After getting a slight boost from the presidential debate, Santos (Jimmy Smits) courts controversy when he makes the difficult decision to visit the tense Los Angeles community where an African-American boy was shot by a Latino police officer. Meanwhile, Ellie continues to make preparations for her wedding.
THE WEST WING 7x08 - "UNDECIDEDS" WRITTEN BY DEBORA CAHN DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER MISIANO Transcribed by Soundman for www.twiztv.com. Send feedback to [email protected]. TEASER FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY DENVER 5:45 AM 52 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY Santos is in the washroom getting ready for his next campaign. Lou, Edie, and Bram are in the main room. Lou is reading some polling information to Santos. SANTOS [VO] Go ahead. LOU 46% of voters polled say they have a more favorable opinion than they did before the debate. CNN/USA Today polls call the debate a tie. So does Newsweek. She stops reading when she hears a hair dryer going. LOU She's running the hair dryer. EDIE Yes. LOU Makes it hard to hear. EDIE Yes, it does. Helen comes out of the bedroom. The hair dryer is still running. Helen goes back into the bedroom. EDIE He's running the hair dryer. LOU Kind of wish you didn't know. Santos turns the hair dryer off. SANTOS [OS] Sorry. One more time. LOU CNN/USA Today poll calls the debate a tie. So does Newsweek. We now have 43% of all eligible voters. Santos walks into the main room. Helen is with him. LOU You're only seven points down. HELEN You're a rock star, sweetheart. LOU You got a four-point bump. Vinick only got a two-point bump. HELEN What happened to the old, "We go up, he goes down"? LOU You're both polling from undecideds. We have to be happy with "He went up, we went up more." EDIE This is the schedule for the weekend, if you could take a look at it. SANTOS Yeah. Stick it in my bag, please. BRAM The bus is here. We've really got to move. LOU Sir, do you know what average SMT time was this week? SANTOS Bram clocks this. He rounds up because he's got money on it. LOU 92 minutes. SANTOS That's a lie. HELEN SMT? EDIE Santos Mean Time. HELEN 92 minutes late?! SANTOS The notion that I'm the problem is convenient but completely fallacious. HELEN Honey. SANTOS This is a national campaign. You think I'm driving the bus? LOU Wednesday, 12:55. Six extra press questions after we called it. SANTOS It was a conversation. LOU A fascinating one. Just look at the schedule and see if it's something you can commit to. EDIE And initial. At the bottom. She hands him a piece of paper and a pen. SANTOS What's C.S.? EDIE Change shirt. SANTOS Every two hours? HELEN It's for the sweating. SANTOS There's too many women in this room. EDIE Nothing we haven't talked about before. Today in Denver, tomorrow in L.A. HELEN I thought that was last weekend. LOU We cancelled it for the debate, which was also a personal addition of yours to the schedule. SANTOS Four-point bump. Donna walks in. DONNA Lou, can I get you for a second? LOU On the bus. DONNA You may want to talk to Scheduling. I'm getting a lot of press calls about a 12-year-old black kid who was killed last night by the L.A. police. SANTOS What do we know? DONNA No details yet, but the community's kind of reeling. We need a statement sooner rather than later. EDIE We're at the Page Church in L.A. tomorrow morning. LOU Might not be a bad time to be in a black church, show 'em we feel their pain. See if we can't get some traction in the community. EDIE Yeah, we need it. Our debate bump did not include a bump in black voters. BRAM Sir, this is the updated stump. Do you want to give it one last look? SANTOS Yeah. They begin walking. DONNA Lou? LOU Hang on. BRAM I don't see why the African-American community doesn't like the idea of a Latino candidate. EDIE A little black/brown friction in the 'hood, if you haven't noticed. BRAM Hasn't been my experience. EDIE Yeah, you're a Venezuelan from Princeton. SANTOS Yeah, this is fine. DONNA I'm sorry, Lou. Gerard in Scheduling was considering a bigger change. I think he may be right. They have come to the elevator. Everyone gets in except Donna who stays at the door. LOU Gerard is obsessive-compulsive and should be taking slow breaths out of a paper bag. DONNA I think you may want to give him a call. SANTOS What's the cop's name? LOU No, this is why we run late: because you take time listening to people like Gerard from Scheduling. SANTOS Donna, what's the officer's name? DONNA Rafael Martinez. SANTOS Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Lou takes out her phone and dials. LOU Get me Josh Lyman at HQ, Annabeth Schott on the McGarry plane, and Gerard from Scheduling. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER. * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. - LOBBY - WHITE HOUSE - DAY We see C.J., dressed casually, walking through the lobby. She meets Will. C.J. Mr. Bailey. WILL And a good morning to you. C.J. You were here last Saturday. WILL As were you. You here for lunch? We could order something soggy, served in plastic. C.J. I'm hoping to be gone in an hour. I just have to sit with Ellie and the fiance, sort out some wedding stuff. WILL I didn't realize that was part of your portfolio. C.J. The social secretary should be doing it but Ellie doesn't know her and she already feels the whole things not so much a wedding as an act of Congress. WILL Tell her I saw her band's playlist for the reception. We may need to make a few adjustments. C.J. One too many double entendres? WILL It's the single entendres I worry about. C.J. Right. WILL World stage, shadow of our forefathers. C.J. I'll get into it. She walks into Margaret's office and looks surprised to see Margaret there. MARGARET They're in the Mural Room. C.J. Remember how we used to talk? MARGARET Everything you need is in the folder. C.J. I told you not to come in today. MARGARET That never works out. The only new piece is we're squabbling with Fish and Wildlife on the salmon flow schedule, so she should think about sea bass or, perhaps, a trout. C.J. Sea bass is endangered. Whitman does a great swordfish with green peppercorns. That'd be nice. MARGARET Let's stay with the trout. C.J. Nobody wants trout at a wedding. It's not festive. MARGARET It's flavorful and underappreciated. No swordfish or tuna or brie. C.J. You know this isn't your wedding, right? MARGARET I'm asking you to take my word for it because you're a busy woman and sometimes you don't need anymore information than I give you. C.J. I'll push the trout. MARGARET Great idea. She hands C.J. a large folder. C.J. takes it and walks into the Mural Room where Ellie and Vic are waiting. C.J. Look at you! Congratulations! ELLIE Thank you. C.J. It's so exciting. ELLIE Have you met Vic? C.J. Cregg. C.J. It's a pleasure. VIC Hi. Thank you. ELLIE I'm so sorry you're here on a weekend for this. C.J. Please, not at all. It's bad enough you have to coordinate with three branches of government. Anything I can do to help. Sit, please. As they sit, Margaret knocks and comes in. MARGARET Excuse me. C.J. We're not up to trout yet. MARGARET Kate Harper needs you. C.J. No, she doesn't. She doesn't know I'm here. MARGARET Imagine her delight when she learned. C.J. turns to speak to Ellie. C.J. One minute? MARGARET Ten minutes. Just a guess. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - DAY Josh and Ronna are walking and talking. RONNA Surrogates on the Sunday shows. JOSH Do they know what they're saying? RONNA They're saying that he won the debate. JOSH Do they have talking points or are they just going to flash a big V-For-Victory? RONNA You'll have language to proof in ten minutes. They meet a man named Lester and Ronna walks off. Josh and Lester keep walking. LESTER Hey. RONNA Hi, Lester. JOSH What do we know? LESTER I'm waiting on more from the L.A.P.D. but it's a 12-year-old black male named Ronnie Burke. He's passenger side in a stolen Escalade at 11:00 at night, gets out holding a weapon which turns out to be made of plastic, though it looks pretty darn real. JOSH The cop is Latino? LESTER Oh, yeah. They walk into Josh's office. JOSH No way the guy could have known the gun was fake? LESTER Probably not, but local news has a tape of a bystander claiming the kid was putting his hands in the air to surrender when the officer fired. JOSH Can anybody corroborate that? LESTER It doesn't matter, it's on the news. People are going to assume it's true. JOSH There were demonstrations at police headquarters last night. LESTER There'll be more this morning. JOSH What do you think? LESTER It was going to be a tough crowd, even before this happened. The black community's wondering how we got a Latino nominee before we got an African-American nominee. There's always been tension between the two communities and now a cop named Martinez guns down one of their kids? JOSH Two days later, we send our guy to their church to stump for votes. LESTER If he shows up in L.A. and does a tap dance on the head of a pin, great. If not... JOSH You may be getting on a plane. LESTER I had a hunch. JOSH I should have sent you on the L.A. trip in the first place. Why didn't I think of that? LESTER You can't put me on a plane every time he's going to talk to a black person. JOSH I'm prepared to reconsider that. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Kate is in C.J.'s office when C.J. comes in. C.J. I'm doing Ellie Bartlet a favor. I'm not really here. KATE NSC just got a call. There's a China/Russia/Kazakhstan thing happening. C.J. Okay. KATE My office is supposed to be sending up the briefing book but it's not here yet. C.J. Well, let's go for the nutshell. KATE It's better with the book. C.J. Kate... KATE Tarimov just booted a Chinese government delegation out of the country. He's... C.J. The acting President of Kazakhstan. KATE Installed after Issetov was assassinated. They were negotiating a China-Kazakhstan strategic partnership making plans for an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to China. C.J. And Issetov called it off. KATE Tarimov. C.J. Oh, Tarimov. KATE Yes. C.J. Issetov's dead. KATE Yes. Issetov wanted to do business with the Chinese. Tarimov has stronger ties with the Russians. C.J. And he killed the China oil deal and China's pissed. KATE Exceptionally. C.J. Margaret?! KATE Sorry. I was golfing. C.J. You golf? KATE Mini. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is at his desk. Lester is seated on the windowsill. Ronna walks in. RONNA Josh, it's the bus. She hits the speaker button on the phone. JOSH Morning. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS Santos, Lou, Edie, Bram, and Donna are on the bus on their way to the Denver stop. LOU Is Lester there? LESTER [VO] Yeah. LOU Lester, I don't think we should go. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Are you getting skittish? LOU [VO] There are a lot of angry people on the streets. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS LOU We could push it to next week. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH We pushed last week for the debate. LOU [VO] He's got the flu, rickets, anything. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS SANTOS We are not canceling. LOU Sir, I don't think you want to be booed by angry churchgoers. SANTOS They're not going to boo me. EDIE How about we go to the house instead? Pay our respects to the mother; less booing. SANTOS It'll look like we're exploiting the grief of a family in mourning. JOSH [VO] The mayor's doing it. SANTOS Yeah, well, the mayor's got a relationship with the community. They won't notice if he exploits it. DONNA Yeah, but if he exploits and we don't, we look callous. SANTOS It's a chance I'm willing to take. I'm going to the church. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Lou, call Joe Farley at the mayor's office. See if he'll help us out, keep him away from the house. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS JOSH [VO] Lester is on his way to... where are you now? EDIE Denver. BRAM Sir, the foreign policy team's waiting. DONNA Are we making any statements? CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH All we say now is "this is a terrible situation. The Congressman hopes he can provide some relief on his visit tomorrow. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS LOU What's he going to say tomorrow? SANTOS Good question. He gets up and goes into the back of the bus. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Kate and C.J. are sitting, waiting. Will walks in. WILL I was summoned. C.J. You were. Do me a favor and talk to Ellie about whatever problems you're having with her music. WILL Now? C.J. I was supposed to be in there but the Kate happened. It's going to take a few minutes. I thought you could do your thing. WILL I was working. KATE I was golfing. C.J. Mini. WILL I've mastered the windmill shot, with the bridge. KATE That's a hard one. WILL Hole-in-one. C.J. People. WILL Five minutes and then I'm out of there. As Will walks out, Kate watches him. C.J. looks at her. KATE What? CUT TO: INT. - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY We see Will leading Vic and Ellie into his office for them to talk about their wedding. VIC You were saying there was something we needed to talk about. WILL Uh, yes. The music. VIC Schroedinger's cats. It was a band I played with in grad school. WILL Reunion show at the White House? VIC They do weddings and barmitzvahs all the time. WILL Great. ELLIE It's better than it sounds. WILL It would have to be. They sent us a copy of the playlist. We're wondering if we can pull some things. ELLIE Is there a problem? WILL Well, is "Baby Got Back" something you're particularly attached to? CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. and Kate are talking. C.J. I can't make a bullying phone call to the Russian Foreign Minister because the Chinese got bounced out of an oil deal. KATE Tarimov is acting President. He was supposed to hold elections but he called them off. C.J. He suspended them. He didn't call them off. KATE He suspended them weeks ago and has made no move to reschedule. They guy's a Russian puppet. It was looking like the Chinese were getting there foot in the door so he halts negotiations and boots the Chinese out of the country. C.J. Kazakhstan isn't China's only oil source. KATE They're their most promising one. The Kazakh people, meanwhile, are rioting in the streets because they've just been screwed out of an election. China's looking at major instability on their border, not to mention the 300,000 ethnic Chinese living in Kazakhstan who aren't looking particularly safe, all because the Russians want the oil and are willing to fight for it. Best-case scenario, I'm ruining your Saturday. Worst-case scenario, two nuclear powers are positioning themselves to actively engage in an armed conflict over oil. Margaret knocks from her office. MARGARET Ted Barrow's on his way. C.J. Margaret? See if you can track down the Russian Foreign Minister. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE. * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. - BUILDING - DAY DENVER COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER Lou and Edie are watching a TV spot from the debate. SANTOS [on TV] First they cut taxes, then they never get around to cutting spending, so they run up huge deficits for our children. LOU There we go. EDIE Okay. Nice. What's the time code? LOU 35:02. Send a copy to Josie at CNN and ask her to please stop running that stupid line about the EPA. Enough, already. Lester walks in with a bag slung over his shoulder. LESTER Ladies. LOU Well, welcome to Denver. I spoke to the L.A. mayor's office. I think I talked them off a visit to the dead kid's house at least until tomorrow. LESTER You got a confirmation or they're thinking about it? DONNA Lou? LOU They like me and they don't want to mess with me. I'm prepared to call it a confirmation. DONNA I'm sorry. Lou? LESTER They like you? LOU I'm very personable. It goes a long way. DONNA The mayor's on his way to Ronnie Burke's house. LOU No, he is not. DONNA He's going there now. His people want to know if we want to coordinate press statements. LOU Joe Farley. You get them to put Joe Farley on the phone. He is a mealy-mouthed little snot. DONNA This is him. He doesn't seem to want to talk to you. LESTER Personable. EDIE Mayor didn't have a choice. It was a bomb in his own backyard. LOU It kind of backs us into a corner. LESTER It was a good idea to go to the house even before we were in a corner. LOU The Congressman hates it. LESTER The Congressman may have to get over it. We need to cover as many bases as we can. LOU Okay. Edie, call Secret Service and Advance and tell them we may need to add another stop in L.A. tomorrow. What's the mom's name? DONNA Brenda Burke. LOU Call her. Tell her that Congressman Santos will be visiting Page Church tomorrow morning and can he stop by on his way and pay his respects. EDIE No, we're not going to have time in the morning. We have to be at the church by 9:00 am. We should scrap the afternoon in Denver, go to L.A. now, and be at the house by early evening. LOU All right, let's look into it. Who's going to tell the Congressman? She looks at Lester. LESTER I'm evens. They play a chance game of sorts. LOU Once, twice, three, shoot. Damn. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. is at her desk when Will walks in. WILL Hey, I covered the music. No offensive lyrics by Schroedinger's Cats. I am sending the happy couple back in here. C.J. That's not going to work. WILL They're cleaning the carpets in the Mural Room. Better here than in there. She gets up and walks to where he is standing. C.J. Problem in Kazakhstan. Nuclear powers pissing off other nuclear powers. I need you to stay with them. She hands him a folder. WILL Seriously? C.J. Just look at this folder, deal with whatever's on the list. I'll take over in 20 minutes. She hands him the blue folder that Margaret gave her. WILL I'm really not your man on weddings. C.J. Margaret laid the whole thing out. Half hour, tops. He walks out. CUT TO: INT. - CONVENTION CENTER - DENVER - DAY Lou and Lester are talking. LESTER You ask him? LOU I'll ask him on the bus. LESTER Coward. LOU Absolutely. LESTER I've been thinking. This is a national story. The church is going to be full of cameras. If African-Americans stay home on Election Day, we're out of the game. LOU Are you trying to raise my anxiety level, because it's already pretty high? LESTER I think we need reinforcements. LOU Hey, Edie? Call Annabeth, get Leo McGarry on the plane. We want backup at the church tomorrow. LESTER I'm talking serious reinforcements. She looks at him and realizes who he's talking about. LOU No. LESTER We need 90% of black voters. We've got 81%. 12% of African-Americans are undecided in this race. The black vote's never had undecideds, but they're willing to hang back and weigh their options because they don't hate Vinick and they're not sure they like the whole idea of Santos. This is not a small problem. She picks up her phone and dials. LOU Get me Josh, please. She hands the phone to Lester. CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OFFICE - DAY Will is at his desk. Ellie and Vic are seated in front of the desk. Will is looking at the folder that C.J. gave him. WILL Sorry, hang on. Uh... yeah, this is pretty straightforward. Okay. C.J.'s going to be back in a few minutes, she just thought we could get the ball rolling. Everybody's dream scenario: me planning your wedding. Okay, anything I should know before we get started? ELLIE Look, we realize there's a lot the goes along with having a wedding at the White House, but anything we could do to keep the numbers under control? WILL Sure. ELLIE I know my father needs to invite a lot of people but I'm not crazy about the spotlight and Vic's a little agoraphobic. VIC It's not a phobia. ELLIE I was exaggerating. VIC It's the occasional shortness of breath. ELLIE It's really nothing. VIC Sometimes I pass out. WILL Okay, let's see what we've got. White House invitees, this looks right. He begins handing some of the papers to Vic and Ellie. WILL A copy for you and you and me. Oh, sorry. There's a second page. He hands them some more papers. WILL Yeah, that's it. Okay. VIC This has got to be 1000 names! WILL Shall we start with the A's? CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. and Kate are talking with Ted Barrow. BARROW The Russians should be putting pressure on Issetov to resume the talks with the Chinese. C.J. Tarimov. BARROW What? C.J. Issetov is dead, we want them putting pressure on Tarimov. BARROW Fine, yes. C.J. They don't want to. BARROW What do they think at the embassy? KATE They'd like us to get the Russians to talk to Tarimov. BARROW Seems to be the consensus. C.J. The Russians don't want to talk to Tarimov. The Russian Foreign Minister told me Tarimov's doing a fine job. KATE It's a big, fat lie. C.J. Oh, dear, I should have told him that. All right, you two put a call in to Camp David, let the President where we are. I'll see what we can do with China. Margaret! BARROW What are you going to say? C.J. I'm going to urge them to remain calm. You got a better idea? CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OFFICE - DAY Will is going over the guest list with Ellie and Vic. WILL Newton and Allina Hackett, Chairman of Senate Armed Forces. ELLIE Fine. WILL Newton and Allina Hackett are a yes. Owen Hellman, Majority Whip. ELLIE My father doesn't even like him. WILL Yes, but with the energy bill on the rocks, it's not really the time to point that out. Owen Hellman is a yes. Andrew Edward. What's he doing in the H's? Oh, right. His Royal Highness, Duke of York. Vic stands up and looks as though he is nervous and possibly sick. ELLIE Do you want to get some air? WILL Hey, at least he's not bringing the queen. Will looks back at the list and pulls a sticky note off. WILL Oh, maybe he is bringing the queen. Vic plops down on the couch. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. is sitting at her desk. Margaret is talking to her. MARGARET It's going to be a few minutes before we've got Beijing. C.J. I should probably make some headway with Ellie and Vic. MARGARET Josh Lyman's here. C.J. Really, Josh? She goes to the door and sees Josh standing in Margaret's office. C.J. Aren't you supposed to be running around the country with some politician? JOSH I brought you some doughnuts. C.J. I sense a favor on my horizon. JOSH Can we sit? C.J. Quickly. I'm on my way to Ellie Bartlet, who I blew off hours ago. They come into her office and sit. JOSH What are the chances I can get the President at a Santos appearance tomorrow? I know its short notice. C.J. You think? JOSH If I wasn't desperate... C.J. Secret Service needs a week to advance a trip like that. JOSH Our detail has already cleared the zone. C.J. He's in Camp David. He's got a South American delegation. He's tearing his hair out over a trade agreement. You want him to hop a red eye to California? JOSH You hear about this kid, Ronnie Burke, got shot by a cop? It's a perfect storm. C.J. You knew some people were going to have a tough time with the notion of a Latino President. If it wasn't Ronnie Burke, it'd be something else. JOSH Yeah, well, Ronnie Burke seems to be it. C.J. I'll take it to the President, see what he thinks. JOSH Bless you. C.J. Yeah, yeah. Get out of here. He stands to leave. C.J. Hey, have you talked to Toby? JOSH No. I meant to call him but I guess I didn't. Did you? C.J. No. I mean, I would, but I can't. No one can while the investigation's still going. JOSH Right. C.J. I just want to make sure he's in one piece. JOSH I don't know. He leaves. CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OFFICE - DAY Will is nearing the end of the White House Invitees list. WILL Mr. and Mrs. Max Zelikovsky. He is the Chairman of the AFL-CIO, helping us out on a very testy negotiation with the steel workers. ELLIE Fine. WILL Great. VIC No! No, no! This wedding is not the solution to every political problem the White House has. That's not its purpose. We have a list of 742 people. We are not inviting the Zelikovskys. They are a bridge too far. ELLIE Honey, Carol Zelikovsky was my mother's college roommate. I've known her my whole life. WILL 744. Uh, but the good news is: that's it. Now, it's all about your lists. That's nice, right? Will puts up the paper and grabs another one out of the folder. WILL Ellie Bartlet guests, page one. Oh... that's the whole thing. Great. Couple of little questions, looks like. Uh, Arianna Grey? ELLIE She's my maid of honor. She's flying in from London for the wedding. WILL Right. Well, looks like there was a problem with her security clearance. Apparently, the last time she was in the country, her Visa was flagged by the DEA, which suggests somebody had something they shouldn't have had in their suitcase. You've got other friends, right? CUT TO: INT. - CONVENTION CENTER - DAY Lou, Lester, Edie, and Donna are waiting for Santos to finish. EDIE Two more questions and he's out. LOU I've heard that before. EDIE No, he can't mess around on this one if we're going to make it to California today. LOU He hasn't exactly cleared that, yet. DONNA Any word on the President? LESTER Josh asked. The White House is looking in to it. DONNA Speech for the church tomorrow. She hands Edie three papers. EDIE Why do I have three? LOU One where he denounces the cop, one where he doesn't denounce the cop, and one where he loves everybody. EDIE My head hurts. LESTER The audience at the church is going to want to hear him denounce the cop. EDIE On general principle? LESTER For shooting at children, I think is the part they have their knickers in a twist about. EDIE The kid had a weapon. LESTER And a stolen car. I'm just telling you what I think they'll want to hear. DONNA He can't denounce the cop. We don't even know what happened yet. He could prejudice the whole investigation. EDIE Well, the Latino community is not going to like it if he jumps all over the cop, not to mention the law and order vote. They're definitely looking for us to support the cop. LOU And without the law and order vote we lose...? LESTER All white people. LOU Okay. The two speeches where we take sides go in the garbage. We are a community divided. LESTER Uh, you don't want to say that. EDIE It's two communities, not one. LESTER Different identities, different issues. DONNA Maybe it's a "we must face our differences" thing. LESTER That's just another way of saying Blacks hate Latinos, Latinos hate Blacks. EDIE Which is kind of true, but shouldn't be said. LESTER It's not true. EDIE Yeah, it's a little true. LESTER Perhaps some of the folks are a little riled about the coming in and taking of the jobs. EDIE Well, who do you know that wanted an avocado-picking job? Do you know how hot it is out there? LESTER Yeah. We had about enough of picking with the cotton. Santos walks out of the auditorium. LOU How'd it go, sir? SANTOS A lot like it did the last 80 times. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - DAY Santos, Lou, Lester, Edie, and Donna get on the bus. SANTOS We making any progress? LOU Edie and Lester are fighting about avocados. Aside from that, not much. SANTOS You know, there's a psalm that I think would be appropriate. It will speak to the moment more than any platitudes that we can string together. I want to make sure we get some time tomorrow before that rally in Sacramento to speak to the governor. LOU A psalm? SANTOS Yeah. LOU You can not go out there and give them a prayer. This is not bad luck, or bad timing; this is a country with huge racial issues that's looking to you for guidance. They don't want you to close your eyes and pray: they want you to open your eyes and lead. SANTOS You want to show me what you've come up with? She says nothing. SANTOS I look forward to seeing a draft. Santos grabs his coat and goes into the back. LESTER You going to ask him now about the dead kid's house? CUT TO: EXT. - APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY A cab pulls up to the curb of an apartment building. Josh gets out. JOSH Thank you, sir. You can keep that. He walks up to the door of the building and hits the buzzer. After a moment, we hear a familiar voice. TOBY [VO] Yeah? JOSH It's me. Toby doesn't reply. JOSH Let me in the door. A woman opens the door and Josh moves aside for her to leave. JOSH Sorry. Thank you. He walks in and shuts the door behind him. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - APARTMENT - DAY Josh walks into the hallway and knocks on a door. We hear the latch slide open and Toby answers the door. There's a moment of awkward silence. JOSH You going to invite me in? Toby steps aside and Josh walks in. Toby shuts the door behind him. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO. * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - DAY Toby and Josh are standing. Josh sits his bag down. TOBY Something to drink? JOSH Sure. TOBY I had some coffee, but I seem to no longer have any coffee. JOSH I'm fine. TOBY We can go to the corner. There's a coffee shop. Oh... right. That won't work. What if someone saw? JOSH I don't need any coffee. TOBY Kind of a stupid move anyway, you coming here. Some reporter could have followed you. JOSH They didn't. TOBY They're pretty sly. JOSH I checked. TOBY You checked? That's great. Josh's phone rings. He takes it out of his jacket pocket and looks at it. He silences it. JOSH So, how are you? TOBY Indicted. You? JOSH I meant to call, but it's been insane. TOBY Mm-hmm. JOSH You see the debate? TOBY Kind of a rush with the prep, looked like. JOSH Not really. I mean, it was quick, but he was ready. We got a four-point bump off that thing. He kicked ass. TOBY Good. JOSH So, jail? Josh's phone rings again. JOSH Sorry. He takes it out and silences it again. JOSH Are you actually going or are they cutting a deal? TOBY Nope. Actually going. JOSH I saw the op-ed piece in the Times. You're quite the hero with the disarmament movement. They sit at Toby's table. TOBY Patron saint of the daisy chain contingent. People calling about speaking engagements; someone from Simon & Schuster is calling about a book deal. JOSH You going to do it? TOBY I don't know. Maybe. I may need the money. People I'd rather work with can't come within a ten-block radius of me. JOSH You'll be less radioactive in a few months. TOBY Oh, yeah? How many months do you think? CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. and Kate are preparing for the phone call. C.J. We realize this is a very disconcerting turn of events. We'd like to encourage them to keep an open mind. President Bartlet will be speaking to Acting President Tarimov tomorrow and also contacting President Chigorin of Moscow. KATE We feel confident they'll find a way to reopen negotiations for a China-Kazakhstan partnership. C.J. Great. Margaret comes in. MARGARET We've got Beijing. Translator's patched in. C.J. Thanks. C.J. walks to her desk and picks up the phone. Kate walks to one of the end tables and also picks up the phone to listen in. C.J. Good morning, Mr. Liu, thank you for speaking with us. We realize this is a very discouraging... Over the phone, we hear the angry sounding voice of Liu and the calm, paced voice of the interpreter. C.J. Sir, if I could... She is drowned out. C.J. Mr. Liu, President... President Bart... If I could finish... my... She covers the mouth and speaks to Kate. C.J. Fat lot of good this is going to do. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - DAY Josh and Toby are still seated at the table. Josh is looking at his phone. He sets it down. JOSH Sorry. So, you were saying? TOBY I have no idea what I was saying. JOSH Your kids, how they are. TOBY They're fine. JOSH It must be good to have more time to spend with them. TOBY It's fantastic. Josh's phone rings yet again. JOSH Shoot. Sorry, I've got to take this. He gets up and walks away from the table. JOSH Hello. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS Lou is sitting at the window, talking to Josh. LOU I think I just screwed up. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS JOSH I can't imagine. LOU [VO] I think I just told the Congressman it was his responsibility to... CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS LOU [cont.] ... solve the race problem in America, if possible, before noon tomorrow. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS JOSH That's quite a mouthful. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS LOU It kind of pissed him off. JOSH [VO] He'll bounce. Don't worry about it. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LOU [VO] We'd like to leave L.A. early, make a stop at the kid's mother's house. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS LOU [cont.] Assuming we can talk the Congressman into it, is that okay with you? CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS JOSH Are you sure we need it? LOU [VO] The mayor already went. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS BUS - CONTINUOUS LOU [cont.] We're kind of boxed in. We leave Denver in half an hour, we should make it to the house by early evening, West Coast time. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS JOSH All right. Call me after. He hangs up. JOSH Sorry. We landed in some racial tension in L.A. TOBY The cop thing? JOSH Yeah. We had an event planned in the neighborhood. TOBY Nice. JOSH So the black vote, which was already not in the bag... TOBY Maybe it's an opportunity. A charismatic guy, he can turn it around. JOSH Really? TOBY Maybe. JOSH I spoke to C.J. I'm going to try to get the President down to sing backup. TOBY Good luck with that. JOSH I think she's going to work it out. TOBY Yeah? What'd she say? JOSH She said she was going to try and work it out. TOBY She say she'd take it to the President, see what he thinks? JOSH Yeah. That's exactly what she said. TOBY That's a catchphrase for "It's never going to happen. JOSH I know it's last minute, but... TOBY It's got nothing to do with last minute, it's got to do with he doesn't think your guy is going to win. JOSH What the hell is that supposed to mean? TOBY It means it's unlikely he gets on a red eye. JOSH I am constantly amazed at your ability to continue to be a bastard. It really is something. TOBY Thank you. JOSH You think I need to come here to be your punching bag? TOBY I really have no idea why you needed to come here. JOSH Yeah, well, I don't know either. Nostalgia? It's been a pleasure. I'll see you later. TOBY No you won't. You won't be coming back. At least have the integrity to say that out loud. Josh has walked to the door. He stops and turns to look at Toby. Toby walks off. Josh leaves. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. and Kate are talking with Barrow. BARROW Did you tell him the President would be calling? C.J. I didn't get a word in. BARROW But does he understand... C.J. I did not get a word in. KATE We can try again tomorrow. C.J. I think we're going to make more headway with the Russians. Will knocks and walks in. WILL Excuse me. Ellie's in tears. I've ruined her wedding. Someone else needs to take over. C.J. Is Margaret not out there? WILL You need to step in. Sorry about Central Asia. It's been a disaster for years. You're not really going to fix it today. Margaret walks in carrying two wedding dresses. C.J. Oh, good. Maybe you can help will. MARGARET Shirley stopped by, the social secretary. You need to talk to her about the dress. WILL I really don't. MARGARET Apparently Ellie bought a dress all on her own, which is sweet, but it's got applique flowers on it that Shirley's worried about. C.J. I'm sure it's lovely. MARGARET There's some concern that they may have been hand-stitched in Saipan by little slave children. C.J. Oh, God. MARGARET A number of designers have expressed an interest in making Ellie a dress. These are a couple of samples. She hands them to Will. MARGARET Josh called again. C.J. Take care of it. Margaret leaves. C.J. You're doing great. Just make sure you get a decision about the food. Salmon's out, and so is swordfish and tuna and brie, which Margaret seems to think is a fish as well. BARROW She's pregnant? C.J. Excuse me? BARROW Swordfish, tuna, soft cheeses... am I the only one in the room with kids? It dawns on C.J. that what he is saying is true. C.J. Tell her we'll find something with an empire waist. WILL I don't even know what that means. BARROW In the service of your country, son. He walks away, carrying the two dresses. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - DAY Josh is walking toward his office. He speaks to Ronna on the way. JOSH Did we work out Meet the Press? RONNA Mancini's doing it. White House on line 3 for you. He walks into his office and picks up the phone. JOSH Hello. MARGARET [VO] Hi. JOSH Margaret, you miss me already, don't you? MARGARET [VO] Terribly. C.J. wanted to call you herself. JOSH No, that's okay. I know how busy she is. MARGARET [VO] She ran it by the President. He can't make it to California, not on this short notice. JOSH No, I get it. MARGARET [VO] She's really sorry. JOSH Sure. It was all very last minute. Tell her thanks for trying. MARGARET [VO] Of course. We hear the line go dead at the other end. CUT TO: EXT. - BURKE HOME - DAY INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA We see several policemen and Secret Service agents standing guard in front of the house. CUT TO: INT. - BURKE HOUSE - DAY We see Bram holding the back door open for Santos. They walk in together. BRAM We're in the kitchen. Brenda Burke. Everything okay? SANTOS Yeah. They walk into the kitchen where Lou and BRENDA BURKE are waiting. LOU Congressman, this is Brenda Burke, Ronnie's mother. He walks over and shakes her hand. SANTOS Mrs. Burke. I'm so sorry for your loss. BRENDA BURKE Thank you. You're sweet to come. The mayor came today too. A lot of people. SANTOS I'm sure this is all terribly overwhelming. I can't even begin to imagine how you're feeling today. BURKE Can I offer you something to eat? SANTOS No, please. Don't trouble yourself. BURKE It's no trouble. People keep bringing food. You should have one of those cookies. SANTOS That's very kind of you. They do look delicious. We hear a man speaking very loudly to one of the Secret Service agents. MAN [VO] You need to move the vehicles at the end of the street. AGENT [VO] Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to wait here for a few minutes. SANTOS Excuse me. MAN [VO] There are people who need to get up the street. AGENT [VO] We'll be removing the roadblock in about 15 minutes, sir. Santos leaves the kitchen and walks into the hallway where the man and the agent are talking. MAN Her sister is at the end of the block! AGENT Please, step back, sir. SANTOS I'm Matthew Santos. I'm so sorry for your... MAN I know who you are. You need to take your people out of here and get your cars off the street so her sister can get up the block and into this house. The family needs to be here, you do not. SANTOS Sir, I just wanted to let you and your family know how very sorry I am for your loss. The man takes a step toward Santos. The Agent moves between them. MAN You should know better. AGENT Please, step back, sir. LOU All right, we're done here. SANTOS Mrs. Burke, I'm so sorry... LOU Congressman, we really need to get going. Thank you, Mrs. Burke. SANTOS Sorry. They walk out, Santos with a look of defeat on his face. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE. * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. - HALLWAY - HOTEL - DAY LOS ANGELES SUNDAY MORNING We see Lou walking down the hallway with some papers in her hand. She walks up to a door and knocks. Santos answers the door. LOU Morning, sir. SANTOS Is that the speech? LOU Yeah, it is. If you want to give it a look, and then we can talk about it. SANTOS No, I'm fine. Thank you. He closes the door. Lou walks away. CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY Santos comes away from the door and over to the bed where Helen is sitting, watching a news story about Santos' visit to the Burke house. HELEN You know, it doesn't play that badly on TV. Santos folds the paper and drops it in the trash bin. He continues getting ready. HELEN What's that? SANTOS That was the speech I'm not going to give. HELEN For the church? SANTOS Yeah. HELEN So, you're just going to stand up there and sing "Oh, Heavenly Shepard"? SANTOS Oh, that's an idea. HELEN You know you slide off-key on the chorus. SANTOS You all think that there is something I can get up there and say that's going to bridge the divide? Well, there isn't. HELEN I don't think that's true. SANTOS Well, the staff doesn't either, so maybe you should get together and talk about it. HELEN You don't have to say the right thing, which, conveniently, doesn't exist, but you do have to say something from your heart. SANTOS I do, huh? HELEN Yeah. SANTOS Nobody wants to hear that, Helen. They want to hear what I have to say as the representative for every Latino man, woman, and child in the 50 United States. And let me tell you something: I'm frankly getting very tired of being responsible for every Jose Miguel Rodrigo Garcia Martinez de Lopez in America. I'm exhausted! HELEN Nobody expects that. SANTOS Of course, they do! They want me to make sense out of all of this. And you know what, Helen, I've got nothing. Why the hell do they shoot a kid who is trying to surrender?! There's some guy on the scene that says the kid was trying to put his hands up in the air. The cop couldn't have waited, like, a half a second more before he fired? And who walks around South Central with a plastic M-16?! Where did this kid think he was living, Martha's Vineyard? Nobody figured out that when you live in the ghetto, you carry around something else if you don't want to get your ass blown away? That's what I've got right now. You think that's going to make anyone feel better? Bram knocks and walks in. BRAM Good morning, ma'am. We've got to go. CUT TO: INT. - SITUATION ROOM - DAY C.J. and Kate are standing at the table as several people walk in. C.J. Nice to see you all. I hope I didn't pull anybody out of church. Barrow grunts as if in protest. C.J. Sorry, Ted. They sit. C.J. Where are we? KATE At 1:30 am Eastern Standard, Keyhole satellite images picked up movement on the northwestern border of the Xinjiang Province, up here, which continued the following three hours. C.J. Could this be something else? BARROW It's possible. It could be training drills, but it's unlikely. KATE What's likely is that China is massing troops on the border of Kazakhstan. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S APARTMENT - DAY We hear a knock at the door and we see Toby walk to the door and open it. Josh is there with two coffee cups in his hand. He takes a drink of one. JOSH I brought coffee. You seem to be out. He hands Toby the other coffee. JOSH I've given a lot of thought to the heartwarming insight you shared with me about how the President thinks Santos is a loser and I think you're full of it. TOBY Eight packets of splenda, you couldn't rustle up a bagel? JOSH This isn't about the President doesn't think Santos can win, it's about you don't think he can win. TOBY That's true, I don't. JOSH Because it will kill you to see me do this and succeed. You're not wired for such an event. You're entire neurological infrastructure would fritz out. TOBY You really think I built up some Freudian fratricidal mania built around your success? You don't think I have anything other than that against the Democratic nominee for President? JOSH Name something else, please. TOBY He's not Presidential material. JOSH Why? TOBY Why? Because he left. He left Congress, he left Washington to go home and do small, important work. You had to haul him by the hair out of the family bed. Did you never stop to wonder if that was a good choice? JOSH He stepped up when presented with the opportunity. TOBY The man in that job shouldn't have to be presented with anything! It's for someone who grabs it and holds on to it, for someone who thinks the gods have conspired to bring him to this place, that destiny demands of him this service! If you don't have that kind of drive, that hubris, how in the hell are you going to make the kind of decisions that stump every other person in this country? How in the hell are you going to hold that kind of power in your hand?! JOSH You don't know he's not that man. TOBY You don't know that he is. Is he? Look me in the eye and tell me that you know, without a shadow of a doubt you know. Josh says nothing. TOBY That's why the other guy wins. CUT TO: INT. - GREATER PAGE TEMPLE - DAY There is a large audience. A black woman is on the stage, singing. WOMAN I am listening to the music of the holy Holy Spirit Oh, what a song God is singing I will listen all day long yes, I will listen all day longing I'm a-singing, oyaheya CHOIR Oyaheya WOMAN Oyaheya CHOIR Oyaheya WOMAN Oyaheya CHOIR Oyaheya WOMAN Hallelujah CHOIR Hallelujah CUT TO: INT. - ENTRANCE - CHURCH - DAY We see Donna, Lester, and Lou walk from their suburban to the door where Leo and Annabeth are standing. LOU Thanks for joining us. LEO Anytime. LOU We tried to get the President here, couldn't make it happen. LEO Short notice. LOU Yeah. Maybe you should do a longer speech, take some of the pressure off the Congressman. LEO I'm happy to do an introduction, but I think the Congressman should handle the rest of it. LOU Yeah. LEO Oh, how did yesterday go? LOU The visit to Ronnie Burke's mother's house was a disaster. The Congressman hates the very idea of the speech, never mind the speech itself. I think he's planning on replacing me with a Labrador retriever. [pause] Is that more information than you were looking for? LEO A little bit. CUT TO: INT. - AUDITORIUM - DAY The Pastor is speaking to the congregation. PASTOR We can hold the hand of the Lord and walk through the darkness! CONGREGATION Amen! PASTOR Through the pain! CONGREGATION Yes! PASTOR Through the storm! Let's give God some praise. The congregation and the choir clap. We pan to the side of the building where Donna and Lester are watching. LESTER They're supposed to be here already. DONNA They got stuck with the mayor, they're five minutes behind. LESTER This is not the place to show up late. DONNA I know. I don't know what to tell you. Lou, Leo, and Annabeth join them. LESTER He's late. LOU Yes, he is. Lou's phone rings. She answers it. LOU Edie, where the hell are you? She hangs up. LOU They're here. She leaves to meet the Congressman. CUT TO: INT. - ENTRANCE - DAY Lou walks out to meet Santos, who is getting out of the car. LOU We've got the Reverend Dr. James Berlan Whitman. First Lady Denise Whitman is sitting in the first chair on your right. Choir Master Wilson Bennett. CUT TO: INT. - AUDITORIUM - DAY Leo is speaking to the congregation. LEO We've been traveling the country talking about Matt Santos' vision for America, talking about the positive plan he has to move this country in the right direction, talking about an America of possibility. I am proud to introduce to you a great leader, a fine and honorable man, Congressman Matthew Santos. The audience lightly applauds as Santos walks to the stage. He shakes Leo's hand on the way to the pulpit. SANTOS Good morning. My prayers are with Ronnie Burke's family today. I know yours are too. My prayers are with Officer Rafael Martinez and his family. They are not struggling with the loss of a child but they are struggling with a terrible truth. My prayers are with those families and with this one. The audience seems put out that they have to listen. SANTOS You know, I find myself on days like this casting around for someone to blame. I blame the kid, he stole a car. I blame the parents, why couldn't they teach him better. I blame the cop, did he need to fire. I blame every one I can think of and I am filled with rage. And then I try and find compassion. Compassion for the people I blame, compassion for the people I do not understand, compassion. It doesn't always work so well. I remember as a young man listening on the radio to Dr. King in 1968. He asked of us compassion and we responded, not necessarily because we felt it but because he convinced us that if we could find compassion, if we could express compassion, that if we could just pretend compassion it would heal us so much more than vengeance could. And he was right: it did but not enough. What we've learned this week is that more compassion is required of us and an even greater effort is required of us. And we are all, I think everyone of us, are tired. The audience has begun to turn toward the Congressman. We hear some light consent. SANTOS We're tired of understanding, we're tired of waiting, we're tired of trying to figure out why our children are not safe and why our efforts to try to make them safe seem to fail. We're tired. But we must know that we have made some progress and blame will only destroy it. Blame will breed more violence and we have had enough of that. More people begin to join in the vocal agreement. SANTOS Blame will not rid our streets of crime and drugs and fear and we have had enough of that. Blame will not strengthen our schools or our families or our workforce. Blame will rob us of those things and we have had enough of that. And so I ask you today to dig down deep with me and find that compassion in your hearts because it will keep us on the road. And we will walk together and work together. And slowly, slowly, too slowly, things will get better. God bless you. God bless you and God bless your children. The audience applauds lightly at first, and then the entire audience joins in. Santos moves away from the pulpit and shakes the pastor's hand. The audience is beginning to come to their feet as they continue to applaud. We follow him as he heads off the platform and down the aisle toward the door. Helen joins him. As they come to the foyer, We see Santos grab Helen's hand and together they walk out the door. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END. * * * The West Wing episode 7.08 "Undecideds", original air date 4 December, 2005.