door. As he exits the office back into the waiting room, C.J.'s briefing is again heard from the TV. C.J. [VO] And the fact that the President disagrees with her doesn't mean he's going to fire her. The Surgeon General is an executive appointee and the President stands by his staff. JOSH [under his breath] Excellent. Josh pulls on his coat and leaves as the camera remains on the television. REPORTER [on TV] C.J., shifting gears for a second. There's a full page ad that appears in today's Times... CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE, BRIEFING ROOM - CONTINUOUS REPORTER [cont] ... in fact I've been told it might have appeared in as many as 22 papers this morning. The ad was taken out by the Family Values Leadership Council, and praises, among others, the President, for denouncing a movie that's opening next week, called Prince of New York. C.J. Yes. REPORTER 1 You know anything about it? C.J. No, I don't know what the hell's going on there. REPORTER 2 C.J., the President didn't denounce it? C.J. Not unless he did it in the shower. But he hasn't denounced it to me and he certainly hasn't to the public. [The reporters chuckle.] That's all. See you this afternoon. The reporters continue to call C.J.'s name as she leaves the podium. Carol approaches and hands her some papers. CAROL Sam's here. C.J. Thank you. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Sam is waiting for C.J. As they talk, they move through the hallways. SAM Good job. C.J. Please tell me what's going on with this movie. SAM It's called Prince of New York. C.J. Right. SAM There's been some controversy about it. C.J. Sex and violence? SAM And religious imagery. Family and religious groups are organizing boycotts. C.J. Right. SAM The studio phone banks Charlie because they want a screening, and Charlie passes. C.J. Why? SAM Because he did. The producer goes on Imus and says Bartlet's a coward who's siding with Puritanical censors and that Hollywood should know he's no friend of the First Amendment. C.J. And then the Family Values Leadership Council took out an ad congratulating us for that? SAM Yeah. C.J. Seriously, I quit. SAM Here's the thing. C.J. Wait. SAM We've got these people... C.J. Wait. SAM We've got the industry people... C.J. Prince of New York is Morgan Ross's movie. SAM Yes. But we've got these people... C.J. Morgan Ross went on Imus? SAM Well, he did it by phone... C.J. Morgan Ross called the President a coward? SAM He didn't call him a coward as much as... C.J. What? SAM He called him cowardly. Which is different. C.J. How's it different? SAM It's not, but still... C.J. I'm gonna crush him. SAM C.J.. C.J. This guy's trying to get a little free media by screwing with us! SAM Look. C.J. I'm the enforcer, Sam. I'm gonna crush him, I'm gonna make him cry, and then I'm gonna tell his momma about it! C.J. pours herself some coffee with a grim smile on her face. SAM You're not going to make him cry. C.J. You wanna watch me make him cry? [chuckles evilly] They reach C.J.'S OFFICE. SAM I believe that you can make him cry, I'm saying you're not going to do it. C.J. Sam. SAM I'm trying to tell you we're meeting with these people tomorrow. I'll straighten things out with Morgan Ross. Would you just keep telling the press that you don't know anything? C.J. [sighs] That shouldn't be a problem. CAROL C.J.? SAM [to C.J.] Thank you. [leaves] CAROL Danny Concannon's on the phone, and I think you should take it. C.J. Why? CAROL He wants the President's reaction to a comment that was made about the situation with Millicent Griffith. C.J. Who made the comment? CAROL That's the thing. C.J. [makes a "hurry up" motion with her hands] Carol. CAROL It was Eleanor. C.J. Eleanor who? CAROL It was Eleanor Bartlet. C.J. stares at her for a second before picking up the phone. C.J. [into phone] Hey, it's C.J. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY Toby is in a meeting with several people about the Blue Ribbon Committee the President proposed in the State of the Union. FIRST MAN Toby, it's not that we don't understand your position. But I'm telling you, the commission will not be credible with our people unless there's someone on it who's a friend of labor. LENNY And a friend of seniors. TOBY The President's a friend of labour, a friend of seniors, a friend of small animals... LENNY Toby! TOBY We're running out of time, Lenny. We announced this thing at the State of the Union; we've got to get it going. LENNY The State of the Union's your problem. Nobody brought us in. TOBY Yes. FIRST MAN And I for one am not sure I see a need for emergency-like speed. TOBY Really. FIRST MAN If current economic conditions continue... TOBY Forever? You mean if we never have another recession ever again? Then the fund can withstand all of 30 years before going bankrupt. Unfortunately, the actuarial tables say I won't be dead yet. [sighs] Guys... Gillette's a tough needle to thread. I want to know that we have your trust, that whoever we do get will look out for your interests and that you therefore will support the Commission. Beat, as no one responds, and Toby sighs again. TOBY [cont] Can I assume from your total silence and blank faces that you're all with me? FIRST MAN Maybe if we, uh, talk some more. TOBY [sarcastically] Oh, could we? CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY JOSH C.J.. C.J. Josh. JOSH Listen... C.J. She didn't? JOSH No. Leo's gonna need to talk to her. In the meantime, you should start to walk back some of what you said in the press room, all right? C.J. There's something stickier than the support I gave her in the press room. JOSH What? C.J. Danny Concannon's quoting Eleanor Bartlet. She said, "My father won't fire the Surgeon General. He would never do that." JOSH Eleanor? C.J. Yeah. JOSH You mean Zoey. C.J. No. It was Eleanor. Josh looks both surprised and exasperated, and lets out a big sigh. CUT TO: EXT. ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT Bartlet and Charlie are exiting Air Force One, discussing the situation in Japan. Leo, a limo, numerous police cars, and a crowd of reporters are there to greet them. BARTLET They're trying to export their way out of their own economic problems. CHARLIE Yes, sir. BARTLET And by dumping low priced steel on the U.S., you know what they're asking for? CHARLIE A protectionist response. BARTLET They're begging for a protectionist response. Steel and mining employ a hundred and seventy thousand workers. They're not going to sit around while discount steel comes flying into... how you doing? [waves to someone calling "Welcome back, sir!"] They're going to want retaliatory tariffs, and you know what that means? CHARLIE A return to Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression. BARTLET A return to Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression. CHARLIE Well, you should go to Japan and tell them that, sir. They start to head towards the reporters, but Leo comes up behind them. LEO Charlie! CHARLIE [stopping Bartlet] Sir. BARTLET Leo, I'm walking over to the press and telling them that retaliatory tariffs are gonna cost American taxpayers eight hundred thousand dollars for every job saved. LEO We're not taking questions. Let's get in the car. They move towards the limo, as reporters faintly call after them. BARTLET What's going on? LEO Eleanor made a comment on the record and you can't answer questions right now. BARTLET Eleanor? LEO Yeah. BARTLET You mean Zoey. LEO It was Eleanor. BARTLET When did this happen? LEO About six hours ago. BARTLET Why didn't you tell me six hours ago? LEO [quietly] Because I didn't want you crash-landing the plane. Let's get in the car. Nancy holds open the limo door for Bartlet. NANCY Welcome back, Mr. President. Bartlet doesn't answer, just gives a wave to the reporters and climbs into the car. The door is closed behind him. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY DONNA Josh, is there anything to suggest that there are a significant number of people who are inclined to smoke pot but don't because it's against the law? JOSH No. DONNA Then why do you think if it were decriminalized there would be a sudden stampede of people showing up to work stoned, dragging down the economy and clearing supermarket aisles of Pringles and Twinkies? JOSH That's not a reason to make it legal. DONNA In a free society, you don't need a reason to make something legal... you need a reason to make something illegal. JOSH Donna, parents are keeping kids away from drugs with a whip and a chair. It doesn't help them out if we... DONNA [answers phone] Yes? JOSH No, that's Okay, it's just me, talking... DONNA [hangs up] President's back. JOSH Does he want to see me? DONNA Yeah? Josh exits. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY C.J. Welcome back, Mr. President. BARTLET [angry] Thank you. I've had it, C.J. I've absolutely had it! C.J. Sir... BARTLET What the hell is Danny Concannon doing calling to my kid? C.J. Mr. President... BARTLET He knows better than that! They all know better than that! But Danny... C.J. Sir, he didn't... BARTLET C.J., you're going to suspend his credentials for six months, and I don't give a damn. His paper wants to cover the President, they can send someone else. C.J. Mr. President, Danny didn't call her. BARTLET I was told it was Danny. C.J. Yes, sir. She called him. BARTLET [pause] She called him? Bartlet sits down at his desk. Josh enters. JOSH Good evening, welcome back Mr. President. BARTLET The Allman Brothers, Josh? JOSH How was the flight, sir? BARTLET Tokyo is willing to show economic restraint, in exchange for a good fielding shortstop and a left-handed reliever... Who's against us so far? JOSH The Judiciary Committee, Government Reform and Oversight, Appropriations... BARTLET Appropriations? JOSH They control the Surgeon General's budget. BARTLET Who's coming to her defense? JOSH The Cannabis Society, The Cannabis Coalition, E Cannabis Unum, The American Hemp League, and Friends of Mary Jane. CHARLIE Sir? BARTLET Yeah? CHARLIE Sam's waiting to see you. BARTLET Yes, I understand I've been congratulated for denouncing a movie I've never heard of. C.J. Yes sir. BARTLET I've got to hand it to you guys you've pulled off a political first. You've managed to win me the support of the Christian Right and the Cheech and Chong Fan Club in the same day. JOSH Leo's seeing her tomorrow. BARTLET Anything else? JOSH No sir. BARTLET Thank you. C.J. Thank you, Mr. President. JOSH Thank you, Mr. President. C.J. and Josh exit. BARTLET Charlie? Would you arrange for my middle daughter to come see me at her earliest possible convenience? CHARLIE Yes sir. BARTLET Ah, screw her convenience. Get her ass down here. Charlie exits. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY FRIDAY CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Sam is at his desk typing. Toby bounces a ball off his window. Sam comes to TOBY'S OFFICE. SAM Yeah? TOBY What's this note? SAM That note? TOBY Yeah. SAM It says that we should stand by the Surgeon General. TOBY Actually, it says that we should stand by the Sturgeon General. SAM Does it? TOBY Yeah. SAM I meant Surgeon General. TOBY Well, I think we should stand by her too. I just wanted to make sure we were agreed that smoked white fish was pretty much on its own. SAM Yeah. GINGER Toby? TOBY She's here? GINGER In the lobby. We follow Toby and Sam out of Toby's office. TOBY You're with the ratings people? SAM Soon. What's the food for? TOBY Today's attempt at ensuring out future. SAM What's your plan? TOBY The first thing I have to do is be nice to a liberal Democratic Congresswoman. SAM Will that be hard? TOBY Well, it was when I was married to her. They reach Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt in the LOBBY. TOBY Good to see you. Thanks for coming. You look fantastic. ANDY Thank you. How've you been, Sam? TOBY Sam's great. SAM Fit as a fiddle, Andy. Although, to tell you the truth, I found... TOBY Nobody cares. SAM Yeah. [exits] TOBY Hi. Andy kisses Toby on the cheek. ANDY How're you doing? TOBY Congresswoman Wyatt. ANDY Yes, indeed. Toby and Andy walk back to his office. TOBY You're growing into that title very nicely. ANDY This is going someplace hysterical. TOBY Heh. Yeah. Labor wants Gillette on the Commission. ANDY Yes. TOBY So does the AARP. ANDY Yes. TOBY It's very important to them. ANDY Yes. TOBY Do you know why? ANDY 'Cause they've been very suspicious of the Commission since you announced it, and want one of their people protecting their interests? They reach TOBY'S OFFICE. TOBY We're one of their people. ANDY Have you had an easy time convincing them of that since you announced the Commission? TOBY No. But I bring you here, and we sit, and we have coffee, and we have Danish, in the hope that calmer and, dare I say, prettier heads prevail. ANDY Oh, I miss patronizing, sexist Toby. TOBY I was referring to myself. ANDY You don't want to ask Gillette? TOBY Nope. ANDY 'Cause you think he might say no. TOBY Right. This is really important, Andy. Can you help us? ANDY No. GINGER Toby? TOBY Close the door. Andy picks up a Danish. TOBY Put the Danish down. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Mrs. Landingham and Charlie are shuttling binders. MRS. LANDYNGHAM "Dial M." CHARLIE Yeah. MRS. LANDYNGHAM A fine film. CHARLIE I know it well. MRS. LANDYNGHAM Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings... CHARLIE He likes the part where the guy looks for the key. MRS. LANDYNGHAM And what was the other one about? CHARLIE "Prince of New York?" MRS. LANDYNGHAM Yeah. CHARLIE [reading off a sheet of paper] It's an updated version of Dostoyevsky's "The Idiot" which tells the story of a Christ-like epileptic young man who embodies goodness, but encounters sex, crime, and family dysfunction. MRS. LANDYNGHAM Hard to imagine why you didn't think the President would enjoy that, Charlie. CHARLIE Well he would have especially enjoyed the scene where the Prince Myshkin character has a seizure while engaging in an erotic fantasy in a Long Island church. MRS. LANDYNGHAM Charlie, please don't say the word "erotic" in the Oval Office. CHARLIE I'd be perfectly happy never to say any of those words anywhere ever again. MRS. LANDYNGHAM John Williams as Chief Inspector Hubbard. CHARLIE Not to mention... WOMAN [OS] Excuse me. Mrs. Landingham and Charlie stop, turn and see ELEANOR BARTLET. MRS. LANDYNGHAM Ellie! ELLIE BARTLET I was told my father wanted to see me? Mrs. Landingham nods and exits. MARGARET [VO] Let me ask you this... CUT TO: LEO'S OUTER OFFICE - DAY Margaret and Dr. Griffith are talking. MARGARET Red meat has been found to cause cancer in white rats. Maraschino cherries have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Cellular phones have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Has anyone examined the possibility that cancer might be hereditary in white rats? DR. GRIFFITH Let me tell you something, I'm not 100% sure we've ruled that out. Leo walks through to his office. LEO Dr. Griffith. DR. GRIFFITH [to Margaret] I'm on. Dr. Griffith enters LEO'S OFFICE. Leo closes the door. LEO Congratulations, Millie. You're now the pamphlet girl for every right fundraising cause. That interview's got to be worth at least twenty, thirty million bucks in contributions from people who think you're going to distribute dime bags of Hawaiian sens at junior high schools along with condoms and fornication manuals. DR. GRIFFITH Can I say, I was never given a fornication manual, so... LEO You think this is funny? DR. GRIFFITH I think that we're spending a billion dollars a year keeping more than forty thousand people locked up. LEO That's not your... DR. GRIFFITH I know that's not my jurisdiction, which is why I never commented on decriminalization. LEO Six different committee chairs... three in the House, three in the Senate... are all talking about hearings. DR. GRIFFITH What are they going to find? LEO They don't need to find anything. They just need to say your name and "drugs" as many times as possible on television. I don't think you said anything wrong. Nobody with a brain thinks you did anything wrong. And I'd like to do the right thing all the time, but I can't. I can't let us get bogged down in this crap. Government will stop, this will be what we do for two months, and there are more important things than that. I'll take the heat from the First Lady, but I want your resignation by eight o'clock tonight or the President's gonna fire you. I've got a meeting. [exits] CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY Charlie is at his desk. Ellie sits nervously across from him. CHARLIE Zoey said you were thinking about oncology. ELLIE Excuse me? CHARLIE Zoey said you were thinking about oncology. ELLIE Yeah, or neurology. CHARLIE He's just tied up in this meeting down the hall. ELLIE I'm fine. CHARLIE They said he should be back any minute. ELLIE I'm... good. Yeah. CHARLIE You like medical school? ELLIE I do. I like my professors. I have a pathophysiology professor who teaches clinical skills by... AGENT Eagle's moving. We hear Bartlet storming up the hall. BARTLET ...in consumer costs per job saved. Retaliatory tariffs on steel imports are a disaster. Anyone wants to check my math, they're more than welcome to. Bartlet enters with advisors. BARTLET Anybody wants to shove the Golden Gate Bridge up Japan's ass, they're more than welcome to do that too. CHARLIE Mr. President? [motions to Ellie] BARTLET Oh... [turns to advisors] Thank you. The advisors exit. BARTLET Ellie, thanks for coming. ELLIE Hi, dad. Bartlet kisses her on the cheek. BARTLET Come on in. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Bartlet and Ellie walk inside. BARTLET Did you get down here Okay? ELLIE Yeah. BARTLET Did you take an airplane? ELLIE An airplane? No. BARTLET A helicopter? ELLIE No, the agents drove me. BARTLET That's because you go to school at Johns Hopkins, right? ELLIE Dad... BARTLET And Johns Hopkins is in Baltimore. I'm asking 'cause Baltimore is a 45-minute car ride from Washington, D.C. and we hardly see you anymore. So, I thought either you transfered to a different medical school, they moved Johns Hopkins, or they moved Baltimore. Are any of those things true? ELLIE No. BARTLET Okay. And this is accurate, right? This quote "My father won't fire the Surgeon General. He would never do that." ELLIE Yes. BARTLET Elanor, when you put your head down, your hair falls in your face, and I can't see your face, and I can't hear what you're saying. Now look at me, and talk to me. ELLIE Yes, the quote is accurate. BARTLET What the hell are you doing talking to a reporter? ELLIE I... BARTLET [getting angry] I have set up monumental, unprecedented, unbreakable rules about my children and the press. I have gotten White House reporters transferred to Yemen for approaching Zoey and Elizabeth. It is the law! [walks away to calm down] Well, I'm sure before you gave the quote you cleared it with the Communications Office. I'm sure you went over the exact wording with C.J. Cregg and coordinated with White House strategy so that the timing was right in the news cycle. I'm certain you consulted the appropriate party leadership because you're a pretty knowledgeable operative having spent so much time with me. Ellie? ELLIE Dad... BARTLET What? ELLIE She was... she was... BARTLET WHAT? ELLIE She was doing... BARTLET Pick your head up! ELLIE She was doing exactly what she is supposed to do! She... I'm sorry. She was asked a question, and she said what she knew to be true. And when you start firing doctors for that, you've crossed the line somewhere. BARTLET There is politics involved in this, Ellie. And you knew it would make me unhappy and that's why you did it and that's cheap. ELLIE I didn't do it to make you unhappy, Dad. BARTLET Well, you sure didn't do it to make me happy! ELLIE I don't know HOW to make you happy, Dad! For that, you've got to talk to Zoey or Liz. Silence ensues. BARTLET Okay, let's drop it. Bartlet walks back behind his desk. BARTLET Mom gets back first thing in the morning and we're running a movie tonight if you want to stay over. ELLIE I can stay over if you want me to. BARTLET Yeah, thanks. Bartlet shuffles some papers. Ellie takes her purse, turns to leave, then looks around nervously. ELLIE I go out...? BARTLET That door over there. [points] Ellie exits. Charlie enters from another door. CHARLIE Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah. CHARLIE The Labor Secretary. BARTLET Send him in. [beat] Charlie... Give me just a minute, would you? CHARLIE Yes sir. Charlie exits. Bartlet turns and looks out the window, thinking. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Andy and Toby are yelling almost at the top of their voices. ANDY Hang on. TOBY Look. ANDY Hang on! TOBY No, I will not hang on. ANDY Yes, you will, you will summon your strength and you will listen to me for a moment. [beat] You guys made a hairpin turn at the State of the Union and you did it without consulting a whole lot of members of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. TOBY Sad to say, Andrea, there aren't a whole lot of members of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. [shoots the ball off the wall] ANDY So you'll forgive some people if they're concerned that one of the options you're going to explore is raising the retirement age. TOBY Hey, Andy, people are living decades longer than anyone at this rate in 1935! ANDY So you are considering it! TOBY We want to consider everything, but we can't consider anything, unless... ANDY Why does this have to happen in secret? TOBY Because it's the only way it's gonna happen! Because you can't solve Social Security and ask people to run for election at the same time! So why not give politicians some cloud cover and let them be lawmakers for a while? Fifteen people in a room with the door closed; seven democrats, seven republicans, and the President of the United States, who will not have a vote, and they walk out of that room, and with one voice they make a recommendation to Congress and the American people! And nobody knows who was where! [sighs] The only way this is going to happen is in secret. And they only way it's going to happen is if all the sides are confident in their representation. Otherwise it's dead, and so I need Seth Gillette on the commission, but I can't ask him, 'cause if he says no, there'll be no commission! [beat] Anyway... I appreciate you coming down and talking to me. [heads to open the door for her] They both walk out of his office. ANDY I like when you ask for my help, Toby. TOBY Listen, I read in the paper that I'm on the benefit committee for the Child Leukemia Foundation. ANDY [putting her coat on, smiling] Yeah, I saw that, too. TOBY Why do you suppose the paper wrote that? ANDY I don't know. I guess they must have gotten it from that press release of something. TOBY I guess they must have. You don't think it'd be a better idea if you asked me first? ANDY I really didn't. TOBY Interesting. ANDY I find that when I skip over the first step and move right to the second step, it becomes a lot harder for people to say no. Toby stops suddenly. ANDY Listen, you'll have fun, you'll look nice in your tuxedo, you don't have to stay, you don't have... [turns to him] Toby? TOBY Skip over the first step and move right to the second. C.J. [walking from behind Andy] Toby... Hey, Andy! ANDY Hey, C.J.. C.J. [to Toby] Toby, when you have a minute, can you stop by the office, I need... Toby is staring past her at Andy. C.J. What? TOBY C.J., tomorrow morning I want you to announce that Seth Gillette's joined the Blue Ribbon Commission on Social Security. C.J. Toby... TOBY Make sure the press knows the Senator put the Democratic Party above personal differences, and that he put people above all. Make sure they know that he's a patriot, and when the President asked him to serve, Senator Gillette answered the call. C.J. Did he? TOBY Yeah. I just saw it at your press briefing tomorrow morning. C.J. Okay, but this is really the last thing I'm doing before I quit. TOBY [as she walks away] Okay. Andy smiles approvingly. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY Ed is meeting with Hollywood representatives. ED It's like checking the sugar and fat content on a box of cereal. PRODUCER 1 We bend over backwards to help parents make choices. PRODUCER 2 We put V-chips in TVs, warning labels on records, TV shows, film ads... Sam walks in and stands by the door. He whispers to the secretary and she comes to Morgan Ross and talks to him quietly. PRODUCER 1 And when we do, we suffer, because our products become demonized and marginalized, and every ten years the Government asks for something more. Ross steps outside. ED The only reason we have to come to you every ten years is that the situation isn't getting any better. PRODUCER 1 When's the government going to ask the NFL and the National Hockey League to put warning labels on their games? CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS SAM Can I talk to you? MORGAN ROSS Sure. SAM Come on. Sam starts walking to his office. Ross follows. ROSS He's wrong in there, by the way, the situation hasn't stayed the same, there's been a 28% drop in juvenile crime in the last five years, 10% drop in the overall crime rate. SAM I don't care. ROSS Why? SAM 'Cause, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the AMA and the American Psychological association all say that watching violence on TV is bad for kids and we're gonna listen to the experts. ROSS I'll remember that tomorrow morning when I read in the paper the Surgeon General's been fired. SAM Remember it whenever you'd like. ROSS What is he seeing tonight? SAM "Dial M for murder." Ross Good. Hitchcock never used sex or violence in his films. SAM Yeah. Morgan, the President's never seen your movie, he's never heard of your movie, he has no particular objection to your movie, and you know it. ROSS The Family Values Leadership Council seems to see it differently. SAM Gloriosky, Morgan, the Family Values Leadership Council distorted the truth. Stop the presses. ROSS Well, thanks to that ad, I've got exhibitors in Mississippi, Oklahoma and Alabama, pulling the film! SAM I've read the press synopsis of the film, and if the exhibitors put you on every screen of every multiplex in every mall you still wouldn't do any business in Mississippi, Oklahoma or Alabama. ROSS You're an industry expert now. SAM No, but you are. Which explains a lot to me about Hollywood. And you know the ad was going to get you more business than you lost and that's why you went on Imus and said what you did. ROSS I'm here for a Sam Seaborn scolding? SAM Yeah. Because it makes me crazy, Morgan, this is exactly the kind of thing that should be celebrated by First Amendment advocates. Charlie was offered a choice and he made one. Why aren't you standing up, saying, "See, it works! You don't need to ban movies like "Prince of New York", you just have to choose not to watch them!" And Morgan you ever call the President a coward again for your own PR purposes, it's not going to be C.J. Cregg you gotta deal with, it's going to be me. You understand what I'm saying, right? ROSS [very slowly] Yes. SAM Now why don't you go back to your meeting and show me how much you want to make it up to us. Sam sits down at his desk, Ross leaves. Toby walks by and throws Sam his rubber ball. TOBY Good job. Sam smiles. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT CUT TO: INT. MOVIE THEATER IN THE WHITE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS The phone rings on the screen, the senior staff, Bartlet, and Ellie are watching. JOSH [in the back, to Donna] This isn't good. DONNA What? JOSH The President's not talking. DONNA There's a movie on. JOSH He usually talks during the movie. Bartlet stands up and leaves. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT The Surgeon General is waiting, dressed in formal attire. Bartlet walks in. BARTLET Good evening. DR. GRIFFITH Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET I'm sorry about this. DR. GRIFFITH Yes, sir. BARTLET Is that your resignation? DR. GRIFFITH [holds up the paper] Yes, sir. BARTLET Thank you. DR. GRIFFITH On thinking about it, I felt your firing me would send a dangerous signal to whomever had my job next. BARTLET Did you not think that playing down the dangers of drug use sent a dangerous signal as well? DR. GRIFFITH I do not believe that is what I did, sir. I was asked, by and large, if marijuana holds the same addictive properties as heroin or LSD; it does not. I was asked if marijuana poses a greater health risk than nicotine and alcohol, and in my opinion, it does not. And I believe if you look at the transcript... BARTLET Millie, did you put her up to it? DR. GRIFFITH Sir? BARTLET "My father won't fire the Surgeon General, he would never do that." You didn't put her up to it? DR. GRIFFITH No, sir. BARTLET You didn't pick up the phone after Josh came to see you and say, "Ellie, it's your godmother, let's stick it to your old man, and paint him into a corner?" DR. GRIFFITH No, sir. BARTLET Why haven't I ever been able to get her to like me? I'm asking you. DR. GRIFFITH Sir, I'm not sure it's appropriate... BARTLET I'm asking you. DR. GRIFFITH Well, I think you're wrong. BARTLET I'm not. DR. GRIFFITH She worships you, Mr. President... BARTLET She's mad at me. Dr. Griffith Well, you're mad at her. BARTLET Yes, I am! DR. GRIFFITH Sir... BARTLET I was running for President, where the hell was she? DR. GRIFFITH She was with us. BARTLET Not like Zoey and Liz. DR. GRIFFITH Sir... BARTLET She's always belonged to Abbey. DR. GRIFFITH You frightened her. BARTLET No, I didn't! DR. GRIFFITH Sir... BARTLET How did I frighten her? DR. GRIFFITH Jed, look where you're standing! BARTLET I was elected two years ago, she's 24 years old! DR. GRIFFITH You've been the king of whatever room you walked into her entire life. BARTLET It never seemed to intimidate Zoey or Liz. DR. GRIFFITH Well, kids are different, they're not the same! You would be amazed, you'd be stunned at how soon they understand they're not their father's favorite. BARTLET That's not true. DR. GRIFFITH Sir... BARTLET That's not true. DR. GRIFFITH Mr. President... BARTLET No, no, no. I will bear with the nonsense of the Christian right and the Hollywood left and the AFL-CIO and the AARP and the Canubus society and Japan, but I will not stand and allow someone to tell me that I love one of my children less than the others. [walks to the glass door] She's frightened of me? DR. GRIFFITH She ain't the only one. BARTLET I wanted to be so mad at her. I heard the news and my first thought was.. My god, "King Lear" is a good play. [sighs] "My father won't fire the Surgeon General, he would never do that." I wanted to be so mad at her. But the truth is, it's the nicest thing she's ever said about me. DR. GRIFFITH Well, good night, sir. BARTLET Good night. Dr. Griffith walks to the door. BARTLET Hey, doc! DR. GRIFFITH Sir? BARTLET I don't accept it. DR. GRIFFITH I'm sorry, sir? BARTLET I don't accept your resignation. DR. GRIFFITH Sir, I appreciate that, but Leo's right. This shouldn't stop you from doing the bigger things. BARTLET These are the bigger things. I don't accept your resignation. [hands her the paper] You work for me. You go when I tell you to. DR. GRIFFITH You're an excellent role model, Mr. President. BARTLET [walking out the glass door, turns] Yes, I know. DR. GRIFFITH So you're back. BARTLET [from outside] Yes, indeed. CUT TO: INT. THE MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT Bartlet walks to Josh. BARTLET Tell C.J. , when she gives Millie our support on Monday, she can mean it. JOSH [stands up] You know, it's going to seem to some people like you did it 'case your daughter asked you to. BARTLET You know, Josh, I think if you ever have a daughter, you're going to discover there are worse reasons in the world to do something. Sit down, we're coming to the good part. He walks past him to sit near Ellie. MAN 1 [on movie] What is he doing? MAN 2 [on movie] He's wondering why that key doesn't fit. He's going round to the main entrance. He stopped again... BARTLET [to Ellie] How you doing? ELLIE Hmmm? BARTLET I said, how you doing? ELLIE Fine. BARTLET You know, we're coming up to the good part. ELLIE Dad, people are trying to watch the movie. BARTLET You want to bet me your tuition no one in this room is going to shush me? Ellie shakes her head. BARTLET I hear you're thinking about ophthalmology. ELLIE [not looking at him] Oncology. BARTLET [not looking at her either] Why would you want to study people's feet? ELLIE That's podiatry. BARTLET That's children's medicine. ELLIE Pediatrics. BARTLET I thought it was obstetrics. ELLIE That's pregnant women. BARTLET And what's the study of feet? ELLIE [looking at him] Dad, you're not going to make me laugh. BARTLET Hmmm? [beat, while he looks at her gently] The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was come home at the end of the day. Ellie looks like she's about to cry. BARTLET So, endocrinology would be what? Disorders of the gallbladder? ELLIE [chokes the word] Thyroid. BARTLET I'm pretty sure you're wrong about that, I think endocrinology is your sub-specialty of internal medicine, devoted to the digestive system. ELLIE That would be gastroenterology. BARTLET Are you sure it's not nephrology, immunology, cardiology, or dermatology? ELLIE [smiling] Would you stop it? I'm trying to watch the movie. BARTLET Okay. Here comes the good part. They sit there, watching the movie, close to each other. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 2.15 -- "Ellie" Original Airdate: February 21, 2001, 9:00 P.M. EST