As a night’s stylish state dinner honoring the Indonesian president looms in the background, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) keeps his eye on a spate of potentially explosive problems: an FBI hostage standoff with dozens of militant survivalists, a Class-4 hurricane bearing down on a carrier group at sea and an impending national trucker’s strike. Behind the scenes, the gracious First Lady (Stockard Channing) prepares to host the dinner, a pushy reporter (Timothy Busfield) flirts with C.J. (Allison Janney), Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Toby (Richard Schiff) corner an Indonesian government official (Peter Kors) to ask a favor, and a surprised Sam (Rob Lowe) spies his call girl friend Laurie (Lisa Edelstein) at the event.
THE WEST WING 'THE STATE DINNER' WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN AND PAUL REDFORD DIRECTED BY: THOMAS SCHLAMME TEASER FADE IN: INT. PRESS BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is informally talking to the members of the press as she's looking over a slide sheet. C.J. The first lady will be wearing a Badgely Mischka silk Shantung gown with a beaded bodice. SONDRA Shoes? C.J. I believe she will be wearing shoes, yes. REPORTER C.J.... C.J. Black suede and velvet with a Manolo Blahnik slides with a rhinestone and mother of pearl toe buckle. SONDRA Accessories? C.J. Gabriel Sanchez freshwater pearl necklace with tourmaline beads. I'm also told to inform you she will be carrying a Christina Bomba silk pleated organdy drawstring evening bag. REPORTER And Mrs. Siguto? C.J. Mrs. Siguto will be wearing a traditional silk kegaya in dark purple with an overlay of black silk lace. SONDRA C.J.? C.J. Matching open-toe evening slippers. Her jewelry is by an artist from her birthplace, which is Jakarta. Josh appears and waits for C.J. to finish. C.J. It is fashioned with rubies and gold. Anything else? [No response.] Nothing on the nuclear test ban treaty? [More silence.] No? Okay. Thank you. [gets up and walks to the briefing podium, Josh following] JOSH C.J.... C.J. Man alive, do I love it when In Style magazine is issued press credentials. Mirabella needed to know what kind of wine is being served with the fish course. So, it's a good thing I went to school for 22 years. JOSH What wine are we...? C.J. It's wine and you'll drink it. JOSH Okay. C.J. What do you need? C.J. and Josh walk out to the HALLWAY and continue the conversation. JOSH Sarah is picking up speed and power and has now been classified as a class four system. You might want to talk about preparations and contingencies. C.J. Sure. What are we talking about? JOSH Hurricane Sarah. C.J. Sarah's a hurricane. JOSH Yes. C.J. Where is it heading? JOSH Georgia and parts of the Carolinas. C.J. When? JOSH It will hit landfall by tonight. C.J. Is it serious? JOSH Have you ever been in a hurricane? C.J. No. JOSH Me neither, but they look pretty serious. They go into the COMMUNICATIONS BULLPEN where they meet up with Sam. SAM Just so you know, they've voted to strike. C.J. The teamsters? SAM Fifteen minutes ago. Leo's putting them in a room. C.J. When? SAM Now. C.J. How long is it going to last? Sam, Josh and C.J. walk out to the HALLWAY. SAM Till midnight. Taft-Hartley expires, that's why they're going to walk. C.J. There's a state dinner tonight. JOSH We'll make more food. C.J. Josh... They reach C.J.'S OFFICE AREA where Toby is waiting. JOSH Don't worry about it. C.J. [to Toby] Hey, did you know about the hurricane? TOBY Yeah. C.J. Everybody but me? They all enter C.J.'S OFFICE. C.J. walks to her desk. The others fill the room. TOBY Listen, I want you to start preparing for something. There's a situation in McClane. C.J. Virginia? TOBY Idaho. C.J. What's in Idaho? TOBY There's a property there that local law enforcements had surrounded for four days. A farmhouse, with anywhere from 18 to 40 Survivalists. C.J. Are they armed? TOBY Yeah. C.J. Are there kids? TOBY Yes. C.J. grimaces to Sam, who puts his head down. TOBY The F.B.I. decided it's a hostage situation. So, we have ourselves a whole new ball game. C.J. So, let me see if I have this. [looks at Josh] A hurricane's picked up speed and power and is heading for Georgia. [looks at Sam] Management and labor are coming here to work out a settlement to avoid a crippling strike that will begin at midnight tonight. [looks at Toby] And the government's planning a siege on 18 to 40 of its citizens, all the while we host a state dinner for the President of Indonesia. JOSH and TOBY Yeah. SAM You got it. Sondra walks in and tries to get C.J.'s attention. C.J. Amazingly, you know what I'll get asked most often today? JOSH What? C.J. Sondra? SONDRA I'm sorry, C.J.... C.J. Black suede and velvet. Manolo Blahnik slides with a rhinestone and mother of pearl toe buckle. SONDRA [writes it down] Thanks. C.J. No problem. Sondra leaves as C.J. looks at Josh, at Sam, and at Toby. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is on the phone. Radio is on about the storm. JOSH Low-pressure system. It's another low-pressure system. Okay, I'm talking to the Red Cross. I'll call you in about an hour... Yeah. Bye. He hangs up and walks out of his office to JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA. JOSH Donnatella Moss! DONNA Hey. JOSH A senior Indonesian deputy is coming tonight. Toby and I want to talk to him alone for a few minutes. I need you to find out if he can speak English and if he can't, we need to get an interpreter from State. DONNA What's his name? JOSH Ramahedi Sumahedjo Bambang. Conversation moves to the HALLWAY. DONNA Can you spell that? JOSH Not correctly, no. DONNA Josh... JOSH Yes. DONNA I've got to tell you something. JOSH What? DONNA I'm not wild about this whole Indonesian thing. JOSH What's the problem? DONNA I've been doing some reading on my own. JOSH I wish you wouldn't do that. DONNA Why? JOSH Because you tend to call some bizarre factoid from a less than reputable source and then you blow it all out of proportion. DONNA [peeved] I do not. JOSH Donna... They walk to the COMMUNICATIONS BULLPEN. DONNA I just thought you might like to know that in certain parts of Indonesia, they summarily execute people they suspect of being sorcerers. JOSH [stops] What? DONNA I read it. JOSH They... summarily execute people they suspect of being sorcerers? DONNA They behead them. JOSH Sorcerers. Josh and Donna are just on their way through THE ROOSEVELT ROOM. DONNA Gangs of roving people. Beheading those they suspect of being sorcerers. You know with... what's that thing that Death carries? JOSH A scythe. DONNA They're doing it with a scythe. JOSH Well, thanks for the head's up. DONNA I thought you might like to know who's coming over for dinner. JOSH You bet. JOSH ends up in LEO'S OFFICE. Leo enters through another door. C.J., Sam, Toby and Mandy are already there while Leo leans against his desk. LEO I heard it got upgraded. JOSH It's a class 4 hurricane. FEMA's down in Georgia with the Red Cross. The President should be prepared to sign some sort of federal disaster relief. What's going on with the truckers? LEO I'm meeting with them in the Roosevelt Room in an hour. JOSH C.J.'s going to need to know what they're wearing. C.J. Yeah. TOBY What's the issue? SAM Two tiered hiring. LEO A company divides its workforce into two bodies. Long term, full time employees, who enjoy top market wages and benefits, and part time, or newer full time employees who are paid a lower waged scale and usually get no benefits. C.J. But, they're part time employees. MANDY But, a lot of them aren't. A lot of the workers that management designated as part time are de facto full time employees while working the same amount of hours under a different designation at lower wages with no health or pension. JOSH I'm with management. MANDY Imagine my surprise. TOBY A younger workforce puts a premium on job flexibility and they're unwilling to make a long time commitments to a single company. What do you expect? MANDY Fair hiring practices. LEO Listen. McClane, Idaho? I need someone to monitor and keep the President and me updated throughout the day. SAM I'll do it. LEO You're going to work with Toby on the toast. TOBY Don't need him. LEO Yes, you do. SAM It takes two people to write a toast? LEO The State Department's very particular about these toasts. JOSH I'll assign someone from my office. MANDY I can do it. JOSH No. You can't. MANDY Why not? JOSH Because, you're a political consultant and... this is an actual... you know... thing. MANDY Leo, please tell Josh that I can play a role in issues and it's not going to be the end to this administration? JOSH I don't think it will be the end of this administration, Leo. I think it will be the end of this republic. LEO Establish a contact at the Justice Department and the FBI. And keep Josh informed throughout the day and night. What else? JOSH [looks at a file] The... uh... Redskins suck. LEO Thank you. Meeting breaks up. Toby and Josh walk out to the HALLWAY. Donna was loitering around the meeting, smiling at Josh's comment. Toby comes up to her. TOBY Donna? DONNA Yeah? TOBY Did Josh talk to you about the...? DONNA Ramahedi Sumahedjo Bambang? TOBY Yeah. DONNA I'm on it. TOBY Thank you. DONNA Toby, did you know that in certain parts of Indonesia they summarily execute people who they suspect of being sorcerers? TOBY Yes. He ducks into an office. Donna looks back at Josh. DONNA [to Josh] You see? JOSH You're all crazy. CUT TO: INT. MURAL ROOM - DAY Reporters and photographers are kept behind red velvet ropes on one side of the room as Bartlet and PRESIDENT SIGUTO of Indonesia stand between the American and the Indonesian flag. C.J. gets something from Bartlet and ducks out of the way. HARRY Mr. President? C.J. No questions right now, Harry. HARRY A short one. BARTLET She's not worried about the length of your question, she's worried about the length of my response. They all laugh. Flash bulbs pop. Bartlet talks to Siguto. BARTLET We're having salmon tonight. SIGUTO Yes. BARTLET They told you that? SIGUTO Yes. More pictures taken. Bartlet smiles and turns his head for the cameras. Siguto just sits and stares straight ahead. BARTLET Yo-yo Ma is going to play. [No answer.] Some Bach concertos, I believe. [Still no answer.] Do you like salmon? SIGUTO No. BARTLET Well... our mistake. SIGUTO Yes. Bartlet just smiles for the cameras. CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - DAY Sam is sitting at his desk with the laptop when Toby comes in. TOBY What do you have so far? SAM Uh, we start by welcoming our friends and distinguished guests. We praise President Siguto for leading his country through a period that promises profound change as Indonesia moves from an authoritarian dictatorship towards a real democracy. TOBY The beginnings of a real democracy. Let's not get carried away. SAM All right. Ah... we have been friends for over 50 years... TOBY Don't... Don't say friends. SAM It's a state dinner. TOBY Fine. But I don't think we should remind people how friendly we were with dictators who oppressed their people while stealing their money. SAM How else are you going to steal people's money? TOBY See, that's good. Write that in the toast? [starts to leave] SAM Toby? TOBY Yeah? SAM You got something going on tonight with Josh? TOBY We got to see a guy about a thing. SAM Need any help? TOBY No. Toughen this up. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY Management and Labor people are seated around the table, two of which are BOBBY RUSSO and SEYMOUR LITTLE. Leo barges in authoritarian and sits at the head of the table. LEO Thirty days with a federal mediator, you people couldn't work this out? RUSSO There's fundamental differences. LEO Name them. LITTLE It's the same differences. LEO Name them again. RUSSO The two-tiered hiring. LITTLE Leo, the trucking industry faces intense competition from Fed Ex and UPS, the railroads, the airlines, freight operations... RUSSO Seymour... LITTLE ...For us to accept wage costs that are significantly greater than our competitors, would render us unable to compete... RUSSO You know, you're full of crap, Seymour. LEO This is the White House, Bobby, it's not the Jersey turnpike. Watch your mouth. RUSSO Forgive me. LEO For all the danger your industry's facing from competition, Seymour... the fact is, the trucks are still this country's number one way of moving things around. Including food. I'm talking about produce rotting in warehouses. I'm talking about fistfights in supermarkets over who gets the last bar of soap. [stands] You have until midnight. CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY Mandy is leaning against the door as Josh walks in. MANDY You don't think I can do this. JOSH Why aren't you in your own office? MANDY I don't have an office in this building. JOSH There's a reason for that. They walk and talk into the HALLWAY. MANDY The McClane police got a warrant to search this house. They had reason to believe there was a gun in that house that was made illegal by virtue of a barrel that was a quarter inch shorter than it was supposed to be. JOSH pours himself some coffee. MANDY The people in this house, who are exactly who you think they are, refused entry to the police. JOSH Did they... refuse it politely? MANDY They produced weapons, if that's what you're asking. JOSH Yes... that's what I'm asking you. MANDY It really bugs you that the President listens to me sometimes. JOSH Yes, but you shouldn't take it personally. It bugs me when the President listens to anyone who isn't me. MANDY Do you know why the FBI had reason to believe there was an illegal weapon in this house? They enter JOSH'S OFFICE. JOSH Why? MANDY Because we sold it to them. JOSH You know that for sure? MANDY Yeah. Also, there are children in there. And a lot of crossed wires between the Deputy Attorney General and the FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in terms of who's running the show. My point is, aside from everything else, this is a PR disaster waiting to happen. And it's going to happen today. This is why you hired me. JOSH Yeah, I was wondering why that was. MANDY [chuckles] It bugs you. JOSH Yes. Mandy walks away. Josh whispers. JOSH Yes. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet and Siguto are sitting in chairs. Another group of reporters are standing across them. Cameras are again flashing. REPORTER President Siguto, how are you enjoying America so far? SIGUTO Fine, thank you. REPORTER Would you mind expanding on that, sir? He doesn't respond. Bartlet leans over. BARTLET She'd like you to say a little more on the subject. SIGUTO I have nothing more to say on the subject. BARTLET Okay. C.J. One more question. Danny? DANNY Mr. President? BARTLET Which one? DANNY Pardon me. President Bartlet... I wondered if you noticed the protestors across the street this morning? BARTLET I try not to look out my window that much, Danny. What protestors? DANNY Vermeil. BARTLET Vermeil? DANNY Yes, sir. C.J. Danny, I'm going to cover vermeil at the briefing, that's all folks, I got to bring in the next group. BARTLET Thank you. As reporters are filing out, Danny and C.J. talk into the HALLWAY. DANNY You don't know what it's about, do you? C.J. The protestors? DANNY Yes. C.J. It's about vermeil. DANNY What's vermeil? C.J. I happen to know what vermeil is. DANNY [with a chuckle] Okay. C.J. My one o'clock briefing is going to be about the vermeil protestors, isn't it? DANNY Well, I just asked a question in front of 24 White House press reporters and you didn't answer it. So, I would assume that there would be some sort of follow-up, yes. C.J. Thanks. DANNY Anytime. Carol passes by. DANNY Carol? CAROL Yeah? DANNY She's going to need you. [walks off] CAROL What do you need? C.J. I need to know what vermeil is and why people are protesting it. CAROL Vermeil? C.J. Yes. CAROL ...E-I-L? They walk inside THE OVAL OFFICE. Leo walks up to Bartlet and Siguto, who are still in their chairs. BARTLET Leo... LEO Good morning, sir. [to Siguto] Good morning, Mr. President. Would you excuse me, Mr. President? [back to Bartlet] Sir, if I could... BARTLET Absolutely. LEO Thank you. BARTLET [to Siguto] Would you pardon me one moment, please? [to reporters] Excuse me, folks. C.J. calls on Carol as Bartlet and Leo walk into LEO'S OFFICE. They whisper at the door. BARTLET I can't decide if that man is boring or rude, but he's one or the other. LEO I'm sorry to hear that. BARTLET I'm sitting out there trying to figure out how this guy campaign for something and win, then I remembered--we usually rig the elections. LEO There you go. BARTLET You think it's important he sit at my table tonight? LEO He's the guest of honor, so it is customary. BARTLET Where are you sitting? LEO At your table, sir. BARTLET Where's Toby sitting? LEO With C.J. and Josh and Sam. BARTLET Ah, that's the fun table. LEO Yeah. BARTLET What do you need? LEO I just wanted to let you know that we're going to clear out a battle carrier group from the Norfolk Naval Yard. BARTLET Because of the hurricane? LEO Yes. It's standard procedure. They want to get the ships out of the way. BARTLET All right, fine. LEO And this is just in case someone asks you why we deployed an entire group in the North Atlantic. Their conversation fades as they re-enter THE OVAL OFFICE. Bartlet sits in his chair. Cameras flashing, Siguto still sitting like a gargoyle. BARTLET Sorry to keep you waiting. [No answer.] Did I mention we're having salmon tonight? SIGUTO Yes. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY We look over Toby's shoulder as he writes in long hand on a legal pad. Sam is sitting on Toby's couch with his laptop on his lap. TOBY Read this. [hands Sam the pad, which Sam reads as Toby closes the door] SAM 'Indonesia's constitution highlights democratic principles.' Toby... TOBY Read. SAM I know what you're gearing up for. TOBY Read! SAM [reads] 'The national ideology of Pancasila, upon which, your constitution is founded, includes a belief in the Supreme Being, while calling for religious tolerance.' I see you've underlined that. 'Freedom of the press, freedom of assembly...' Toby, do you think it a good idea to invite people to dinner and then tell them exactly what they're doing wrong with their lives? TOBY Absolutely, otherwise it's just a waste of food. SAM Toby... TOBY We're not telling them how to run their lives. SAM [reads again] 'It's time for your government to live up to the promises enshrined in the hearts and minds of your people as well as the laws of your land?' TOBY Friendly reminder. SAM Can we soften the top of this? TOBY No. SAM Something like... 'As has often been said, a true friend tells another friend the truth and on some issues, we must speak candidly, or we could not, in all honesty, hold the great honor of being known the world over as Indonesia's friend.' TOBY Well... that was just about the worst writing I have ever heard. SAM I know. CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is doing the briefing. C.J. Vermeil is gilded silver. Silver covered in gold. The White House has one of the largest collections in the world. REPORTER 1 Why the protestors? C.J. Well, these are 18th and 19th century French objects. Many designed by the noted European silversmith, Jean-Baptiste Claude Odiot. We see Danny's extremely smiling face. C.J. The collection is kept in the Gold Room along with the ten-arm glass cut chandelier which was made in England in 1785. REPORTER 2 C.J.? What does this have to do with the protestors? C.J. Nothing at all. It's just interesting information and I thought I'd share it with you. Light chuckles from the audience. C.J. Many workers were blinded by the mercury while making these pieces. Louis the 15th would melt them down to pay for his wars against his people. So, in general, they're seen in some circles as a symbol of a government's bloody and tyrannical oppression of its own people. We use them as centerpieces with a seasonal floral arrangement. TOM Is the President concerned this might send the wrong message? C.J. [stares for a moment] I'll be honest with you, Tom. I haven't run this by the President yet, but I'll have that for you, plus the rest of the day's scores and highlights at the next briefing at 4:00 or 5:00. Thank you. As she leaves the podium, she meets Carol. C.J. I won't need a transcript of that. C.J. walks out to the HALLWAY. where Danny catches up. DANNY C.J.... C.J. You're a rabble rouser, you know that? You rouse rabbles. DANNY Hey... C.J. I went and looked at your big vermeil demonstration. Six people in Lafayette Park with oak tag and magic markers. DANNY I didn't say it was Selma, Alabama, or anything. C.J. Six people! Six pathetic people protesting on a Friday and you just lent their weak and feeble voices a megaphone. What do you call that? DANNY A job well done. C.J. You're very proud of yourself. DANNY Yeah. So, what are you wearing tonight? C.J. What am I wearing tonight? DANNY Yeah. C.J. Your paper wants to know what I'm wearing? DANNY Not my paper, that was just for me. C.J. [stops] You want to know what I'm wearing? DANNY Yeah. C.J. [slowly] Well... I'm wearing... an evening gown of... gray silk. DANNY Good, then. I'll be looking forward to it. C.J. Well, okay. I got to go deal with the vermeil crazies. DANNY See ya. C.J. Okay. C.J. thinks it over after Danny walks away. CUT TO: INT. DINER - DAY Sam and Laurie are eating sandwiches. Laurie has a law book in his lap, sitting sideways in the booth. SAM The point I was trying to make to Toby was that this toast is coming at the end of two days of policy talks. And maybe at dinner we could lighten it up. LAURIE Sam, I've got Com Law in an hour. SAM Should I sit quietly? LAURIE Yeah, 'cause I really need to study this. SAM No problem. LAURIE Thanks. SAM I'll eat my sandwich. LAURIE Good, Sam. SAM I'm having a hard time deciding between the ham and cheese and the chicken salad. LAURIE This might help you, the chicken salad's mine. [brings her plate closer to her] SAM Yeah, but this kind of environment is basically community food, right? LAURIE You're not afraid of being seen with me right now? SAM Because of the way you're dressed? She's dressed in college wear. LAURIE No, not... why? What's wrong with the way I'm dressed? No. Because of my night job, Sam. You're not afraid of being seen with me? SAM No. LAURIE Okay. SAM Your night job's crummy. LAURIE Yes. I know. SAM So, you got a thing tonight? A date? LAURIE A client? SAM Yeah. LAURIE Yeah. SAM Who? LAURIE Sam? SAM I was just... LAURIE I thought we had a deal. SAM Yes. LAURIE Thank you. SAM Where's he taking you? LAURIE I don't know. SAM Okay. LAURIE No. I really don't know, Sam. He calls me, he tells me what to wear and the rest of it is a big surprise. SAM Is this...? LAURIE Sam, I have class in an hour and I have not even finished... SAM Oh, for God's sakes, it's Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 US 335. You cite the precedent. You cite Black's opinion for the majority. LAURIE [stunned at his knowledge] Thank you for that display of geek bravado. But I'd like to learn this myself so I can graduate from law school, practice law, and give up my night job. SAM And I'd like you to learn my experience when I tell you that law school bears little relationship to the practice of law. LAURIE It bears some relationship to graduating, though, right? SAM Yes. LAURIE Then shut up. SAM I'm just saying. Your night job stinks. LAURIE Fine. SAM And I'm taking your sandwich. LAURIE Fine. She watches him take a bite of her sandwich as she bites down on a pickle. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Two military types, Leo, Josh and Mandy, are meeting with the President. MILITARY GUY 1 Certainly, I think we're all agreed that militias impose an inherent threat. They are very well armed condreys of dangerous lunatics bent on undermining the government. MANDY Mr. President? Would it be inappropriate for me to join the discussion? BARTLET No, of course not. MANDY Kooks, nuts, extremists, the lunatic fringe element. This is the inevitable and unavoidable by product of the democracy. Such as pornography is the unavoidable by product of free speech. JOSH Excuse me, Mr. President. These people aren't thumbing through Hustler. They're armed. They're evading arrest and they're holding hostages. MANDY We think they're holding hostages. Plus, we're the ones who sold them the gun in the first place. MILITARY GUY 2 Yes. It's called a sting, Mandy. MANDY Yeah, but another word for it is entrapment. MILITARY GUY 2 Oh please. Pardon me, Mr. President, but the judge is never going to- MANDY I'm not talking about the courts. I'm talking about public opinion. MILITARY GUY 1 Then this is two different conversations. BARTLET You want to raid this house? MILITARY GUY 2 We don't have to come in with guns blazing. We can simply fire tear gas through the windows. MANDY And tomorrow's front page will be a screaming woman running out of a burning house with a baby in her arms and F.B.I. windbreakers in the foreground. Why can't we starve them out? MILITARY GUY 1 They've got like a five-year supply of food and water. To say nothing of ammunition. LEO Josh? JOSH There's no way this'll end good. All that's left is to end it fast. LEO I agree. MANDY What about a negotiator? MILITARY GUY 2 Negotiation what? MANDY A peaceful settlement. JOSH This is a stand off with federal officers. A peaceful settlement is 'put your guns down, you're under arrest.' MANDY I think it would be wise if we demonstrated that we exhausted every possible peaceful solution before we got all Ramboed up. BARTLET All right, Mandy. Thank you. Josh? Would you two give us a minute, please? Josh and Mandy walk out into the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. They stay there as the door closes. JOSH I don't think it's unreasonably macho for the White House to be aggressive in preserving democracy. MANDY Let me tell you something. Ultimately, it is not the nuts that are the greatest threat to democracy, as history has shown us over and over and over again, the greatest threat to democracy is the unbridled power of the state over its citizens. Which, by the way, that power is always unleashed in the name of preservation. JOSH This isn't abstract, Mandy. This isn't a theoretical problem. The FBI says come out with your hands up, you come out with your hands up. At which point, you're free to avail yourself of the entire justice system. MANDY Do you really believe that? Or are you just pissed off because I got into the game? Leo opens the door and emerges from the Oval Office, walks straight to Mandy. LEO Mandy, the President's going to go with your plan. Chafey's going to send in a negotiator. MANDY Good. Leo walks away. JOSH Well, you're in the game now. Josh leaves. Mandy stays standing. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Josh is wearing a tux. Donna is tying his white bow tie. DONNA If you can't explain what you're doing now, the assumption is that you're a sorcerer. If you try to run, the assumption is that you're a sorcerer. Okay? So, if anything happens, the prudent thing is to stand still and calmly explain your business. JOSH Well, prudent or not, once the scythe comes out, I'm probably going to haul ass. Knock on the door. Charlie sticks his head in. CHARLIE Excuse me. JOSH What's up? CHARLIE I hate to ask you this, but I need a favor. JOSH What do you need? CHARLIE My grandparents own a little house up the Georgia coast. JOSH Are they evacuated? CHARLIE I don't know where they are. I've been trying to get a hold of them all day. DONNA They lost power lines in parts of Northeastern Georgia. CHARLIE Um... I'm sorry to ask you this, but- JOSH Don't worry about it. Donna, call FEMA, use my name. When that doesn't work, use Leo's name. CHARLIE It's just that they don't get around too well. JOSH We'll find them. Donna is on the phone already. Josh walks down the HALLWAY. Mandy is wearing a beige flowered sleeveless dress with a sienna colored wrap. She spied Josh and meets up with him. MANDY Hi. JOSH I look good tonight, don't you think? MANDY Yes. JOSH You look good too, but I look even better. MANDY The FBI guy's been in there a couple of hours. JOSH Yeah? They walk through the halls as workers are setting up floral arrangements and candles. MANDY You think it's a good sign? JOSH I really don't know. MANDY I'm asking you what you think. JOSH I don't have any thoughts on it one-way or the other. MANDY So, what's happening with the teamsters? JOSH I don't know. MANDY Any news on the hurricane? JOSH Not that I'm aware of. MANDY What is it you do here exactly? JOSH It's never really been made clear to me. Mandy chuckles. They reach the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. Sam comes out of his office, wearing a tux with tails and also a white bow tie. JOSH Toby! SAM He's not here. JOSH Hey. SAM We look good, don't we? Josh adjusts Sam's tie. MANDY You guys want to be alone? [walks off] SAM Hey, I'm finishing up this speech... Do you think there's some sort of personal connection between President Siguto and the U.S.? You know, something from his past? JOSH He was once almost pushed out of an airplane by a CIA trained operator. SAM I should probably leave that out. JOSH Yeah. I would. Sam walks off. Josh comes out to the HALLWAY. Toby is down the hall, also wearing a tux with tails and a white bow tie. TOBY Excuse me, Josh? JOSH Hey. TOBY Can I speak with you a moment? JOSH Is he in? TOBY Yes. JOSH Let's go. TOBY There's a problem. JOSH What? TOBY Mr. Minaldi! The door of one of the offices opens, MR. MINALDI walks out. TOBY This is Mr. Minaldi. The interpreter from State. JOSH You do speak Indonesian, don't you? MINALDI There's no such language as Indonesian. Indonesians speak 583 different languages. I speak Javanese. Mr. Bambang speaks Batak. JOSH [calls] Donna! DONNA [comes down the hall] I know, I know, I've got it under control. JOSH It's 7:30, is there anyone left at state? DONNA No. JOSH Then, what are we doing? DONNA Well, Mr. Minaldi speaks Portuguese. TOBY Where does that get us? DONNA Well, there's a guy who works in the kitchen who can translate Mr. Bambang's Batak into Portuguese. Then Mr. Minaldi will translate it into English. TOBY Wait a minute... ah... Why can't the kitchen guy translate Batak into English? DONNA The kitchen guy doesn't speak English. TOBY You're kidding me. DONNA Well, no. He speaks Batak and Portuguese so I wouldn't look down your nose. TOBY Is the bar open yet? DONNA Yeah. TOBY Make this work. [walks off] DONNA [arranges Josh's tie and whispers] I'm sorry. CUT TO: INT. RECEPTION ROOM - NORTH LOBBY - NIGHT C.J. is in her wonderful gown of gray silk--high neckline, sleeveless, with a gray silk wrap, dark gray gloves to the elbow and a sparkler of a diamond bracelet. She stops by a waitperson. C.J. Excuse me. Have you seen the First Lady? ABBEY [yelling from the distance] C.J.! C.J. walks to her and sure enough, ABIGAIL BARTLET is wearing exactly what C.J. told the press she'd be wearing. C.J. Good evening, Mrs. Bartlet. ABBEY Nice threads girl. Showing a little dEcolletage wouldn't kill you dead. C.J. Yes, ma'am. [giggles] Abbey takes her arm and steers her over to some people. ABBEY C.J., this is Harry and Nancy O'Malley. Douglas and Barbara Coleson. And their son, Steven, who's a cardiologist. STEVEN Nice to meet you. C.J. Nice to meet you all. ABBEY This, of course is C.J., my husband's press secretary. She's not married, Steven, and she doesn't have a boyfriend. C.J. Thank you, Mrs. Bartlet. C.J. smiles and takes Abbey away. C.J. Abbey? ABBEY He's a doctor, C.J. He's heir to Coleson Technologies. C.J. I appreciate the thought. ABBEY So, what's on your mind? C.J. I spoke to Peggy about the vermeil. You might get a few questions. ABBEY I'm not embarrassed by the vermeil. It's not like we spent new money on it. C.J. Yes, but it's history. ABBEY It's our history. Better or worse, it's our history. We're not going to lock it in the basement or brush it with a new coat of paint. It's our history. C.J. Okay, well. Good answer. ABBEY You know, the truth will do it almost all the time. C.J. Yes, ma'am. ABBEY C.J.? Cardiologist... C.J. Yes, ma'am. [walks on] Abbey looks around the room and sees Leo. ABBEY Oh, I'm sorry. Is that Leo McGarry, or is that Fred Astaire? Leo smiles and they meet. Leo does a suave dance move. LEO Fred Astaire. ABBEY Leo, where's my husband? LEO He was caught on a call. He'll meet you over there. ABBEY What's happening with the teamsters? LEO They've been at it for ten hours. ABBEY What's your confidence? LEO We'll be okay. ABBEY Good. Mingle. Somewhere in the reception, Mandy nervously looks around. She goes out to the JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA. Donna is on the phone. MANDY Anything yet? DONNA I'm on with the Red Cross. MANDY What about Idaho? DONNA Nobody's calling back. MANDY What is going on? [gets on another phone and dials] CUT TO: INT. RECEPTION ROOM - NORTH LOBBY - NIGHT Toby, Sam, and Josh are standing in a huddle. Leo comes up. LEO Guys... shmooze someone for me. His name's Carl Everett, and he's raised a ton of money for us in the Midwest. Carl? I'd like you to meet... CARL Toby Ziegler... [shakes Toby's hand] Sam Seaborn... [shakes Sam's hand] and Joshua Lyman. [shakes Josh's hand] TOBY Our reputations precede us. CARL They ought to. You three do fine work. LEO Excuse me, gentlemen. [leaves] SAM So, how long are you in town for, Mr. Everett? CARL Just for the night. Let me introduce my date. Brittany? The date turns around. It's Laurie, and Sam becomes uncomfortable. CARL This is Brittany. Brittany, this... TOBY [hurriedly] Toby Ziegler. [shakes her hand] JOSH Josh Lyman. [shakes her hand] SAM [puts out his hand for a shake] Sam Seaborn. LAURIE Nice to meet you. CARL We're going to head on over, but maybe I'll get a chance to talk to you all later. SAM Great. JOSH Have a good time. LAURIE Thank you. JOSH Okay. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - NIGHT Charlie walks by, and Donna calls out to him. DONNA Charlie! Charlie. Your grandparents are in a shelter in Granville. CHARLIE Oh, man. Thank God. Thank you, Donna. You know how long they're going to have to stay there for? DONNA Well, people are being sent back to their houses right now. Get this, the hurricane shifted direction. CHARLIE You're kidding. DONNA No. It's heading back out to the Atlantic. Leo walks by, into C.J.'S OFFICE. C.J. is holding satellite photos of the hurricane. LEO C.J.? C.J. Leo. LEO What's happening? C.J. It's a whole new situation. LEO It's moving east. It's moving back out. What kind of situation? C.J. For some reason, there's a fleet of ships out there. LEO [stricken] Oh, God... C.J. Do you know about this? LEO They evacuated a battle carrier group out of Norfolk this morning as a standard safety precaution. C.J. They're sitting right in the path of the hurricane. LEO Can they get out? C.J. Leo, the thing is 600 miles across. They're locked in. How bad can this get? LEO Catastrophic. C.J. What do you want to do? LEO Let's do this thing, and then get ready. C.J. I should start to work now. LEO Ah. I don't want to tip the press. Let's go to a party. [ushers C.J. out] INT. FORMAL DINING ROOM - NIGHT Guests are being ushered at tables by men in dress uniforms. We are taken to the RECEPTION AREA. In a room attached to the formal dining room, Josh is on his cellphone. JOSH Yeah, okay... I appreciate your call. Thank you. [hangs up] MANDY [comes up] Josh. I'm not hearing anything from the FBI. And I'm not hearing anything from Justice. It's been about a half an hour and I can't get any information out of Idaho. JOSH It's over. MANDY What do you mean? JOSH That was Chafey. They took the house. 34 occupants, they're all in custody. MANDY What happened? JOSH They shot the FBI negotiator. He's in critical condition. Clapping in the background. ANNOUNCER Ladies and gentlemen... President and Mrs. Bartlet... accompanied by President and Mrs. Rahm Siguto. Josh is clapping with the crowd. Mandy is numb. JOSH Mandy? MANDY I... should call... get on the phone... I'm going to throw up. Mandy takes off. Josh claps for Bartlet, his wife, Abbey, and the guests. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. FORMAL DINING ROOM - NIGHT Bartlet and Leo are walking up the elegant stairs of the dining room, supposedly after the salmon. BARTLET Without warning? LEO Yeah. BARTLET The hurricane just shifted direction without any warning? LEO It's not an anomaly, but it's unusual. BARTLET I would think. They walk inside the ELEGANT BRIEFING ROOM. Lots of computers, weather maps of the hurricane are inside. A captain is there. BARTLET Captain? How big is this carrier group? How many men and how many ships? CAPTAIN This battle group is made up of the aircraft carrier, John F. Kennedy, which carries a crew of 5,000 men. Two guided missile cruisers, two destroyers, and two battleships. All told, it's a little over 12,000 men. BARTLET How soon before the worst of it starts? CAPTAIN About 20 minutes. BARTLET Is there any way I can speak with the fleet commander? CAPTAIN It will take a few minutes. But we can set a hook up right here. BARTLET All right. Let's do it. CAPTAIN Thank you, Mr. President. BARTLET Thank you. Lightning flashes outside the window. The officer leaves. BARTLET Any word on the FBI guy's condition? LEO They're prepping him for surgery. BARTLET What do I do now? LEO Go back to the party. Bartlet and Leo move toward the door and two military guards open the door for them. CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN - NIGHT Amidst the very busy night in the kitchen, Toby is talking to GOMEZ, a member of the kitchen staff. TOBY Mr. Gomez... Camera zooms in. We see chaos as they're serving the state dinner. Toby is with Donna, Minaldi, Gomez, and the Indonesian diplomat, RAMAHEDI SUMAHEDJO BAMBANG. TOBY Mr. Gomez, you speak Batak. Is that correct? MINALDI [translating] Senhor Gomez, o senhor fala Batak. Correto? GOMEZ Sim. MINALDI [to Toby] Yes. TOBY As you just did, you also speak Portuguese? MINALDI E como arabou de fazer, o senhor tambem fala Portugues? GOMEZ Sim. MINALDI Yes. TOBY But not English? MINALDI Mas nao fala Ingles? GOMEZ Nao. MINALDI No. TOBY Okay. Those are two pretty tough languages, Batak and Portuguese... you might want to take a crack at English one day, seeing as how you live here. Okay? MINALDI Okai. Sao linguas... TOBY [stops him] No. Don't translate. [to Bambang] Mr. Bambang, thank you for agreeing to meet with me today. MINALDI Senhor Bambang, obregado por ter concorcado em vir me encortar. GOMEZ Bapak Bambang, saya terima kasih bapak menyetujuin ketemu beseya saya. BAMBANG Kembali. GOMEZ [to Minaldi] Nao tem de que. MINALDI [to Toby] You're welcome. TOBY Okay. It's going to be a long night for Toby by the looks of his expression. Josh comes in. JOSH Sorry I'm late. I'm Josh Lyman. MINALDI Desculpem o atraso meu nome e Josh Lyman. GOMEZ Ma'af saya telat nama saya Josh Lyman. Round of translations continue as Toby whispers to Josh. TOBY This is going to take a while. MINALDI Pleased to meet you. JOSH Are you enjoying the evening? Translations start. TOBY Josh, this isn't the best context for chit-chat. JOSH Mandy is pretty upset. I didn't do a great job. MINALDI I didn't like the salmon. Josh is confused. TOBY He's answering a question from like a half hour ago. Mr. Bambang? BAMBANG Why don't we just speak in English? Toby and Josh are stunned. JOSH Donna... DONNA I was told that he... TOBY Yes. DONNA You should keep in mind all the things I do right. JOSH Yes. DONNA Should I go? TOBY Yes. Mr. Gomez, Mr. Minaldi, thank you for your trouble. Donna leaves, as well as Gomez and Minaldi. BAMBANG What can I do for you, gentlemen? TOBY [beat] A friend of mine is in one of your jails. I want you to let him out. BAMBANG But your friend isn't an American. TOBY He's French. BAMBANG Then why not let the French take care of this one? TOBY Because he's my friend and the French don't give a damn. BAMBANG The extradition process is one that might... JOSH We're not talking about the extradition process. TOBY What we're talking about is that you unlock the cell, you put him in a car, and you drive him to the border. BAMBANG Your friend led anti-government demonstrations? TOBY That's what he does. He teaches students how to protest. BAMBANG And so you're asking this as a favor? TOBY Yes. BAMBANG Senior aide to senior aide. TOBY Yes. BAMBANG I think you have a lot of nerve. That was a despicable and humiliating toast your President made. And I know you are the one who wrote it. TOBY [stunned, rubs his eyebrow, as he's apt to do when flustered, tightly smiles] Please understand that with so many people watching... with so much media coverage... it was important for us to make clear that the United States, with it's commitment to human rights... BAMBANG Mr. Ziegler. Does it strike you at all hypocritical that a people who systematically wiped out a century's worth of Native Americans should lecture the world so earnestly on human rights? TOBY Yes, it does. BAMBANG You humiliated my President tonight, qnd for no other reason than to show off. And now you want me to do you a favor? Go to hell. [leaves] JOSH We'll talk to the French. [starts to leave, Toby is rooted to his spot] Toby. We'll talk to the French. TOBY Yeah. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT We hear and see the storm outside as C.J. is typing on her computer. Danny stands by the door. DANNY That's a nice dress. C.J. You're not supposed to be back here right now. DANNY KDHN in Boise is reporting an FBI agent went down on a raid on a house in McClane. C.J. We'll have a statement in 15 minutes. DANNY What happened? C.J. [gets up and walks to the door] Danny, did you hear me say we'll have a statement in 15 minutes? God, Danny. DANNY What did I do? C.J. When you flirt with me, are you doing it to get a story? DANNY No. C.J. Why are you doing it? DANNY I'm doing it to flirt with you. C.J. [goes back to her desk] I don't believe you. DANNY I know. C.J. So? DANNY So, that's your problem. C.J. Look... DANNY When's Hurricane Sarah about to hit? C.J. You know what? You're the one who goes around town saying that I'm too friendly with the press corps and that makes me a weak press secretary. DANNY I never said you're a weak press secretary. C.J. Yeah, but you've been thinking it. DANNY I thought you did well with the vermeil scandal. C.J. See? You're doing it. DANNY I know. C.J. I have work to do. DANNY No problem. [about to walk off] C.J. You really like the dress? DANNY Yes. C.J. All right. Whatever. DANNY I hope the FBI guy pulls through. C.J. 15 minutes. Lightning flashes as she begins typing again. Danny smiles and walks down the hall. CUT TO: INT. ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT The Teamsters and Labor are still at it. RUSSO To accept these policies means that the Teamsters Union will be significantly weakened in its ability to represent or retain the loyalty of younger workers and we're not going to let that happen! LITTLE I disagree. RUSSO No kidding! Bartlet walks in and slams the door. All stand. BARTLET How are we doing? LITTLE We're at an impasse, Mr. President. BARTLET Hungry? RUSSO Yes, sir. BARTLET Tired? RUSSO Yes. BARTLET Talk to me for five minutes apiece and then we're going to settle this. They are about to sit. BARTLET Stay standing. CUT TO: INT. FORMAL DINING ROOM - NIGHT Sam is at a table eating alone. Carl Everett and Laurie walk up. CARL Sam. SAM Carl. Brittany. CARL Have you got just a minute? SAM Sure. [stands up and shakes his hand] CARL Can I cut to the last page? SAM Sure. CARL I think you're someone that I could have a relationship with. SAM You want to have a relationship with me? CARL What do you think? SAM I cost $500 an hour. Laurie reacts to that remark. SAM In the private sector. I billed out at $500 an hour. CARL I don't understand. SAM Would you like some of my food? CARL Oh, there's Todd. Excuse me. Todd? [walks off] Sam sits and Laurie hurriedly sits next to him. LAURIE I didn't know. SAM What were you thinking? LAURIE I didn't know where he was taking me. I told you I didn't know where he was taking me. SAM He just tells you what to wear. LAURIE That's right. SAM That's great. LAURIE You know, I'm sorry, Sam. But this isn't exactly your business. I'm not here because of you. I'm just here because I'm here. I would be here even if you were here or not. You're just some guy who happens to know me. SAM [angrily] Thank you. LAURIE I didn't... you know what I mean. SAM No. Could you keep talking about being here and not being here until blood starts pouring out of my ears? ABBEY [walks up] Sam. Sam and Laurie stand. SAM Mrs. Bartlet, good evening. ABBEY Are you enjoying yourself? SAM Yes. ABBEY Sam? SAM Yes? ABBEY Wouldn't you like to introduce me to your friend? SAM Okay. LAURIE Mrs. Bartlet, I'm Brittany Rollins. ABBEY Abigail Bartlet. [They shake hands.] LAURIE It's an honor to meet you, ma'am. ABBEY Oh, aren't you sweet? I'm sorry to interrupt you. Actually, I was looking for the President. SAM He had to step out to the West Wing. ABBEY Oh. SAM I'm not sure why, but I could... ABBEY To pistol-whip the trucking industry. SAM Why would he? ABBEY Because he can't save a gunshot victim and he can't stop a hurricane. [smiles at Laurie] You are thoroughly charming. LAURIE Thank you. ABBEY Excuse me. SAM Yes, ma'am. Abbey leaves. Sam sits back down. LAURIE That was incredible. SAM I'm just going to eat, if that's okay. Laurie still has her hand on her heart from meeting the first lady. LAURIE Sam... SAM I'll give you $10,000 not to go home with that guy tonight. Laurie keeps her hand to her heart, then walks away speechless. CUT TO: INT. ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT Everyone in the room is still standing. LITTLE Such a broad inflationary surge would wreak havoc on the economic policies that have allowed the United States to enjoy an unprecedented... BARTLET Time's up. LITTLE Actually, if I may, Mr. President. I didn't get my full five minutes. BARTLET Yes, I know. But I got tired of listening to you. Now you listen to me. I have a Nobel Prize in Economics and I'm here to tell you that none of you know what the hell you're talking about. At 12:01 am, I'm using my executive power to nationalize the trucking industry. LITTLE You can't do that, Mr. President... BARTLET Fourteen White House lawyers disagree. Truman did it in '52 with the coalmine. LITTLE And it was struck down by the Supreme Court. BARTLET In 50 years, there's a new bench and I'll take my chances. As for Labor, I am calling Congress into Emergency Session to grant me the authority to draft the truckers into military service. You're going to love our food. Nice talking to you folks. If this isn't settled in 47 minutes, don't worry. We know where to find you. [walks out] Out in the HALLWAY, Bartlet walks by, looking at the floor. ABBEY I shouldn't have stayed away so long. Abbey is in the Oval Office doorway. Bartlet hadn't noticed her. BARTLET Hey... I'm all right. [holds her hands] ABBEY I shouldn't have extended the trip. I'm sorry. BARTLET I approved a plan for an FBI negotiator. ABBEY I know. BARTLET He's in surgery now. ABBEY I know. You know, one of the things that happens when I stay away too long, is that you forget that you don't have to power to fix everything. You have a big brain. And a good heart. And an ego the size of Montana. [They both snicker.] You do, Jed. You don't have the power to fix everything. But I do like watching you try. They hug tight. We hear the thunder outside. The dim, flicker, and then goes out for a moment. BARTLET What the hell? Well, if this isn't a metaphor for powerlessness, I don't know what is. We better get back to work, huh? They walk down the hall hand in hand. CUT TO: INT. FORMAL DINING ROOM - NIGHT Leo comes down the stairs as Bartlet and Abbey are going to go up. LEO Mr. President... BARTLET We got the fleet commander? LEO Not yet. The JFK's radios have been knocked out along with communications on the Normandy and the South Carolina. All we've got is the Hickory. It's a little maintenance and supply boat that sails around with the fleet. They walk into the ELEGANT BRIEFING ROOM. Everyone's there already. Mandy, Toby, Josh, Sam, the captain and several guards. Bartlet walks to a table with Abbey and Leo. BARTLET So, I guess I'm going to talk to the Captain of the Hickory? JOSH The intercom's been knocked out. They're looking for him on foot, sir. BARTLET Is there somebody on there now? [points to the radio] LEO The kid in the radio shack. BARTLET You're kidding. CAPTAIN No sir. ABBEY Jed, talk to the boy. The Captain pushes the speaker phone button. BARTLET Hello? [pause] Hello? Anyone there? MAN [on the phone] This is the U.S.S. Hickory. BARTLET Hickory, this is the White House. Who am I speaking to? MAN [on the phone] This is Signalman Third Class Harold Lewis. BARTLET Son? This is President Bartlet. [No answer.] Hello? HAROLD LEWIS Yes, sir. BARTLET Is your C.O. around? HAROLD Sir, they're getting him right now, sir. BARTLET Can I talk to you in the meantime? [beat] Hello? HAROLD I'm... yes, sir. BARTLET Are you all right, Harold? HAROLD I hit my head on... I-I... I hit my head. BARTLET Are you bleeding? HAROLD Yes, sir. BARTLET Can you put something on it? HAROLD Well, I need to get to the other... I-I can't reach it and... BARTLET You go over and get it. I'll stay right here. A long pause. BARTLET Harold? [pause] Harold, are you back? HAROLD Yes, sir. I think the skipper should be here any minute, sir. BARTLET Can you tell us what's going on? HAROLD Well... BARTLET Harold? HAROLD Hello? BARTLET We're here. HAROLD Yeah. BARTLET Can you tell us what's going on? HAROLD Well, we're looking at I guess 80 foot seas with winds up to 120 knots. We're shipping solid green water over the bow. And we've got a fire in the engine room. We lost our running lights and may get run over by an aircraft carrier that can't see in the dark. Bartlet is at a loss of what to say and kneels down. BARTLET Well, I don't know, man. Sounds pretty bad, Harold. I think I'm going to ask for my money back. [pause] Harold? HAROLD Yes, sir. BARTLET I'm going to stay right here, as long as the radio works, okay? Abbey puts her hand on her husband's shoulder. HAROLD Yes, sir. BARTLET Hang on. The conversation continues. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 1.7 – 'The State Dinner' Original Airdate: November 10, 1999, 9:00 PM EST Transcript By: Jo