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Commencement

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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by C.J.

With the country at a heightened state of alert because suspected terrorists have disappeared, the President wrestles with what message to give his youngest daughter Zoey's graduating class at Georgetown. As C.J. has to stop Danny from filing a story, Charlie decides whether to follow through a romantic promise he made to Zoey when they were dating.

Summary Edit

OpeningEdit

In his office, Josh is trying to find a new vice president.  Charlie walks in and over the course of the conversation - he realizes that he and Zoey buried a bottle of champagne at the National Arboretum for the two of them to open on her graduation from college - today.

Josh tears a picture from the newspaper and sticks it on the board of names.  In the picture is President Bartlet - and behind the President, Leo.

Act IEdit

In the Situation Room, the President is being briefed on five missing terrorists who have gone missing on the West Coast.  He orders the nation's Threat Condition to Bravo.

Amy comes to see Donna to tell her that when Josh told her about the Vice President, she didn't mean to imply that it was good because now we would get someone they wanted the first time.

Outside the Oval Office, Toby is waiting to see the President - C.J., Will, and Josh all enter.  Toby is nervous as he has bought a house for Andy to live in (hopefully with him).  Will believes he is there to help the President with the Commencement Speech.

The four enter the Oval Office and Leo and Toby talk about Andy's pregnancy.  The President gets off the phone and informs the Senior Staff that the previous year he ordered Abdul Shareef killed and the Qumaris have now found out about it.  The five terrorists that have gone missing are believed to be in the country to exact vengeance.

The meeting breaks up and Will hangs back to offer his help to the President with his speech.  Bartlet initially resists but then tells Will he needs help.

As Josh is walking back to his office - he meets Agent Wesley Davis, who is in charge of Zoey's protective detail and is preparing to accompany Zoey to France.  Davis arrives in the room with Ron Butterfield, where the President is meeting with the new agents assigned to Zoey.  The President gets a display of the agent's skills as Zoey arrives. Bartlet jokingly tells Zoey that he would prefer she spend the summer in her room instead of France.

Leo and Fitzwallace arrive and the President steps out to get the latest update on the terrorists.  They tell the President there is a container missing off a cargo ship in Portland, Oregon.  The President orders the port closed.

Act IIEdit

C.J. walks into her office to find Danny asleep on her couch.  She screams and he wakes up, groggy from having just returned from Germany.  He tells her that his paper is prepared to run the story on Shareef - but she tells him there are national security implications and he shouldn't run it.  Danny asks C.J. point blank if the US killed Shareef - C.J. doesn't answer (though she has just learned they did).

In a neighborhood, Toby brings Andy to the house that he has purchased for her to live in.  It is the house that Andy has always wanted to live in - so Toby bought it.  He also asks Andy to marry him (again) - but she is still not interested in marrying him.  They argue and Andy leaves to go back out to the car.  She calls for Toby, who comes outside - Andy tells Toby that her water has broken and they need to get to the hospital.

Act IIIEdit

Will is talking with the First Lady about the speech that he has been writing with the President.  Will is afraid the President will want to change it - which is exactly what the President suggests when they meet up with him.  The President has Will get in the limo and head to Georgetown with them - to make the changes on the fly.

In the White House, Margaret brings a gift wrapped box to Leo - it's a graduation gift for Zoey - a pen.  C.J. arrives and tells Leo that Danny is waiting.  She tells Leo what Danny has.  They arrive and Leo tells Danny about Threat Condition Bravo and the missing sleepers.  Danny agrees to wait three days and he gets an exclusive on the sleepers.  Leo agrees.

Amy comes to see Donna again - she is still worried that she has offended Josh about the VP list.  Donna tells her not to worry about it.

At the hospital - Andy is in labor and the doctor arrives to tell her the babies are coming - today.

At Georgetown - Will and the President are still tweaking the speech, when the Chancellor arrives to get the President for the ceremony.  As they are walking out - the President realizes he can no longer get to his pockets to retrieve the notes for the speech, or his glasses.

Act IVEdit

Amy comes to the bullpen and finds Donna still at her desk.  They talk some more, about Josh.  Amy realizes that Donna is in love with Josh.

At the National Arboretum, Charlie and Josh are looking for the bottle of champagne.  They encounter one of Zoey's agents, and realize that Zoey is already there, waiting for Charlie.  The two of them talk - Zoey has some anxiety about going to France with Jean Paul.

In the Situation Room, the President is getting another update.  They have the crew of the container ship and are questioning them.  In the Press Room, C.J. and Danny talk about his story on Shareef.

Zoey has arrived at a graduation party - where Jean Paul has drugged Zoey's drink.  Zoey is trying to talk to Jean Paul.  She asks him if he put ecstasy in her drink - he tells her he did.  She gets up to go to the restroom.

Outside, Josh is talking with Agent Davis - who requests an update from all the agents.  Davis goes inside when the other agents cannot find Zoey.  They search the club and Davis goes out to the alley, where he finds Zoey's panic button on the ground and then another agent shot dead.

Ron Butterfield rushes to see Leo who tells him about Zoey.  Leo leaves the Situation Room and runs through the halls of the White House to find the President.

Trivia / Goofs Edit

  • In the limo on the way to the graduation ceremony at Georgetown University, President Bartlet refers to the driver by the nickname "Coop". This was also the name of President Shepherd's limo driver in Aaron Sorkin's first White House drama The American President.
  • In the Situation Room Leo asks, "What kind of day has it been?" just before Zoey is shown arriving at the party. What Kind of Day Has It Been is also the title of the Season 1 finale, which ends with the shooting in Rosslyn.
  • The intense soundtrack used in the final scenes is "Angel", by Massive Attack (1998)

Quotes Edit

Will Bailey: We just wrote 3,900 words in five hours.
Abbey Bartlet: It's terrific so far.
Will Bailey: Later, he quotes Cicero, Thomas Aquinas and Rudy Vallee in the space of two pages.
Abbey Bartlet: How does he connect them?
Will Bailey: Three people you've never heard of.
Abbey Bartlet: It's about creativity?
Will Bailey: Well, he decided that's what he wanted to talk about. Now the trick is, he's got to not change his mind.
Jed Bartlet: Good! You're here! I want to make some changes.
Donna Moss: You have to get Josh . . . . His sister died in a fire while she was baby-sitting him. She tried to put it out, he ran outside. He went off campaigning, his father died. He wakes up in a hospital and discovers the President's been shot. He goes through every day worried that somebody he likes is going to die, and it's going to be his fault. What do you think makes him walk so fast? . . . . Anyway, when you look at the list of replacements and said, "That's a windfall," what he heard was "Thank you Josh, you did it again. More for us."

Cast Edit

StarringEdit

Special Guest StarsEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Co-StarringEdit

References Edit

"The West Wing" Commencement (2003)