As Christmas Eve approaches, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) eagerly sneaks out of the White House for some last-minute Christmas shopping, while a haunted Toby (Richard Schiff) learns more about a forgotten Korean War hero who died alone on the district’s cold streets wearing a coat that Toby once donated to charity. In other hushed corridors, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) ignore Leo’s (John Spencer) advice and consult Sam’s call girl friend (Lisa Edelstein) concerning her confidential clientele when one political rival hints at exposing Leo’s previous drug problem. C.J. (Allison Janney) wonders aloud about the President’s public response to a notorious hate crime while her personal resolve weakens as persistent reporter, Danny (Timothy Busfield) continues to ask her out.
THE WEST WING 'IN EXCELSIS DEO' WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN and RICK CLEVELAND DIRECTED BY: ALEX GRAVES TEASER FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NORTHWEST LOBBY - MORNING THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 7:30 A.M. A large, decorated Christmas tree stands in the middle of the lobby. Mandy and C.J. discuss the White House holiday celebration, while Toby stands around uninterested, reading a newspaper. Staffers are hurrying around decorating the lobby with plants, flags, lights, etc. MANDY The President will stand next to the tree with flag on the left and the carolers will be off to the side. C.J. With the Santa hats on? MANDY No. Dickensian costumes. C.J. Nice. MANDY Maybe we'll have both. C.J. You think? MANDY You think they'll clash? C.J. Might. TOBY Someone tell me why I'm standing here. C.J. To weigh in on this. TOBY I could care less. MANDY Toby. TOBY More? SAM [walks up] Who's playing Santa? MANDY Al Roker. SAM Playing Santa? MANDY What's wrong with that? SAM Went on a diet. TOBY How do you know these things? SAM I read. MANDY We'll pad them if we have to. Now, we have Jose Feliciano, we have Sammy Sosa and his wife... SAM Did you know that recordings of 'Feliz Navidad' outsold recordings of 'White Christmas?' TOBY What are you? SAM I am fully briefed. MANDY So he speaks. TOBY On what? SAM Pageant of peace, season of hope, coming of the new millennium. TOBY Coming of the new millennium? SAM Yes. TOBY Fine. SAM Don't start. TOBY I said fine. MANDY Would you two guys stop? C.J. Are we done? MANDY Yeah. Mandy stays behind as C.J., Sam, and Toby start to walk through the HALLWAYS to their offices. TOBY It's not the new millennium, but I'll just let it drop. SAM It is. TOBY It is not the new millennium. The year 2000 is the last year of the millennium. It's not the first one of the next. SAM But the common sensibility, to quote Steven J. Gould... TOBY Steven J. Gould needs to look at a calendar. SAM Gould says that this is a largely unreasonable issue. TOBY Yes, it's tough to resolve. Yes, you have to look at a calendar. They walk through the Roosevelt Room where several other staffers are working, when Ginger calls him. GINGER Toby. TOBY What? GINGER Phone call. TOBY I'm arguing now, I'll call them back. GINGER It's the D.C. police. C.J., Sam and Toby stop on their tracks, and turn to face Ginger. TOBY What do they want? GINGER They want you. TOBY Huh. [walks away] Sam and C.J. as they walk out of the Roosevelt Room into another HALLWAY. SAM You got to ask yourself which is more exciting, watching your car roll over from 99,999 to 100,000, or watching it go from 100 to 101? C.J. So technically the millennium is still a year away? SAM Yeah, but we've made all these plans. They pass by a Secret Service agent, DONNIE. C.J. Donnie, would you tell them I'm on my way over to see the President? DONNIE [into mike] Flamingo is on her way. Sam turns the corner, but C.J. whips around when she hears what Donnie called her. C.J. Who? What did you call... what did he call me? Sam reaches from off camera and pulls her away. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: EXT. KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL - DAY Early morning, we pan through the monuments, memorials, benches, and visitors. Toby approaches a police officer standing in front of a bench, where a man, covered with blankets, lies. TOBY Excuse me. OFFICER Yep. TOBY I'm Toby Zeigler. OFFICER Where you been? TOBY I was at the coroner's office. They told me to come here. The officer pulls back the blanket to reveal the face of the man. He's dead. OFFICER Do you know this man? Toby, uncomfortable, comes closer and looks at the man. TOBY No. OFFICER You sure? TOBY Yeah. OFFICER His last name is Hufnagle, if that rings a bell. TOBY No. OFFICER He had a driver's license on him, expired in 1973. Hufnagle, Walter. TOBY Why'd you call me? OFFICER He also had your business card. TOBY Did he? OFFICER You Toby Zeigler? TOBY Yeah. OFFICER From the White House? TOBY Yeah. OFFICER And he had your business card? TOBY looks bewildered. Then after a moment a look of comprehension comes over his face. TOBY Well, that's my coat. I gave that coat to the Goodwill. There must have been a... OFFICER The card was in it... Well, that explains that. Well, thanks for your time. TOBY Yeah. [starts to leave, but turns] Listen, this isn't a crime scene is it? OFFICER No, sir. TOBY See, I got the call an hour ago, I went to the coroner's office. I'm just wondering why the body's still here. OFFICER An ambulance will come by. It's not a high priority. TOBY And then you're gonna call the V.A. right? OFFICER The V.A.? TOBY [points] Tattoo on his forearm is Marine Battalion Second of the Seventh. This guy was in Korea. OFFICER Huh... Thanks. The officer covers the man with the blanket again. Toby looks slightly bothered by the officer's casual attitude towards the deceased man. TOBY Yeah, thanks. OFFICER Merry Christmas. TOBY [almost to himself] Merry Christmas. Toby walks away, pausing to look at the deceased veteran once more. His whole demeanor is troubled. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY Donna approaches Josh in the very festively decorated bullpen, as several staffers are busy working around them. DONNA Good morning, Josh. JOSH Good morning Donna, and a Merry Christmas to you and your whole Protestant family. DONNA Thank you. JOSH As you can see I have not yet bought your Christmas present. DONNA Yes, and I know you're agonizing over how to best express your appreciation and affection for me at this time of the year. JOSH That and how I scrape together the ten bucks. DONNA I've prepared a list. She gives him a small piece of paper as they continue to walk. JOSH Of Christmas gift suggestions? DONNA Yes. JOSH [reads] 'Ski pants, ski boots, ski hat, ski goggles, ski gloves, ski poles.' I'm assuming you already have skis? DONNA Page two? JOSH Right. They cut the corner into a HALLWAY. DONNA Just pick something off the list, and, you know, feel free to pick two things. JOSH I should feel that freedom? DONNA Yeah. JOSH Thanks. DONNA I want to learn how to ski. JOSH Why? DONNA I like the equipment. JOSH Okay. DONNA Where you going? JOSH I, uh, need to speak to Leo. DONNA Why? JOSH He wants to talk about your Christmas present. DONNA Really? JOSH Yeah. DONNA So you'll think about the skis? JOSH Yeah. I'll give that a lot of thought. Donna walks off. Josh waits until her back is turned before crumpling up her list and throwing into a wastebasket. Josh then enters MARGARET'S OFFICE. Nobody inside. JOSH Hello! LEO [OS] Come on back. JOSH goes into LEO'S OFFICE. Leo is sitting in front of brightly wrapped Christmas presents in the table. Margaret is standing next to him with her clipboard. She is having trouble with her pen. MARGARET Good morning, Josh. JOSH This is quite an operation. MARGARET [lacking feeling] We like to spread holiday cheer. Her tone clearly indicates that she and Leo have spread so much holiday cheer, that they have none left for themselves. LEO [looking at a card] Who the hell is this guy and why do I care if he has a Merry Christmas? MARGARET Just sign the damn thing. LEO Leave us alone for a minute. MARGARET We're not done yet. LEO Two minutes! MARGARET Sure. Margaret grabs her clipboard and heads towards her office, but not before shooting an unhappy look at Leo before closing the door. JOSH I'm tired of waiting for the other shoe to drop. LEO Yeah. JOSH Lillienfield's got this information. He's gonna hold it till after Christmas when people are watching. I don't want to tell you too much, but I want to make an attempt at a preemptive strike. LEO Well, you got to tell me more than that. JOSH Sam knows a girl. LEO I've heard rumors. JOSH I want to talk to her. LEO Nope. JOSH Leo. LEO Absolutely not. JOSH I'm saying-- LEO Josh! JOSH I'm saying something to keep in our pockets. LEO I don't want it in my pocket. I don't want it in your pocket, Sam's pocket, and I sure don't want it in the President's pocket. JOSH Lillienfield is coming down the mountain. Leo, this is no joke. LEO You don't have to tell me it's no joke, Josh. It's my life. All I'm saying is we don't do these things. JOSH [a little too quickly] All right. LEO All right? JOSH Yeah. LEO Listen, you hear about this kid in Minnesota? JOSH No. LEO A gay high school senior. He got beaten up, then they stripped him naked, tied him to a tree and threw rocks and bottles at his head. You know how old the assailants were? Thirteen. JOSH [beat] Is the kid dead? LEO He's in critical condition. This is all by way of saying we're gonna have to revisit hate crimes legislation after the break. JOSH Oh, well we ought to gauge reaction before we say anything. LEO C.J.'s gonna send up a test balloon at her briefing. JOSH All right. LEO Margaret! MARGARET [comes in] Yes, sir? LEO Let's get this over with. JOSH See you later. LEO Yeah. CUT TO: INT. THE BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is holding a briefing. C.J. The President is scheduled to leave for New Hampshire tomorrow morning at precisely 10 a.m. on the dot, no hold ups, no delays, which means he ought to be leaving around noon. He'll spend Christmas Eve at the Manchester house, then attend Christmas services with his family in the morning. BOBBI C.J.? C.J. Yeah? BOBBI Is the White House aware that a high school student was attacked? C.J. Yeah, his name is Lowell Lydell, he's seventeen years old, he's in critical condition at Saint Paul Memorial Hospital with a severely fractured skull, massive internal hemorrhaging, and various broken bones and lacerations. We'll keep you updated through local authorities. BOBBI Do you think that this will revisit the debate on hate crime legislation? C.J. Yes, I do. Though I suppose the best time to do that was the day before Lowell Lydell got his brains beaten out and not the day after. Who's next? CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Toby is leaning against his desk, which has several books about the Korean War on it. He is looking at a notepad and talking on the phone. TOBY [on the phone] Walter Hufnagle. I don't know... I don't know! I've been holding on for-- I say I've been holding on for the better part of – Sure. Yeah. MANDY [knocks] Are you busy? TOBY I'm holding. MANDY What's going on? TOBY A homeless Korean War Vet died of exposure out on the mall last night. I don't know if his family's been contacted, I don't know... what kind of burial... MANDY How do you know him? TOBY I don't. MANDY Then what does it matter to you? TOBY Don't worry about it. What do you need? MANDY This might seem trivial under the circumstances. TOBY What? MANDY The Santa hats do clash with the Dickensian costumes. TOBY It might seem trivial? MANDY Just keeping you in the loop. TOBY [into phone] Yes, I'm here. [to Mandy] Go away. MANDY Yeah, I know. [leaves] Toby listens on the phone for a moment, then pulls it away from his ear in disgust, then brings it back to listen. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is walking back to his office when approached by Donna. DONNA Josh. JOSH Yes. DONNA I need to talk to you. JOSH Donna, I can assure you I'm giving your Christmas list the consideration it... DONNA Seriously. [They stop] What's going on with Leo? Josh looks at her for a moment, and then closes his door to give them some privacy. JOSH Donna. DONNA I just heard something. JOSH From who? DONNA From Margaret. JOSH The two of you shouldn't be... DONNA Yeah, but we did. JOSH Donna. DONNA Is it true? JOSH Yeah. DONNA Well? JOSH Well, what? DONNA What are you gonna do? JOSH For the moment nothing, we're gonna-- DONNA Josh... JOSH We're gonna wait and see how-- DONNA You're gonna wait and see? JOSH There's not much else we can do. DONNA We'll wait and see? JOSH Yes. She gives Josh a very sympathetic look. JOSH Could you stop looking at me with the face? DONNA It's my face. JOSH Like I just killed your hamster? DONNA [rolls her eyes] I just think if the tables were turned... JOSH Donna. DONNA If one of us were in trouble, he would be the first person to-- JOSH I know! [beat] I know. DONNA It was my regular face, Josh. I wasn't trying to guilt you. JOSH I know... I have to work. DONNA Okay. [leaves] CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - DAY C.J. is leading a couple dozen small schoolchildren into the room. The children look in awe at the magnificent Christmas tree in the middle of the room. Reporters are standing around behind velvet ropes to snapping away pictures. C.J. Okay kids, remember the drill, in a big voice you'll say your name, your grade and then you'll ask the President the question that you and your teacher have prepared and written down on your index card. [glances up to an agent, who nods subtlely] [to kids] Okay, how about a big, 'Good morning Mr. President!' when he comes in the room? Here we go. C.J. steps aside as Bartlet comes around the corner and walks in front of the kids. KIDS Good morning Mr. President! BARTLET Oh that sounded pretty weak to me. Let's try it again. [cups his ear] KIDS Good morning, Mr. President! BARTLET That's better. Now who are all these people making a ruckus and tracking up my floor? [points to a young boy] You! What's your name? JEFFREY Jeffrey Lucas. BARTLET And when are you gonna get taller, huh? What are you, fifteen, sixteen years old? JEFFREY [laughs] I'm seven. BARTLET Well, all right then, you're fine. All right, lets go. Come on, I'm a busy man. I am, after all, the President of Bulgaria. KIDS No! C.J. laughs at the Bartlet's antics. BARTLET Now, wait a second. That's not right. I'm not the President of Bulgaria. I am the President of the Great Kingdom of Luxembourg. KIDS Noooo! BARTLET Now hold on, I know I'm the President of something... KIDS America! BARTLET Yes! Thank you. I am the President of the United States of America. Now, who has a question? KIDS Me! Me! Me! He points to a cute, little girl with glasses, and kneels down in front of her. BARTLET Yes, ma'am. JESSICA My name is Jessica Hodges, and I'm in the third grade, and this is my question: What's your favorite part about being President? BARTLET My favorite part about being President? JESSICA Yes. BARTLET I'm doing it right now. [kisses the girl on the forehead] Who's next? All right. KIDS Me! Me! Me! C.J. approaches. BARTLET [to kids] Wait. Hang on a second. C.J. whispers something to him. BARTLET Okay. [to the kids] Apparently, there's a group of kids in the other room that I might like better. KIDS No! Bartlet and C.J. walk over to the foray where Charlie is standing. CHARLIE I'm sorry to interrupt, sir, but you asked me to keep you posted. BARTLET Yeah. CHARLIE Lowell Lydell died about 15 minutes ago. The bad news hits him. The kids suddenly become quiet. Bartlet takes a moment to respond. BARTLET Okay. Send some flowers. Then I'll call his parents. C.J. Yeah. BARTLET Okay. [looks at Charlie once more, then returns to the group of waiting children] All right, now on with the questions. Now wait a minute, when you address me, please bear in mind that you are speaking to His Royal Majesty, The King of all England. KIDS No! BARTLET Oh, what was it again? KIDS America! BARTLET Yes. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Sam is standing in the hallway reading some papers, when C.J. rounds the corner and approaches. They talk on the way through the hallway to their offices. SAM Hey. C.J. Hey. SAM Saw your briefing. C.J. What'd I do? SAM I'm not sure I'd put my foot on the gas so hard with hate crimes legislation. C.J. First of all, I barely grazed the gas. Second of all, why not? SAM Because we're not sure where we stand on this. C.J. I know where I stand on this. SAM Congratulations, but the rest of us... C.J. They threw rocks at his head. SAM I understand, but I'm just saying... C.J. Ah. I'll keep my food off the gas. SAM Thank you. C.J. What's your secret service code name? SAM They just changed them. C.J. I know, what's yours? SAM Princeton. C.J. Mine's Flamingo. SAM It's nice. C.J. No. It's not nice. SAM [stops walking] Flamingo is a nice looking bird. C.J. The flamingo is a ridiculous looking bird. SAM You're not ridiculous looking. C.J. I know I'm not ridiculous looking. SAM Any way for me to get out of this conversation? C.J. I'm gonna go talk to someone. SAM Excellent. C.J. leaves. Sam continues winding his way to the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. BONNIE Sam? How you doing? SAM I'm going to be in Bermuda in 27 hours, that's how I'm doing. Where's Toby? GINGER He said he had to run out of the office. JOSH [enters] Sam? SAM Hey. JOSH You got a sec? SAM Yeah. 83 degrees in Bermuda. GINGER Sam. [hands him some messages] SAM Just me, some sun tan oil and 655 pages of briefing memos. They walk inside SAM'S OFFICE. Josh closes the door. JOSH I need to ask you something. I need to ask you about your friend. SAM What happened? JOSH Nothing, listen... you would describe her as, I'm sorry, what was her name again? SAM Laurie. JOSH She's expensive? SAM Josh, I assure you, I would have no way of knowing... JOSH I understand, but... SAM Yes. JOSH Yeah? SAM Very expensive. JOSH She's elite? SAM Yes. Why are we talking about this? JOSH Sam, I need to know if she would divulge the name or names of any influential Republican members of congress that she might have... SAM No way. JOSH Sam. SAM I'm telling you no way, Josh. JOSH Sam. SAM Josh! JOSH There's a thing that's gonna happen. SAM What? JOSH Lillienfield knows that Leo's a recovering alcoholic. SAM Everyone knows that Leo is a recovering alcoholic. JOSH Yeah, but they don't know that there were pills. There was Valium. He was in rehab. SAM When? JOSH Six years ago. SAM He was Secretary of Labor six years ago. JOSH Yeah. SAM He was high when he was running the Labor Department. JOSH Yeah. SAM And Lillienfield knows this? JOSH I'm fairly sure that's why he started this in the first place. Lillienfield's going hunting. [beat] Sam, we owe Leo everything. I mean everything. SAM I'll call her, and we'll go see her together. JOSH Thanks. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY Charlie is exiting the Oval Office with some files. Mrs. Landingham enters. MRS. LANDINGHAM Charlie. CHARLIE Yes, ma'am. MRS. LANDINGHAM It's important you remind the President throughout the day that he's allergic to eggnog. CHARLIE Sure. MRS. LANDINGHAM Thank you. She sits at her desk and begins to work on the computer. Charlie leans on his desk and watches her. A staffer walks through with big holiday decorations. The entire room is full of red ribbons, wreaths, and such. CHARLIE This place looks great doesn't it? MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah. CHARLIE I've never seen a Christmas look like this, the trees, and the lights, and everybody singing. MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah. CHARLIE The presents... MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah. CHARLIE I brought it up because, I don't know, you seem a little down this week. MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah, I know Charlie. I tend to get a little down during he holidays. CHARLIE You don't like Christmas? MRS. LANDINGHAM I miss my boys. CHARLIE I never knew you had kids. MRS. LANDINGHAM Twins. Andrew and Simon. I tried not, you know, I dressed them differently, but they still did everything together. They went off to medical school together, and then they finished their second year at the same time, and of course their lottery number came up at the same time. CHARLIE For the draft? MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah. CHARLIE Well I would have thought they could get a deferment to finish med school. MRS. LANDINGHAM They didn't want one. Their father and I begged them, but they wanted to go where people needed doctors. Their father and I begged them, but you can't tell kids anything. So they joined up as medics and four months later hey were pinned down during a fight in DaNang and were killed by enemy fire. That was Christmas Eve 1970. [beat] You know, they were so young, Charlie, they were your age. It's hard when that happens so far away, you know because, with the noises and the shooting, they had to be so scared. It's hard not to think that right then they needed their mother... Anyway, I miss my boys. She looks up for a moment, then back to some papers on her desk. CHARLIE [softly] Okay. Charlie walks away as Mrs. Landingham continues to work on the papers, trying to put thoughts of her boys out of her head. CUT TO: EXT. KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL - DAY Toby is looking at the Korean War Memorial, and then glances to the park bench where the homeless veteran died. He walks up to a stand with information about the Korean War and it's veterans. STAND WORKER What to sign the book? TOBY Excuse me? STAND WORKER Sign the book? TOBY Sure. STAND WORKER Ah, you looking for anything in particular? TOBY No. No. Just... I'm not a visitor. I was, uh... I'm not the police. I was... [beat] A homeless man died this morning near the monument. [gestures to the park bench] STAND WORKER Yeah, when the weather gets down... TOBY Occurred to me that maybe he slept there a lot, maybe you knew him. STAND WORKER Yeah, he was one of them. Was he a friend of yours? TOBY No. STAND WORKER I didn't think so. TOBY I'm just trying to contact someone that might, you know, be interested that he died. STAND WORKER They usually hang out around Capital and 'P,' I'd try there. TOBY Thanks. [starts to walk away, but turns back] You a veteran? STAND WORKER Yeah. TOBY [offers his hand] Toby Zeigler. STAND WORKER John Noonan. [They shake hands.] TOBY Merry Christmas. STAND WORKER Merry Christmas. John Noonan watches thoughtfully as Toby walks away. CUT TO: INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet and Mandy are arguing while Charlie and a few Secret Service Agents stand by. Bartlet is putting on his coat as if he is getting ready to leave. MANDY A couple of guys. BARTLET No. MANDY Mr. President a couple of guys. BARTLET Leave me alone. JOSH [enters] Good morning Mr. President. BARTLET Josh, what are you doing right now? JOSH I'm helping prepare a strategy for the European economic summit in February. BARTLET Blow it off. JOSH [flippant] Okay. BARTLET Seriously, take an hour and come with us. JOSH You're going shopping? MANDY He won't let me send some press along. BARTLET Leave me alone. JOSH I don't understand. How are you going shopping? BARTLET Oh I sneak out every now and then. JOSH You sneak out? BARTLET Yes, couple of agents, an unmarked black suburban. They tell the manager, they clear the store, I'm in, I'm out. It's like nothing ever happened. JOSH I never knew this. BARTLET Did you know that there's an underground tunnel out of here? JOSH Yes. BARTLET I haven't been able to find it even though I search almost everyday. JOSH Where are you going? BARTLET To a place called Rare Books, you know what they sell? JOSH Fishing tackle? BARTLET Funny boy. MANDY The President is doing some last minute Christmas shopping at a rare bookstore and he won't let me send some press along. BARTLET Tell her to leave me alone. Sheila! MANDY A couple of guys. BARTLET This is a Christmas thing I'm doing Mandy; we don't have to make hay out of it. MANDY It's such good hay. BARTLET [to Josh] Want to come? JOSH An hour with you in a rare bookstore? Couldn't you just drop me off the top of the Washington monument instead? BARTLET It's Christmas, Josh! No reason we can't do both. JOSH I suppose. BARTLET Let's go shopping! The group exits the Oval Office. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY C.J. is talking to a staffer and handing her some papers. Danny approaches and follows C.J. as she starts to walk to her office. STAFFER Okay, I got it. DANNY Hey C.J. C.J. Hello Danny. DANNY I saw the black suburban in back. President's slipping away, huh? C.J. He suddenly realized he'd forgotten to get you a Christmas gift. DANNY How sweet. C.J. Yes. DANNY So, I've put together a list. C.J. Yeah? DANNY Of reasons why you should go out with me. C.J. Really? DANNY Yes. C.J. Well I'll tell you what, give me a couple of hours to put together a list of reasons why I shouldn't, then we'll compare them and see where we are. [stops to face him] My secret service code name is Flamingo. DANNY Nice bird. C.J. Go away. DANNY Okay. C.J. watches Danny as he walks away and doesn't hear Sam pass by. She follows as she sees him. SAM Hey. C.J. Sam? SAM Yup? C.J. What do you and Josh have going on tonight? SAM [nervously] Nothing. C.J. I just meant did you want to come over for dinner. SAM Oh, yeah. C.J. What did you think I meant? SAM I'm going to Bermuda tonight. C.J. Okay. Yeah, that's right. SAM What? C.J. What did you think I meant? SAM It's what I thought you meant. C.J. Then why did you say nothing if you are going to Bermuda tonight? SAM I really don't know. C.J. Okay. SAM But thank you for the invitation. C.J. Okay. Sam. [stops] What have you and Josh have going on tonight? SAM Nothing. [quickly leaves] CUT TO: INT. RARE BOOKS STORE - DAY Bartlet and Leo are skimming through the bookshelves in an aisle. Bartlet suddenly stops and grabs a book and begins to examine it. BARTLET Oooh! 'The Fables of Phaedrus,' 1886, first edition, red leather label, gilt lettering, engraved frontice. Phaedrus, you know, who was a slave, but later granted his freedom by Augustus, wrote his animal fables in iambic verse. LEO Well, nothing says Christmas like animal fables in iambic verse. BARTLET That's what I say. Mandy and Josh are in the next aisle. MANDY A few photographers would have killed him? JOSH Let it go. MANDY I'm just saying. JOSH Ah. Here's one. [grabs a book from the shelf to look at] MANDY One what? JOSH A book which if I was stuck with it on a desert island, I still wouldn't read it, 'The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California.' I believe I would eat this book before I read it. Bartlet and Leo pass Josh and Mandy and walk to another aisle. BARTLET So, you won't change your mind? LEO Nope. I appreciate it, but... BARTLET So you're gonna sit around in your hotel room by yourself? LEO I've got plenty to do at the office. BARTLET Oh! So you're gonna work on Christmas? Good, that makes me feel better. LEO Look... BARTLET Come to Manchester, stay at the house. LEO Oh, so you could read aloud from 'The Fables of Phaedrus'? BARTLET I wasn't planning on doing that, but now that you suggest it. LEO I'll be fine. BARTLET Suit yourself. They are quiet for a moment. Leo comes closer and lowers his voice. Bartlet is examining a new book he has found. LEO Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah? LEO When you get back from the holiday I'm afraid we'll have to start talking seriously about my situation. BARTLET I'm not worried about it Leo. LEO I know you're not, but that doesn't... BARTLET It'll be fine, these things can go away by themselves. LEO No they can't, sir, and they usually don't. I'm gonna need an exit strategy that'll cause the least embarrassment and turmoil during the Mendoza confirmation. BARTLET I don't want to talk about an exit strategy. LEO Sir?! BARTLET I really don't. It's gonna be fine. CHARLIE [approaches] Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah? CHARLIE It's time. BARTLET All right. You know Zoey is starting Georgetown in two weeks, I was thinking about getting this for her. 'The Nature of Things. A Viviscalic Poem Translated from the Latin of Titus Lucrecius Carus.' Leo looks to Charlie with a disbelieving look. CHARLIE [deadpan] Well, I think she would like that better than a new stereo, sir. BARTLET Yeah. Because it's got brown Moroccan spine labels. CHARLIE Why don't you head for the car and I'll pay for the books. BARTLET All right, thanks. [to the shop keepers] Thank you all, Merry Christmas! Bartlet walks away as Leo walks over to Josh. LEO You heard what I said before right? JOSH What? LEO In my office this morning? JOSH Yeah. LEO Ok? JOSH Yeah. Bartlet comes back with two more books in his hands and gives them to Leo. BARTLET 'Life of Epicurus', two volumes. LEO Let's go. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: EXT. UNDERPASS OF WASHINGTON BRIDGE - NIGHT Toby approaches a large group of homeless people in a soup line ran by volunteers. Toby is very uncomfortable and unsure of himself. He tries to get their attention. TOBY Excuse me. Ah, excuse me, I was wondering if by any chance you know a man named of Walter Hufnagle? HOMELESS MAN Walter? TOBY Yes. HOMELESS MAN You looking for Walter? TOBY I wasn't looking for him. I was, uh... HOMELESS MAN There's his brother down there. [points] TOBY Oh thank you. [starts to walk to the man that was pointed out] HOMELESS MAN What's the problem? TOBY Oh, there's no problem. Down on the end? HOMELESS MAN Yeah. Listen, he's a little slow. I mean, he's all right and everything. He's just a little slow. TOBY Thanks. Toby walks under the bridge overpass, where dozens of homeless people are huddled around fires trying to keep warm. He approaches an older man, GEORGE HUFNAGLE. Like others, George is sitting by a fire. TOBY Excuse me. Mr. Hufnagle? GEORGE I'm George. TOBY Are you, uh, Walter Hufnagle's brother? GEORGE Yeah. TOBY I'm afraid I have some very bad news. Walter died last night. GEORGE Oh, jeez. TOBY It was a very cold night. GEORGE Yeah. 'Cause of the North Easterly wind off the Chesapeake. The homeless man that pointed George out to Toby approaches them. HOMELESS MAN Is everything all right? GEORGE Walter died. HOMELESS MAN Who are you? TOBY I'm, I'm... I'm Toby Zeigler. Uh, Walter was wearing my coat and it had my business card... HOMELESS MAN You want your coat back? TOBY No. GEORGE The North Easterly wind off the Chesapeake. TOBY George, did you know your brother fought in Korea? GEORGE Oh, I'm sure he didn't mean nothing. TOBY No, no. Uh, he... GEORGE Sometimes people start things and they... TOBY No, uh, he was in the Marines about forty-five years ago. GEORGE Yeah, I think I remember. TOBY He was given a medal. GEORGE Yeah? TOBY It's called the Purple Heart. It's for getting wounded in battle. GEORGE He was wounded? TOBY Yeah. GEORGE I guess he wasn't too good at it, huh? TOBY No, no. Uh, a lot of people were wounded or even killed. GEORGE Were you there? TOBY No, no I was – Anyway, uh, I wasn't sure if anyone had, you know, contacted you. GEORGE I slept over there at the shelter last night because of the North Easterly wind off the Chesapeake. TOBY Yeah, it was – it was pretty cold. GEORGE Yeah. And I guess there weren't enough beds for Walter. TOBY Yeah. I'm sorry. Goodnight. [turns to walk away, but he can't leave yet] I'm, I'm sorry. This is absolutely none of my business. Your brother is entitled to a proper funeral with mourners and I think he deserves an honor guard, and you don't know me, but I'm an in... I'm an influential person. [sighs in frustration with himself] I'm a very powerful person. And I would like to arrange it. GEORGE A funeral? TOBY [turns to the other homeless man] Are you gonna be here tomorrow? HOMELESS MAN Yeah. TOBY [to George] So that if I come and pick you up in the morning and I'll bring you back after. HOMELESS MAN I'll make sure he's here. TOBY Will you? [walks towards the homeless man] Thank you. Thank you. Let me just, uh... [reaches into his pocket and pulls out a wad of bills and gives them all to the homeless man for him and George] Here... uh... please just take it. [starts to walk away quickly] HOMELESS MAN Nah man, that's all your money. TOBY That's ok, thank you. HOMELESS MAN No, you don't live around here. TOBY No. HOMELESS MAN You gonna need it for the bus. TOBY I'm fine. Thanks. HOMELESS MAN Here. Take it. [hands the money back] TOBY Really. I'm fine. HOMELESS MAN You don't live around here. TOBY Thanks. [takes the money and quickly leaves] CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT C.J. is leaning against her desk reading a list to Danny who is sitting in a chair listening in amusement. C.J. You are a reporter. I'm The Press Secretary. It's an unavoidable conflict of interest. It would hurt my reputation. It would hurt your reputation. Your editors would obviously... DANNY C.J.? C.J. Yeah? DANNY What are you doing? C.J. I'm reading you my list. DANNY You really made a list? C.J. Didn't you? DANNY Sure. C.J. You didn't make a list. DANNY I made a list, got it right here. C.J. You said you made a list. DANNY I made a mental list. C.J. Well, I made an actual list. DANNY I can see. C.J. What did you come in here for? DANNY To give you your Christmas present. He stands up and reaches into his coat pocket to produce a small cylinder shaped gift. C.J. You already gave me a goldfish Danny, what more could a girl possible want? He watches as she rips into the wrapping paper to reveal-- C.J. Goldfish food. DANNY I'm gonna ignore your list 'cause I think it's ridiculous. Also 'cause I got a crush on you. CAROL [stands in the doorway] C.J.? C.J. Yeah? CAROL Leo's here? Danny grabs his coat and heads for the door as Leo enters. DANNY See you later. LEO Hey Danny. DANNY Hey Leo. LEO That's a nice goldfish. DANNY Isn't it? LEO Happy Holidays. DANNY You too. [leaves] LEO C.J. C.J. I'm rebuffing his advances, Leo. LEO Whatever. Listen, dial down the rhetoric on hate crimes would you? C.J. You told me to float a test balloon. LEO Float it. Don't shove it down anyone's throat. I don't know which way we're gonna come down on this one. C.J. They made him say 'Hail Mary's' as they beat him to death. This was a crime of entertainment. LEO C.J.... C.J. Beyond the crime itself is a manifestation of racism, or sexism, or anti Semitism or homophobia that are only a tip of the iceberg of the pathology troubling this country. LEO I'm aware of all that. I'm just not sure it's right to legislate against how someone thinks. A lot of people aren't sure, a lot of 'em work here and I'm telling ya' to dial it down. C.J. Okay. LEO Thank you. C.J. [sits] You have plans yet? LEO For Christmas? C.J. Yeah. LEO My plan is to do nothing. C.J. Want me to come cook you something? LEO [smiles incredulously] What are you my mother? C.J. I was just asking. LEO I'll see you later. [leaves] CUT TO: EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET IN WASHINGTON - NIGHT Sam and Josh stand at the front door to a house and ring the doorbell. Laurie answers. She has just gotten out of the shower, wearing a robe and drying her hair with a towel. SAM Hi. LAURIE Hi. JOSH Hi. The mood in the room is tense. SAM This is Josh Lyman. LAURIE Hi. JOSH Hi. LAURIE Come in. Sam and Josh walk into the front room and Laurie closes the door behind them. Sam and Josh look somewhat nervous and apprehensive. SAM Hi. LAURIE Well, like I said on the phone, I only have a few minutes. SAM Right, we'll get right to the point. LAURIE Please. SAM Right. Here's what's going on. A guy we work with is in some trouble. We believe a congressman is about to expose something about his past that's gonna be damaging to him. And doing what you do in the universe in which you do it, we though that maybe... Laurie walks around Sam, upset with what he is proposing. LAURIE I could give you a name of an influential Republican who likes to have kinky sex so that you could scare Lillienfield into shutting up? SAM I never said that it was Lillienfield. LAURIE Is it Lillienfield? SAM Yes. LAURIE This is for real? This isn't a joke of some kind? SAM This is for real. LAURIE [beat] Then get out and we'll pretend that this never happened. JOSH Hey, haven't we met? LAURIE Yes we have. JOSH Where? SAM White House. She came to the state dinner with Carl Everett. LAURIE Who raised about five million dollars in the mid-west for Bartlet. Did you think that only Republicans pay for sex? SAM Laurie, this really isn't about... LAURIE I can't believe you. What, did you get this out of a book? JOSH It was my idea. LAURIE Oh! What are you, the brains of the outfit? JOSH [voice rising] Yeah, I am. And I got to tell you, I could care less about your indignation right now. A man has left himself open to the kind of attack from which men in my business don't recover. Now if our tactics seem less than civilized it's because so are our attackers and in any event I don't feel like standing here taking a civics lesson from a hooker! SAM Josh! JOSH We don't need your cooperation, Laurie, one of your guys wrote you a check and the I.R.S. works for me. LAURIE Get the hell out of my house. JOSH Just give me a name. What do you want? Money? I'll give you money! LAURIE Oh fine, I'll give you a name, and then I'll hope back into the shower and you can leave the money on the nightstand. How 'bout that? SAM I don't think he meant-- LAURIE Yes, he did! JOSH No, I didn't. [turns away in frustration, then turns back to Laurie] In fact I'm sorry. I apologize. That was very rude. SAM We wouldn't have asked Laurie, but this person means a lot to us. LAURIE You're the good guys. You should act like it. JOSH Yeah. LAURIE I have to get dressed now. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24 Leo is sitting at his desk and is talking to C.J. about hate crimes legislation. Margaret walks in with more Christmas presents and cards for Leo to sign. C.J. Yeah, but we're not just talking about burning a cross on someone's lawn. People are getting killed. LEO And people get punished for committing that crime. Do you also want to start punishing them for what's in their mind when they commit it? C.J. Yes. LEO Really? C.J. Yes. Leo looks disdainfully at the card Margaret hands to him. LEO Who is this? MARGARET [reading a tag on the present] Elizabeth. LEO Who's Elizabeth? MARGARET [checks her clipboard] Your sister. C.J. I'm saying this is an abstract theory. It's not enough to say we're protecting people's civil rights; we have to actually do it. Plus it has the added benefit of being good politics. LEO Ah, see? Now I'm listening. C.J. We'll get into it after the break? LEO We'll get into it after the break. JOSH [enters with Sam] Excuse me. LEO Yes. JOSH You wanted to see us? Leo stands from his chair and Margaret packs up the gifts to leave. LEO Oh yes, very much. C.J. I should leave? LEO As quickly as possible. C.J. and Margaret exit the office, while Leo looks at Josh and Sam. LEO You went and did it? JOSH What? LEO Exactly what I asked you not to do. JOSH Leo. LEO You went and saw Sam's friend? SAM How'd you know? LEO I had you tailed. JOSH You had us tailed? LEO Yes. SAM Why did you have us tailed? LEO On the off chance that you're as stupid as you look. Whose idea was this? JOSH It was mine. Sam was a reluctant accomplice. You had us tailed? LEO Get over it. SAM She didn't give us anything. LEO I should hope not. JOSH Leo. LEO It's not what we do, Josh. SAM That maybe true, but still... LEO It's not what we do. SAM Yes, sir. LEO You should apologize to that girl for even asking. SAM I did. LEO Then apologize again. SAM Yes, sir. LEO Like I'm not gonna have enough problems without the Keystone Cops. JOSH We meant well. LEO Is that supposed to mean something to me? JOSH No. LEO [beat] Well, it does. JOSH I'm glad. LEO Go back to work. SAM It's Christmas Eve. LEO What, the country isn't open Christmas Eve? SAM Fair point. [leaves] JOSH Leo. LEO I know. JOSH It's gonna get bad before it gets better. LEO I know. [beat] Margaret! Lets get this over with. JOSH I'm here Christmas. LEO Okay. Josh leaves and Margaret comes back with an armload of brightly wrapped Christmas presents. Leo just looks at them in unpleasant surprise. CUT TO: INT. PRESS BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is giving a briefing to the White House Press Corps. C.J. There's been no change with the Presidents departure time of 10 a.m. so we're still looking at about noon. This is a half day for us, so I'm gonna make it a half day for you too. There is no more news from The White House. The lid is on. Have a Merry Christmas. REPORTERS Merry Christmas. C.J. starts to walk back to her office, grabbing Danny on the way. C.J. Hey, Fishboy. C.J. continues to walk, while Danny hurries to follow. C.J. Answer me this, and when you do bear in mind there's a lot riding on it. DANNY On what? C.J. Your answer. DANNY What's riding on it? C.J. [turns quickly and stops] A date with me. DANNY Fire. C.J. Don't you think imposing additional penalties for hate-motivated crimes is a powerful statement by society against tolerance? DANNY No. A crime is a crime. One murder isn't any better or worse than another. C.J. Boy, was that the wrong answer. DANNY Punishing people for their beliefs is, the beginning of the end. Once more you agree with me. C.J. I don't agree with you. DANNY Ok. C.J. Take me out tonight and convince me. DANNY Excuse me? C.J. You heard me. DANNY I didn't, 'cause there was – I was distracted by a thing. C.J. I'm not gonna say it again. DANNY Ok, then I'm gonna assume that you asked me out. [walks away] C.J. [quickly follows] I didn't ask you out. You asked me out about forty-nine times and I'm saying yes to one of them. DANNY Okay. C.J. You understand we're having dinner right? DANNY I understand. C.J. We're not having a fling. DANNY I understand. C.J. This is a business dinner, in fact bring your notebook. DANNY Okay. C.J. [stops] My secret service name is Flamingo. DANNY That's nice. C.J. I have to feed my fish. DANNY Okay. C.J. walks into her office leaving Danny in wonderment at what just happened. Josh is standing by the bullpen. JOSH Hey Danny. DANNY Hey Josh. JOSH How's it going? DANNY Hard to say. JOSH Okay. DANNY Okay. Danny walks away as the camera moves to Donna, who is sitting at her desk opening her Christmas gift from Josh. He watches on as she reveals a book. DONNA "Heimlich Beckengruber on The Art and Artistry of Alpine Skiing." JOSH It's got a molted calf cover and original drab boards. DONNA I don't know what to say. JOSH I wrote a note inside. Donna opens the book and begins to read what Josh has written. She is obviously affected by his words. JOSH Donna, don't get emotional. Donna, don't get... let's try and maintain some kind of... He's looking around the bullpen embarrassed. Oblivious to his concerns of propriety, Donna closes the book, stands up, and approaches Josh. DONNA [tearfully] You see!? You spend most of our time being, you know, you. Then you write something like this to me. Thank you. She pulls him into a tight hug. Josh, forgetting impropriety, hugs her back. JOSH I meant it. DONNA Skis would have killed you? JOSH [pulls back] Yeah. DONNA Okay. Josh walks away to his office. He stops in his doorway to look back to her. Donna is back at her desk, re-reading his note, smiling. CUT TO: INT. MURAL ROOM - DAY A crowd of people applauds as Bartlet enters the room. A children's choir is arranged at one side of the room. BARTLET Hello everybody. Welcome to The White House. [sees a young boy and shakes his hand] Joey. Welcome to the White House. The camera moves to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE as Toby enters. MRS. LANDINGHAM Good morning Toby. TOBY Good morning Mrs. Landingham. MRS. LANDINGHAM The President would like to see you. TOBY I know. MRS. LANDINGHAM Did you use his name to arrange a military funeral for a homeless veteran? TOBY Yes. MRS. LANDINGHAM You shouldn't have done that Toby. TOBY I know. MRS. LANDINGHAM You absolutely should not have done that. TOBY I know. MRS. LANDINGHAM The President is in the Mural Room. TOBY Thank you. CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS The boys' choir starts to sing 'Little Drummer Boy' as Bartlet and the rest of the crowd listens. Mandy is standing next to Bartlet. MANDY [whispering] How would it be if I just mentioned... BARTLET [under breath] No. MANDY Christmas shopping on your own at a bookstore? BARTLET Deal with it. BARTLET [spots Toby by the door, to Mandy] I'll be right back. He and Toby leave the Mural Room and walk to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. Nancy greets them. NANCY Merry Christmas Mr. President. BARTLET Merry Christmas, Nancy. Bartlet and Toby enter THE OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET Hi. TOBY Yes, sir. BARTLET How you doing? TOBY I'm fine. Thank you, sir. BARTLET Apparently I've arranged for an honor guard for somebody. TOBY Yes, sir, I'm sorry, I... BARTLET No, no, just tell me, is there anything else I've arranged for? We're still in NATO, right? TOBY Yes, sir. BARTLET What's going on? TOBY A homeless man died last night, a Korean War Veteran, who was wearing a coat I had gave to the Goodwill. It had my card in it. BARTLET Toby, you're not responsible... TOBY An hour and twenty minutes for the ambulance to get there. A Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps, Second of the Seventh. The guy got better treatment at Panmunjong. BARTLET Toby, if we start pulling strings like this, you don't think every homeless veteran would come out of the woodworks? TOBY I can only hope, sir. BARTLET [beat] When is this thing? TOBY I'm going to pick up his brother and go there now. MANDY [appears by the doorway] Mr. President, sir? Your absence in the other room is conspicuous. BARTLET Okay. Bartlet looks at Toby once more and then pats him on the shoulder. He follows Mandy back to the Mural Room. Toby leaves the Oval Office and is about to leave for the funeral. He passes Mrs. Landingham on the way. She is putting on her coat and hat to go outside. MRS. LANDINGHAM Toby, I'd like to come along. He gestures for her to join him. The episode ends with a montage of juxtaposing shots of the military funeral for Walter Hufnagle and the activity in THE MURAL ROOM. Throughout, we can hear the boys' choir sing 'Little Drummer Boy.' The hearse arrives at ARLINGTON CEMETERY, SECTION 43. Toby, Mrs. Landingham, and George get out of the car. George is holding a bouquet of flowers. The honor guard carries the casket to the grave. They begin the ritual of folding the flag that covered the casket. THE MURAL ROOM. Sam and C.J. join Mandy and Bartlet. Then, Charlie and Leo join. ARLINGTON CEMETERY. The honor guard starts to shoot their rifles in salute. Toby flinches with the first shot. Mrs. Landingham with the second. THE MURAL ROOM. Donna and Josh join the group. ARLINGTON CEMETERY. The honor guard starts to hand the tightly folded flag to Toby who gestures uncomfortably to George, who is then presented with the flag. George gently places the flowers on the casket. They all stand to leave. FADE OUT. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 1.10 – 'In Excelsis Deo' Original Airdate: December 15, 1999, 9:00 PM EST Transcript by 'A Friend of the Wingers' and Jenny October 30, 2000