Commander in Chief

Season 1 Episode 8

Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 15, 2005 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
145 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After she announces new direction for her administration, President Allen finds herself in need of allies within the West Wing and decides that she needs to appoint her closest adviser, Rod, to an official position.

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  • A terrific twist in the CiC tale...

    I love this episode. It's the first one since the pilot that I have trully loved.

    Up until now, all the characters seemed to have been moping about the White House like there's is the worst position in the World - everything the staff did was a chore, the first family were miserable and nobody seemed to like anybody else...thank goodness for Stephen Bocho who came in and recognised this.

    For the first time you saw Mac and her daughter having a nice conversation and Mac and Rod actually getting along!!! It was terrific to see!

    Lurie obviously assumes that people will like these main characters because they're main characters, he's wrong and Bocho has done a great job in reintroducing us to the more pleasent aspects of these people. Good for him!

    Can't wait for the next episode!moreless
  • Yey Mac's got one up on Templeton!

    Yey Mac's got one up on Templeton. I like the fact that she did not expose it but it is something that can be kept for later should she need to use it.

    Becca has a lot of issues and now things are starting to get messy for her. I like how Horace stood up for his sister and I hope Mike gets as good as he deserves.

    I love that Rod now has a official position I just hope that he does keep professional and personal seperate and that other people can separate the two also.

    I am still uneasy about Jim, there is something not right there.moreless
  • good day by day show

    i am glad that the storie has become better and better in every episode. In this episode we find how difficult is to balance a job with a private affair of someone close to you in your staff with out compromising their privicy. It will become one of the best show ever if it keeps this up
  • The Young and the Restlessly Stupid. Templeton is haunted by his past and Horace is caught cheating.

    Let me say this first - People get fired on this show the way "24" kills off people. No one is safe. I was groaning when Templeton got rid of the beautiful Jane (Natasha Henstridge). The bed-sharing Chief of Staffs angle got me hooked last week, but Bochco was quick to kick that out of the bed. The episode was really good though, the best since "First Dance" episode.

    The best thing is we finally see Templeton shaken up; Donald Sutherland finally gives the old coot a much needed vulnerability. But what's up with the "I was young, I was stupid" theme? A staff member is HIV positive and gay. So what?? What's the big deal? The country might be leaning conservative but it's still 2005.

    On the school front, Horace is caught cheating. It seems Horace only acquired the pretty genes from his parents. Where was the smarts passed down? To that annoying little girl who has a timing to interrupt her parents' making out? Would it be asking too much to give Horace some intelligence? I know the show is giving him a "normal kid" vibe, but normal kids are not stupid. How about this? Taking a cue from his strategic dad, Horace puts his brain into use by putting a positive spin out of his sister's rumors. Maybe he can retrieve some devastating tape of Mike when he was "young and stupid" as some sort of leverage. Come on, there's room for politics in school.moreless
  • A new direction - figuratively and literally - comes to the 'West Wing'

    I have loved all 7 episodes of Commander in Chief, until yesterdays. There was a sense of grandeur to the presidency as executed creatively by Rod Lurie. The score, direction and production values were fantastic. With the Steven Bochco takeover beginning with last night\'s episode, I could definitely feel the transition coming to hit me upside the head from my television screen. Within one week it became grittier - albeit more realistic and human - but it lost the sense of \'Rod Lurie\' that made me love this show. Right off the bat came the change in episode titles, different opening credits, a more darker side to Horace, usage of stock footage from episode 3 when the president is rowing, addition of the First Gentlemen to the senior staff, a very unnecessarily extended pool scene at school \'I slept with the president\'s daughter!\' and just very awkward and overly-extended scenes that I can feel were being dragged on. This is not the Commander in Chief that has been on for the past 8 weeks. Perhaps this is just a \'transition episode\' as the actors are getting used to the new format, but I could see how blatant the \'change in administration\' storyline has been executed under Steven Bochco\'s direction.

    I just hope it returns to normal or at least eases with the transitory tone. And, the way the previews were edited for the upcoming episode did not make me forget this latest installment. Zack Morris in the Whitehouse? I hope it\'s done with some class.

    One final thing I noticed this evening was a return to clarifying that Mac was indeed the president - I must of heard \'I\'m the leader of the free world\' \'most important woman in the world\' about 4-5 times. This was established already in the pilot. Did Mr. Bochco feel the need to restate under his direction as he missed the chance to start fresh with the show from the pilot? Moreover, how many times was the term 'West Wing' uttered. Yes, we know the importance of the locale, but I'm sure the characters know where they are working by now.

    So, the show which I love - and sped home yesterday to make it home in time - took a bit of a dive yesterday. Here\'s hoping that the 29 November episode brings it all back to speed.moreless
Scott Atkinson

Scott Atkinson

Reporter Steve

Guest Star

Andi Chapman

Andi Chapman

Mrs. Burke

Guest Star

John Hemphill

John Hemphill

Agent in Pool

Guest Star

Anthony Azizi

Anthony Azizi

Vince Taylor

Recurring Role

Matt Barr

Matt Barr

Mike Fleming

Recurring Role

Pamela Dunlap

Pamela Dunlap

Gilda Rockwell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (Becca tells her Mom that Mike spread rumors about her in school)
      Mackenzie: Do you want me to talk to the boy's parents?
      Rebecca: Oh, no, Mom, that would just make it worse.
      Mackenzie: Okay. Do you want me to have him arrested under the Patriot Act and ship him off to prison in Syria?
      Rebecca: Now that sounds good.

    • Mackenzie: People make mistakes when they're young.
      Templeton: But if they go into politics, those mistakes can come back to haunt them. You know what they say, it's a contact sport, wear a cup. Well, I don't know, whatever you'd wear, a--a chest protector or whatever.
      Mackenzie: (as she turns on the video for Templeton to see) You may want to put on a cup for this.

    • Jim: I just want to make sure that our chain of command here is clear.
      Rod: Well, maybe if you worried less about your own turf here and more about what's right for the President--
      Jim: Oh, I learned a long time ago, never cross anyone who sleeps with the boss.

    • Mackenzie: What do you think?
      Rod: Are you asking my opinion on the record or off the record?
      Mackenzie: What does that mean?
      Rod: It means you said you were going to offer me a legitimate role in your administration, and instead, you're asking me to be secretary of pillow talk.

    • Mackenzie: (grumbling that her youngest has interrupted an intimate moment with her husband) POTUS interuptus.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The ABC drama delivered strong tune-in for the Net during the 9:00 p.m. hour, jumping from its lead-in by 5.8 million viewers (12.6 million vs. 6.8 million) and by 46% in Adults 18-49 (3.5/8 vs. 2.4/6). From start to finish, "Commander In Chief" gained 1.3 million viewers (11.9 million to 13.2 million) and 13% among Adults 18-49 (3.2/8 to 3.6/8).

    • This is the first episode (excluding the pilot) not to have a title beginning with "First".

    • This is the first episode with the storyline by new Executive Producer Steven Bochco.


    • Rubie Dubidoux: The reason that the staff is laughing at the name is because it's so close to Scooby Doobie Doo... something that Scooby Doo says frequently.

    • Dixiecrat: Templeton tells Allen he was a "Southern Democrat" in his youth. So-called Dixiecrats were Democrats who were opposed to desegregation. Eventually, many Dixiecrats (including, it seems, Templeton) became Republicans. Today, the term "Dixiecrat" is used to refer to any conservative Democrats from the South.