The West Wing

The West Wing Season 6 Episodes

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Season 6 Episode Guide

Episode 1 - NSF Thurmont

From his office in the White House, President Josiah Bartlet (series star Martin Sheen) leads the most powerful nation on earth. Directly descended from one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, New Hampshire Democrat Bartlet exudes a country-lawyer charisma that complements his brilliance, his deep conviction and his devotion to what he believes is right for the country. A brilliant academician in her own right, first lady Dr. Abigail "Abbey" Bartlet (series star Stockard Channing) staunchly supports her husband but does not hesitate to keep him in line when necessary.As always, professorial Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (series star John Spencer) resolutely serves as Bartlet's political and emotional right hand, while Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (series star Bradley Whitford) keeps his highly regarded political mind in overdrive. Donna Moss (series star Janel Moloney), Josh's capable assistant, more than holds her own in their friendly verbal sparring. Despite the constant media scrutiny in the briefing room, Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (series star Allison Janney) remains cool and competent. Stoic Toby Ziegler (series star Richard Schiff), the rumpled and sleepless communications director, stays focused, while brash new Deputy National Security Advisor Kate Harper (series star Mary McCormack) and Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the Vice President Will Bailey (series star Joshua Malina) continually rise to the occasion. Also proving himself more and more valuable each day is the President's brilliant young personal assistant, Charlie (series star Dule Hill .In the aftermath of the Gaza Strip attack that seriously wounded Donna and killed Admiral Fitzwallace and two American congressmen, Bartlet faces strong opposition to his peace plans. Defying the wishes of the majority of Congress--including some of the White House's Democratic allies--the American people and the Vice President, Bartlet persists in the hope that inviting Palestinian and Israeli leaders to participate in peace talks will forestall the necessity of a U.S. military retaliation. Even Leo feels that the President should order an attack to make a decisive statement on terrorism. Bartlet's only hope is that a risky secret negotiation will deliver the leader responsible for the bombings into U.S. custody. Meanwhile, Josh hovers worriedly by Donna's bed in a German military hospital. As doctors try to stabilize Donna's deteriorating condition, no one knows whether or not she will suffer brain damage if she survives.


Episode 2 - The Birnam Wood

Bartlet arranges for representatives from Israel and Palestine to visit Camp David in Maryland for peace negotiations. Leo remains at the White House in order to give the official order to attack the Ein Hawa terrorist training camp in Syria.


Episode 3 - Third-Day Story

Before signing the Middle East peace accord, Bartlet orders his staff to enlist the support of the United States House of Representatives and the United Nations. Josh and Toby are assigned the task of getting congressional backing. Meanwhile, C.J. works to confirm international alliance with the United Nations Security Council. Donna returns to work, and Charlie refuses to take a college swimming exam that would allow him to graduate.


Episode 4 - Liftoff

An emissary from the Republic of Georgia visits the White House and offers weapons-grade uranium stored in a research reactor the Russians left behind when they pulled out of Georgia. Meanwhile, Josh looks for tax cut support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and along the way meets with Matthew Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits - "NYPD Blue," "L.A. Law"), a bright and enigmatic congressman from Texas.


Episode 5 - The Hubbert Peak

Josh test-drives an oversized SUV (sport-utility vehicle) and crashes into a hybrid car resulting in bad publicity for the White House. Annabeth Schott (recurring guest star Kristin Chenoweth - "The Music Man"), the new press secretary, has been on the job for only a week and is preparing to encounter the press corps for the first time. Toby worries that she looks too young and may not be ready for the corps' probing questions.


Episode 6 - The Dover Test

The United States peacekeeping compound is attacked, and American soldiers are killed. As the White House struggles to control the story, the father of a slain soldier speaks out against the mission. Meanwhile, Democratic Congressman Matthew Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) attaches the Patients' Bill of Rights he wrote to a Republican piece of legislation that effectively keeps the Democratic elements while maintaining a Republican agenda. Also, Leo gets a lesson in life and business from his nurse.


Episode 7 - A Change Is Gonna Come

Final preparations are being made for Bartlet's visit to China when he accepts a flag from the delegation representing the Taiwanese Independence Movement--prompting China to prepare for military action. (Recurring guest star Ed O'Neill - "Married...with Children") appears as Governor Eric Baker.


Episode 8 - In the Room

At a Bartlet family birthday, magicians Penn & Teller (themselves) burn the American flag in the White House, prompting a publicity nightmare. Aboard Air Force One, Bartlet is stricken by a paralyzing episode of his multiple sclerosis. And Josh is approached to handle the Vice President's presidential campaign.


Episode 9 - Impact Winter

As Bartlet and his staff arrive in China for a critical meeting, the President is still suffering the paralyzing effects of multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, an asteroid is headed for the U.S., leaving Josh and Leo to deal with the potential consequences.


Episode 10 - Faith Based Initiative

The press circulates an untrue rumor about C.J. A controversial amendment banning gay marriage is added to the budget. Josh convinces Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) to vie for the office of President. Bartlet tries to handle his latest recurrence of multiple sclerosis. And Donna works for Vice President Robert Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole) in his New Hampshire presidential campaign headquarters. Series star Bradley Whitford wrote the episode.


Episode 11 - Opposition Research

Josh travels to New Hampshire with Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) to establish their campaign headquarters. But problems arise from the beginning when they set up the office in an abandoned shack, and personal differences about the campaign's goals become evident. Meanwhile, as Donna and Will work together on the Vice President's campaign, Will tells Donna that in order for their partnership to work, she needs to acknowledge that she is no longer on the same team as Josh.


Episode 12 - 365 Days

The day after the President's annual State of the Union address, the harried staff deals with one emergency situation after another. Kate works on a sensitive situation in Bolivia while C.J. handles one in North Korea, and Toby concentrates on unemployment. To find inspiration, Leo starts the first day in a new capacity by watching State of the Union speeches from previous years.


Episode 13 - King Corn

The Midwestern state of Iowa is the location for the first presidential debate among the candidates. At the Iowa Corn Growers' Expo, Vice President Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole) gives the first speech. Matthew Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) and Arnold Vinick (recurring guest star Alan Alda) follow, and the differences between the candidates become very clear. Josh struggles to understand how he can guide Santos in the race.


Episode 14 - The Wake Up Call

On Valentine's Day, an Iranian fighter jet accidentally shoots down a British passenger plane--killing 100 people--but C.J. is reluctant to awaken the President even as the hawkish British prime minister considers bombing Iran's nuclear reactors in retaliation. After learning that the passenger jet was mistaken for a U.S. spy plane, Bartlet consults with British ambassador Lord John Marbury (recurring guest star Roger Rees - "Cheers"), and they debate whether a strike is the perfect excuse to destroy the atomic sites or if it would set back reform movements in Iran. Meanwhile, Abbey and C.J. feud over the President's schedule for total rest; Toby and a legal professor try to write a new democratic constitution with representatives of Belarus; and everyone keeps dodging the traditional White House appointment with Miss Universe. Christopher Lloyd ("Taxi," the "Back to the Future" films) guest stars as law professor Lawrence Lessig.


Episode 15 - Freedonia

Five days before the New Hampshire primary, a desperate Josh must get his trailing candidate, Congressman Matthew Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits), into the local debate between the two front-runners, Vice President Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole) and John Hoynes (recurring guest star Tim Matheson - "Animal House"). Josh doesn't succeed, and his candidate's campaign is doomed--until they gamble on staging their own debate. When Santos brings in savvy Amy Gardner (recurring guest star Mary-Louise Parker - "Fried Green Tomatoes") to help prepare, Josh clashes with both his ex-girlfriend and his candidate over the listless campaign.


Episode 16 - Drought Conditions

Vice President Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole--not appearing in this episode) appears to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for President. But a new contender, Senator Rafferty (Mel Harris - "thirtysomething"), gives an amazing speech and has members of the press filling their columns with her words. Josh continues to firmly support Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) and discovers an interesting link between Senator Rafferty's health care plan and one President Bartlet created--that only a White House insider would know. Meanwhile, C.J. tries to get Congress to support a bill.


Episode 17 - A Good Day

Congressman Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) masterminds a plot to pass the President's stem cell bill while the Republicans aren't paying attention. Members of a group of middle school children who are part of the Future Leaders for Democracy visit the White House and seek out Toby to discuss the voting age. And Kate deals with an impending invasion of Canada. Series star Richard Schiff directed the episode.


Episode 18 - La Palabra

Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits) travels to Sacramento, California, for the last few days before Super Tuesday (a day when a large number of states simultaneously hold their primary elections; the single day when the most nominating delegates can be won). While he's trying to gather support for his healthcare agenda, Santos is pressured by the media to reveal his stand on California legislation that would provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole) decides not to go to California, and Hoynes (recurring guest star Tim Matheson) capably dodges the issue. Meanwhile, Donna takes a more proactive role in the Russell campaign by becoming the new spokesperson.


Episode 19 - Ninety Miles Away

Speculations surround the nexus between Communist Cuba and the democratic United States. Bartlet is propelled into a dubious conundrum--continue secret talks with Cuba's ailing dictator and lift an antiquated embargo or yield to bipartisan political fallout and reaffirm 40-year-old sanctions. Meanwhile, Leo and Kate discover they have more in common than politics. Brian Dennehy guest stars as Senator Rafe Framingham.


Episode 20 - In God We Trust

After winning the Republican nomination for presidency, Arnold Vinick (recurring guest star Alan Alda) begins working on his campaign. Bruno Gianelli (recurring guest star Ron Silver - "Ali"), a political strategist, gives the Republican candidate advice about choosing a vice president and handling Vinick's latest controversy--his failure to attend church. Meanwhile, the Democrats are stuck in a three-way race for enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination; Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole) barely leads Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits); and Hoynes (recurring guest star Tim Matheson--not appearing in this episode) is now a distant third. Bartlet tries to show unity in the party by wrangling the candidates.


Episode 21 - Things Fall Apart

The success of the impeccably organized Republican Convention contrasts with the Democrats who look in disarray as the candidates continue to battle to become the Democratic Party presidential nominee. Bartlet asks Leo to take control and organize the upcoming convention. Meanwhile, the International Space Station develops a leak and is losing oxygen, jeopardizing the lives of the three astronauts aboard.


Episode 22 - 2162 Votes

At the Democratic Party National Convention, the race to become the presidential nominee has narrowed to three candidates: Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole), Hoynes (recurring guest star Tim Matheson) and Santos (recurring guest star Jimmy Smits). Also, Bartlet wrestles with the decision to risk national security and launch the secret defense shuttle to rescue the astronauts trapped at the Space Station--or let them die.


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