Season 4 – Episode 21 – “Life On Mars”

Episode Summary:

A seemingly benign press leak begins a day and night long journey that ends with the discovery of a scandal that affects the uppermost levels of the administration, though what the staff doesn’t yet know is that this is merely the match that lights the fuse and that things are about to get considerably worse. Matthew Perry guest-stars as a newly hired White House attorney who has the bad luck of discovering the problem.

Script:

THE WEST WING
"LIFE ON MARS"
TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN
STORY BY: PAUL REDFORD & DEE DEE MYERS
DIRECTED BY: JOHN DAVID COLES

TEASER

FADE IN: EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY
Charlie is standing under the covered driveway, while rain is pouring down.

	TUESDAY 5:58 A.M.

The press is waiting across the driveway when a cab pulls up and a young
woman,
CLAIRE HUDDLE, gets out.

CHARLIE
I'm Charlie Young.

CLAIRE HUDDLE
Mmm.

Charlie hands her a security tag, which she puts around her neck, then they
head into
the building. They walk into the LOBBY, where we see Claire holding a
folded-up piece
of paper. They walk past C.J.'s office, where C.J. watches them as they pass
by.

CHARLIE
What is your name?

CLAIRE
It's Cl-- um... it's Claire. It's Claire Huddle.

Josh is walking through the HALLWAY when they walk past him, and he watches
as they
go by. They walk past the Communications Office where Toby is standing. He
sees
Charlie and Claire walk by. Then they walk into the OUTER OVAL OFFICE where
Donna
is placing something on Charlie's desk. Charlie and Claire walk into THE
OVAL OFFICE.
Bartlet is standing reading a newspaper when they enter.

CHARLIE
Claire Huddle, Mr. President.

BARTLET
Uh, it turns out it has to go to the Secretary of State. There's a law:
It's 3-USC-20.
It goes to the Secretary of State. But we'll take care of it.

Bartlet folds up the newspaper and throws it on his desk. Claire walks over
to him
and hands him the letter.

BARTLET
Why did you take a cab?

CLAIRE
[softly] My car wouldn't start.

BARTLET
I'm sorry?

CLAIRE
[louder] My car wouldn't start.

BARTLET
You know what's in here?

She doesn't respond.

BARTLET
It's okay.

Claire nods her head. Bartlet opens the letter and reads it. It reads:

	"Dear Mr. President,

		I hereby resign the Office of Vice President of the United
		States effective
		6 A.M. today.

	Sincerely,
	John Hoynes"

SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES.
END TEASER
* * *

ACT ONE

	24 HOURS EARLIER

FADE IN: INT. LOBBY - NIGHT

	MORNING PRESS GAGGLE
	6 A.M.

PRESS
Good morning. Hi, C.J.

C.J.
Good morning.

REPORTER KATIE
C.J., we have a question about...

C.J.
Hang on-- before we do anything, happy birthday, Mark. And don't ever say
I don't pay
attention to these things.

REPORTER MARK
My birthday's in December.

C.J.
All right, go ahead and say it, then. What do I care?

REPORTER MARK
Do you know if the President has any opinion on the Trustees Report?

C.J.
You're talking about Medicare? I don't think he's seen it yet, but I'll find
out.

REPORTER CHRIS
HR235: Increasing Fuel Efficiency Standards. Is he going to twist arms?

C.J.
He's going to do what he's got to do.

REPORTER PHIL
Does that involve having the OMB--

C.J.
He's going to do what he's got to do, Phil.

REPORTER CHRIS
And do you know if he's going to go to the Children's Defense Fund dinner?

C.J.
I don't know. I know he wants to, but it's still pretty early in the week. I'm
going
to go into the office.

REPORTER KATIE
No, C.J.--

C.J.
Wait, Katie, I'm sorry. You were asking something at the beginning, and I
cut you off
to wish Mark a happy birthday. You know, just in case, why don't you come
with me--
the rest, I'll see you at 11:00.

Katie follows C.J. in the HALLWAY with a man.

REPORTER KATIE
Well, this is Ralph Gish, our science editor.

C.J.
Hi. We've never met. It's my pleasure.

RALPH GISH
Same here.

C.J.
Why is science coming to the White House?

REPORTER KATIE
It's about the Vice President.

C.J.
Come on in.

They all go inside C.J.'S OFFICE.

GISH
Uh... Are you familiar with the NASA Commision on Space Science and Research?

C.J.
Only to the extent that I'm aware that it exists. But I can take your question
to the
President's science advisor.

GISH
No, this is not a science quesation. Is the White House concealing a report
from the
Commision containing two different pieces of evidence of water molecules on
Mars?
Is there a report that's not being released, a report from the NASA Commision
on
Space Science and Research saying fossilized water malecules were found on a
meteorite-- I won't tell you when this thing blew off the surface of Mars--
but,
that this report...

C.J. looks at Katie like she can't believe what she's hearing.

C.J.
[to Katie] Come here.

Katie follows C.J. into C.J.'S OUTER OFFICE.

C.J.
I called you back for a single in front of everybody. That costs me. Your
question is:
"Is there life on Mars?" And "Is the White House hiding that there's life
on Mars?"
And what the hell does this have to do with the Vice President?!

REPORTER KATIE
The Vice President heads the NASA Commision.

C.J.
Katerina--

REPORTER KATIE
The source says that the Vice President told them personally.

C.J.
That's absurd.

REPORTER KATIE
I know, but Gish...

C.J.
You've got to ask Gish what kind of credible source goes to the science
editor with a
story, instead of--

KATIE
He doesn't know who the source is. The source went to another reporter at
our paper
and that reporter went to Gish.

C.J. walks back into her OFFICE.

C.J.
[to Gish] I can't imagine that it's true.

GISH
Is there an existing report that says anything at all, and if so, what? And
will it be
made public, and, if not, why? And, if not, isn't that illegal?

C.J.
Um, I don't know. But I'll find out to the first bunch of questions and,
as for "legal"
and "not legal," that's a matter for the Counsel's Office. Oh, hey, yeah,
that's a
matter for the Counsel's Office. I know the right guy to speak to down
there. He's
going to fix you right up.

C.J. excorts them out of her office, sighs to herself and chuckles, then
leaves her
office.

CUT TO: INT. STEAM PIPE TRUNK DISTRIBUTION VENUE - DAY
Associate Counsel Joe Quincy, is looking around at his new office when a
young female
intern walks in.

BLAIR SPOONHOUR
Mr. Quincy?

QUINCY
Yeah.

BLAIR
I'm Blair Spoonhour. I'm staffed with the Counsel's Office.

QUINCY
You're staffed with the Counsel's Office?

BLAIR
Yeah.

QUINCY
What are you, 14?

BLAIR
Thank you. No. I'm 22. I'm a law student at GW.

QUINCY
What year?

BLAIR
I just finished my first. Anyway, they share assistants in the Counsel's
Office, but
they asked me to stick around for your first couple of days to break you in.

QUINCY
Break me in? You're 22 years old and where am I right now?

BLAIR
This is the office traditionally given to new lawyers who are hired.

QUINCY
Uh-huh. And what is it when it's not occupied?

BLAIR
The steam pipe trunk distribution venue.

QUINCY
This White House doesn't like lawyers very much, do they?

BLAIR
Really, they hold them just one rung above being a Republican.

QUINCY
Well, then we've won the jackpot, haven't we?

BLAIR
Oh, don't tell me you're one of those people who group up with the parents...

QUINCY
You know what, Law School, let's just settle down. Do I have briefing memos
I have
to read?

BLAIR
What do you think that these were?

She points to a bookshelf loaded with paper boxes.

QUINCY
I thought that was Xerox paper.

BLAIR
You're Associate White House Counsel, Mr. Quincy. We're not going to store
Xerox paper
in your office.

QUINCY
Sure. We'd never want to compromise the aesthetic integrity of the steam
pipe trunk
distribution venue. Triage those: What I should read first, second, third.

There's a knock on the door and C.J. enters.

C.J.
Excuse me. That's a great outfit, Blair.

BLAIR
Thank you. Mr. Quincy, this is White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg.

QUINCY
Yeah. Thanks.

Blair pulls a box down from the bookshelf.

BLAIR
I don't want you to feel like you should be helping me with these boxes,
because there
are only nine of them, and it's an easy flight of stairs...

QUINCY
Go to work.

BLAIR
[to C.J.] He's a Republican, too.

QUINCY
Thank you.

Blair exits and C.J. walks over and shakes Joe Quincy's hand.

C.J.
Yes, he's a Republican, too, Mr. Quincy is.

QUINCY
Joe.

C.J.
This is a cool office, Joe.

QUINCY
Ha.

C.J.
Got a little window up there near the ceiling that looks out onto the,
uh... the...
What do you call it? The...

QUINCY
Alley?

C.J.
Yeah. And, you know, if you hang 'em on that pipe in the corner, late
afternoon, you
get your suits pressed right in front of you.

QUINCY
You're the welcoming committee, aren't you?

C.J.
Hey, no, but that's a good idea. Let me show you around.

QUINCY
As a matter of fact, I should probably stay here and get started on...

C.J.
Joe, I outrank you by, like, 17 rungs, so follow me, would you?

QUINCY
Sure.

C.J.
Come on. It's going to be fun. But if it's not, you should pretend that it
is anyway.
You know why?

QUINCY
'Cause you outrank me by, like, 17 rungs.

C.J.
Hey, no, but then again, I like how you're thinking.

They go out the BASEMENT HALLWAY, then up the STAIRS.

C.J.
So, do you know what I'm going to get asked about probably at my first
briefing today?
The Department of Agriculture report that'll come out this morning saying
that
commodity prices are down six percent this year, and do I suppose the White
House
is going to respond to the farmers who are going broke? And I thought,
since the
Republicans tore up the farm safety net, you might have a good idea for what
I
should say.

QUINCY
How about "food is cheaper, and that's good"?

C.J.
You're saying it's good that farmers can't sell what they grow for a living
wage?

QUINCY
No, as a matter of fact, I wasn't. I was saying that it's good that you can
buy food
for less than an entire wage.

C.J.
It's good, except, whoa! Those pesky farmers again. Don't worry about it
though, 'cause
it's not like there are that many of them. No, wait, I misspoke. Agriculture
is this
country's biggest industry.

QUINCY
Aren't you suppose to be showing me around?

C.J.
That was the staircase, okay? What do you want? It was the Dolly Madison
staircase.

QUINCY
There's the Roosevelt Room. I've been in there.

C.J.
Nobody cares.

QUINCY
Okay.

C.J.
Well, this may sound silly, but the science editor from the Washington Post
has a
source-- a blind source-- who says that the Vice President personally told
him--
the blind source-- that the Vice President interfered to classify a report
that a
NASA commision, which he heads, has saying that there's life on Mars.

QUINCY
God, why would you think that would make you sound silly?

C.J.
Would you find out who broke the law, please?

QUINCY
Sure.

C.J.
The farmers are victims of this Republican Congress.

They pass by the NORTHWEST LOBBY and JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA.

QUINCY
I don't get a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, but I do go to the
grocery
store. I know that food is cheaper, and I know that when life expectancy
goes up,
that's not victimizing undertakers.

C.J.
Well argued, though I do hate you and everything you stand for.

QUINCY
Claudia Jean, you've only known me for four minutes. It usually takes people
the better
part of an hour to hate me and everything I stand for.

C.J.
I'm the press secretary, Boo-boo. I don't have that kind of time.

QUINCY
Can I ask you something?

C.J.
Yeah.

QUINCY
What do I do if I need to speak to the Vice Preisdent?

C.J.
You speak to the Vice President, Joe. You're his lawyer.

C.J. walks into her office leaving Joe standing there. Joe looks around then
walks off.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY

	11 A.M.

Toby is sitting on the couch. He and Will are watching a videotape on the TV.

REPORTER
[on TV] The kids, the camping gear and, yeah, even Rex are all loaded up
for that
vacation you've worked hard for all year.

TOBY
Rex is the dog?

WILL
Yeah.

REPORTER
[on TV] Is that what you want to have happen on the way to your favorite
campsite?
Tell your Congressman that America's about freedom. Tell your Congressman
to vote
"no" on 235.

Will turns off the TV.

WILL
That family isn't going to be able to drive up that hill if we increase fuel
efficiency
standards.

TOBY
Well, that family isn't gonna get up the hill 'cause dad's trying to pull
the kids, the
camping gear, Rex the dog and what would appear to be his den up K-2 in a
Ford Falcon.

WILL
No, actually, its the power of the ad.

TOBY
Say that again.

WILL
Actually, it's the power of the...

Toby throws his ball at Will but misses.

TOBY
You thought that ad was powerful?

WILL
Yeah. You think it sucks?

TOBY
Yeah! If I'm watching that ad...

WILL
That ad wasn't for you. It wasn't about Dad, it was about Mom looking worried
in the
front seat.

TOBY
That was for soccer moms?

WILL
Yes.

TOBY
That?

WILL
Yes.

TOBY
Soccer moms recognize a Big 3 hosing when it walks up and introduces itself
good as
anyone, and they know it often begins with "Tell your Congressman America's
about
freedom." And that mom was worried 'cause dad's hauling a yardsale up
Kilimanjaro.
And she's thinking, "Wow, I married an idiot."

WILL
She's worried 'cause the kids are in back. That's what the ad's about.

TOBY
You think it's gonna be effective?

WILL
I think it says the President and a bunch of Hollywood types want to put
your kids in
a small car so that they can save the sky.

TOBY
How did the Hollywood types get into this equation?

WILL
I don't know, how do they ever?

TOBY
You think we should run a counter ad.

WILL
We have to.

TOBY
Saying what?

WILL
Oh, I don't know.

TOBY
What do you mean?

WILL
What do you mean?

TOBY
We've been sitting here for 20 minutes.

WILL
I came in to show you the spots and to tell you I think we should run a
counter ad.
I don't have an idea for one.

TOBY
Well, get one. Have an idea. Don't come in here with half a thing and not
be able to--
you know, after you've walked me to the brink and say, "We've got to do this,
it's
important, though I have no earthly idea how." Like one of those guys who
buys a big
new thing but doesn't really know how to get the most out of it!

WILL
Toby, either get Andy to marry you or kill yourself.

TOBY
[beat] Yeah.

WILL
I'll start putting together a counter ad.

TOBY
Thanks.

WILL
You want me to turns these lights down or something, draw the blinds?

TOBY
No.

WILL
Okay.

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY
Donna is sitting at Josh's desk reading, when we hear a noise of something
tapping
on glass.

DONNA
Stop it.

Tapping.

DONNA
Stop it.

Tapping.

DONNA
Stop it.

Tapping. Donna turns around and speaks to something behind her.

DONNA
You have to stop it!

She turns back around and we hear the tapping noise again. Outside the window
where we
see a white dove pecking at the glass. Donna gets up and walks over to the
window.

DONNA
Stop it. You are gonna hurt your beak. Stop it!

Josh enters his office and sees Donna talking to the window.

JOSH
What the hell are you doing?

DONNA
I'm sorry, but this bird has been sitting here tapping on the window for... I'm
not
kidding, I don't know how long, but a long time. I've lost track 'cause I'm
moving
into certain phases of dementia with this thing.

JOSH
Well, let me get rid of it.

DONNA
No, no, no, no, no.

JOSH
What?

DONNA
What are you going to do?

JOSH
I'm gonna scare him away.

DONNA
No.

JOSH
Why?

DONNA
It's not nice.

JOSH
I'm not going to hurt him. I'm just...

DONNA
No, come on, he's a bird. He's not bothering anybody.

JOSH
In a second he's going to be bothering me, right?

DONNA
No.

Tapping.

DONNA
Stop it. [to Josh] No, because you're gonna want to go see Leo right now.

JOSH
Why?

DONNA
Carol got a call in the press office. "Did the White House press the Justice
Department
to call of their anti-trust investigation of Casseon."

JOSH
No.

DONNA
No what?

JOSH
No, we didn't.

DONNA
You don't want to take the call to Leo?

JOSH
Justice didn't call off the investigation. They reached a settlement with
Casseon.

DONNA
The call was from the Post, and they say they have a source.

JOSH
You can work with C.J.'s office to run down the source, I guess, and see
what's going on.

DONNA
You're saying I can do this?

Quincy knocks on the door and enters.

QUINCY
Excuse me.

JOSH
Hey. [to Donna] Hang on. [to Quincy] How's it going so far?

QUINCY
Good. Thanks. I was wondering if I had a few questions for Leo McGarry,
do I go straight
to his office or do you like me to run it by you first?

JOSH
At the beginning I'm going to ask you to give me a quick hit just so you
can learn how
to keep the crazy stuff out of his office.

The bird taps on the window.

DONNA and JOSH
Stop it!

JOSH
Why, what do you got?

QUINCY
A reporter looking into the White House suppressing a NASA Commision.

JOSH
This is two in one day. I just got "Did the White House interfere with
Casseon
anti-trust?" [to Donna] Yeah, you can go ahead and work with C.J.'s office...
[to Quincy] and sure.

DONNA
Thanks.

Quincy and Donna start to walk out.

JOSH
Wait. What did they say we got in exchange for calling off the D.O.J.?

DONNA
A 100,000 computers in classrooms.

JOSH
They said that? You weren't just making a joke?

DONNA
No.

JOSH
They said that to... Carol said the reporter said that?

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
Well, now we go see Leo.

They walk out the HALLWAYS.

DONNA
So, you're our new sawbones.

QUINCY
A sawbones is a doctor.

DONNA
Is it?

QUINCY
Yeah. Lawyer's a shyster.

DONNA
[to Josh] I got him to say it.

QUINCY
I don't... Josh is a lawyer.

DONNA
Well, yeah, I mean he went to law school, but...

Josh looks at her.

DONNA
You don't practice law is all I was saying.

JOSH
I don't practice law? I help write the laws, I write the laws, I make the
laws,
I am the law.

They enter LEO'S OUTER OFFICE, where Margaret is.

DONNA
We're having a problem with a bird outside our office, are you having that
problem?

QUINCY
Oh, better than that. I think I may have a family of bats.

JOSH
Margaret, this is Joe Quincy.

MARGARET
Yes, Joe. The girls in the Political Affairs Office saw you before and asked
me to
tell you that they wouldn't have covered your parking spot with mayonnaise
if they'd
known you were a biscuit.

QUINCY
Okay. Well, tell them, you know, no problem.

JOSH
Leo...

Josh, Donna, and Joe continue to LEO'S OFFICE.

LEO
What do you need? Quickly. Set a record right now. Make the news.

JOSH
[to Quincy] You mind if I go first? [to Leo] Okay, Donna just got a question
from the
Post... "Did we..." I'm sorry, by the way, have you met...

LEO
Yeah, I met him. What?

JOSH
[to Quincy] All right, you go first.

QUINCY
Yeah, Mr. McGarry, the Press Secretary came to me with a question from the
Post's
science editor, who has a source claiming that a NASA study was classified
at the
urging of the White House.

LEO
What do they think it said?

QUINCY
That... sir, I'm, you know... they claim it said that a meteorite from
Mars... from
Mars was discovered in Antarctica about 30 years ago and that we found
fossilized
carbonate molecules. That we know there's life on Mars, that's what they're
saying
we're suppressing.

LEO
The Defense Department classified the NASA Commision report.

QUINCY
I'm sorry?

LEO
That report was classified by the Department of Defense.

QUINCY
The report exists.

LEO
Well, I can't tell you that Joe, the report was classified. But I can tell
you it was
classified by the Defense Department. [to Josh] What about you?

JOSH
Did we get the Justice Department to call off it's anti-trust investigation
with Casseon?

LEO
They didn't call it off, they settled.

JOSH
I know, but ask Donna what they bribed us with. Tell him what the Post said
we got in
exchange for calling off Justice.

DONNA
100,000 computers in classrooms.

They all look at Donna.

DONNA
What?

LEO
That was part of the settlement-- 100,000 computers.

JOSH
There's a leak. This, Mars, the people... don't even get me started on that
'cause the
stuff I think you still won't tell me. Who knew about the terms with Casseon
outside us...
and now them?

LEO
The President, me and you, Counsel, Counsel at Treasury and Commerce. Two,
three guys at
NEC. Hackley, Little, May...

JOSH
The Vice President.

LEO
Yeah. The Assistant Attorney General for anti-trust. Did we say the...

QUINCY
Excuse me. Are you saying the Vice President knew the terms of the Casseon
settlement?

JOSH
Sure.

LEO
Fix this, would you please? There's a story out there we're obstructing
justice and
another one we're like in a Ray Bradbury barn. These things make me crazy.

JOSH
Yes, sir.

LEO
Thank you.

JOSH
Thank you.

DONNA
Thank you.

QUINCY
Thank you.

Leo, Josh, and Donna exit the office leaving Quincy alone. He stands in the
office and
thinks, then walks out.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY

	2 P.M.

Will is giving a lecture as Lauren Chin walks in with a box of food.

WILL
All right, it's got to be something like this. It's going to be something--
all it
needs is, it's got to be something pointing toward...

CHIN
I'm sorry. Cassie, you have the turkey?

CASSIE
Yeah.

WILL
A soccer mom. No. Fade in on an SUV stuck in the mud. The soccer mom behind
the wheel
is switching from reverse to drive, her wheels spinning in place and behind
her, we see
she's pulling-- wait for it--

ROMANO
A Saudi oil rig.

WILL
A Saudi oil rig, that's exactly right. She's trying to pull a Saudi oil
rig. We're in
mind meld right now, Lauren number two and I.

ROMANO
I'm number three.

WILL
I moved you up, you see what happens?

CASSIE
How are people gonna know it's a Saudi oil rig?

WILL
How are people gonna know it's a Saudi oil rig?

ROMANO
Well, that's a good point.

WILL
Yeah, you know, you had the number two ranking among the Laurens, but you
lost it.
[to Chin] She's number one 'cause she got the food, then I expect the two
of you to
compete for the two spot.

SHELBY
Will?

WILL
What you got, Lauren Shelby?

SHELBY
What if instead of hauling a Saudi oil rig, she's hauling actual Saudis?

WILL
Hauling Saudis? Like a U-Haul full of Saudis?

ROMANO
Maybe the oil rig could have Arabic writing on it.

WILL
Is this coming awfully close to a 15-second spot the Klan might produce?

SHELBY
[to Romano] I was about to say.

CHIN
You have the chicken?

ROMANO
Thank you. I'm starving.

CHIN
You know what we should do? We should use the same family.

ROMANO
Hey, yes, it's the same family. We get the same actors, driving an SUV this
time, but
they have to stop every three miles for gas.

WILL
I like it. Who else?

CASSIE
How's that joke gonna play in 15 seconds?

WILL
How's it gonna play in 15 seconds?

Romano doesn't answer.

WILL
All right, give your food back.

SHELBY
Will?

WILL
We're not hauling Saudis.

SHELBY
You understand I'm not saying the soccer mom's dragging them up the
hill. They'd be
super comfortable.

WILL
Stop talking.

SHELBY
Okay.

CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY
Toby is eating a salad while he and Charlie watches a tennis match on the tv.

CHARLIE
Helen Baldwin is gonna write a book. She's retained an agent, who sent around
a two-page
outline, and there's a bidding war. Random House has brought it for low
seven figures
according to Stu Winkle. Could that possibly be his real name? [reading
newspaper]
"Baldwin, long a fixture in D.C. and Manhattan Society, whether for her work
on charity
boards or her position on the arm of some of Wall Street, Washington and
Hollywood's
most eligble men, as well as hosting some of beltways favorite..." What the
hell kind
of sentence is this? This is 73-year-old lady who works in the Residence,
cleaning and
winding all the clocks. She won't retire. She inherited it from her mother
who inherited
it from her mother. She earns $22,000 a year. She's trusted to walk in and
out of rooms
where there's personal correspondance, where she can hear if the President
and First Lady
are having a fight, where she can see people come for secret meetings,
and she's been
doing this for five decades worth of Presidents. Her name is Mrs. Wheely,
and I said,
"Mrs. Wheely, you really should write a book," and she said, "No, no, no,
we don't do
that." 22,000 a year.

TOBY
You said I wouldn't even know you were here. Just so you know, I can tell
that you are.

CHARLIE
Are you eating a salad?

TOBY
Yeah.

CHARLIE
Why?

TOBY
'Cause I am.

CHARLIE
I don't think I've ever seen you eat a salad. What kind of salad is it?

TOBY
I don't know.

CHARLIE
Just mixed greens?

TOBY
I don't know what kind of salad it is. I'm eating a salad, okay? I'm doing
it. Do I have
to know the names? There's no difference between them. It's a bowl of
weeds. Some of them
have cheese. This isn't the kind with cheese. Does that answer your
question? How many
years have you guys been "Toby, you eat like a teenager. Toby, that's red
meat. That's
your second cigar." Here I am eating a salad, which by the way, you could
cover this
thing in barbecue sauce and it would still tastes like the ground, and I'm
getting
heckled from the gallery, who wanted to come in here to eat his roast beef
sandwich with
ketchup on a kaiser roll and watch the damn tennis on my TV! That's all I'm
saying.

CHARLIE
Man, Toby, you're really doing everything you can do to get that woman to
marry you?

TOBY
Yes, I'm doing everything I can. [to Quincy, who has entered] What?

QUINCY
Excuse me, I'm Joe Quincy. They told you I was coming by.

TOBY
Yeah. You're the new sawbones.

QUINCY
Donna Moss already got me to say it.

TOBY
Damn it. This is Charlie Young.

QUINCY
Sure.

CHARLIE
How you doing?

QUINCY
Your office had requested comments on your draft statement about a decision
from the
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

TOBY
Yeah. If Counsel's fine, you just have C.J. Cregg's office put it out.

QUINCY
Yeah, I saw it was headed there, the language is incendiary, and I wasn't
sure if you
know that you couldn't beat up on the Appeals Courts and then expect the
Supreme Courts
to hear the case.

TOBY
Did I beat up on them in the notes for the press comments?

QUINCY
Yes.

TOBY
What did I say?

QUINCY
You said in this case that the Fourth Circuit lack the judicial imagination
God gave
pistachio nuts.

TOBY
[laughs] They did!

QUINCY
Perhaps.

TOBY
Joe, did you think I was going to have the Press Secretary, on behalf of
the President,
compare a Federal judge to a pistachio nut? The language gets cleaned up on
C.J.'s desk.

QUINCY
That makes sense.

CHARLIE
Toby is distracted by a woman. And salads.

TOBY
You know when you do ten minutes on Helen Baldwin getting a book deal,
it's righteous,
but I speak my mind after getting poked with a stick and it's 'cause of Andy!

QUINCY
Helen Balwin has a book deal?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

QUINCY
Where did you find that out?

CHARLIE
I'm glad you asked, 'cause it gives me the opportunity to say 'Stu Winkle.' I
got it
from Stu Winkle, the Post's man in the stick of it.

QUINCY
He's their gossip guy?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

QUINCY
Is he new there?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

QUINCY
Okay. The northwest lobby is... is that way?

TOBY
Yeah. You just go that way and then, you know, ask somebody else.

QUINCY
Thanks. Sorry for jumping the gun on the Fourth Circuit.

TOBY
Joe? What's going on?

QUINCY
I'm sure it's nothing, and this is just my first day.

Toby looks at him with skepticism.

QUINCY
Two press inquires, they came to my attention that sounded... alike is
all. Can I get
back to you?

TOBY
Make sure you do.

Joe exits.

FADE TO BLACK.

	5 P.M.

FADE IN: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY

DONNA
Josh thinks you should advance the numbers on sales of first homes to the
Journal.
He said the Times got sales of existing homes.

C.J.
You know what happens with negotiated press leaks? Two-thirds of the press
gives us
lousy coverage 'cause they're tweaked that they didn't get the leak, and
the other
third...

Tapping.

C.J.
...doesn't give us better coverage 'cause they...

Tapping.

C.J.
What was that?

DONNA
I don't believe it. Josh has this guy at his window, too.

C.J.
They think they see the reflection in the window, and they think it's another
bird.

DONNA
What's the learning curve on a bird?

Tapping.

DONNA
Stop it.

Quincy knocks on the door and enters.

QUINCY
Excuse me.

C.J.
Sorry, we thought for a second you were a huge bird knocking on the door.

QUINCY
Is something going on with birds?

C.J.
Well, one of them is obsessed with Donna.

DONNA
It's true, I'm like Tippi Hedren around here.

QUINCY
I'm sorry, would you mind if...

DONNA
No.

Donna exits and closes the door behind her.

QUINCY
Can I close the door?

C.J.
Donna just did.

QUINCY
You said the Science editor, when he came to you with a question about the
NASA Commision...

C.J.
I wouldn't worry to much about Mars. I gave it to you to give you a hard time.

QUINCY
No kidding. By the way, there was a report, but it was classified by the
Defense Department.
And we'll leave how much I didn't want to know about that for another time.

C.J.
What's the problem?

QUINCY
You said the science editor had a blind source, that it came from someone
else at the paper,
and I... I think I know who it was.

C.J.
Who?

QUINCY
A guy name Stu Winkle who has a new gossip column.

C.J.
How would a gossip columnist get a hold of a story about the Pentagon?

QUINCY
I'd rather not say yet.

C.J.
Why?

QUINCY
'Cause if I'm wrong, it'll be inappropriate that I suggested it, and I'll
be held in
contempt.

C.J.
You are wrong.

QUINCY
No, I'm not.

C.J.
Stu Winkles don't get tips about the White House illegally suppresing reports.

QUINCY
The NASA reports over. I'm not concerned with that. Would you mind calling
him right
now and leading him to confirm that he's the other reporter?

C.J.
You want me to call Stu Winkle?

QUINCY
He has a new column. You're calling to wish him luck.

C.J.
I don't usually make personal calls to gossip columnist.

QUINCY
He's going to be very flattered.

C.J.
And you won't tell me why?

QUINCY
No.

C.J.
Even if I give you assurances that I already hold you in contempt?

QUINCY
Yes.

C.J.
Carol!

Carol enters.

C.J.
Would you get me Stu Winkle at the Washington Post?

CAROL
I'm sorry?

C.J.
Stu Winkle at the Post.

CAROL
Winkle?

C.J.
Yes.

Carol exits.

QUINCY
Okay, when you get him in the phone. here's what you say...

C.J.
I know what to say.

While waiting for Carol, C.J. picks up a folder and begins to read it. She
chuckles to
herself.

C.J.
Judicial imagination of pistachio nuts. Can't say that to the Fourth Circuit.

QUINCY
No.

Carol enters.

CAROL
C.J., you have Stu Winkle on one.

Carol exits and C.J. pushes the button putting Stu on speakerphone.

C.J.
Stu, this is C.J. Cregg at the White House.

Silence on the other end.

C.J.
Stu?

STU WINKLE [VO]
Oh, my God, it's really you, isn' it?

C.J.
It is, and I saw you have a new column and I think it's terrific and everyone
here at
the White House wishes you a lot of luck.

STU [VO]
You are the classiest thing for calling me.

C.J.
Well...

STU [VO]
You are the classiest thing! You're my hero, C.J. Your brilliance and your
sense of
humor and your clothes...

C.J.
Thank you.

STU [VO]
The evening gowns, who makes them for you? Do not tell me you buy off the
rack, I'll
kill you.

C.J.
Well, I'm a girl on a budget.

STU [VO]
Oh, don't try that on me.

C.J.
No, really.

STU [VO]
Oh, yeah, like the party at the Japanese Embassy, you were wearing a dress
from Saks.

C.J.
Stu, I wanted to get you a direct answer to that NASA Commision question
that Ralph Gish
and Katie brought me this morning. It was the Defense Department and not
the White House
who classified the report.

He doesn't respond.

C.J.
Stu?

STU [VO]
Uh, well, that makes perfect sense. I hope, I hope you don't mind, it sounded
crazy
enough, but what do I know? So, you got to run these things down. You know,
I know
you have all the free time in the world, but it would be great if we can
get together
for a quick coffee one day, and I'll tell you why. You may find this hard
to believe,
but before I got into this lighter stuff, I was a serious journalist. I
don't mean
boring/serious, but, you know...

As Stu continues to ramble on, Quincy shows C.J. the article written by Stu
Winkle on
Helen Baldwin getting a book signing deal. He then places a yellow legal
note pad down
on that desk that has "Question from Reporter: NASA Commision" and "Question
from
reporter: Anti-trust" circled. He then places a white packet on C.J.'s desk
titled:
"White House Telephone Record: Outgoing and Incoming". He opens up to the
first page
where we see that he has highlighted all the times that Vice President John
Hoynes has
called Helen Baldwin from his office phone. Stu is still rambling.

C.J.
Stu, thank you very much. I'm sorry, I have to go.

STU [VO]
Well, I cannot tell you how class...

C.J. hangs up the phone on him.

C.J.
Carol?

Carol enters.

CAROL
Yeah.

C.J.
I need to see Josh and Toby, and Joe needs to see the Vice President.

CAROL
Okay.

Carol exits followed by Joe, leaving C.J. alone in her office thinking about
what she
just found out.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. HOYNES' OFFICE - NIGHT
CAPTIONS: 7:45 P.M.
John Hoynes is meeting with his chief of staff, Stevie, intern Claire Huddle
and
several other staffers.

HOYNES
I want Cairo to focus on legal and regulatory reform. We got the whole
regulatory
agenda left over from last time.

AIDE MARK
We do.

HOYNES
Seriously, the whole agenda is left over.

STEVIE
And Vice President Abu El-Azm wants the trade and investment framework.

HOYNES
Yeah, well, my point is, we can get to that in a closed-door session, and
you can
understand it can't appear as if I'm saying the Syrian question is less
urgent.

TATUM
Yes, sir.

An aide walks in, nods to Hoynes and then leaves.

HOYNES
Well, it's been a long day. We're done.

STEVIE
Thank you sir.

AIDE MARK
Thank you, Mr. Vice Preisdent.

They all get up and begin to exit.

HOYNES
Guys? Do me a favor. Don't go home yet. Wait for me a minute, okay?

ALL
Yes, sir.

They exit and Toby, Josh, C.J. and Joe Quincy enter.

JOSH
Good evening, Mr. Vice President.

HOYNES
Good evening. You brought friendly faces.

JOSH
Sir?

HOYNES
You brought friendly faces. That was considerate. You're Joe Quincy?

QUINCY
Yes, sir.

HOYNES
This is your first day?

QUINCY
Yes, sir.

HOYNES
Well, they're going to put you picture up someplace. You're going to get
honored at
a luncheon. We were just meeting in here. I have a bilateral commisin with
the Vice
President of Egypt. It's in Cairo this year. We see how legal and financial
systems
can attract foreign investments, so look out for ShopEgypt.org, I suppose. And
you're
going to tell me I'm not going to Cairo.

JOSH
Mr. Vice President, have you been having an affair with Helen Baldwin while
here at
the White House?

TOBY
He's asking because...

HOYNES
I should hit you in the face.

TOBY
He's asking because...

HOYNES
I know why he's asking. I know why he's asking. I understand why you're
here. I've
spoken with C.J. [pause] Yes. And I like to show off. I... said things. I
said I'd
seen proof of life on Mars. I said I'd intervened at the Justice Department
to put
100,000 computers into classrooms, which I thought made me sound like a good
guy.
[to Quincy] What, did you hear a rumour once?

QUINCY
Yes, sir.

HOYNES
And you saw Helen had a book deal, you knew she must have teased them with
something.
It's a tell-all. Couple of items in the gossip columns. Maybe the gossip
guy was the
Science Editor's contact?

QUINCY
Yes, sir.

HOYNES
Well, you earned your money today. This could have been bad, but you found
it early.
What do I do now?

QUINCY
Sir, I'm an Associate Counsel, and this is my first day. I've spoken to
Oliver Babish,
who's gotten on a plane...

HOYNES
What do I do now?

QUINCY
I think you've got to talk to your family now, sir.

HOYNES
Thanks.

C.J.
Thank you, Mr. Vice Presidnet.

TOBY
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

JOSH
Thank you, sir.

Hoynes walks to the window and looks out while they exit.

CUT TO: INT. OEOB HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

JOSH
[to Quincy] I hope I didn't see you smile in there.

QUINCY
You didn't.

C.J.
Josh.

JOSH
Yeah?

C.J.
You didn't.

CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT

	8:30 P.M.

SHELBY
Gas Mask.

WILL
Yes?

SHELBY
Something with gas mask.

WILL
[to Shelby] Sing to me, Lauren Romano.

ROMANO
I'm Lauren Romano.

WILL
Keep going with the gas mask.

SHELBY
Mothers barely able to even see their children through the haze of gas masks.

WILL
Wow, you rode it right off the rails there, didn't you?

SHELBY
I did.

CHIN
Anyone else thinks it's weird that Toby had a salad?

WILL
Anyone else thinks it's weird that it was nine hours ago, and Lauren Romano's
still
talking about it?

ROMANO
I'm Lauren Romano.

WILL
Clear blue sky.

The camera tilts down into a slowly thickening haze... Toby enters.

WILL
[to Toby] Listen to this. Clear blue sky.

The camera tilts down into a slowly thickening haze until it levels on a
suburban street.
An SUV filled with mom, dad and the kids-- the same actors from the other ad,
and Rex--
they get out, and they're wearing gas masks. We've also got one where the
family's towing
Saudi's in a U-Haul.

TOBY
Doesn't really have the feel of high-minded debate, does it?

WILL
No, but actually, you don't want it to.

TOBY
Why not?

WILL
'Cause we're countering an attack ad, and when you're in the trenches on
one of these
things, and they're throwing...

TOBY
But we're not in the trenches. Two bodies of government are debating fuel
efficiency at
the highest level. We're not in the trenches. I don't know. I know it's a
15-second spot.
We got to scare them. I just don't feel like doing that tonight. Will,
you need to come
with me. I need to tell you what's about to happen.

Will and Toby exit.

CUT TO: EXT. PORTICO - NIGHT
Bartlet and Leo are out on the portico waiting, when Hoynes walks up.

BARTLET
You've talked to Suzanne?

HOYNES
I'm sorry, sir?

BARTLET
You've talked to Suzanne?

HOYNES
Yeah.

LEO
What happened?

HOYNES
You know what happened.

LEO
Tell me again. How many times? When did it start?

HOYNES
I don't think it matters.

LEO
I'll tell you what, Mr. Vice President. For this moment, tonight, I'm going
to be in
charge of deciding what matters. 47 phone calls? Did you not know that the
White House
keeps records of phone calls? Did you not know that? How many times? When
did it start?

HOYNES
It is none of your business.

LEO
I'm about to read about it in a book.

HOYNES
Then read about it!

LEO
Didn't it ever occur to you that she might do this?

HOYNES
No. I didn't think she would.

BARTLET
You were wrong.

LEO
Do you think there's anyone else behind this?

HOYNES
I don't know.

LEO
Do you think she may have been coached by Republican Leadership?

HOYNES
I don't know.

LEO
John, if we are going to weather this, then we're going to have to...

HOYNES
We're not going to weather this.

LEO
We will.

HOYNES
We won't. I'm resigning.

BARTLET
If we're going to do this, we got to start tonight, now, and I need you
thinking now
and not giving up...

HOYNES
Yes, sir, I'm resigning the Vice Presidency.

BARTLET
What about "It's none of your business?"

HOYNES
I leaked classified information. It is their business. It's also a felony.

LEO
Are you in a position to deny it?

HOYNES
No.

LEO
She's made a seven-figure book deal. She's not going to have a lot of
credibility.

HOYNES
Well, since when does she need credibility?

BARTLET
Apologize and move on. Accept responsibilty. You don't need to disclose
details. She's
going to take care of that for you. You're going to be the dinner special
for two months,
and then you've got two and half years to get the nomination.

HOYNES
I'm not getting the nomination.

BARTLET
In the middle of MS, it looked like we were never going to recover, and we
did.

HOYNES
Which is why it is never going to happen again.

BARTLET
John...

HOYNES
That was it. that was the one you get.

BARTLET
Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Vice President, if my multiple sclerosis was a bummer
for your
sex life. How the hell did you do this to us?! You can't resign, John. It's
a terrible
signal to send.

HOYNES
Sir, if I stay, it sabotages an entire agenda, and you know I'm right,
and the party's
going to need a candidate that can win. And I think the least I think I can
do for
Suzanne is not to drag her through it so much.

BARTLET
Is there more? Is there another shoe, 'cause if it's a series of...

HOYNES
I'd imagine she's going to describe...

LEO
You're still going to get dragged through it, sir. It's not going to change
anything.
Only now, you're going to be out there alone, with no mechanism or apparatus
for a
comeback.

HOYNES
Leo...

LEO
Which I'm telling you, you can do. You can make it. I can help you.

HOYNES
I don't want to take my family through it.

LEO
You're a giant, John. You're a U.S. Senator, the Vice-President of the United
States,
and presumptive nominee of your party. You cannot be taken down by
this... cheap person
and her customers huddled around Macy's window waiting for someone to turn
themselves
inside out. It's cause for divorce, not resignation. You cannot be taken
down by this
cheap person.

HOYNES
The President knows I'm right. So do you. The truth is, I took an oath,
too... so...

BARTLET
Didn't you have any sense that this was the kind of person who would do this?

HOYNES
Hasn't it been your experience that they look pretty much like the people
who wouldn't?

BARTLET
Well, I want you to sleep on it. I want all of us to sleep on it.

HOYNES
Thank you, Mr. President.

They watch Hoynes leave.

FADE TO BLACK.

	TUESDAY 6 A.M.

FADE IN: EXT. DRIVEWAY - DAY
It is raining and we see that cab that Claire Huddle has gotten out of
pulling away.

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
Charlie and Claire are walking though the halls where the pass by the
Roosevelt room
where Joe Quincy watches as they pass.

CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Bartlet throws the newspaper on his desk and takes the letter from Claire.

BARTLET
Why did you take a cab?

CLAIRE
My car wouldn't start.

BARTLET
I'm sorry?

CLAIRE
My car wouldn't start.

BARTLET
You know what's in here?

She doesn't respond.

BARTLET
It's okay.

She nods her head. Bartlet opens the letter and reads.

BARTLET
Okay.

Claire leaves. Bartlet walks over to LEO'S OFFICE and enters.

BARTLET
[to Leo] Yeah, we're going to need a new Vice President.

He closes the door.

DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES.
FADE TO BLACK.
THE END
* * *

The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John
Wells
Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement
is intended.

Episode 4.21 -- "Life On Mars"
Original Air Date: April 30, 2003, 9:00 PM EST

Transcibed by: ck1czar
June 12, 2003
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