After a foreign terrorist is caught at the border with explosives, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) ponders the impact of ordering a heightened security alert for the nation’s airports while an exasperated Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to learn of the President’s secret affliction with multiple sclerosis — and he details its political and legal ramifications. In other White House corridors, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) try to punch up an upcoming presidential speech with snappy one-liners while Josh jousts with Donna (Janel Moloney) over many contentious subjects, including the exact start date of her employment. In addition, Sam and Ainsley (Emily Procter) fuss over the 14th Amendment and equal rights for women.
THE WEST WING '17 PEOPLE' WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN DIRECTED BY: ALEX GRAVES TEASER FADE IN: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - NIGHT THE SAME NIGHT Toby is sitting in a chair throwing his rubber ball against the wall. MAN [on TV] That's an incredible one in 500 Americans afflicted with this disease, which leads me to part two of our question. Toby stops throwing for a moment. MAN [on TV] Senator, how is it that, despite the prevalence of this disorder, autism has received less than 15%... Paper crumpling. TWO NIGHTS LATER Toby is throwing crumpled legal pad paper into a wastebasket already full with other papers. He sighs heavily and throws away another page. TWO NIGHTS AFTER THAT Toby is typing on his laptop. He stops suddenly, looking through the screen and into the hallway. He gets up and walks to LEO'S OFFICE. TOBY Leo. LEO Hey, I didn't know you were still here. TOBY Yeah. LEO What's going on? TOBY I've been thinking... about why Hoynes volunteered to slap down big oil. LEO It was his polling information. TOBY Yeah, but why did he put the poll in the field at all, is what I'm saying. LEO John Hoynes is an egomaniac who needs to be told what people think of him. TOBY [sighs] Well, that's pretty unusual for Washington. LEO Yeah. TOBY [comes closer] Leo, has there been a discussion in some room, some place, anywhere on any level about Hoynes being dropped from the ticket in 2002? LEO No. TOBY You sure? LEO Yep. TOBY 'Cause I thought maybe it was an Eisenhower-Nixon... LEO No, Toby, I wouldn't give it a lot of thought. TOBY Okay. [walks out] Sound of Toby's rubber ball hitting the wall. THE NEXT NIGHT FADE IN: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - NIGHT Toby is in his chair, throwing the ball against the wall. Throws with the right, catches with the left. THE NEXT MORNING FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY Leo walks in, picks up his mail, walks into his office, turns on the light. Toby is sitting on his couch. TOBY Hey. LEO [raises his head, terrified] You scared the hell out of me. TOBY The poll that Hoynes put in the field... LEO Hoynes is going to run for President one day. Why shouldn't he do his own polling? TOBY [gets up] He's going to run for President six years from now, what good does last weeks' do? LEO I really don't know. [walks by him] TOBY Okay. THAT NIGHT TOBY [VO] It's never happened before, right? FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT Toby is pacing in it. LEO No. TOBY The Vice President would never challenge a sitting President for the nomination. LEO 'Course not. TOBY You see his itinerary for the weekend? LEO Who? TOBY The Vice President. LEO I don't keep tabs on John. TOBY He's giving a speech at a semiconductor plant. The title of the speech is, "Clean air industry in the high-tech Corridor of the Industrial Northeast." LEO Where? TOBY Nashua, New Hampshire. Leo takes off his glasses and sits back in the chair. Toby stares at him. LEO Toby, nobody, and particularly not Hoynes would be naOve enough... what I mean to say is if he's going to New Hampshire for the reason you're thinking he would mask it with something. It wouldn't be an official trip. He'd make up a benign excuse to be up there. TOBY I know. LEO So why are you concerned about the speech? TOBY Because it comes in the middle of a three-day camping trip to Killington. [beat] Why does Hoynes think the President isn't going to run again? [beat, while the sound of Toby's ball, slamming into the wall, is heard] What's going on, Leo? Leo doesn't answer. Toby continues staring at him. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT 11:35 P.M. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Bartlet sits at the desk. A knock is heard, and Leo enters. LEO Excuse me, Mr. President? BARTLET I closed the embassies in Tanzania and Brussels. LEO What about Domestic? BARTLET I don't have to make that call yet. LEO How much time do you have? BARTLET About an hour. LEO Mr. President, I've got Toby waiting in his office right now. We've got to tell him. BARTLET Tell him what? Leo gives Bartlet a knowing look. LEO We've got to tell him. BARTLET What happened? LEO He got curious when Hoynes volunteered to step in for Bill Trotter. He got even more curious when he found out Hoynes put a poll in the field. BARTLET Yeah... LEO You know how he's camping in Killington, Vermont, with a quick stop in New Hampshire... and Toby's not an idiot. BARTLET He... LEO None of them are. BARTLET He scheduled a trip to New Hampshire? LEO High-tech quarter of the Northeast. BARTLET Yeah, thanks to who? LEO That doesn't matter right now. Bartlet slams his notebook on the desk. LEO I think you have to see this as an opportunity... BARTLET To do what? LEO To gauge reaction. BARTLET You think Toby's reaction is going to be the same as the public's? LEO I meant the staff's. BARTLET Which will be? LEO I'm sorry, sir? BARTLET [rising] The staff's reaction will be what? LEO I don't know! Shock, betrayal, confusion, concern about our future? Bartlet nods. LEO I don't know. BARTLET What do I tell him? LEO Everything. BARTLET Go tell him. LEO Yes, sir. As Leo leaves, Bartlet lets out a long sigh. BARTLET Now it starts. CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT Josh and Sam are sitting in casual clothes, each reviewing the White House Correspondents' Dinner Speech. SAM Hmm... JOSH Well... SAM Yeah... JOSH You know what the problem with this is? SAM Yeah. JOSH It's supposed to be funny. SAM And yet... JOSH It's not. SAM No. JOSH Who worked on this? SAM Jay Breech, Janet Lipman. Andy Kyle, a little bit. JOSH You know what they did? SAM Yeah. JOSH They forgot to bring the funny. SAM Yep... JOSH How much time do we have? SAM I want to show it to him within the hour. Josh rises and leans into TOBY'S OFFICE. JOSH Toby? TOBY Yeah? JOSH Sam and I are going to stay and touch up some of the jokes from the White House Correspondents'. TOBY Yeah, I read it. JOSH They forgot the funny. You want to stay? TOBY Where are you going to be? JOSH The funny place. Leo enters behind Josh. TOBY I'll catch up with you in a little bit. JOSH What's going on? LEO Nothing. JOSH Okay. Toby and Leo exit through the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. Josh gives the speech a look just as Donna walks by. DONNA Hello. JOSH [following her] How you doing? DONNA I'm doing fine. JOSH Did you get the flowers? DONNA Yes, I did. JOSH Did you like 'em? DONNA They were very pretty. JOSH Do you know why I sent them to you? DONNA I know why you think you sent them to me. JOSH It's our anniversary! DONNA No, it's not. JOSH I'm the kind of guy who remembers these things! DONNA No, you're the kind of guy who sends a woman flowers to be mean. You're the only person I've met who can do that! JOSH I'm quite something. DONNA Yes. JOSH I sent them to mark an occasion! DONNA Are we really going to do this every year? JOSH For I am a man of occasion! DONNA I started working for you in February, this is April, and you're an idiot. JOSH You started working for me once in February. DONNA Yes! JOSH And then you started working for me again in April, and that's the one I choose to remember, because it's the only one that wasn't followed by you not working for me and going back to your boyfriend, and how you can call me mean in comparison to that and him is another in a long... DONNA Oh, shut up! Honest to God, don't you ever get tired of the sound of your own voice? JOSH No, no, no. [heads off in an opposite direction] DONNA Hey, where are you going now? JOSH Sam and I were going to punch up the speech for the thing, and we need funny people. DONNA [anticipating] Yeah? JOSH You know any? Donna reacts. She goes to her desk. JOSH See, that! That right there! It's the oldest joke in the book... DONNA You're telling me... JOSH Hey, Ado Annie, I sent you flowers! I think what you're trying to say is, 'Why, thank you, Josh! They're beautiful! Not many bosses would have been that thoughtful...' DONNA Yeah? Because I think what I was trying to say was 'Shove it!' JOSH Okay, then... DONNA Do you want help with the thing? JOSH Yes, I do, because you are an hysterically funny person... did you see how I used 'an' there properly? DONNA Yes, I did. JOSH You crack me up... DONNA You know, Josh, there are times when, to put it quite frankly, I hate your breathing guts. JOSH So the flowers really did the trick? DONNA Oh, yeah. CUT TO: INT. AINSLEY'S OFFICE - NIGHT Ainsley is typing at her desk and listening to some type of instrumental music. SAM [OS] Ainsley? Ainsley! [enters] Ainsley. AINSLEY Hello, Sam. SAM Didn't you hear me shouting? AINSLEY Yes. SAM And...? AINSLEY I chose to ignore it. SAM Because...? AINSLEY You were shouting. SAM You're adorable. AINSLEY Yet ill-adored. SAM Go figure. AINSLEY Yeah. SAM What are you doing? AINSLEY I'm going up to Smith College tomorrow. SAM Why? AINSLEY It's my alma mater. SAM Reunion? AINSLEY The women's studies department is holding a panel on resurrecting the ERA. SAM Who else is on the panel? AINSLEY Rebecca Walker, Gloria Steinem, Anne Coulter, Naomi Wolfe... SAM You know, something like 40% of all women oppose the ERA, and in my entire lifetime, I've yet to meet one of them. AINSLEY [extending hand] Ainsley Hayes, pleased to meet you. SAM You're not... AINSLEY Yes. SAM You're not! AINSLEY Yes. SAM You're not, you're not, you're not one of those people! AINSLEY Sam, if, by those people, you're referring to Episcopalians... SAM You're going back to Smith College, the cradle of feminism, to argue in opposition of the Equal Rights Amendment? AINSLEY And get some decent pizza, yeah. SAM They're gonna hate you. AINSLEY I'm a straight Republican from North Carolina, and you don't think they hated me the first time around? SAM Yeah... AINSLEY So what are you doing? SAM I want to punch up some of the jokes for the speech for the Correspondents' Dinner, and I'm looking for people left in the building who are funny. Since I couldn't find any, I came to you. AINSLEY I would think, Sam, that with your infectious sense of humor, you'd have no trouble. SAM Do you wanna help me or not? AINSLEY I need to finish this. SAM We've ordered Chinese food. AINSLEY Okay. Ainsley exits before Sam, and he makes a move as though to swat her with the paper he is holding. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Leo and Toby are waiting. An episode of 'The Tonight Show' is playing on one television; CNN on the other. LEO Did you see the speech for the Correspondents' Dinner? TOBY Yeah. LEO It's not funny. TOBY Sam's going to work on it. LEO Toby, take it easy in there, okay? Charlie enters from the Oval Office. CHARLIE You can go in. Leo and Toby enter THE OVAL OFFICE. TOBY Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET Good evening, Toby. Can I fix you a drink? TOBY No, thank you, sir. BARTLET Have a drink with me. TOBY Yes, sir. BARTLET Bourbon and white. TOBY Thank you, sir. BARTLET You know what I found out recently? To be called bourbon, it has to come from Kentucky. Otherwise it's called sour mash. [pause] An Algerian-born terrorist named Redin Hassan was recently arrested at the Canadian border in a U-Haul carrying ten 2-ounce jars of nitroglycerin. TOBY And they don't allow that kind of thing? BARTLET No. On advice from State and Intelligence, I've closed the embassies in Tanzania and Brussels. TOBY What about the FAA? BARTLET They wanted me to heighten security, order the Air Force, but it's a holiday weekend. I don't know. Toby, I got to tell you something... TOBY Sir-excuse me, sir, does the FAA have to produce evidence of a credible theory? BARTLET Yeah. TOBY How do they do that? BARTLET I don't know... TOBY Is there a time frame? BARTLET About an hour. Toby, about 10 years ago, for a period of a few months, I was feeling run down and had a pain in my leg. They both subsided, but 8 years ago, the pain came back, as well as numbness. My vision would become blurry and I'd feel dizzy. During an eye exam, the doctor detected abnormal pupil responses and ordered an MRI. The radiologist found plaque on my brain and spine. I have a relapsing-remitting course of MS. TOBY I'm sorry, sir? BARTLET I have Multiple Sclerosis. Toby is shocked and speechless. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet, Leo, and Toby are sitting quietly. TOBY What does relapsing-remitting mean? BARTLET I'm sorry? TOBY What does relapsing-remitting mean? BARTLET It's... I don't know... it's the good kind of MS. TOBY It's the good kind. BARTLET Yeah, as opposed to secondary progressive. TOBY Which is the bad kind. BARTLET Yeah. MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms can be as mild as numbness or as severe as paralysis. TOBY And loss of vision? BARTLET Yeah. TOBY And cognitive function? BARTLET Yup. TOBY Is it... I'm sorry, is it fatal? BARTLET No. That's the good news. The bad news is there's no cure. TOBY Yeah, that I knew. [beat] Does relapsing... BARTLET Ever turn into secondary progressive? TOBY Yeah. BARTLET Sure. TOBY Is there any way of telling if it's going to? BARTLET No. Toby stands up, rubbing his head. TOBY [beat] I'd like to stand up. Can I stand? BARTLET Yeah. A knock on the door. Charlie enters. TOBY I'm sorry, sir... I need to, uh... Can I, uh... Excuse me. Toby walks out to the portico. CHARLIE Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah. CHARLIE You wanted the call from Mr. Garreth at the FAA. LEO Charlie, could you put it through to my office? CHARLIE Yes, sir. LEO Go take it in my office. Bartlet exits into Leo's office. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT Josh, Donna, Ed and Larry are discussing the speech over cartons of Chinese food. JOSH See? ED Yeah. JOSH Larry? LARRY Yeah. JOSH See the problem? ED Well, they didn't bring the funny, Josh. JOSH Yeah, they didn't. [to Donna] What are you doing? DONNA I'm jotting down some go-tos in case a joke doesn't work. "I haven't seen an audience this dead since..." That kind of thing. JOSH You think the President's gonna get heckled? DONNA No, but I've read the speech and I think you'd be wise to have some dead audience metaphors in your pocket. JOSH Okay, here we go. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very happy to be here. And I want to thank the White House Correspondents Association for inviting me. I expect I'll be stuck here tonight with my fair share of verbal harpoons. I don't mind, just don't stick me... [less enthusiasm with every word] with... the... dinner check." Wow. DONNA And then it says here, "Allow for laughter." JOSH Yeah, well, unless we give that instruction to the audience I don't think it's going to be a problem. Sam and Ainsley enter. SAM Hey! JOSH "I don't mind, just don't stick me with the dinner check?" SAM I know, it's like he's playing Grossinger's. DONNA "I know some of you are troubled by my frequent use of Latin references. Well, all I can say is 'no te preocupus'." LARRY The joke there is that it's in Spanish. ED It's *that* kind of Latin. DONNA And that's probably where you'll want your first dead audience joke. JOSH We're not gonna need a dead audience joke. AINSLEY Donna, who gave you those beautiful flowers on your desk? JOSH I did. Me. Those are from me. AINSLEY What's the occasion? DONNA Nothing. JOSH Our anniversary. DONNA Our not anniversary. JOSH Donna doesn't like to talk about it. DONNA I really don't. AINSLEY Okay. SAM [helpfully] A few years ago, Donna's boyfriend broke up with her so she started working for Josh. But then, the boyfriend told her to come back, and she did. And then they broke up, and she came back to work. Donna stares at him with an upset expression. SAM I thought you meant *you* didn't want to talk about it. [beat] I'm a spokesman – it's in my blood. AINSLEY Well, they're nice flowers. ED "And I'd also like to thank our host, Bill Maher..." SAM We're not making fun of the host. AINSLEY Who are we making fun of? SAM, JOSH, ED and LARRY Republicans! SAM I only wish the Speaker were here tonight, but he's held up in negotiations on the Hill. He's demanding his latest pre-nup include a line item veto? JOSH There it is! SAM All right! Two groups. You guys over there, we'll stay over here. AINSLEY I want to be in the other group. SAM Why? AINSLEY The Kung Pao Chicken. SAM Get the Kung Pao Chicken and come back here. Let's go! In a half an hour I want to make Toby laugh. CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE PORTICO - NIGHT Leo brings a glass of bourbon out to Toby. LEO So I found out about a year ago. Two nights before the State of the Union, he had an attack. TOBY He did? LEO When he passed out in the Oval Office. TOBY That was an attack? LEO Yeah. TOBY I thought it was the flu. LEO It wasn't. Leo and Toby go back inside THE OVAL OFFICE. TOBY How is it possible? How is it possible that this was kept a secret? First of all, who else knows? LEO You're the 16th person. TOBY Who else? LEO I'll tell you some of them. I won't tell you all of them. TOBY Why not? LEO Because it's not entirely my business. I'm not sure of my footing here. The President will be off the phone in a minute, and in the meantime you'll take what I give you. TOBY It's not entirely your business? LEO The First Lady. The doctor, the radiologist, the specialist, the kids... TOBY Who else? LEO That's it, for now. TOBY He took a physical. Those doctors were from eight years ago. He took a physical... LEO It's in remission. It doesn't show up during a physical. TOBY Leo... LEO It's in remission. Nobody lied. TOBY Nobody lied? LEO Nobody. TOBY Nobody lied? Is that what you've been saying to yourself over and over again... LEO Look... TOBY ... For a year, Leo? A deception of massive proportion? I can't even... He gets a physical twice a year at Bethesda. His doctors are Naval officers. Are you telling me that officers are involved in this? LEO Toby... TOBY These guys are going to be court martialed. LEO Nobody... Listen to me. Nobody lied. Nobody was asked to lie. TOBY Coercion. LEO Nobody was asked to lie! TOBY Officers. The First Lady. Surgeons... Surgeon Generals, for all I know... BARTLET [enters] The plural of Surgeon General isn't Surgeon Generals, it's Surgeons General. Like Attorneys General, or courts martial. Nobody was asked to lie. That was Garreth from the FAA. Upon interrogating Reda Messam, they believe it's possible that another rental car crossed the border yesterday. They believe it's headed to a safe house in Patterson, New Jersey, and the FBI thinks they can apprehend him in 24 hours. Of course, the only way all of this will happen is if Reda Messam is telling the truth, so who wants odds? Anyway, they're still looking at forensic evidence and we're going to talk again in a few minutes to decide if there's a credible threat. TOBY I'm sorry, sir, I didn't hear that. BARTLET I said, we're going to decide if there's a credible threat. Why? What are you guys talking about? FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT Josh exits the Roosevelt Room leaving the others inside. He heads down the hall to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. He enters carrying a carton of Chinese take-out. Charlie is seated at his desk reading. JOSH Hey. CHARLIE How you doing? JOSH You have any idea how much longer Toby's gonna be? CHARLIE I don't. JOSH Let me ask you... you think this joke's funny? [perches on a desk] I'm sorry the Speaker isn't here. He's up on the Hill in last minute negotiations. He's going over his prenup and he wants a line-item veto. Charlie stops reading and look over his shoulder at Josh. CHARLIE Well, I think it's pretty funny but.... JOSH What? CHARLIE I wouldn't do it. JOSH Why? CHARLIE I think it's gonna call attention to the First Lady not being there. JOSH [mouth full of food] Where's Mrs. Bartlet gonna be? CHARLIE She went back up to Manchester. JOSH [surprised] She's not coming to the Correspondent's Dinner? CHARLIE Probably not. JOSH [confused] Charlie, what's going on? Charlie sternly looks over his shoulder at Josh. JOSH Sorry. [looks at the closed door to the Oval Office] All right. [throws away the food carton and gets up] You don't know when Toby's out? CHARLIE [glances at Josh] No. JOSH [quietly] Bye. [exits] CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - CONTINUOUS The crowd is still huddled around the table except for Sam. JOSH [enters] All right... Here we go! Josh claps his hands together and he rounds the table. Sam enters reciting from a Law Book. SAM "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex." Sam slams the book shut. Josh stands on the other side of the table next to Donna who is reading from a tablet. JOSH [confused] What's the joke? SAM It's not a joke. [sits] AINSLEY It's the Equal Rights Amendment. JOSH When did that come back? DONNA Read what these guys wrote. Donna hands Josh the tablet and goes back to her seat. Ainsley continues to ignore Sam as Josh reads. SAM Shall not be abridged or denied on account of sex. VERY dangerous language. This must be stopped. What could possible be your problem with the ERA? JOSH [confused] Why are we talking about the ERA? AINSLEY [smiles] It's redundant. SAM She's doing the thing.... JOSH Yeah, let's not back her or anything though. SAM Certainly, not if Phyllis Schaffley here has her way. AINSLEY Hup... [throws down her pencil and gets up] SAM It's redundant? AINSLEY Look, I'm a low maintenance lady. I've got the 14th Amendment. I'm fine! [walks to the head of the table and grabs a beer] SAM How about... Ainsley grabs some paper and heads back to her seat. Donna tries to hide a smile. AINSLEY The 14th Amendment which says a citizen of the United States is anyone that's born here... that's me... and that no citizen can be denied due process. I'm covered. Make a law for somebody else. JOSH All right here's a joke based on the premise is that the party afterwards is hard to get into and the President is the Commander-In-Chief. "I hear the Bloomberg party is gonna be hard to get into this year but I'm not worried. I'm going the party with the 82nd Airborne." DONNA And then the President says "Wow, I haven't heard a room this quiet since we lost the signal on Galileo." JOSH Or "Wow, I haven't seen my staff update their resumes this fast since the last time I tanked at the Correspondent's Dinner!" DONNA Josh. JOSH Yeah? DONNA [condescending] When you yell you make it harder for people to find the funny. JOSH Hey, who gave you those flowers on your desk? DONNA You mean a man who can't read a calendar? JOSH Sam. [motions for Sam to follow him to the corner] SAM We're doing fine. Toby's gonna come in here and nail it. This is his thing. JOSH Yeah, cut the Speaker joke, okay? Mrs. Bartlet night not be there. SAM Okay. JOSH All right, so uh... we're gonna be fine here. SAM No! We're doing great! [to the rest] We're doing great everybody, right? LARRY Sam, we've got one here but it involves a John Wayne impersonation and a sock puppet. SAM Yeah, we're eating it. CUT TO: INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Toby sits on the sofa. Bartlet sits across from him with a drink in his hand. TOBY Leo said you had an attack last year? BARTLET [looks up] Hmm? TOBY Leo said you had an attack last year. BARTLET Yeah. TOBY A couple of nights before the State of the Union. BARTLET Yeah. TOBY Wasn't that also the night you saw satellite pictures of India moving on Kashmir? BARTLET Yeah. TOBY India and Pakistan were staring each other down. Control of some nuclear weapons had been put in the field. BARTLET Yeah? TOBY So, in the middle of a... I don't know what you call them... BARTLET An episode. TOBY ...You were in the Situation Room as Commander-In-Chief. BARTLET [sarcastically] I know. I can't believe we're all still here. Bartlet takes a drink and stares at Toby. TOBY Mr.... BARTLET The episode was over. Leo was with me. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was with me as were the Secretaries of State and Defense. TOBY Do you receive medication? BARTLET I'm sorry? TOBY Do you receive medication? BARTLET I get injections of Betaseron. TOBY From whom? BARTLET From a doctor. TOBY None of your current doctors are aware of your condition... Mr. President, is your wife medicating you? Leo enters. BARTLET I think it would be best while temperature are running a little high if you refer to my wife as Mrs. Bartlet or the First Lady. TOBY [quietly] Yes sir. BARTLET What you got, Leo? Leo steps around the couch and hands Bartlet a folder. LEO They'd like a few more minutes. BARTLET The FAA? LEO Yeah. Bartlet rises and they walk to his desk. BARTLET Talk me through what heightened security means. LEO Well, they deploy more uniformed police and the dogs. They hand search luggage. Toby sits on the couch deep in thought. BARTLET They discontinue... LEO Curbside checking. Eliminate the first two rows of short term parking. BARTLET Okay, they want a few minutes? LEO Yeah BARTLET [sarcastic] Toby's concerned that the peaceful solution I brokered last year in Kashmir was the result of a drug induce haze. Toby looks at the President. LEO [to Toby] I was there with him. So was Fitz. So was Cashman, Hutchinson, Berryhill... TOBY Well, that's fantastic. LEO Toby! TOBY None of you were elected! BARTLET I was elected, they were appointed. [points at Leo] The Vice President was elected. He has the constitutional authority to assume my... TOBY Not last May he didn't. [rises] He didn't last May when you were under general anesthesia. BARTLET That's because I never signed the letter and I don't think I got shot because I got MS. TOBY I don't think you did either, sir. I meant that during a night of extreme chaos and fear, when we didn't yet know if we'd been the victims of domestic or-or foreign terrorism or even an act of war there was uncertainty as to who was giving the National Security orders and that was because you never signed a letter! Leo looks uncomfortable. The President glares at Toby. TOBY I don't like to wonder, given your condition and it's lack of predictability why there isn't simply a signed letter sitting in a file someplace? And the answer is... [laughs] of course, if there was a-a signed letter sitting in a file someplace, somebody would ask why. Bartlet looks angrily at Leo. TOBY [angry] The Commander-In-Chief had just been attacked. He was under a general anesthetic. A fugitive was at large, the manhunt included every federal, state and local law enforcement agency. The Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware National Guard was federalized! The KH-10 showed Republican Guard movement in southern Iraq. [yelling] And twelve hours earlier an F-117 was shot down in the no fly, and the Vice President's authority was murky at best! Barely controlling his anger, Bartlet walks behind his desk. TOBY The National Security Advisor and Secretary of State didn't know who they were taking their orders from! I wasn't in the Situation Room that night but I'll bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that it was Leo... who no one elected! For 90 minutes that night there was a coup d'etat in this country. Bartlet stands furious. Leo looks at Toby. BARTLET And the walls came tumbling down. I feel fine by the way. Thanks for asking. LEO Sir... BARTLET [angry] No, Toby's concern for my health is moving me in ways... TOBY Mr. President.... Bartlet furiously throws the folder across his desk. BARTLET [yelling] SHUT UP! Bartlet stalks back around the desk and faces Toby. BARTLET [condescending] You know your indignation would be a lot more interesting to me if it wasn't quite so covered in crap! Charlie stands in the doorway. CHARLIE Sir... BARTLET [while glaring at Toby] Yeah. CHARLIE Mr. Garreth. BARTLET [acknowledges Charlie] Thanks. Charlie quietly closes the door behind him. BARTLET [angry] Are you pissed because I didn't say anything or are you pissed because there were 15 people who knew before you did? I feel fine by the way. Thanks for asking. Bartlet walks to the other side of the room. Leo, standing between them, stares in shock. He puts his hand to his forehead. Toby stands quietly looking at nothing. LEO [to Bartlet] Take the call in here. Bartlet nods. LEO [to Toby] We'll step outside for a minute. Leo motions to the door. Bartlet glares at Toby. Toby looks at him quickly before following Leo out. Bartlet walks back over to the couches and collects himself for a moment. He then picks up the phone. BARTLET [into phone] Yeah, this is the President. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT Sam, Donna, Josh, Ainsley, Larry and Ed are sitting at the large table and are huddled around an easel, brainstorming ideas for the speech. SAM Self-deprecation. ED Yes. SAM Self-deprecation is what we need. LARRY Yes. SAM Self-deprecation is the appetizer of charm. ED We need jokes about the staff. SAM We need jokes about the staff. AINSLEY [to Sam] Let's start with you. SAM Problem is there aren't many jokes you can make about me. DONNA How about this. Um, "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Sam and his prostitute friend." Ainsley, Ed and Larry laugh. SAM See, I think that was a bit of misdirected anger there. DONNA I'm okay with that. SAM Well, in that case, Ainsley, you know why I got you flowers in April instead of February? 'Cause you ditched me the first time around to go back to the guy who ditched you the first time around only to have him ditch you the second time around. Donna smacks Josh upside the back of the head. JOSH Ow! What the hell? That was him! DONNA He was being you! JOSH Well, in fairness, I think everybody should have a turn. Sam, is there anything we can pull, anything funny we can recycle? SAM Yeah, pull something I wrote from October called "Government-wide Accountability for Merit System Principles." JOSH That one was a real barn-burner, was it? Josh stands up from the table, groaning, and exits the room to find the old speech. DONNA [to Sam] Do you have any idea how much grief I took from him when I came back? SAM How much? DONNA None. I walked in the door. He said, "Thank God. There's a pile of stuff on the desk." This is his way. He's just going to snark me every April. Prince of passive-aggressive behavior. SAM What does "snark" mean? DONNA I don't know, but he's doing it. SAM There any coffee left? ED In the mess. SAM Anybody want anything? AINSLEY Do you think they have cheesecake down there? SAM [looks at his watch] It's quarter after midnight. The pastry chef usually stays on till dawn. AINSLEY I'll go see if there is. Sam and Ainsley leave together out to the HALLWAY. SAM You know, we should make a joke about women, since there's no law against that or paying them less money than men. AINSLEY Well, there is a law against that. It's the Pay Equity Act, passed in 1964, when women were making fifty-nine cents to the dollar. SAM What are you making now? AINSLEY Seventy-nine cents. SAM So, everything's fine. AINSLEY No, there are still some problems. But I'm not worried 'cause the federal government's coming to the rescue. SAM Look... AINSLEY You think pay disparity is 'cause some sexist in human resources hired two people for equal positions and paid the man more? SAM Oftentimes... AINSLEY And oftentimes women make less money over the course of their lifetimes because they choose to. SAM Oh, goodnight nurse! They don't choose to make less money. They're financially punished for having kids. AINSLEY They make a choice to have kids. SAM Well, not necessarily if you guys have your way, but that's a different can of tuna. [beat] I flat-out guarantee you that if men were biologically responsible for procreation, there'd be paid family leave in every Fortune 500. AINSLEY Sam, if men were biologically responsible for procreation, they'd fall down and die at the first sonogram. Sam and Ainsley walk into THE MESS. Sam checks out the coffee maker while Ainsley gathers up cups and saucers. SAM If the Amendment's redundant, what's your problem if it's passed or not? AINSLEY Because I'm a Republican! Have we met? I believe that every time the federal government hands down a new law, it leaves for the rest of us a little less freedom. So I say, let's just stick to the ones we absolutely need to have water come out of the faucet and our cars not stolen. That is my problem with passing a redundant law. [stands next to Sam with a full tray] Sam? SAM Yeah? AINSLEY The all-night pastry chef? You were just kidding about that, right? SAM Yeah. Ainsley shoves the tray at Sam and walks toward the exit. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE PORTICO - NIGHT Toby sits on a bench with his head in his hand. Leo walks slowly toward him from the direction of the Residence. Toby looks up as Leo approaches. LEO He's still on the phone with State in the Residence. Leo looks across the White House grounds as thunder rumbles in the distance. TOBY So Hoynes knows? LEO Hmm? TOBY Hoynes is one of the 16? LEO Yeah. TOBY And he thinks the President won't run again? LEO He thinks there's a chance. TOBY Will he? LEO [sits] Will the President run? TOBY Where's the First Lady? LEO In Manchester. TOBY Why'd she come to me after the State of the Union? LEO Toby... Leo looks at Toby, looks away, shakes his head, looks back at him. TOBY Why's she mad at the President? It's because the State of the Union set up the re-election run and somehow she's under the impression that's not supposed to happen. LEO The First Lady... TOBY I have no kind of investigative mind. Zero. It took me six days and 23 minutes to figure it out. LEO He'll run. TOBY Yeah, yeah 'cause we stood in that office a couple of months ago, you and I, and you said, "Take my hand," and we just... Leo bows his head and nods. Toby looks drained and puts his hand to his head again. TOBY Never mind. LEO He'll run. TOBY Hoynes was fourteen. Who was fifteen? LEO Dr. David Lee. The anesthesiologist at GW. He had to know about the Betaseron. Getting back to Hoynes... TOBY I'm sorry, Leo, but I need you to look at me right now and tell me that the doctor's not under some kind of surveillance. LEO The doctor's free to talk to whomever he likes. TOBY Well, I'm sure we're gonna find that out soon enough. LEO He's not gonna leak it. TOBY Someone will. LEO Toby... TOBY Leo, Hoynes left bread crumbs. He wanted me to find out. A camping trip to Killington? LEO That was a jackass move. TOBY I don't think it was. I think he may be the only one around here who's acting responsibly. LEO To who? TOBY The Democratic Party. Seven and a half months to the Iowa caucus, and no one's been told the President might not be the nominee! LEO He's gonna run! TOBY No, he may not have the option, Leo. LEO When this story breaks, it'll be because we broke it, and we'll control it. And the public will accept it. It's not like it's unprecedented that a President conceal health issues. [beat] What do you think is gonna happen? I mean it. What do you think is gonna happen? TOBY [clears his throat, stands up and faces Leo] Well, I suppose one of five things. The President can decide not to run. He can run and not win. He can run and win. LEO And? What are the other two? TOBY Leo... LEO You think he's gonna need to resign? TOBY There's gonna be hearing upon hearing upon hearing. LEO He hasn't broken a law. The door to the Oval Office opens. Leo stands up as Charlie steps outside. CHARLIE The President's on his way back. LEO Thanks. Charlie goes back inside and shuts the door. TOBY Says you. [beat] You don't have to break the law to get served with articles of impeachment. LEO Toby, it is never gonna get that far. TOBY [chuckles softly] Write down the exact date and time you said that. Toby goes back inside. Leo stares straight ahead watching him go. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT DONNA [to Larry and Ed] "See, the thing about me, is that mine is a dry wit. And a dry wit, like a fine martini, is best enjoyed..." LARRY Uh-oh... DONNA Yeah, nowhere to go there. Sam and Ainsley walk into the room. Sam is carrying the tray of coffee. ED [to Sam] What the hell took so long? SAM We got the coffee but I spilled it coming up the stairs, you know, the first couple of times. Where's Josh? DONNA You sent him to get the thing. SAM For how long? I've had time to spill coffee, you know, a lot. DONNA I'll find him. Donna stands up and leaves to find Josh. SAM So, guys... ED Yeah? SAM When I was downstairs, I made a decision. I'm gonna register with the Republican Party, and I'll tell you why, if you're curious. It's because they're a freedom-loving people. AINSLEY We also like beef. SAM You know, you insist government is depraved for not legislating against what we can see on the newsstands, or what we can see in an art exhibit, or what we can burn in protest, or which sex we're allowed to have sex with, or a woman's right to choose, but don't you dare try to regulate this deadly weapon I have concealed on me, for that would encroach against my freedom. AINSLEY Yeah? And Democrats believe in free speech as long as it isn't prayer while you're standing in school. You believe in the Freedom of Information Act except if you want to find out if your fourteen-year-old daughter's had an abortion... SAM We believe in the ERA. AINSLEY Well, go get 'em. SAM How can you have an objection to something that says...? AINSLEY Because it's humiliating! A new amendment that we vote on, declaring that I am equal under the law to a man. I am mortified to discover there's reason to believe I wasn't before. I am a citizen of this country. I am not a special subset in need of your protection. I do not have to have to have my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old, white men. The same Article 14 that protects you, protects me. And I went to law school just to make sure. And with that, I'm going back down to the mess, because I thought I may have seen, there, a peach. [leaves] SAM [to Larry and Ed] I could've countered that, but I'd already moved on to other things in my head. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Donna walks down the hall and stops in the doorway to Josh's office. Josh is standing precariously on a chair trying to reach the top shelf of his very overloaded bookcase. DONNA Josh. JOSH Oh! Numerous books and binders cascade to the floor. JOSH Well, that was predictable. DONNA Yes. JOSH I'm trying to find that speech Sam said. Josh steps down, kneels on floor and starts picking up the mess he's made. DONNA You know, we keep them on computer. JOSH Well, sure, yeah, I suppose. DONNA Except you don't know how to use a computer. Donna kneels down on the floor facing Josh and helps him clean up. JOSH Right. DONNA Ah, Josh, Josh, Josh. JOSH Yes? DONNA Joshua, Josh, Josh. JOSH What the hell is happening now? DONNA You feel, I believe, because you're quite addle-minded, that this job was my second choice. JOSH Hey, I'm just grateful we were your last choice. DONNA I'm gonna give you a little gift right now, which you don't deserve. JOSH Donna, if you've got your old Catholic-school uniform on under there, don't get me wrong, I applaud the thought, but... DONNA Okay, what I need is for you to stop being like, you, for a second. JOSH Okay. DONNA When I came back, you remember I had a bandage on my ankle? JOSH Yeah. DONNA I told you I slipped on the ice on the front walk? JOSH Yeah. You know why? 'Cause you didn't put down the kitty litter. DONNA I was actually in a car accident. JOSH You were in a car accident? DONNA It was... JOSH Seriously, you were in an accident? DONNA It was no big deal. JOSH You told me it was a late thaw. DONNA [smiles] Yes. I did. Anyway, they took me to the hospital and I called him and he came to get me and on the way he stopped and met some friends of his for a beer. JOSH [incredulously] He stopped on the way to the hospital for a beer? DONNA Yes. And that's why I left him. Which was the point of my telling you this. I left him. So stop remembering that. What I remember is that you took me back when you had absolutely no reason to trust me again, and you didn't make fun of me or him, and you had every reason to. JOSH Donna... DONNA You're gonna make fun of him now, aren't you? JOSH No. DONNA 'Cause that's why I didn't tell you in the first place. JOSH I'm not gonna make fun of him. DONNA Good. JOSH But just what kind of a dumbkes were you... DONNA He was supposed to meet some of his friends. He stopped on the way to tell them that he couldn't. JOSH And had a beer? DONNA Does this make you feel superior? Josh looks away and starts to say something, but doesn't. DONNA Yes, you are better than my old boyfriend. Josh stands up and walks toward the door, but stops in the doorway. JOSH I'm just sayin' if you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for a beer. DONNA [stands up] If you were in an accident, I wouldn't stop for red lights. Thanks for taking me back. [walks out of his office] Oh, and the flowers are beautiful. Josh stands in the doorway staring after her. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Leo and Toby sit silently facing each other. TOBY Why not heightened security? LEO Hmm? TOBY At the airports. Why not heightened security? What's the downside? Leo and Toby stand as Bartlet enters from the veranda. BARTLET [leaning on a wing chair] Sorry about that. LEO What's going on? BARTLET Charlie! [to Leo] I've got to make the call. CHARLIE [enters] Yes, sir? BARTLET Let's get Gareth back. Charlie nods and closes the door. Bartlet sighs and glances at Toby. Toby meets his gaze, then looks away. Bartlet checks his watch. Leo senses the tension, looks at Toby, then looks at Bartlet. LEO Toby was just asking what the downside of going to a security condition was. BARTLET The scanners they use take an hour to search the luggage of 250 passengers. The condition requires two photo IDs. Most people only have one. Delays. Delays are the downside. CHARLIE [knocks] Mr. Gareth. BARTLET That timed out well. Bartlet sits down in the chair and picks up the phone. Leo and Toby sit on the sofas. BARTLET [into phone] Hal? Okay, let's do it. I'm ordering the airports to a 2-condition. You'll have it in writing in about five minutes. Thanks. [hangs up, to Leo] I didn't know enough. TOBY I know the feeling. BARTLET [calmly] I have no intention of apologizing to you, Toby. TOBY Would you mind if I ask why not? BARTLET 'Cause you're not the one with MS, a wife, three kids and airports to close. Not every part of me belongs to you. This was personal. I'm not willing to relinquish that right. Bartlet stands up, walks over behind his desk. Leo and Toby stand. TOBY It will appear to many, if not most, as fraud. It will appear as if you denied the voters an opportunity to decide for themselves. They're generally not willing to relinquish that right, either. Bartlet and Leo silently and solemnly look at each other, absorbing Toby's words. The clock ticks softly in the background. BARTLET Yeah. TOBY Mr. President, at some point in the near future, we're going to have to speak to some lawyers. BARTLET Well, that's what usually brings on the episodes, but if you say so. TOBY [laughs quietly and icily to himself] It's 17 people, by the way. BARTLET I'm sorry? TOBY You knew. We weren't counting you. It's 17 people. Bartlet looks at Leo, who looks pained. Bartlet removes his glasses, puts them down on his desk and sighs wearily. BARTLET I don't know. [shakes his head slowly] It may have been unbelievably stupid. It may have been unthinkably stupid. I don't know. Toby meets Bartlet's gaze. BARTLET I'm sorry. I really am. Leo is stunned. Toby shifts a bit from side to side. They are all silent for several moments. TOBY I've gotta go in the other room and uh... BARTLET Yeah. I'll see you tomorrow. Thanks. TOBY Thank you, Mr. President. Toby leaves the Oval Office but does not close the door behind him. He pauses briefly in the foyer, then proceeds a few steps across the hall to THE ROOSEVELT ROOM and opens the door. Voices and laughter envelope Toby as he enters the room and sits down at the table. JOSH [OS] That was... I think that's a good one. There is general good-humored disagreement with Josh. SAM [OS] Toby! DONNA [OS] Toby! JOSH [OS] We're dying here, what do you got? ED [OS] Um, okay. So, the President was asked to pick tonight's menu and he says, "Oh, just serve anything you want except lame duck." LARRY [OS] Toby, listen, listen to this. TOBY [weakly] Okay. LARRY [OS] So the President says, "I know times are tough. The NASDAQ just filed for not-for-profit status." SAM [OS] Toby. Sam tosses Toby his ball, which he catches. Toby looks pained, but continues to listen to joke suggestions. AINSLEY [OS] Okay, what about the one about the Pentagon? Over Toby's shoulder, framed by the French doors of the Roosevelt Room, Bartlet signs a document as Charlie looks on. Leo steps into view, with a stern look on his face, and closes the door to the Oval Office. JOSH [OS] Okay, uh, you have to try and imagine that the President is saying it. Tell me if you think this is funny. A single sound echoes the opening rhythm of Toby bouncing his ball against the wall. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 2.18 – '17 People' Original Airdate: April 4, 2001, 9:00 PM EST