Season 5 – Episode 20 – “No Exit”

Episode Summary:

After a black-tie dinner, the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff are locked down in the White House when a foreign substance is detected inside, forcing an odd coupling of peole who are forced to occupy small rooms where they share personal reflections — and some turn confrontational when Toby (Richard Schiff) accuses Will (Joshua Malina) of backstabbing Bartlet. As the inspection continues, the President, Fiderer (Lily Tomlin) and Charlie (Dule Hill) submit to intense inspection while in other corners, C.J. (Allison Janney) has strong career advice for Donna (Janel Moloney) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) queries security adviser Kate (Mary McCormack) on why his joke was deleted from the Chief’s speech.

Script:

THE WEST WING
5X20 - "NO EXIT"

 TELEPLAY BY CAROL FLINT & DEBORA CAHN
 STORY BY CAROL FLINT & MARK GOFFMAN
 DIRECTED BY JULIE HeBERT

TRANSCRIBED BY SOUNDMAN FOR TWIZ TV.COM
 SEND FEEDBACK TO sparticus1611@hotmail.com.

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 DISCLAIMER:
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 "THE WEST WING" and other related entities are owned, (TM) and (c) by Aaron
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 ==========================
 TRANSCRIPT:
 ==========================

 TEASER

FADE IN: EXT. - STREET - DC - NIGHT

We see the presidential motorcade driving down the street. We hear Debbie
laughing from inside the limo.

BARTLET
Even the Latin line got a laugh.

CUT TO: INT. - PRESIDENTIAL LIMO - NIGHT

Bartlet, Debbie, and Leo are in the limo driving back to the White House.

DEBBIE
I'm still laughing.

BARTLET
Real reason I went for a second term: couple more years between this gig,
the Gridiron, and the Alfalfa Club, I'll be ready for the Def Comedy circuit.

DEBBIE
I'd hold out for Vegas, sir.

BARTLET
My first Correspondent's Dinner was a nightmare. Bombed.

LEO
Put that behind you tonight.

BARTLET
I killed.

Bartlet holds out a tissue box to Debbie and she takes a tissue.

BARTLET
They laughed till they cried. They're still crying.

DEBBIE
Honestly, sir, in my case, it's the pollen count. But for an Anglo-Saxon,
you were darn funny.

CUT TO: EXT. - WHITE HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - NIGHT

The motorcade pulls up and parks. Bartlet, Leo, and Debbie get out.

BARTLET
Here we go.

DEBBIE
Ah, thank you, sir. I go forth to bring word of your triumph.

LEO
We still got a phone call with the Japanese Defense Minister.

BARTLET
Let's do it upstairs. I've got to check in with Charlie first. Agent Broder,
May I?

Agent Broder pulls out a pack of cigarettes and opens it up for Bartlet to
get one.

BARTLET
Thank you. Tell me something.

AGENT BRODER
Yeah.

BARTLET
Do you even smoke?

BRODER
Gave it up a year ago.

BARTLET
Ha. That's what I call willpower.

LEO
That's what I call enabler.

CUT TO: INT. - SECRET SERVICE WATCHROOM - NIGHT

We see inside that watchroom that several agents are monitoring computer
screens and video monitors. We see on a large screen C.J. walking through
the White House lobby. She is carrying a very larger bouquet of flowers. Will
comes into the lobby and almost runs into her.

C.J.
Whoa.

WILL
Here, let me.

CUT TO: INT. - LOBBY - WHITE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

C.J.
No, you shouldn't. I'm the idiot who... It's an Ohio thing. If it's going
to be thrown away...

WILL
There I was coveting one of these things all through dinner.

C.J.
What? It's yours.

WILL
No, I wasn't serious.

C.J.
I'm not going to even be around this weekend to enjoy them.

Will takes the bouquet and they go in opposite directions. We see Josh and
Donna walking and we follow them to Donna's cubicle.

DONNA
He used your other stuff.

JOSH
That's not the point.

DONNA
It's not?

JOSH
The point is the line worked. I liked it, the President liked it. He had
nine laugh-out-louds; he could have had ten.

DONNA
Yet the world keeps turning.

JOSH
Look it up.

DONNA
This is me looking. Here we go. Line 27... "delete per NSC. Code 2.2a
indication. Commander Harper."

JOSH
NSC? The NSC killed my Panama joke?

DONNA
Was it a joke about warheads?

JOSH
Call Colonel Klink over there. I want to know what happened.

DONNA
Now? I'm calling.

JOSH
2.2a my...

Josh goes into his office.

DONNA
Josh Lyman's office for Commander Harper, please.

Josh comes back out carrying a fishing pole and a fish basket.

JOSH
On your way out, give this to C.J.

DONNA
Really?

CUT TO: INT. - SECRET SERVICE WATCHROOM - NIGHT

We again see the computer monitor and it is monitoring.

AGENT LEE
Your wife called. Said don't forget the video.

BRODER
My daughter's having a sleepover. We're talking Nemo.

LEE
Whatever you say, sir.

BRODER
Remind me to have you pull more Saturday nights, Lee.

We see that the green line on the computer screen has become slightly more
erratic.

CUT TO: INT. - OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Debbie and Charlie are talking.

CHARLIE
So, he pulled it off?

DEBBIE
Grading on a curve, yes.

CHARLIE
But...

DEBBIE
You can't tell him.

CHARLIE
Okay.

DEBBIE
Second half, I was in the ladies' room.

CHARLIE
Hay fever.

DEBBIE
And I was seated with the guests of, um... I thought they were the guests
of Leno's. Whoever they were, they were drenched with cologne.

CHARLIE
You should have said something.

DEBBIE
What? "Would you mind scrubbing your necks before we have our salad?"

CHARLIE
You're allergic.

DEBBIE
It's not an allergy; it is a sensitivity.

CHARLIE
Kind of looks like an allergy.

Bartlet comes in from the Oval Office still dressed in his tuxedo.

DEBBIE
You just tell me your hot water's turned back on so I won't worry about you
all weekend.

CHARLIE
My hot water is back on. It will be.

BARTLET
Charlie, did you pull DOD's report on the Pacific Missile Shield?

CHARLIE
It's right here.

BARTLET
Thank you. Leo's coming to the Residence. We're going to take that call from
the Japanese up there.

CHARLIE
I'll send it up.

He hands Bartlet a folder.

BARTLET
What happened to your hot water?

CHARLIE
Nothing. It's all squared away, sir.

BARTLET
Are you falling behind on your bills, Char?

CHARLIE
I'm fine, sir. Thank you.

BARTLET
I'm sure there's some statute that prevents me from staking you to a loan,
but Debbie's a soft touch.

We hear Debbie sniffling and suddenly she sneezes very loudly.

CUT TO: INT. - SECRET SERVICE WATCHROOM - NIGHT

We see on the computer screen that a monitoring system has started alerting. We
also hear an alarm.

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT

Agent Broder is walking to his car. His phone starts ringing and he answers it.

BRODER
Broder.

CUT TO: INT. - SECRET SERVICE WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS

LEE
We're getting a ping, on the EHM.

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

BRODER
The Rosey Room again?

LEE [VO]
No, sir. Outer office to the Oval.

CUT TO: INT. - SECRET SERVICE WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS

We see Lee indicate something to a nearby agent.

LEE
I'm crashing the House.

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

BRODER
Where's...?

LEE [VO]
Eagle is covered.

CUT TO: INT. - SECRET SERVICE WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS

LEE
I need help securing the West Wing.

BRODER
On my way.

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

We see Broder hang up his phone and he starts running.

CUT TO: INT. - OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Bartlet, Charlie, and Debbie are still standing and talking when a female
agent comes in. She hands face masks to Bartlet, Charlie and Debbie.

AGENT
Mr. President, I need you to don a mask. This is a crash, put these on, please.

BARTLET
Is this a drill?

AGENT
No, sir. The Environmental Hazard Detector's picking up and unusual pattern
of airborne particles.

BARTLET
We've had a couple of false alarms for anthrax since the last patch.

AGENT
Everyone follow me. This way, quickly.

BARTLET
Just do what she says.

They follow the agent out of the office.

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

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. - JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - NIGHT

We see Donna walking through the bullpen to C.J.'s office. She is carrying
the fishing gear that Josh gave her earlier. She meets a press worker named
JACK SOSA waiting outside C.J.'s office.

JACK
Look who it is. Nice rod.

DONNA
Is she gone?

JACK
Ladies' room.

He hands her a fairly large book.

JACK
Press detail for the CODEL. Have a fabulous time.

DONNA

What's...?

JACK
Faxes need to clear a 90-minute window before briefing. Try and keep track
of your time zones. And don't drink the water.

CUT TO: INT. - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT

We see Will coming into the Communications office still carrying the bouquet
of flowers.

TOBY
Was the Vice President happy with his speech tonight?

WILL
You know how many Bob Russell jokes were told tonight? 32. I almost lost
count. I was gonna carve notches on my belt.

TOBY
You're not answering my question.

WILL
Vice President Russell's a guy who went to Hong Kong, opened a fortune cookie
and found an actual fortune. What does that even mean?

TOBY
That Bob Russell's corrupt.

WILL
Okay, I know what it means, but my point is..

TOBY
Come in here.

They go into Will's old office.

CUT TO: INT. - BASEMENT - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

We see the female Agent leading Bartlet, Debbie, and Charlie to the
Decontamination Area.

CHARLIE
First time?

Debbie nods her head.

BARTLET
You're in for a treat.

AGENT
None of you came in any contact with any powdery or gooey substances?

CHARLIE
Nope.

AGENT
Open any sealed containers?

DEBBIE
Breath mints, in a tin on my desk.

BARTLET

I smoked a cigarette. Did the First Lady install a nicotine upgrade on
the detector?

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Kate Harper comes to the door of Josh's office.

HARPER
Josh Lyman?

JOSH
Yes.

HARPER
You asked to see me. Kate Harper. I'm the new Deputy NSA.

JOSH
You're Commander Harper.

HARPER
Kate's fine. Sorry I haven't gotten around to introducing myself to everyone
yet...

Her beeper goes off.

HARPER
Excuse me. I'm just gonna grab one of these.

She grabs a case of water from the hall.

JOSH
You thirsty?

HARPER
Would you like one?

JOSH
No, thanks. I'm about to head out.

A Secret Service Agent comes to the door.

AGENT
We're crashed, Mr. Lyman.

JOSH
Now?

AGENT
Thank you, Ms. Harper.

JOSH
Almost out the...

AGENT
I need you to stay where you are.

He closes the door behind him. Josh's beeper goes off.

JOSH
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - NIGHT

Toby and Will are talking.

TOBY
It's a simple question, yes or no. Was the Vice President happy with his
speech tonight?

WILL
I have no idea what you're talking about...

Agent Broder opens the door and speaks to them.

BRODER
We're crashed, gentlemen.

TOBY
Come again?

BRODER
The building's on lockdown. I need you to stay put we know what's up.

He closes the door.

WILL
Love what you've done with the place.

CUT TO: INT. - CAROL'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Donna is waiting for C.J. We see her come into the office followed by the
agent who spoke to Josh and Kate.

C.J.
We're crashed.

DONNA
Again?

AGENT
Ms. Moss, would you mind stepping in?

DONNA
Oh, sure.

The agent ushers Donna in and shuts the door behind her.

C.J.
Did Jack make it out?

DONNA
Jack left in a huff.

C.J.
Five more minutes, I could have been in my car.

DONNA

Who's Maura Leary?

C.J.
Press Secretary in Congressman DeSanto's office. Oh, it's you. You're going
on the CODEL.

DONNA
Yeah.

C.J.
You bumped Jack. He was doing Press Detail. He's probably making a voodoo
doll of you right now.

DONNA
I... I don't want to kick him off the trip. Josh didn't say anything about...

C.J.
White House only gets one rep. But don't worry: you're not his first voodoo
doll, and they rarely work.

DONNA
This is  for you.

C.J.
Oh, sweet Lord, what have I gotten myself into.

DONNA
Is it your birthday?

C.J.
I'm going camping.

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

We see Bartlet, Charlie and Debbie headed into the decontamination
area. Inside, waiting for them, is DR. MIKE GORDON.

BARTLET
What about automatic bank drafts?

CHARLIE
I hear they're convenient, sir.

DR. MIKE GORDON
We're in here.

They come in and Gordon shuts the door.

GORDON
Mr. President, how are you feeling?

BARTLET
Dandy. I killed at the Correspondent's Dinner tonight. Have I met you before?

GORDON
Uh, no, sir. I'm Dr. Mike Gordon. I'm new to the unit, but I've been through
all the drills.

BARTLET
I should do my Latin-as-the-national-language run for him.

CHARLIE
Uh, no, sir.

BARTLET
Meet my lucky staff: Charlie Young, Deborah Fidderer.

CHARLIE
How you doing?

DEBBIE
Nice to meet you.

GORDON
You need to keep on your masks.

CHARLIE
Sorry, last time, they let us...

GORDON
Until the agents confirm the code, we're on standard respiratory precautions.

DEBBIE
You've been here before?

CHARLIE
Once. They usually turn us around at the bottom of the stairs.

GORDON
Mr. President, I'm going to take your blood pressure.

BARTLET
Don't be shy. I'm used to being manhandled by the medical unit. Are you Army?

GORDON
Yes, sir. Have you been coughing any this evening, Mr. President?

BARTLET
Not at all. What are you hearing, agent?

AGENT
The ventilation system shut down per design. No other detectors are picking
up any unusual particles. A few personnel are being held at their desks.

BARTLET
How about upstairs?

AGENT
The Residence is clear.

GORDON
Are you experiencing any shortness of breath, sir?

BARTLET
No, I'm fine. You can skip ahead with the questions.

GORDON
It's a long list, but I do need to go through it, sir.

CHARLIE
Do the questions, sir. We want to take our time with the questions.

GORDON
So, you're aware of what's coming next?

CHARLIE
Oh, yeah.

DEBBIE
Does it have anything to do with nasal swabs?

GORDON
Afraid that's affirmative.

BARTLET
Serving at the pleasure of the President just gets better and better.

DEBBIE
You read my mind, sir.

She sits down and sneezes into her mask.

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - SITTING ROOM - NIGHT

Leo is on the phone.

LEO
Have we confirmed anything? ... So, unless there's a problem... ... I will hold
my location, yeah. ... I'm aware of that. ... I will not leave the Residence.

Abbey comes in.

ABBEY
What are they telling you, Leo?

LEO
Forty minutes tops, assuming no other developments.

ABBEY
They told me ten.

LEO
Probably it'll be more like ten.

She goes over to the table and picks up the phone.

LEO
Hey, you okay? I saw you slip out early.

ABBEY
Got a shift; I had to change my clothes.

LEO
The exit was a little conspicuous.

ABBEY
I wasn't throwing food.

LEO
The First Lady leaves before the President's speech?

ABBEY
Jed knew I could only be there for the first half.

LEO
Did anyone else know?

ABBEY
Hello. This is Dr. Bartlet. Would you tell Jerry I'm running late? Thanks.

She hangs up the phone.

LEO
What are you doing at this hour?

ABBEY
I'm at the clinic one night a week: midnight, 8:00 am.

LEO
Graveyard?

ABBEY
We try not to call it that in front of the patients.

LEO
Midnight to 8:00 doesn't sound like you're handing out lollipops. Does
C.J. have anything to say about this?

ABBEY
C.J. doesn't go to the clinic.

LEO
I'm saying...

ABBEY
I know what you're saying.

LEO
You could have talked to somebody about this.

ABBEY
I talked to the President. He didn't tell you I was working night?

LEO
No.

ABBEY
He never tells me anything either.

CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - NIGHT

Toby and Will are still talking.

WILL
You're upset because the VP didn't use any of your jokes.

TOBY
I'm upset because he didn't use any of anybody's jokes! 'Cause he gave a
humorless sermon at a humorous roast! 'Cause he made the President of the
United States look like a buffoon! Like he's squirting seltzer bottles while
Pompeii's in flames.

WILL
Volcanic ash.

TOBY
What?

WILL
Rome burned. Pompeii was blanketed in volcanic ash.

TOBY
I want to know if Bob Russell's happy he upstaged the President.

WILL
The Vice President spent three hours as a pin cushion: dull jokes, stiff
jokes, agribusiness jokes, unpreparedness jokes, immovable hairline jokes. He
provided plenty of humor to the proceedings. He thinks these are serious
times and he didn't want to bow and scrape and tell knock-knock jokes to
all establishment in Washington. You're damn right he was happy.

TOBY
From now on, any joint POTUS-VPOTUS appearance, I clear his speech.

WILL
First of all, no. Second, you're mad he didn't use any of your jokes.

TOBY
Okay.

Toby laughs.

TOBY
The problem with Bob Russell jokes is he doesn't think they're funny and no
one else thinks they're jokes.

WILL
These are serious times.

TOBY
And only the Vice President has figured that out!

WILL
According to you, he's the only one tonight who didn't look like a buffoon,
and he's the only who wasn't taking your advice, so add one to the other
and tell me what you get.

TOBY
We're done here.

He goes to the door and opens it. Agent Broder is there.

TOBY
Excuse me.

BRODER
You need to close the door.

TOBY
My office is two feet...

BRODER
Strict procedures, Mr. Ziegler.

TOBY
I guarantee the President would prefer...

BRODER
I'll let you know when.

TOBY
I'm not staying with this guy. You can...

Toby tries to get past Broder and Broder pushes him to the floor.

BRODER
I'm sorry, Mr. Ziegler.

He helps Toby up.

BRODER
Stay inside the room, gentlemen.

He shuts the door and Will comes to the window.

WILL
Oh, man.

We see the contamination team sealing up the doors into the Communications
office.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE.
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - NIGHT

Bartlet is talking with Ron Butterfield while Debbie and Charlie are being
checked out.

BARTLET
So this is verified? Gold alert?

BUTTERFIELD
The office was sealed in less than eight minutes. While the alarm's being
verified, the scanner began a DNA diagnostic.

BARTLET
Malfunction's still possible?

BUTTERFIELD
Yes. But while we rule out system error, hazmat moves ahead with a sweep of
the area.

GORDON
Any shortness of breath?

DEBBIE
Not really. I have a little allergic rhinitis, but no, the answer's no.

CHARLIE
Ow!

DOCTOR
Sorry.

CHARLIE
Was that my sinus or my frontal lobe?

GORDON
Do you feel any kind of burning sensation on your skin or eyes?

DEBBIE
Not on my skin.

GORDON
Your eyes? They're pretty red.

DOCTOR
That's all of them.

CHARLIE
Take that straight to Fort Detrick.

DEBBIE
You'd hate for them to get lost.

GORDON
Ms. Fiderer, about your eyes...

DEBBIE
The pollen count has been in the go-back-to-bed region all week.

GORDON
Has your nose been burning.

DEBBIE
Running more than burning, but that's from the cloud of Chanel at dinner.

CHARLIE
She's got a fragrance sensitivity that she's pretty sensitive about.

GORDON
Was anything actually sprayed on you at this dinner?

DEBBIE
Well, actually - this won't count - but when I took my tablemates to meet
the President, I thought they were guests of Leno's but it turns out they
weren't. While we waited for him to finish with the party ahead of us,
I didn't even see the woman get into her bag and - shhh! - she spritzed
right into my face.

GORDON
Are you saying this aerosol actually got on you?

She nods. We see that Agent Butterfield, who has been talking to Bartlet,
is about to leave.

BUTTERFIELD
We expect an ID in 20 minutes.

BARTLET
Thanks, Ron.

GORDON
I'm sorry, Agent Butterfield, no one leaves.

BUTTERFIELD
What?

GORDON
I'm calling a Code Chem. We need to run a DE-CON protocol.

BUTTERFIELD
Are there chemical indications?

GORDON
Fiderer was sprayed with an unknown agent in proximity to the President. It's
causing edema and burning in the eyes. I'm going to have to ask everyone to
take a decontamination rinse in the shower, starting with the President.

BARTLET
Oh, for the love of Mike.

GORDON
We'll proceed one at a time and meet in the clean area. We should move as
quickly as possible.

BARTLET
I'm all for the protocol, Major, but this is absurd.

GORDON
My apologies.

BARTLET
We've got an oversensitive, overpriced piece of equipment that's overreacting.

GORDON
Yes, sir. You'll find written instructions in the shower. Make sure you
scrub vigorously and rinse your eyes.

BARTLET
You're making a great impression, Doc.

GORDON
Mr. President...

BARTLET
Ron'll put in a good word to your CO.

CHARLIE
Mr. President, get in the shower.

Bartlet moves to comply.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT

C.J. has changed out of her evening gown and Donna is standing at the window.

C.J.
Can you see anybody?

DONNA
Josh's door is closed. He's not picking up?

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Josh's phone is ringing. He picks it up.

JOSH
Josh Lyman's office.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

C.J.
And Josh Lyman himself.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

JOSH

Donna's MIA.

C.J.
No. She's right here.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

C.J.
What's the holdup?

JOSH
I don't know. I got a...

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

JOSH [cont.]
... Deputy NSA stuck in here with me.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

C.J.
Well, ask her why we can't throw a little money at the system and do something
about these false alarms.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

JOSH
C.J. Cregg would like to know why we spend half our lives in unnecessary
lockdowns.

HARPER
Better safe than sorry.

JOSH
She's got nothing.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

C.J. sighs and hands the phone to Donna.

DONNA
Did you know I'm taking Jack Sosa's place on the trip?

JOSH [VO]
Are you?

DONNA
He was on Press Detail.

JOSH [VO]
Bummer.

DONNA
Now I'm on Press Detail.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

JOSH
Bring him back a keychain with a pyramid on it or something. Whoops, I got
another line beeping. What do I do?

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

DONNA
Press hold and...

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Josh hangs up the phone before Donna can finish.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

DONNA

He didn't press hold.

She hangs up the phone.

C.J.
Weren't you getting a drink with that guy from the Post-Intelligencer?

DONNA
I thought we had stuff to wrap up. Apparently it was just Operation Rod & Reel.

C.J.
He was cute.

DONNA
Eh, he'll call.

C.J. is tying her boots and she puts one of her feet up on the table. When
she does she knocks some stuff off into the floor.

C.J.
Oh, God. Sasquatch.

Donna laughs as C.J. lays sideways on the couch.

CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - NIGHT

Toby is gingerly touching the back of his head.

WILL
Ice might help.

TOBY
Are you making conversation?

WILL
You don't want it to swell up.

TOBY
There's no ice here and, as you may have noticed, we're not at liberty
to wander.

WILL
Do they always do that? Saran-wrap the Oval.

TOBY
I don't know. If it was real, Russell would know. You would have gotten a call.

WILL
My cell phone's out in my coat pocket, and since your scrubbing of my old
office included the phone... He was fast, that guy. You think that was judo?

He opens a mini-fridge that is still in the office.

WILL
There are sodas in here. They're cold.

TOBY
I'm not putting a soda on my head.

WILL
Okay. There's gonna be a bump.

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - SITTING ROOM - NIGHT

Abbey is seated on the couch and she is talking to Bartlet.

ABBEY
I don't know Major Gordon. Do we like him?

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - CONTINUOUS

Bartlet is seated at a couch playing chess while he is talking to Abbey.

BARTLET
He didn't laugh at my Social Security joke.

ABBEY [VO]
That's a good sign. Your Social Security joke is one of those
works-better-on-a-crowd-that's-been-drinking kind of things. I'm hoping he
didn't even crack a smile.

BARTLET
I think we can count on Dr. Gordon's sobriety.

ABBEY [VO]
How's your blood pressure? Seriously.

BARTLET
Seriously, It's a miracle I'm still alive.

ABBEY [VO]
Take care of yourself.

BARTLET
Don't get too bored.

ABBEY [VO]
Leo's entertaining me.

BARTLET
Leo's still in the building?

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

ABBEY
Yes.

BARTLET
I thought they would...

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - CONTINUOUS

BARTLET
I thought he went home.

ABBEY
No, he's with me.

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

ABBEY
Until he gets whisked away to some undisclosed location, I'm gonna run with
the false alarm story.

BARTLET [VO]
Put him on for a second.

ABBEY
Leo.

She hands the phone to Leo and gets up. She goes to her purse and removes
a bottle of pills.

LEO
How's it going?

BARTLET [VO]
It's all about the fun down here. What do I need on Japan?

LEO
Someone alerted the Chinese that Japan's on board with the missile shield.

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - CONTINUOUS

LEO [VO]
They're going to want to hear if China starts posturing, we're ready to go
public with the plans in the Alliance.

BARTLET
Are we?

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

LEO
We'll have to be.

BARTLET [VO]
Everything okay up there?

He sees Abbey taking some pills.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET [VO]
Good.

He hangs up the phone.

ABBEY
You can stay.

LEO
They don't think there's a real danger.

ABBEY
Better to have you here making sure I behave.

LEO
If it comes to that, have you got any of those to spare? Or are you hoarding
the good stuff?

ABBEY
I'm sorry, where's my manners? I'm not going to tell you it's cold medicine.

LEO
You carry 'em with you?

ABBEY
"As needed." It's not a daily dose. How about I make us some tea?

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Josh and Kate are still in his office.

JOSH
So, why'd you get the water? You went out and got a case right before the
agent showed up.

HARPER
Do you want one?

JOSH
You knew we were going to be stuck here indefinitely. I didn't.

HARPER
It's a reflex.

JOSH
Yeah? "Better safe"?

HARPER
I was in a lockdown for 77 hours once.

JOSH
Where was that?

HARPER
Overseas.

JOSH
"Overseas" is a big place.

HARPER
Yeah.

JOSH
Were you in the Embassy in Haiti?

HARPER
I got a power bar, too, if things get ugly.

JOSH
Okay. I get it. CIA. I can look you up. I have code-word clearance.

HARPER
Not this code, you don't.

JOSH
So why'd you kill my Panama joke?

HARPER
What?

JOSH
In the President's speech tonight. What possible threat to National
Security...?

HARPER
No threat.

JOSH
No?

HARPER
It wasn't funny.

CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - NIGHT

Toby and Will are standing at the window watching the contamination workers.

TOBY
You don't really like Russell.

WILL
No, you don't. And your dislike isn't professional, it's personal.

TOBY
It's not personal. Visceral.

WILL
He's not inconsiderable once you spend some time with him.

TOBY
He's a featherweight who only looks like a lightweight because he's got you
propping him up.

WILL
He's the heir apparent.

TOBY
Don't say heir apparent when we've got men in moon suits hermetically sealing
the Oval. This is Russell's only shot, by the way. A night like this. You're
comfortable with that?

WILL
Perfectly. Thank you.

TOBY
Well, great.

WILL
Only shot.

TOBY
This and voter fraud, another option.

WILL
Yeah, I see.

TOBY
Or a mob hit would also work.

WILL
Someday there's going to be a newer, younger political operative moving on
to your landscape. Somebody up through the ranks from the domestic policy
shop, and you'll be able to foist all your jealousy and resentment onto
his unsuspecting shoulders and you'll give me a break for three consecutive
minutes.

TOBY
Jealousy? This is good.

WILL
You've had one win in your career, one. And you're looking sunset in the
face, and I'm just getting started, and that's eating you apart like some
psychological melanoma.

TOBY
My jealousy of you?

WILL
It's an adrenaline sport and you're exhausted. If you had another fight in
you, you'd be grooming Matt Packard or Howard Sturgis and you'd take me down,
me and my anemic candidate. But you don't have it. I say this with a great
amount of respect. I would be eternally grateful if you would back off.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT

C.J. is getting her stuff ready to go camping.

C.J.
My father had one of these. I barfed in it once. I usually threw up off the
side of the boat. Sitting there, rocking in the lake swells. It was always
about getting up at some God-awful hour in the morning. We're not going to
make it to the Shenandoahs.

DONNA
You were driving there tonight?

C.J.
The plan was to hit the road by 11:00, get there by 1:00, pitch a tent by
starlight, and wake up in the green world.

DONNA
You can still make it.

C.J.
There's going to be post-mortem on this.

DONNA
I doubt it.

C.J.
"Why the system's on the fritz. Is the White House crippled by its own
protection?"

DONNA
We just left the entire press corps at the Hilton and they were liking the
open bar.

C.J.
Still...

DONNA
Someone else can handle it. Spray a little Deet behind your ears and go
have fun.

C.J. picks up her phone.

C.J.
Hi. I'm still here. We've got a little bit of a situation. I'm afraid our
little getaway isn't going to work. I'm really sorry.

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - NIGHT

Bartlet and Charlie are seated and Debbie is standing having her blood
pressure taken.

DEBBIE
Allergies have been a pain my whole life, but this is a new low.

BARTLET
None of that.

CHARLIE
For all we know, you probably saved our lives.

BARTLET
And at the very least, you got us into some comfortable clothes. You both
comfy?

DEBBIE
Oh, yes, sir. I'm so digging the polyester.

Gordon comes in carrying a tray with pills and water on it.

CHARLIE
It's a great look.

BARTLET
Cipro?

GORDON
Yes, sir. We'll treat prophylactically - 500 milligrams twice a day. Drink
lots of water, it's dehydrating.

BARTLET
Let me guess: protocol.

GORDON
The cultures will be back in 48 hours. If it's negative for anthrax, we'll
stop the regimen.

CHARLIE
So, we haven't ruled out anthrax?

GORDON
We haven't ruled out anything.

Ron comes in.

BUTTERFIELD
Actually, we have. Mr. President?

BARTLET
Go ahead. If the phrase "We're all in this together" ever applied...

BUTTERFIELD
You can hold the Cipro, Doctor. The scanner has made a determination. It's
positive for tularemia.

CHARLIE
What?

BARTLET
Is that a virus?

GORDON
Tularemia is a bacterium. It occurs rarely in insects and
rodents. Theoretically, in an aerosolized form, it could be used as a weapon.

CHARLIE
Not looking all that theoretical at the moment.

DEBBIE
So, at the Correspondent's Dinner...?

BUTTERFIELD
No. We can eliminate that scenario. This bacteria was released in the office;
probably within 10 to 15 minutes of the alarm sounding.

CHARLIE
Where in the office?

BUTTERFIELD
That's what hazmat's trying to determine.

GORDON
We can treat for tularemia immediately. With an antibiotic cocktail, you
probably won't develop symptoms.

BARTLET
If it had gone undetected?

GORDON
Tularemia's likely to manifest as a severe respiratory infection: pneumonia,
eventually systemic.

CHARLIE
Sounds bad.

GORDON
In the world of known pathogens, tularemia is closest to... well, in fact,
it is plague.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO.
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - NIGHT

Toby and Will are in the office. Toby is balancing something on his hand.

TOBY
How long has it been?

WILL
Half an hour.

TOBY
It's like something out of Beckett.

WILL
You mean Sartre.

TOBY
If I meant Sartre, I would have said Sartre.

WILL
"Hell is other people."

TOBY
Okay, Sartre.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Josh and Kate are sitting in Josh's office and they are talking.

JOSH
We're stuck in a lockdown every time some frat boy on a hazing dare tries
to jump the fence. You know how many undergraduate institutions there are
in this town?

HARPER
It's not the fence.

JOSH
What is that?

HARPER
It's not the fence.

JOSH
Is there anything I can do to get a straight answer out of you?

HARPER
It's a possible airborne contaminant.

JOSH
How did you...?

HARPER
The ventilation system's off, which the do either in the event of a fire or
they do in the event of a potential airborne contaminant. In the event of
a fire I like to think they'll lock us outside the building.

JOSH
So, what kind of substance are we talking about?

HARPER
Could be anthrax, smallpox, botulism. Though it's hard to aerosolize, so it's
probably not botulism. Sarin and VX kill you within minutes, so we can rule
them out. Mustard's unlikely 'cause we'd smell it, and there'd be blistering...

JOSH
Okay.

He drops his head onto the desk.

JOSH
Thanks. [pause] How'd you know the air's off?

HARPER
'Cause it's hot.

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - NIGHT

Bartlet, Charlie, and Debbie are in the decon area. Charlie is looking at
some games and Bartlet is having his blood pressure taken by Dr. Gordon.

CHARLIE
Scrabble, Boggle, Parcheesi.

DEBBIE
How can they not have a deck of cards?

BARTLET
Nobody's got cash down here, Debbie. It's not a missed opportunity.

DEBBIE
The sprung for Boggle, they could have thrown in a deck of cards.

BARTLET
Ron?

BUTTERFIELD
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Hazmat's really taking there time up there, aren't they?

BUTTERFIELD
Just a moment, sir.

BARTLET
Ron is on the phone.

CHARLIE
How about Risk?

DEBBIE
Bring it on.

BARTLET
Any changes in the last five minutes?

GORDON
Still 129/85.

DEBBIE
Not bad, considering.

BARTLET
Yeah. You'd have thought the word "plague" alone would have spiked us all
into the stratosphere.

CHARLIE
You want to be red green?

DEBBIE
Either way, my army's taking Asia by Round III.

BUTTERFIELD
Mr. President, they found the source of the contamination. Hazmat found
traces of tularemia in a recycle bin.

DEBBIE
Which bin?

BUTTERFIELD
It was found inside a manila envelope addressed to Charlie.

CHARLIE
To me?

BUTTERFIELD
To your home address. Did you bring in any mail from home?

CHARLIE
Only bills, mail that was already opened.

The phone rings and Debbie gets up to answer it.

DEBBIE
Fiderer.

BARTLET
Ron, why don't you talk to Charlie alone?

BUTTERFIELD
Let's go inside.

DEBBIE
Mr. President, they're patching through your call from the Japanese Defense
Minister.

BARTLET
Thank you.

CHARLIE
Mr. President, I swear...

BARTLET
It's okay, go on.

They go into the next room.

BARTLET
Good morning, Mr. Takabi. ... We're having a wonderful evening. I can see
the cherry blossoms from here. ... No, sir, I'm not concerned. We're ready
to move forward. ... Well, I just think you're going to have to put a little
more faith in our Department of Defense.

CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - DAY

Toby is whistling to himself.

WILL
Are you serenading me?

TOBY
Myself. An ode to my sunset years.

WILL
All right, I'm sorry. That was a gross exaggeration.

TOBY
No, I love it that I live in your imagination crippled by jealousy and in
my decline. That speech Russell gave tonight...

WILL
I could've given you a heads-up.

TOBY
No. It's... That's the speech the President should have given. A flailing
economy, tribal rivalries exploding all over the world, the West Wing crashed
four times this year, and we're running around playing dress-up, like a
bunch of bad Dean Martin impersonators. That's the speech the President
should have given. And you should have wrote it for him.

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Leo and Abbey are sitting at the table, talking.

LEO
You couldn't find some nice, innocuous baby seal campaign? You got to be
downtown with the crackheads and the needle exchange?

ABBEY
They're understaffed. They asked me to pitch in.

LEO
Believe me, I love the idea of you ministering to the wayward and unwashed. I
don't love you becoming a de facto spokesperson for a load of issues we
can't support.

ABBEY
I'm not on a lecture tour, I'm seeing patients.

LEO
"Hello. My name is Clarissa Ponsissa. I'm 14 and sexually active. But I
know it's okay, 'cause I got my condoms from the First Lady." Fox News is
throwing a party.

ABBEY
We're five years in. They don't have the interest in pathologizing my
every move.

LEO
They most certainly do. The clinic was one thing - volunteering, children's
health - I think we sold that. But now it's all-nighters, Saturday nights?

ABBEY
Not negotiable. Since I came back, since Zoey, this is the only deal I've
had with myself. Follow my gut.

LEO
Your Secret Service detail must be thrilled.

ABBEY
About as thrilled as you.

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - NIGHT

Debbie is sitting at a computer looking over some stuff.

DEBBIE
It's colorless, odorless, could be stored in a sealed envelope. But it's
sensitive to ultraviolet light. It is contagious. Some nut could have mailed
it to Charlie.

BARTLET
Debbie, you'll drive yourself crazy with this.

DEBBIE
I know, I'm only giving myself three more minutes.

BARTLET
Then what?

DEBBIE
Then it's half an hour of silent meditation. How do you think I survive?

BARTLET
In this job, it's an apt question.

DEBBIE
In this world, Mr. President.

BARTLET
When I came into office, we knew the word "terrorist." It was in the daily
briefing. But we pictured guys with turbans in the desert or some mad
survivalist in a cabin in Montana. That party's over. Now anyone with high
school chemistry is a potential threat.

DEBBIE
That's a lot of enemies, sir.

BARTLET
Too many.

DEBBIE
Since I was a kid, Spring came, everyone else ran outside to roll in the
grass. Not me. My immune system sees harmless ragweed pollen as poison. My
white blood cells are paranoid xenophobes. They go into full attack mode
over everything - and nothing. I'm the one who suffers.

BARTLET
So, meditation's the ticket?

DEBBIE
Along with ballistic allergy shots.

She turns to see Charlie talking to Ron.

DEBBIE
He won't forgive himself.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT

C.J. and Donna are sitting at her desk and they are talking while C.J. is
looking at the Press Detail book that was given to Donna.

DONNA
Did Josh know we could only send one person?

C.J.
On the CODEL? Probably.

Donna gives her something to eat.

DONNA
He said he was sending me so I could report back to him and Toby on meetings
and what they were talking about.

C.J. spits out the something.

C.J.
Ugh! This is carob!

DONNA
I just don't know how much I can report if I'm in the copy room.

C.J.
Fitz is going to fill them in.

DONNA
Sure. I just don't know why Josh told me that... Whatever.

C.J.
The Israeli embassy is going to give you four people, so for that leg of
the trip you can sit in on a couple of meetings.

DONNA
Really?

C.J.
Mm-hmm. Page 12.

C.J. hands Donna the book.

DONNA
Great. That's great.

C.J.
Josh Lyman needs a smack in the head.

DONNA
Why?

C.J.
He sold you a bill of goods.

DONNA
Not at all. He's gone out of his way to give me every opportunity he can.

C.J.
Okay.

DONNA
Hasn't he?

C.J.
Absolutely.

DONNA
C.J.?

C.J.
If he was giving you every opportunity, you would have grown out of this
job three years ago. You can't blame him. He's never gonna find anybody else
as capable.

DONNA
It's not a false alarm. It wouldn't take this long.

C.J.
I wish I had filled this damn canteen.

DONNA
Yon know, you can't blame Josh. It's not his job to...

C.J.
I don't blame Josh, it takes two of you. You choose to stay.

DONNA
It's the White House.

C.J.
It's not the White House, it's him.

DONNA
Okay. I don't really want to...

C.J.
Why didn't you get a drink with the guy from the Post-Intelligencer? You
knew what was on your desk, you knew what was on Josh's desk. It wouldn't
wait until Monday?

DONNA
Why did you cancel your camping trip? We're going to be out of here in a
few minutes, you're going home to a rerun of Lettermen. I'm sorry. I just...

C.J.
You what?

DONNA
Nothing.

C.J.
You what, Donna?

DONNA
I think Ben's great. I think you guys are great together. I hope it works.

C.J.
Have you seen us together?

DONNA
Not really. [pause] What should I be doing? Instead of this?

C.J.
Anything. You should... go to lectures and symposia and look for opportunities
with non-profits and have one-night stands with reporters from the
Post-Intelligencer and go on dates with what's-his-name from the Solicitor
General's office, and anything that doesn't have to do with Josh Lyman.

DONNA
Wow. Okay. Let's not do this.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE.
* * *

ACT FOUR

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

Donna and C.J. are sitting and they are reading. We can tell that both of
them are a bit perturbed. They sit in silence as they occasionally glance
at each other.

CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OLD OFFICE - NIGHT

Toby and Will are talking.

TOBY
What you wrote for Russell tonight was profoundly disturbing.

WILL
Because he upstaged the President?

TOBY
Because he might win.

WILL
What?

TOBY
Who was the first person to shake his hand after the speech tonight?

WILL
I wasn't watching.

TOBY
Of course you were.

WILL
Chuck McGill, they golf.

TOBY
In a room full of 600 reporters McGill's not a golf buddy, he's Chairman of
Ways and Means. You made a calculation, you positioned him brilliantly. It
never for a second crossed my mind before, but if you keep this up he
might win.

WILL
Thanks.

TOBY
It wasn't a compliment. You need to get the hell out of there. You're grooming
this clown for a win and then what?

WILL
Four more years. A better prescription drug plan, maybe the educational
overhaul you guys can't seem to get off the ground.

TOBY
With Howdy Doody at the helm?

WILL
This isn't a dictatorship. There are hundreds of people running this White
House. The salient detail being they're all Democrats. You most of all...

TOBY
There are no launch codes at my desk! At the event of what I perceive to
be a threat, I can't deploy troops to invade so much as a seven-eleven. I
don't care who you surround this guy with, he's going to wield a tremendous
amount of power.

WILL
He'll be fine. The Party wants a win. 60 million Democrats want...

TOBY
Winning is easy.

WILL
You only hit it once, and maybe never again.

TOBY
Because you back the guy who should win, not the guy who will win. I backed a
man of vision, who's still hanging on to his integrity with his teeth. You're
damn straight I won't win again.

WILL
There has to be a future, Toby. Someone will take the torch. You will despise
the very notion of them whoever they may be.

TOBY
Go find someone you can honestly respect. Groom him.

WILL
I'll comb the countryside.

TOBY
We went to Hokumville, New Hampshire, to find one, yeah. Comb the countryside.

WILL
You go. If it's so important, you go. [pause] That's what I thought.

Broder knocks and comes in.

BRODER
Crash is lifted. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Will walks to get his coat as Toby leaves the office.

CUT TO: INT. - DECONTAMINATION AREA - NIGHT

Bartlet, Charlie, Debbie, and Gordon are seated when Ron comes in.

BUTTERFIELD
Hazmat's declaring the office clean.

BARTLET
What's the time?

BUTTERFIELD
Almost 43 minutes, sir.

GORDON
That's the all-clear?

BUTTERFIELD
Yes, it is.

DEBBIE
Gee, I finally nested.

GORDON
Your clothes and effects will be back from the lab on Monday. The antibiotics
are ready...

BUTTERFIELD
I'm going to have to ask you to hold off on that for just a moment.

GORDON
Why?

BUTTERFIELD
I need to brief the President, then I'd like to speak to all of you in the
Mural Room. If you run into anyone on the way up, we'd like you to treat
this as a false alarm.

CUT TO: INT. - RESIDENCE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Abbey is standing at the sink when Leo walks in.

LEO
False alarm.

ABBEY
Right.

LEO
He should be up soon.

ABBEY
I'm on my way out.

LEO
If this is about Jed, there must be other ways.

ABBEY
Other ways to what?

LEO
I don't know.

ABBEY
He's not running again. It's about saving lives now.

LEO
Okay. If that's what it's about.

ABBEY
Spit it out, Leo.

LEO
Somebody snaps the wrong photo of you with a junkie or somebody sees you
pop a Xanax...

ABBEY
I don't care if they do.

LEO
I never had to tell you this before. You always knew when something was over
the line.

ABBEY
I still do.

LEO
Okay, forget that. That was... that was... I'm saying, as your friend, I'm
saying, as a person who had a close personal relationship with Valium for
more years than I care to remember, it's dicey. It starts at "As needed". Then
you need a little more.

ABBEY
I don't have a problem. Unless having a husband who spends evenings in an
underground bunker counts.

LEO
It's hard on you.

ABBEY
On all of us. Do you know what this lifestyle does to the body? The minute
your system senses stress it releases a hormone that constricts the blood
vessels, contracts the heart muscles, stimulates the adrenal gland. You
stay in this state for not a hundredth of the time that you and I have
existed like this and the vessels begin to shred. The heart permanently
constricts. The intestines, the immune system, shut down. Relieving those
conditions is the one responsible course of action I can take. I am sorry it
is not a course of action that's available to you, but if you think you're
going to talk me out of it with some Valley of the Dolls cautionary tale,
you have picked the wrong girl.

LEO
Okay. Do what you need to do.

 ABBEY
What are you doing? Have you had your blood pressure checked lately?

LEO
I'm healthy as a horse, but thank you, Dr. B.

ABBEY
I'm not kidding.

LEO
I may not be Jack LaLane...

ABBEY
Go see Ted Mayfield, get and EKG.

LEO
Okay.

ABBEY
I'm mean it. I'll call and set up the appointment myself.

LEO
Enough, Abbey. I'm going to head downstairs.

He leaves.

CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT

C.J. and Donna are seated when the male agent comes in.

AGENT
We're all clear, ladies.

DONNA
Hallelujah.

AGENT
Thank you for your patience.

C.J.
Do we know what happened?

AGENT
False alarm.

C.J.
I'm going to need a report from your supervisor for the briefing. Donna.

DONNA
Yeah?

C.J.
Good night.

DONNA
Good night.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Josh is in his office and we see that Kate is talking to the agent outside
the office.

JOSH
Hey, Commander.

Kate comes in.

JOSH
What'd he say?

HARPER
False alarm.

JOSH
He said that before. He didn't say anything else?

HARPER
Not really.

JOSH
You just talked to him for five minutes.

HARPER
His daughter's taking ballet: she's not very good.

JOSH
You know, you're not a spy in a Ukrainian nuke lab anymore. We talk about
stuff here.

HARPER
Okay.

JOSH
We're going to be working together. You ought to work on the communication
part. Friendly advice.

HARPER
Thanks.

JOSH
Nothing? Okay. Whatever.

HARPER
Your joke.

JOSH
Yeah, not funny, got it.

HARPER
There's a nuclear sub's been grounded for nine months, under repair at Pearl
Harbor. It's back in commission and being deployed to patrol activity around
Cape Verde off the coast of Mauritania. It's crossing from the Pacific to
the Atlantic right now. Through a canal in...

JOSH
Panama.

She smiles and leaves. As she does, we see Donna come to her desk.

JOSH
Donna!

Donna grabs some things off her desk.

JOSH
Donna!

She leaves her cubicle and goes to the door. Josh comes out of his office
and looks for her. He looks toward the lobby and sees the door swinging.

CUT TO: INT. - MURAL ROOM - NIGHT

Bartlet is seated talking to Ron. Debbie and Charlie come in.

BUTTERFIELD
We beat our goal for the all-clear by more than five minutes.

BARTLET
Have a seat. Where'd we fall short?

BUTTERFIELD
One channel of the ventilation system failed to deactivate. If this had been
a live infection, we'd have had a contamination in the communications area...

DEBBIE
I'm sorry to interrupt, sir, but what in the name of all that's holy...

BARTLET
Tonight's exercise was a drill.

DEBBIE
A drill?

BARTLET
A live drill, meaning the participants were unaware that it was a drill. Ron's
agents, hazmat, and the entire medical staff were being tested. The three
of us were the guinea pigs.

DEBBIE
Okay.

BUTTERFIELD
We're trying to address critical holes in the security system. We're fielding
threats no one's ever had to face before.

DEBBIE
So, the tularemia...?

BUTTERFIELD
Was a stimulant - without harmful properties - that was planted in Charlie's
recycle bin.

CHARLIE
Without my knowledge.

BARTLET
You were both participants of a top secret exercise tonight, and for the time
being it's going to have to remain top secret. If I'm ever looking this in
the face, I hope I've got folks beside me like the two of you.

CHARLIE
Thank you, sir.

DEBBIE
Thank you, Mr. President.

They leave and go into the Outer Oval Office. Debbie grabs her coat and
Charlie replaces the recycle bin from his desk. They leave the office.

CUT TO: INT. - MURAL ROOM - NIGHT

Bartlet comes back from the door and begins speaking to Ron.

BUTTERFIELD
They didn't question it.

BARTLET
I'm not surprised.

BUTTERFIELD
You didn't know it would be tonight, sir.

BARTLET
I knew it when you showed up. And it was worth it if we learned something
useful. Did we learn anything, Ron?

BUTTERFIELD
A preliminary report will be on your desk in an hour.

BARTLET
Has the FBI made any progress?

BUTTERFIELD
They have a chemist under surveillance who tried to order bacteria from the
CDC. Tularemia won't get through again.

BARTLET
You're right: on a need-to-know basis, who needs to know this much.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

Charlie and Debbie are walking out.

DEBBIE
Ah, I need a hot bath.

CHARLIE
You had a shower.

DEBBIE
Which is more than you can do at home, I guess, with your gas and electric
issues...

CHARLIE
Rub it in.

DEBBIE
Good night.

Toby meets with them.

TOBY
Can you believe another one of these?

CHARLIE
Nope.

TOBY
Are they sticking with false alarm?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

TOBY
That one's getting a little old.

CHARLIE
Uh-huh.

We see Debbie leave.

CUT TO: EXT. - WHITE HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - NIGHT

We see Debbie leave the building. She has her phone in her hand and she
dials a number.

DEBBIE
Good night, gentlemen.

We see a hazmat man cleaning out the Limo.

DEBBIE
It's me. ... Am I calling too late? ... I'm just getting out, I'm thinking
Thai. ... Why, why would you be worried about me? ... Oh, yeah. True, the
pollen count has been wicked.

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

The West Wing episode 5.20 "No Exit", original air date 28 April, 2004.

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