Season 6 – Episode 9 – “Impact Winter”

Episode Summary:

Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff arrive in China for the summit and the President continues to suffer from the paralyzing side-effects of MS. Meanwhile, an asteroid is headed for the U.S., leaving Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Leo (John Spencer) to deal with the preparations.


Previously on The West Wing: This is my last China summit.
It’s my last chance.
Progress isn’t good enough for me now.
I want to get something done.
You used to love it when I couldn’t dress myself without you.
I used to love peppermint ice cream, but now they get stuck in your teeth.
Help me bring the promise and the opportunity of America to all Americans.
– President can’t give me the job I want.
– Which one? – His.
– You’re running? – Starting tomorrow.
– C.
Sir? I can’t move.
Hopefully, the doctors will influence him and get this plane turned around.
We turn this plane around, and that’s the end of his presidency.
– We can’t land in China with you – This plane is going to China.
Josh Lyman’s office.
– He’s got a lunch.
Afternoon’s open.
– Who is it? – Didero’s office.
Three o’clock? Done.
– Who’s my lunch? Me.
– We’re having breakfast.
– We need conversation.
– What are we doing now? – We get interrupted.
Nothing’s going on here today.
This lunch has been cancelled six times.
It’s gonna kill you to buy me a salad? – Josh Lyman’s office.
– Come on in.
– Who is it? – Wrong number.
– Quiet day.
– Would you like to do the briefing? – I really wouldn’t.
– You’d be good.
Pressroom’s a mausoleum.
Everybody’s gone.
Don’t worry.
– I’d be more comfortable – I’m acting chief of staff.
I don’t wanna be acting press secretary on top of it.
They don’t like him.
Just run through the schedule and then do your Christmas shopping.
Let me see.
President in China.
Six days.
Day one, trade, WTOs, partridge, pear tree.
– Stellar.
– Should I tease the North Korea stuff? No.
We don’t want it to be obvious everything was a lead-up to North Korea.
So I’m making this put-out-the-garbage week.
– Take out the trash.
– I’m sorry? News we hope nobody hears? Take out the trash, not put out the garbage.
– Okay.
– I’m just saying, it has a name.
– Josh Lyman’s office.
– Anything else? – Slow day.
– Hang on.
? You’ve got Josh and Annabeth.
In about four minutes, the wires are gonna report the president’s in the midst of a pronounced MS episode and doesn’t have use of his legs.
We’re ditching sightseeing, we’re staying three days, not six but the substantive portions of the summit will continue.
– They will? – We’re playing it by ear.
Got a pen? – Yeah.
– State, Treasury, Hutchinson the VP, Berryhill knows.
But I don’t know about the ambassador.
We’ll call.
Is he okay? His condition in no way affects his ability to – We got it.
This is me asking.
– I don’t know.
His arms are working.
They weren’t an hour ago so maybe he’s up doing the polka five minutes from now.
Otherwise – I don’t know.
I gotta – Go.
Your office, five minutes.
Josh Lyman for the secretary, please.
Right away.
Happy holidays to you too, sir.
I’m gonna need you to take me off the speakerphone, if that’s okay.
The president’s had an MS episode on the plane.
He’s not able to walk.
– I can’t do this.
– Read the statement – and introduce the medical office.
– They don’t know anything.
– Heard from Dr.
Strangelove? – Strenlowe.
– He’s busy.
– They’ve only got one doctor? Surgeon general’s there too.
She’s also busy.
– You didn’t brief? – Fifteen minutes.
– VP’d like to make the statement.
– She’s got it.
– No, not really.
– The president can’t walk.
Resist the temptation to treat this like an opportunity.
He’s the highest-ranking man in the building which means getting his face out is responsible.
And he doesn’t need permission.
– Good morning.
– Sir.
Vice President.
I was playing tennis.
Couldn’t believe my ears.
We were just discussing your statement.
I’ll just get the ball rolling, and then you can jump in.
Cancel the military greeting, the welcome ceremony tomorrow.
The first lady’s flight lands before ours, so we’ll see her when we touch down.
She’s gonna be cranky.
I think she should ride with you.
The Chinese have agreed to clear their press out.
– Not much for freedom of the press.
– We ought to do the same.
They’ve already seen him.
But the no-photo rule does not apply to the tarmac.
We let them stay there’s a shot of the wheelchair lift lowering the president on every cover.
Press clears before the president disembarks.
Pool spray first thing in the morning.
We should think about skipping the banquet.
– I don’t know.
– She likes the food.
It’s important that they can impress us.
The banquet in particular.
– She does like food.
– Send the first lady? I can sit through a meal.
I’ve been doing that in a chair for years.
You have to pace yourself.
Fatigue is a real issue.
– Let the Tibet conversation go, cut to – No.
– They’re not gonna budge.
– We talk about Tibet so they can be implacable.
We talk about Taiwan so they can hold against the capitalist, imperialist foe so that when we get to North Korea and they agree to do our dirty work they won’t have lost face at every other step.
Cancel the banquet, cancel whatever you like.
But we do not skip one step of my negotiation with President Lian.
Let’s see if we can’t push North Korea up.
– Maybe Thursday instead of Friday? – I’ll talk to Protocol.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve begun our initial descent.
– You can use C.
‘s office.
– I don’t need an office.
The doctors say the paralysis is temporary, but I think they’re lying.
They can’t lie about his condition.
That would be a crime and one we’ve committed before.
Sight for sore eyes.
Could’ve had lunch, you needed to see me so bad.
She’s about to brief.
Or, the vice president is, I should say.
Hang on.
Hang on.
I know.
I know this is a shock to everyone.
I was playing tennis when I heard.
I couldn’t believe my ears.
But I spoke to the president myself and he was perfectly clear.
This summit will proceed as planned.
He is physically encumbered, but as far as we can tell right now – As far as we can tell? – this, in no way, affects him mentally.
Has there been a cognitive evaluation? We’re going to have a detailed statement from the physicians in a moment.
I’m not a doctor, I’m not going to talk about it.
What I can tell you is that I plan to meet with members of the Cabinet later today to see if there’s any way that we can provide the president with support as he continues to do the work of this country.
– Lord almighty.
– Pull Will out of there.
– Once he’s back in Washington, we’II.
– Margaret.
I’ll need five minutes on the phone with every member of the Cabinet.
– Cabinet meeting? – A conversation with senior members.
The president doesn’t need the Cabinet swooping in.
Wanna step into your office? The president is still running the show.
Russell can stop with the insinuations to the contrary.
There will be no Cabinet meeting.
It’s been announced.
You don’t think it would be awkward? You know what? Watch yourself.
You and your candidate.
– You done? – No.
Free advice for the campaign trail.
Stop with the mentions of his tennis game.
Doesn’t make him look young.
Makes him look like a dilettante who can’t settle down with a thick book.
– Wheels-down in Beijing in a minute.
– A Cabinet meeting.
You think the talk about tennis makes him look flaky? No.
I think it makes him look young and vigorous.
– Where is he? – Sorry, in the back, ma’am.
There’s a problem with the hydraulic lift.
– Could be another half-hour.
– We’ve been here forever.
Do they have a Jetway or something? Don’t hold your breath.
– Pretty snazzy with the language.
– Not really.
Second-grade vocabulary.
– “Hydraulic lift” is second-grade? – It is in China.
Did you run the SSEP? Yes, it shows severe conduction delay.
We’re at 85 percent loss of nerve function in the lower limbs.
– Spinal cord lesion? – It’s our best guess.
Still working on it.
– How long have they kept you here? – They’ve never used their elevator.
– A forklift will do.
– You could lie down.
We’re not moving.
I don’t wanna lie down.
I want off this plane.
– Where’s Dr.
Strenlowe? – He’s on the phone.
I called the hospital, and we’ll do an MRI as soon as we get settled.
An MRI’s not gonna tell us anything new.
Maybe not.
– Tell me your name one more time.
– Curtis, sir.
How much can you bench-press, Curtis? Quite a bit, sir.
– How about we stage a prison break.
– Absolutely.
Lift with your legs, son, not your back.
Could be vomiting.
Some people get seizures.
– Mr.
– Jed? Jed, what are you doing? – You okay? – Yes, sir.
Take your time.
No need to rush.
Am I going too fast? No, no, I’m just saying, you drop me, that’ll follow you the rest of your life.
Yes, sir.
If you keep this up, your arms are gonna fall off.
I hope somebody brings the damn chair.
I hope so too, sir.
– You sure you’re okay? – I’m fine.
I don’t wanna work you into another bypass.
I’m happy to help.
– We gonna get a photo? – Soon.
Good, because we’ve got claims he’s in a coma and we flew him there so they could do a wax mockup like of Chairman Mao.
How are the markets looking? We took a hit.
Dow’s down 470.
We should get the treasury secretary on camera with an “I’m okay, you’re okay.
” – Dig up something to announce.
– Something with the president at work.
Anything that make him look active, and not.
Paralyzed? Talk to the agencies and the policy shops.
We need some activity.
– It was trash week.
– Not anymore.
We need executive orders.
The president just called from Beijing to talk about big weapons systems.
All right.
Think you could check in at the Pentagon, keep an eye – on this Cabinet meeting? – No problem.
See Vinick announce his run for presidency? – Just sound bites.
– I’ll get a tape.
– You can join me in my despair.
– I’ll take a look.
Someone from NASA.
He needs to speak to whoever’s in charge and I have no idea who that is.
Maybe keep the philosophical questions to yourself.
I got it.
– You missed us, didn’t you? – Like a hangnail.
– Thanks for waiting.
Josh Lyman.
– Walter Sprout.
The administrator isn’t here.
– Apparently not.
– We should wait.
– Who’s the administrator? – Edward Kelwick.
– And he administers what? – NASA.
– NASA administrator.
– You’re from NASA.
Program manager for near-Earth object observation.
Walter Sprout.
I’m sure he’s coming.
Well, I’m going in four minutes, so we should plug on.
Could I get some water? – Water? – Sure.
I’m sorry.
I just I’ve been sweating quite a lot, and I think that it’s gotten me dehydrated and.
– Okay, you need to take it easy.
– There’s an object coming toward the Earth.
– From the sky? – An asteroid.
There are a lot of asteroids in the sky, from my limited understanding.
– Thousands.
– Well, I’m thinking you should write up a memo, drop it off The LINEAR observatory in New Mexico recorded images yesterday that were analyzed by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge.
Their data were posted on the NEO Confirmation Page to be verified by astronomers across the globe, myself included.
Now, our calculations could be wrong but if not, they indicate that an object following that trajectory would strike the Earth in approximately 48 hours.
– And this asteroid is? – Big.
– How? – Big.
Margaret, I need the NASA administrator and Leo.
I loved a man once.
I never told him.
Vice Premier Liu and Chairman Xian will be in the third and fourth seats.
Premier Z yang will be right here next to President Lian.
Thank him for allowing us to enjoy his magnificent space.
You wanna remind me again? It’s a big deal.
We’re supposed to approach them.
– On our knees.
– Well, since you mention it.
The memory’s not gone.
It’s next, maybe, but not yet.
Allowing us to enjoy his magnificent space.
I’m gonna hit her.
– If you need a break at any time – I’m fine.
I don’t know, tug on your earlobe.
We’ll make something up.
I desperately hope you’re not serious.
It’s a three-hour meeting.
I’m gonna want a break.
You should tug on your ear, and this one’ll make something up.
It’s better to avoid saying you need rest.
You should move away from me as quickly as possible.
– Yes, sir.
– You ready? Go ahead.
It is a great honor for myself and for the People’s Republic of China – to welcome the president.
– Thank you.
On behalf of the American people, it is an honor to be here.
I would like to thank you for allowing us to enjoy your magnificent space.
I thought we had technology that detects rocks hurtling toward our planet.
The Spaceguard System.
Expensive, if memory serves.
Spaceguard only detects objects over 1 kilometer wide.
Anything large enough to take out humans.
– This is considerably smaller.
– It’s 400 meters.
– Considerably smaller.
– Twice the size of the Astrodome.
Gives new meaning to “duck and cover.
” A collision is improbable, but we felt we should alert you.
– Where would it hit? – In the Northern Hemisphere.
– Can’t get any more specific? – Nope.
– What kind of damage? – You’ll wish you lived in Antarctica.
We’re waiting for another look.
It’s in our daylight 80 percent of the time.
Japan’s tracking it, and we may get a glimpse in Maui, but they’ve had clouds.
So we may be hit with a hunk of intergalactic rock we don’t know when or where and no information coming because it’s cloudy? Welcome to my world.
As long as both China and the United States keep an eye on the larger picture maintain a long-term perspective and abide by the principles in the three Sino-U.
Joint Communiqu�s our relationship will continue to grow and thrive.
– Does he look out of it to you? – What? The president.
– Ours? – He’s squirming.
Well, he’s probably bored.
Lian refuses to move past affirming his commitment between our two countries.
He’s not listening.
Where’s C.
? through operations of economic trade, energy and science and in technology.
– I think he’s having trouble.
– He looks fine.
– He’s been flapping a lot with the arms.
– Is he talking? Yeah, but Lian’s been on a roll for a while.
There, with the arm.
Do you see that? That is a little.
Oh, my God.
He’s tugging on his earlobe.
– We gotta get him out.
– What? We’re gonna pull the plug.
– What can I say? – Nothing.
That Just go.
between our two countries – is the key to steady development of – This is not good.
– I have explained to President Bartlet – Pardon me.
Please forgive me, President Lian.
President Bartlet has an urgent call from Washington.
We’ll need to take a break for just a few moments.
Of course, no trouble at all.
Clear the hall.
– You okay? – Yeah, I just gotta take a minute.
– The plan was flawed.
– It was.
The recipient of the sign stays in the room.
– Yes.
– I almost pulled my ear off.
– I had to take a call from Leo.
– Thought he didn’t work for us.
These things change.
We should get back to him.
– Bound to be better news than here.
– Oh, you’d be amazed.
So will it kill us like the dinosaurs? – It won’t hit us.
– But if it does.
Then, likelihood is, it hits an ocean, starts a tsunami and, you know, surf’s up – in Illinois.
– Announceable achievements.
Preliminary diplomatic relations established with Myanmar.
– That’s a violent military dictatorship.
– Yes, but maybe we talk them out of it.
Forward motion on the ERISA reform.
– Supposed to pass two months ago.
– We didn’t but we’re moving in that direction.
We got press worried the president’s no longer fit to keep his job and you’re giving me this? There’s the asteroid coming.
You could announce that.
– Can we do this now? – What? The conversation we were supposed to have, let’s have it now.
– Can’t.
– I thought it wasn’t hitting.
– Might.
– There’s nothing to do.
There isn’t.
Doesn’t mean the situation’s not to be monitored.
I just needed a break.
I was gonna fall out of that chair.
– That’s the fatigue.
– I got a noose around my waist.
– Anything I can get you, sir? – No, thanks.
– Doctor’s on his way up.
– Don’t want him.
– I don’t care, frankly.
– I just need to close my eyes.
– He has to take a look.
– He’ll tell me to lie down.
Mission accomplished.
It’s the jet lag.
– Jet lag.
– I have two doctors here.
Clearly, you don’t know what to do.
It’s not jet lag.
Strenlowe, Milly and I told you the fatigue could be overwhelming and you should take it easy.
You elected not to do that.
Leo tells me there’s an asteroid coming to hit the Earth.
Maybe we should sit quietly for a few moments and ponder that.
Anything? NASA’s got a clear shot in Maui.
It should tell us more.
The president’s having trouble getting through meetings.
They pulled him out.
He sat on a plane for 20 hours.
He’ll bounce.
– I just looked at the tape.
– Vinick’s announcement? Makes you wanna cry, doesn’t it? It’s a tough primary for him.
I wouldn’t tear my shirt yet.
– Russell offered me campaign manager.
– Really? I turned him down.
Hoynes asked too.
You change your cologne or something? – Think Hoynes can win? – With Baker out Russell’s got a huge financial advantage.
Sitting VP is gonna raise a lot more money and he’s in a position to offer a lot more favors.
Hoynes is a guy without a job.
That said, Hoynes is much more experienced in the job Russell holds.
He was elected senator of a huge and complicated, usually Republican, state and Russell got elected representative of a district the size of my thumb.
Hoynes is smarter than Russell.
– He’ll kick his ass in the debates.
– And has more foreign-policy experience.
It could happen.
But you gotta wanna work for him, and you gotta want him to win.
You want that? I wanna get Jed Bartlet a third term.
– Yeah.
– What happened to the good old days when a couple hacks with cigars chose the nominee in a smoke-filled backroom? They didn’t do so bad, did they? – Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower.
– We need a backroom.
Well, we’ve just about outlawed smoking and at this point, I’m not allowed to even look at a cigar.
But we’re it.
You and me.
This is the backroom.
– Anything? – He’s still asleep.
We asked for a 15-minute break.
He’s been asleep for four hours.
Okay, we split up tomorrow so he can take more breaks.
Maybe he’s only in the first hour.
I’m not sure he’ll make it in a chair.
Lying down is not as physically taxing.
He can’t nap through this.
I’m not saying he sleeps but he’ll be much more productive if he’s not having to hold his body upright.
He is the brains in the operation.
So staff meets, he’s the man behind the curtain.
They’ll drag their heels if he’s not there.
We’ll be talking about shrimp exports for three days! We make it clear we’re running all decisions back to him.
He’s gotta show his face, or the entire world’s gonna go ballistic.
They’ll think he’s worse.
– They’ll be right.
– He could do a 15-minute hello.
– A photo op.
– Oh, he’s gonna love that.
He’s up.
Why not the first even half-hour of each meeting? – One meeting in the morning, certainly.
– One? We’re the ones with the hard agenda.
Any excuse to run The meetings can continue after I leave.
You leave after 30 minutes, Lian will break when you go so we know he doesn’t like to negotiate with us.
– We lose half the day.
– Are you benching me? You told me the only way North Korea honors a nonproliferation agreement is if China agrees to be enforcer.
Conducting inspections, imposing sanctions if need be.
You told me the most tangible threat to the next generations of Americans is a nuclear North Korea, and then you told me this was our shot.
Never quote me to me.
Call Kelwick at NASA, see if they got a read overnight.
How many spots are there in the bunker? – What bunker? – The president’s.
I mean, there’s space for a bunch of people, right? – You throwing a party? – If the asteroid hits and the president, the first lady and senior staff are in China don’t you think we ought to sort out who takes their spots? Are you on the National Security Council? Did I miss that? Clearly, you should go.
– That’s one.
– In the name of all that is holy.
You might want me there to help out, is all I’m saying.
Season’s greetings.
Margaret’s booking rooms for the Apocalypse.
I gotta get a flashlight.
– Pick your dream candidate yet? – I don’t know how this works.
You pick the smartest, most capable most honorable individual you can think of and you have a conversation.
Ideally before the New Hampshire filing deadline.
I can’t pick up and leave to go run a campaign for some dark horse I pulled out of a cornfield.
I did.
Come on, who’s on the wish list? I don’t know.
There’s this one guy.
No, it’s a stupid idea.
There are no stupid ideas.
Well, there are.
I don’t know why people say that.
But give it a whirl.
The president can’t move his legs.
NASA’s wondering if the next ice age starts on Tuesday.
I gotta stay here, finish what I started.
It doesn’t finish, Josh.
It keeps going.
Our current policy is designed to ensure stability as we transition towards a capitalist economic model.
But it’s driving our manufacturers out of the market.
I will consult with the finance minister.
– We can talk about this in the afternoon.
– No.
I’m sorry.
We need to move on this afternoon.
We need to discuss other items on the agenda this afternoon.
The finance minister has discussed this with the International Monetary Fund in Washington.
I cannot make a decision before I speak with the finance minister.
– You briefing? – I don’t brief.
– I read prepared statements.
– Well, the pressroom’s Doing laps.
Not ready to go in yet.
The president just signed for the federal infrastructure investments.
– In China? – While juggling a rickshaw and pagoda.
This is good.
– You okay? – Press just got wind of the asteroid.
It’s bad enough with just the paralyzed president.
– Briefing on the asteroid? – I don’t brief.
But if I did – no comment.
– What are you gonna do? I’m gonna read the president’s order on protection of infrastructure investments.
Hopefully they’ve calmed down.
– Okay, you missed it again.
– I’m just I’m gonna take another lap.
Four hundred meters, so if it hits here in the Pacific, we’ve got a tsunami.
Takes out 70, maybe 80 percent of California and the Pacific Northwest.
Yeah, come on in.
Hitting dry land, obliterating a city, is frankly the optimal scenario.
– At least the damage is contained.
– This is cheery.
They got a good look at it from Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking in Maui.
They’ve determined it’s either bigger and farther away or smaller and closer.
– Helpful.
– How’s it going with Lian? – He’s dragging his heels.
– On exchange rates? Says they’re not ready to float the yuan, but he’ll talk with the finance minister.
– Did you bring up Shang? – The former president? We talked about this years ago.
He said it would take two years to make the transition.
They’ll say it took longer.
Bring up Shang because he’s a more powerful figure.
Probably still is.
Lian is threatened by the very notion of Shang.
You get leverage just by using his name.
– We’ll bring it up.
– You can’t go back on exchange rates.
You gotta move on.
North Korea’s gonna get swept off the table.
There’s a lot of American jobs on the line.
Job loss is gonna seem like cake in the face of nuclear chess.
You can’t let them walk all over you.
The real nightmare scenario is here.
The great forest of the North.
– Russia? -4.
3 million square miles of dense forest.
The asteroid hits here a shower of burning rock rains down on those woods starts a fire that burns until it shrouds the hemisphere in a blanket of soot and ash that blocks out the sun for weeks.
Impact winter, they call it.
Vice President.
– Merry Christmas, sir.
– Leo.
I heard you were visiting.
Helping out for a couple of days.
– On your way to the Cabinet Room? – Get some folks, see if we can’t pitch in.
Mind if I join you? Sure.
That’d be great.
– Did you put in Kyle? – Who’s Kyle? From NIH.
With the blond and the cowlick.
Kyle’s there, Dan Rosten’s there.
Can I get the Approps guidelines? Sure.
Oh, my gosh.
The VP.
– What you got? – Nothing.
– You seen Leo? – He’ll be back in 10.
– Bunker? Let me see that.
– Hey! Forgot the vice president.
Some Dan’s there, but no VP.
I just put him in.
– What? – Bunker spots in case of annihilation.
Somebody needs to repopulate.
– Who’s Dan? – The UPS guy.
Wears the shorts.
You’re going for beefcake? That’s how you wanna regenerate the people? – Sure, he’ll kill you an elk for dinner.
– Assuming we have elk.
– You gonna put an elk in? – Somebody’s gotta invent the telephone.
A couple of thinkers, maybe.
How you doing, Will? – Think you could? – What? – Reinvent the telephone? – No.
– Me neither.
– I need you.
– See? Put me on the list.
– We’re having our conversation.
Is it irresponsible for me to leave this administration – before the end of the term? – About me, not you.
– I gotta get to the OEOB.
– Talk to me.
– You have to.
– Very demanding today.
You and Leo, who thinks I should wander in search of the next president.
I quit.
What? – No, you don’t.
Walk with me.
– Look at my face.
I’m not kidding.
– Donna.
– There’ll be a temp here tomorrow.
– I canceled.
It was crappy of me.
– This is what we were gonna talk about.
– Tomorrow? – About my job, though working for you is an honor, I’m ready for more – and I’ve started looking – Slow down.
We’ll talk.
You’re right.
You and me.
She quits.
Ted Barrow said they made progress in the Taiwan conversations today.
Are you happy with where they landed? I talked to Liz.
She and Doug are gonna bring the kids for Christmas.
They said they may even persuade Zoey to make an appearance.
They had other plans.
I’m not dying.
There’s no need to rush to the bedside.
Did you talk to Lian about the AIDS clinics? Jed? Jed.
– What the hell are you doing? – Brushing.
Oh, you’re gonna crack your head.
– I’m fine.
– Please.
You’re not stable.
– Leave it alone.
– This chair is not locking.
– For God’s sake – Jed! Michael! Michael! Jed, you okay? – Up here, sir.
– I am fine.
Get out.
That’s an order.
– Jed, please.
– Go.
It’s okay, it’s okay.
– So now will you let me? – Don’t touch me.
What the hell am I doing here? – Apparently you like the tile.
– Abigail, I swear to God.
Wasted time.
No, it’s not.
Maybe you’re not gonna skin the whole cat – but you’ll make headway.
– Is that so? – You’ll get your North Korea talks.
– Are you out of your mind? Lian’s walking all over my staff.
I’m in one meeting a day.
All they did was feed me tea made with Tienchin ginseng and deer-horn glue.
You see, it’s the thing for the nerve damage.
But that meant I had to piss every 12 minutes which is more of an ordeal than it was when I was able to stand.
The new kid, Curtis, and I are becoming very close.
– Whatever it takes.
– Didn’t have time to get to the AIDS clinics.
I was trying to make headway on the exchange rates.
Lian just sits there and smiles and goes on and on about the ginseng and my circulation.
This is their dream come true, me stuck in that damn wheelchair! – Tell your staff to bring it up tomorrow.
– I tried that.
Do you hear? Decisions are made in the room.
I am not in the room! I can’t do the job, Abbey.
Do you understand? I can’t do it.
I cannot do the job.
Look at me! Look at me! A few shots signing the agreement, a handshake with Lian.
It’s the White House photographer, so we can shoot chest up if you’d like.
You can get a cardboard cutout.
They have those, don’t they? Mr.
President, it’s not all we hoped for, but we’re laying groundwork.
The secretary of state’ll come back, take a stab at the North Korea talks.
We’ll knock this off as quick as we can, then we’re back on the plane.
The asteroid has entered our daylight.
No getting another look.
Now we just wait for loud noises.
Let’s go take some pictures.
I’m sorry we weren’t able to arrange a one-on-one meeting.
We had many fruitful conversations with your advisors.
Yes, yes.
Now just the two presidents, please.
If you could all step aside.
Thank you.
I wonder if it would be possible to say hello to former President Shang before we left the country.
I met with him on a number of occasions, as you know and our talks were always exceptionally fruitful.
It would be nice to sit together again.
Just two old men.
You speak pretty good English, don’t you? You got enough? It’s just a handshake you need? – C.
, they’re going.
– Who? What? Budgets from everyone but Transportation.
They said you knew why.
– You ever work on a campaign? – No.
– How about the next one? – The presidential? – Maybe.
I don’t know.
– Josh.
Assuming we get something from Transportation C.
‘s gonna want copies so she can look at them before she talks to OMB.
Ladies and gentlemen.
The asteroid has passed us.
The world is not ending today.
“Asteroid ASO0267 traveling at a speed of 22,356 miles per hour missed the Earth’s atmosphere by 73,400 miles and is now receding toward the sun.
” How long can he sit up? – Doctor said maybe 30 minutes.
– What are we at now? Seventy-two.
He wanted to know how much uranium the South Koreans enriched on that test.
– Because? – I don’t know.
He asked for the numbers, then he kicked me back out.
Cregg, the president would like the translators back in there.
Gentlemen would you go back in, please? Leo.
Leo? The president’s in a room with Lian.
They won’t let anybody in there.
They’re talking about God knows what.
The surgeon general predicted he’d flop over dead if he kept at it this long.
I was gonna tell you the world’s not ending.
Maybe it is.
– The asteroid passed.
– It passed.
We live to fight another day.
– Wasn’t wheels-up a half-hour ago? – That was the idea.
– Hi.
– Can I help you? – Where’s Donna? – Who’s Donna? You’re sitting in her chair.
– The blond girl? – Yeah.
I’m Marla Whorisky.
I’m covering this desk for a few days.
Need something? I’m Josh Lyman.
What do you? You’re a temp.
She’ll be back in a few days, you said? She got a new job, I think.
I’ve got her cell if you wanna give her a call.
You have to pull him.
This is not a good idea.
If he’s having trouble, he’ll say so.
– It’s been an hour and 40 minutes.
– I know.
I mean, there’s a cost at this stage in his disease.
The president’s made his choice.
He’ll come out when he wants to come out.
– Here they come.
– Finally.
Check that carefully.
Their translator’s spelling ain’t what he thinks it is.
– It’s about time.
– He’s a talker.
– What the hell is it? – It’s a seating arrangement.
The North Korea talks.
Donna quit.
– Donna Moss.
– She’s gone.
– You piss her off? – I don’t know.
– She has a new job.
– Good for her.
See, I tried to tell you this.
People move on.
Marla, I need a plane reservation quickly.
I need to go to Houston.
Texas? – Yes.
– Hang on.
Hang on.
Let me get a pen.
– Put me on the next flight to Houston.
– All right.
– I could kiss you on your married mouth.
– Watch yourself.
You give in on satellites? – Yes, but on a five-year plan.
– Buys us time on nonmilitary uses.
You’ve got potential, sir.
You ought to think about running for office.
I want Leo.
Have you seen my cell? I gave it to somebody.
I want to tell Leo this son of a gun just lassoed us a North Korea summit.
– The man is a force of nature.
– I want a tape.
Curtis, the only member of the administration to witness the negotiation for what may be the summit of the century.
Did he not sneak on a tape recorder? – I don’t think he did.
– A wasted opportunity.
They’re planning a ticker-tape parade out there.
You sweat right through your clothes.
Better get you out of this chair.
Come on, Curtis, give me a hand.
I need I need a minute.
Two days of talks in Beijing with North Korea, South Korea – Japan.
– Japan.
China’s agreed to get aggressive with North Korea if the inspections fall apart.
We had none of this.
We were bailing on the whole idea.
Leo, let me call you back.
That’s your angel.
You broke the wings off the angel.
Put that angel down.
Put it down.
Put that angel down right now.
Put it down! Hi.
– How you doing? – You lost? Could be.
Come on in.
I’m sorry to bug you at home, but there wasn’t time to wait for you to get back.
– I’m there next week.
– I’m on a bit of a deadline.
– It’s a filing deadline.
– Oh, Josh, Josh, Josh.
– Matt? – It’s a little crazy, I know.
I’m not running for Congress again.
Now, you came a long way.
– I’m sorry about that.
…I’m not talking about Congress.
Matt, where’s the box for the tinsel, honey? Have you seen it anywhere?

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