Commander in Chief

Season 1 Episode 2

First Choice

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 2005 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
207 votes
  • First order of business...

    Second episode and I'm already hooked. I'll definitely be along for the whole Commander in Chief ride. Now that the country has a female President for the first time, it's time to choose who will help her run the country. It's good that the writers decided to make Mackenzie an independent, we'll see her PO a lot of people and also she won't have to respond to one party or another. Really liked her standing her ground and picking who she thought would best suit the position. Go Mac!
  • Who will be the Veep? Time will tell, time will tell...

    Who will be the Veep? Time will tell, time will tell... In the meantime, I'm wondering: who knew politics could be so much fun? Ep-2 proved once again that this show has it all: Politics, intrigue, razzle, dazzle, Ted Porter, and Kiefer Sutherland Sr. Speaking of which, was that a familiar voice I heard speaking to the President's daughter about the "Case of the Disappearing Diary"? You bet it was! I'd recognize Ted Porter's crisp dialogue from a mile away. I won't soon forget it: "Was there anything in your diary that could be damaging to your mother?" Jesus Christ, what a line. Trademark Ted Porter timing, too; if he had spoken that line at the very beginning or end of the episode, it would have made no sense. And if he had spoken it to Geena Davis it would have made no sense either, because HER mother isn't even on the show. But Porter delivered it perectly, to the president's daughter in the middle of the episode. Bravo.
  • This is a very good show

    Please don't let the above two reviews change your mind about this show. It is very well written and the actors are terrific. The Pilot episode explained how Gena became President, with everyone against her. Last nights episode show us how low politics goes with other people trying to sway people into believing what they want us to believe. The media tried picking the Vice President, but Gena wouldn't have it. She picked the person she wanted, even though they were nemesis before, he was the right person for the country and that's who she got.

    Then there is the family conflicts with the oldest daughter, it all comes together. I hope this show sticks around for years to come.
  • Outtakes The West Wing!

    I really love these series. I loved The West Wing a couple of seasons ago, and now Commander in Chief has taken over. I thought this second episode was a bit messy / bumpy, but I have no doubt that it will rise with time. I love the cast, and will look forward to every episode! I will continue to follow The West Wing, but Commander in Chief has taken first place in the “politic soap race” for me. I hope they will focus more on the politic than gender fight.
    I am sorry about my bad written English language.
  • I really enjoyed this one. Shows us the real side of the president and her family.

    This episode was a great way to get into the groove of the series. It showed Mac getting into command and making important decisions. She doesn't just sit back and let things happen when someone tries to push her around. She isn't taking crap from anyone while she's in office. I also liked the way they show a softer side of the new president with her husband and family. The diary scare was excellent. It was slightly humorous that the youngest daughter had it. I also enjoyed the virgin line. Classic. Over all it was a good transition episode into what I hope the rest of the season will be looking like. This was a great kick-start to what looks like a great series.
  • Inspiring Epsode...Mac continues to increase her boldness and fortitude in the face of politics-as-usual, and issues a challenge for all of us around what-the-hell-we-are-using-our-lives-for. Writers continue to develop characterization of Mac's family,


    President Allen deals with presidential, political, and family conflict in an episode that provides an insightful set of flashbacks to the election that brought her into office. (Of course, how there came to be two competing Republican 'tickets' with both a presidential and vice-presidential candidates vying for a nomination isn't explained.)

    Best quote in the series thus far:

    "What are YOU going to do with the next two years, Warren?"--by a determined and self-assured Mackenzie Allen making her pitch to a reluctant General Keaton why he should join her.

    Next best quote:

    "It's like being in the shadow of greatness."--by an expressive General Willam Fitzgerald Keaton, answering the press on what it's like to stand by Allen instead of sitting across from her.

    The one concern I was left with after the rush wore off from the end of the show was whether EVERY episode would see President Allen "pulling it off" in the last 10 minutes...I think we can trust the writers, however, to make sure there is at least some suspense and even disappointment from time-to-time for fans of Mac.
  • In the search of the new Vice President.

    I liked this episode, especially the fact we got to see Donald Sutherland's character show his true face. He aplauded to the President last time, this time we see he won't be easy on her.
    I liked the fact that they didn't make such a big deal about the diary. It would be too predictible. And the First Gentleman thing is just funny. It's obvious he doesn't enjoy this role, but he has to deal with it.
    Overoll, it showed what to expect in future episodes.
    Oh, and i liked the Chief of staff. Although he's a Republican, loyalty to the President comes first.
  • They really talk a lot about Hillary in this episode.

    If Hillary R. Clinton wasn't so "sticked" to the rules in the white house it's because she has always had a leader ship position in her spirit and I admire her for that!

    A speech given by Hillary Rodham Clinton just four days after George W. Bush’s second inauguration is never just a speech. On January 24, in an address notable for its elegant Clintonian geometry, Hillary told a room full of family-planning advocates that although she remained wholly committed to the freedom to choose, she also thought it was important for the pro-choice and anti-abortion movements to find common ground. The following day, her address got front-page coverage in the New York Times, and Harold Ickes, with characteristic eloquence, showed up in a Washington, D.C., restaurant to crow about it.

    “I’m sorry, but when push comes to fucking shove—not to turn a pun—my belief is that life begins at conception,” he says, as he rips the tab of his tea bag into tiny little shreds. “And I think Hillary understands how hot-button this issue is for Democrats.”

    For a man who was fired by the Clinton administration and then rewarded with 32 subpoenas for his service, Ickes remains surprisingly close to the former First Family. As treasurer of her reelection committee, he speaks regularly with Hillary, and during the 2004 presidential campaign, when he ran two 527 organizations devoted to defeating George W. Bush, he spoke to Bill roughly every other day. “The issue of choice is deeply, deeply felt,” he continues. “We progressives just can’t dismiss people who feel to the contrary. This is a helpful dialogue Hillary’s opened up.”

    He asks the waitress for more hot water. He rips the tab of his tea bag into even smaller chads. Then he adds a richer layer to this story. Hillary, as it turns out, isn’t the only Clinton who believes the Democratic Party should soften its rhetoric on abortion. “During the presidential campaign,” he says, “Bill Clinton’s main plaint was that we Democrats, primarily Kerry, were ignoring the issues of abortion, guns, and gay marriage to our peril. He used to say, ‘Abortions went down during my presidency. They went up after Bush II. We need to talk about that’—basically what Hillary said in her speech today.”

    So was the former president framing Hillary’s message? I ask.

    “I don’t know,” he says. “They’re very, very close, not just personally but politically. He’s not her only touchstone. But he’s very much a touchstone.”

    He signals the waitress for the check.

    “Her speech yesterday was a big speech,” he concludes. “It’s a positioning speech.” For president?

    “You can certainly argue that,” he says. “I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you.”

    Most Democrats agree that Bill Clinton was the best thing to happen to their party in a generation. His wife may now be the best thing to happen to the next. How on earth did this happen? How did the reluctant cookie-baker, the socializer of health care, and the theorizer of a right-wing conspiracy become the presumptive nominee for the party in 2008?

    “Well, unless someone can push you off the stage, you’re on the stage,” says John Breaux, the former Louisiana senator and confidant of Bill Clinton’s. “No one has pushed her off. Is anyone even capable? That’s the question.”

    What isn’t the question is whether Hillary will run. In Washington, this fact is utterly taken for granted. Rather, the question is, who’ll have the nerve to wrestle the nomination away from her? At the dedication of the Clinton library last November, which the press corps framed as a debutante ball for Hillary, Wesley Clark openly contemplated another run; this January, as I roamed the halls of the Senate, I heard plenty of other names being tossed about, some from the prospective candidates themselves. “Look, I may run against her for the nomination,” said Joseph Biden, the Senate Democrat who’s become a Daily Show favorite for his sense of humor and candor (and who already made a stab at the 1988 primaries, before he was caught plagiarizing from a speech by British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock).

    Really? I asked. Seriously?

    “Yeah,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll do it, but I’m looking at it seriously. And she is, you know, the elephant in the living room. She’s the big deal.”

    It’s hard to imagine how spectacularly weird a Hillary candidacy would be. It raises the prospect of Bill Clinton, at one point the most humiliated man in America, being back in the White House—but this time, it’d be Hillary in the Oval Office late at night, ordering pizza. It raises the prospect of alternating political dynasties, one composed of husband and wife, the other of father and son.

    Unlike Bush, though, who never seemed to wrestle with his political eligibility—that’s the marvelous thing about family wealth, how it lends the illusion you’ve earned your privileges—Hillary would be dogged by the same questions that dogged a whole generation of feminists about power and how it’s acquired. Sure, her candidacy would be the ultimate suffragette triumph, but it’d also send a complicated message: So this is how we get to the White House? On a flagstone path laid by our husbands? And what would Bill be, if she won? Co-president? Karl Rove? Just as her husband promised to end welfare as we knew it, Hillary, by definition, would have to end the office of the First Lady as we know it. Unless Bill were content to spend the next four years selecting china patterns.

    She sure must be a president and if this series shocks people now, let's see what happens in 2008!
  • President Mackenzie Allen makes her first choice as President of the United States...

    President Mackenzie Allen makes her first choice as President of the United States and that is to choose a new Vice President. But when Templeton discovers the man she has her eye on, he uses it for his own devious benefit.

    Meanwhile, the First Family is moving into the White House and Rebecca finds that she doesn't know what happened to her diary, which contains information about the President.

    This episode was very well written. President Allen is portrayed as being very efficient in the time of trouble and a good mother at the same time. She takes a break from her duties to go and say goodnight to her husband and kids and she doesn't EVER give in to Templeton's big, devious brain. Even when Rebecca said that she had written stuff in her diary about her, Mac says that not a word of the diary will come to her ear and goes away so that Rebecca can tell people about what is in the diary without her mother hearing. This episode also has some good humor with the running gag of Amy always asking doughnuts and sugary things. I wish that they wouldn't swear so much, though (especially the kids). But I think it is a pretty good episode.
  • Al asumir la presidencia de los EUA, Allen enfoca sus primeros objetivos en demostrar su poderio militar y movidas de ajedrez para contar con un nuevo VP (vice presidente), sin contra con ello a la partidocracia que desea imponer a sus propios candidatos.

    Presidenta Allen asume su rol ante la ciudadania. Ademas, debe ir incorporando a su propio personal en los mas importantes cargos. Para ello, debe contra con un VP asi como una persona encargada de las comunicaciones de la Casa Blanca. Pero, si a ello agregamos que debe lidiar con los problemas de casa, el asunto se complica para Allen, que tambien debe enfrentarse con los democratas y los republicanos, quienes quieren tener parte del control de una persona declarada independiente dentro del gobierno.


    CIC no es la mejor serie, ni la mas real, ni la de mejor trama que este viendo actualmente. Las escenas transcurren en camara lenta, los gestos de la Davis son una mala coia de Condoleeza Rice, y la trama familiar es un tanto estupida. ¿Hacen un drama por la perdida de un diario de la hija adolescente? Hubiera sido mejor decir que tenia droga oculta, o pastillas anticonceptivas que hubiera generado un traspie en las politicas de salud para una presidenta. Ademas, la lucha contra el presidente del jurado es una mala parodia de las fuerzas del bien y el mal de los X-Men.
    Ojala mejoren los guiones, pues no se encuentra una trama real hasta el momento. CIC tiene mucho que aportar pues se muestra a un independiente dirigiendo la Casa Blanca y, ademas, una mujer, algo que podria darse enc ualquier momento.
  • While better than the premiere, the writers failed to develop the main characters and insisted on continueing with several implausible premises. Despite that, some of the consistancy and development of themes outlined in the pilot gave made this episode

    This show seems to be developping slowly. While it has an interesting premise - a female President - it seems that the writers want to stretch our imaginations in what they want us to believe.

    Essentially, her choice of a Democratic (apparently they're the minority in both houses) Vice President, to an Independent President just seemed to stretch believability. Wanting what she considered to be the right man for the job is one thing, but do the writers just expect us to believe that she thinks she'll be able to get any legislative agenda through a Republican dominated Congress doing that? Not to mention the trouble that Templeton alluded to giving her during the confirmation process. Trying to establish the show as being ideologically neutral and utopian is one thing, but this just seems to be pushing it.

    The continuity of issues from the first episode, the press wanting to know what happened with the extraction of the Nigerian woman and the continued resignation of various appointments who didn't want to continue on with Allen's administration was also quite nice. They did a better job with the President's personal secretary compared to either the Labour Secretary or Press Secretary, since neither of them really specified, like the secretary did, if they were leaving because she was refusing to carry out his mandate or if it was because she was a woman.

    The show still seems to be unclear on it's direction, because the writers still haven't really developped any of the characters. All they've shown us is that President Allen is very determined, to the point of being stubborn, as well as an idealist, while Templeton is a duplicitous, power hungry party boss.

    While this show is already showing a large trend of moving away from a West Wing style political drama, it still has some merit as an executive focused idealist vision of American politics. The writers really just need to pick up the pace and develop their storylines with some depth, and some characters we can get attached to.

    They also need to do it pretty quick, since if they keep this up I think the show could quite easily get dumped at the end of the season.
  • West Wing is my favorite show and this show is not as well done but I am hopeful for it. The theme of the series keeps my interest for now.

    Get the political process right!

    Specifically related to the First Choice episode why are they referring to a confirmation for the VP. There is no confirmation process. The Republicans will be unhappy and that will be reflected in how they recieve her legislative agenda but let\'s be clear about how the Consitution works on the VEEP selection.
  • The West Wing... it is not

    And that is the problem... I think this show is really trying hard to be the West Wing. The show has a lot of chance to be good... I just don't really think it will.

    Tonights show was so ho-hum, nothing stands out to review about.


    I'll still watch the show a few more epsidoes, but it doesn't look good...
  • one more hour of my life back

    While I wasn't against the idea of a "woman as President show" it seemed difficult that ANY show about the President would fall flat while West Wing was still airing.

    No surprises here: flat tire.

    Sure the villainous Donald Sutherland is a great character. I'll even go as far as saying Geena Davis looks to be strong enough to pull of the role. The problem is that no one else is any good or even interesting.

    I realize (many hours of TV knowledge here) that shows build a following and that with the subject matter (woman in power) it will remain a hot show for a while. That said, plenty of good shows with good topics and characters (Bring back Joan of Arcadia!) are cancelled and if it were my network, I'd look for something else to run against House because this is the last episode I watch.