Commander in Chief

Season 1 Episode 5

First... Do No Harm

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 25, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
153 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

In the middle of the announcement of her new National Security Advisor, Anthony Prado, Mac is caught off guard by the breaking news of a terrorist smuggling explosives across the Canadian border. The way in which Mac and her Attorney General deal with the situation pits them squarely against each other, and Nathan Templeton takes great pleasure in publicly second-guessing Mac's every move. Meanwhile, it's Halloween, and Amy - who desperately wants to go trick-or-treating like a normal kid - is disappointed to learn that, due to security concerns, she may have to settle for a party this year instead. When Rod as First Gentleman finds himself fodder for late-night comics, it hits his son Horace especially hard.moreless

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  • This episode had to do with Mac dealing with terrorists and having to decide whether to torure him to talk. She also had a lot of family issues swirling around her which could have distracted her. Her husband had a few scenes where his character was develmoreless

    The episode, First-Do No Harm, was one that showed some character development. The main theme was Mac having to deal with her advisors and their differing views on how to handle a terror threat. She did not agree with the use of torture and felt that the US had to set the example in order to protect Americans in the future from torture. I am not sure how it will. She also felt that even torture can cause only lies to be told by the one being tortured. She had to elevate the threat level and schools were closed. Halloween was in jeopardy. Her family was having conflict. Her son got into a fight defending his Father. His father was offered a job as Baseball commissioner. This job was tempting as we see that he feels unfulfilled as first Gentleman and needs to do something separate from his role as husband to the President. We saw how he had memories of when Mac was asked to run for Congress and NOT him. So there are some jealousy issues with him and his son calling him a whimp will only fuel his need to diverge. Mac will be losing some of his support and it will probably make her life harder. Her daughter is dealing with boys and her youngest is also missing her Mom and the life they had before the White House.moreless
  • It doesn't have to be the West Wing to be enjoyable.

    I don't see why people hold it up against the West Wing and find this show lacking. It isn't trying to be WW, it's more of a soap opera/drama sort of show, and proud of it. Why not? It's entertaining, I don't regret spending an hour watching it.

    I did find the interplay between father/son painful- Rod acted so out of character, flying off handle like that, it almost looked like he was going to beat the boy! And then later, he brings up the subject again, and I thought he would be more reasonable, but no, he goes and starts lecturing again. Maybe as a teenager, I hoped he would be more understanding, but the character was pretty blind about how to handle his son. Don't misunderstand, though, I thought Horace was an idiot for getting into a fight, but I never understood why guys choose to use violence to make their point. So who knows, maybe that was appropriate given the taunts, but I didn't like it.

    Kelly is a sweet character, she's the most human and accessible of them all. She has doubts in herself, but aims to do her best and prove herself, and I love how she dishes it out to that loser- "You're, like, so fired" she mocks him. Wonderful scene! I thought she was going to cave and let it go, but she regrouped wonderfully. Shows she's a great actress, that the audience can't predict whether she's already steeling herself to deliver the setdown, it really was up in the air whether she would let the jerk walk over her or not.

    Little kid's cute, annoying and believable. That thing where she raced in and shrieked while her mom was on the phone...typical kid thing, but poor Mac! The middle child can be a bit of a pain, always thinking she's so burdened, the world's out to get her...grow up!

    Anyway, the plot was good. I saw that "I don't want to hear about torture" implication as soon as she said it, but I guess she's so moralistic that it didn't strike her at the time, that it might be an instruction to go ahead but leave her out of the loop, so she could claim she didn't know. But I don't know that I agree with her "It's there to protect us, to protect our citizens from torture in other countries". They'd probably go ahead, regardless of whether America tortured prisoners, but I don't support torture anyway, so I'm glad that she took that stance. It's a tough question, even though things worked out well.

    And that's what gets a lot of people- that there are these nice, neat answers to everything, when real life tends to screw people over. But that's why I like watching Com-in-Chief, because I know it'll end happily, and the family will still be together and the country will be safe.moreless
  • Time for the First Family to start adjusting to life in the White House

    Now that the First family is settled in and the President has begun to get her "feet wet" in office, it's time to see how the family will adjust to life in the spotlight. I can't help but feel for the children of the president who have to deal with secret agents 24/7, private life very public, taunting in school by classmates....don't know if I could handle it. That's why I love the show. If it was just the West Wing, I couldn't watch. I hate politics and find them extremely boring. But this show deals with that and family issues making it a show about family for the whole family to watch.moreless
  • a good show like the west wing

    this show resembels more and more to the hit show west wing, n=but with some big twist, i like the way that the writers involve more the family life at the white house with the day and day of the diffucult job of presidency of the united states. Also that the president is play by a woman makes this show a must see every week. The actres is very good to provide a good felling to the people watching the tv.moreless
  • Overall, it was an above average show. I hope things do not change very much when the new producer takes over.

    I think the show was well done. I like that we are continuing to learn more and more about the type of person Mac is. I do not care much for the possibiity of conflict between the president and the first gentleman. I am hoping that things will return to norm for them ( first two episodes) but I know that (conflict) is what keeps a show going most of the time. I still love the president (Madame Allen) and her family.

    I am unsure about the new Security Advisor.moreless
Charles Duckworth

Charles Duckworth


Guest Star

Jason Wiles

Jason Wiles

Alex Williams

Guest Star

Marc Gomes

Marc Gomes

Ken Iacampo

Guest Star

Steve Tom

Steve Tom

Reporter Steve

Recurring Role

Julie Ann Emery

Julie Ann Emery

Joan Greer

Recurring Role

Leslie Hope

Leslie Hope

Melanie Blackston

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: The President is seeing her husband and kids off while standing in front of the White House and a major mountain range is visible in the distance. However, there are no mountain ranges in the immediate D.C. area.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Rod: Okay, listen, Horace, I know it's an adjustment, but I'm proud of what I'm doing here, and you do not need to defend me--
      Horace: Yeah, well, someone's gotta. You're a national joke, Dad. No one's even noticed that Mom is the first female president because they're too busy laughing at her wuss of a husband.

    • (Mac walks in on Rebecca kissing a boy)
      Mike: Madam President, it's an honor to meet you.
      Mackenzie: It would be more of an honor if you weren't in my daughter's bedroom at 11pm.

    • Kelly: You're still upset the President gave me the job.
      Alex: Upset? Upset, that I, a Harvard graduate, was passed over by someone who, a month ago, thought a "lid" was something you put on lattes.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode brings up a lot of things that's much like what is brought up in an episode of "Lost", called "The Greater Good" from season 1.
      Both episodes are about making difficult choices for the greater good, and it's also about preventing terrorism.

    • Amy's Halloween costume is made of Teen Titans Series' Starfire's clothes and Raven's cape and hood.

    • Ratings: The episode was watched by 16.30 million viewers


    • Cone of Silence

      Nathan Templeton mentioned the cone of silence. The cone of silence refers to the surveillance device in Get Smart which is used to discuss sensitive information without fear of any eavesdropping. In Get Smart, the cone of silence did not always work as one person using it could not hear clearly what the other is saying.