The West Wing

Season 6 Episode 12

365 Days

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 19, 2005 on NBC
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
86 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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On the day after Bartlet gives his last State of the Union address, Leo returns to the West Wing but has difficulty getting the attention of the rest of the staff for a meeting about what to do during the remaining 365 days of Bartlet's term. Kate and C.J. have to deal with emergencies in Bolivia and North Korea. Charlie tries to figure out how to get Congress to support funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Toby solicits Annabeth's advice regarding proper behavior for Abbey at a NASCAR event. Will asks why they originally chose Russell to be Vice President. And Bartlet seems to have recovered most of his strength after his recent bout with MS.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • And we're baaack!

    8.5
    Ladies and gentlemen, our show is back. Watching “365 Days” was like going back to the old playground you used to love, and wondering why you had ever stopped coming. Why did you mess with success? I was thrilled at the fact that I had to really focus to understand storylines and that all of my beloved characters had storylines (except Josh but he had his hey-day last week). In fact, it had so much going on that it made writing this review far more difficult than in previous weeks. I realize that a lot of people read these reviews because they have (sadly and unfortunately) missed the episode, so allow me to recap quickly. Skip this part if you saw the show.



    Charlie is working on a new tax for the working poor but has named it some terribly boring acronym, so Annabeth encourages him to find a name people can fight for. Leo is back at the White House, and trying to figure out what exactly his job is now. So he watches old speeches made by the President. Toby dodges compliments about his State of the Union speech. CJ and Kate have to deal with a conflict in Bolivia, which I am excited that I did not understand completely. (I am willing to admit lack of competence when it means that our show has stopped dumbing itself down.) From what I understood, Bolivia was supposed to have an election (ringing any current event bells??) but there were non-US official Americans there protesting against a Socialist candidate who has them held in custody. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this. Will and Toby were also having issues over what the Vice President will discuss on his post-State of the Union tour (Will wants to help the VP’s campaign, Toby wants him to show total support of the President).



    See how long that recap was? And I’m sure I missed some stuff. Last week’s would have been: Josh and Santos can’t figure out their campaign and Josh has a run-in with Donna. Oh, it’s good to be back. Not only was this a complex episode, but it packed a significant emotional and inspirational punch. I think The West Wing just needed Leo back to return to the good old days. I am slightly confused on character issues though. Leo wasn’t always the idealist that he was in this episode. He used to talk the President down from his overly optimistic ledge. And not too long ago either, if you remember the Gaza Strip peace talks. But I guess we can chalk it up to outside perspective (not being in the White House for a while) and new clarity from his recent confrontation with death. Whatever the case, he was fantastic. I absolutely loved the last scene with all the staff spitting out their ideas. We all need someone to remind us of the big picture from time to time, don’t we? I know that in my life every little Bolivian conflict always blinds me from the goals I want to accomplish. Its good to see them addressing the idea that the lofty plans and ideas candidates and politicians espouse in speeches are often not executed as promised. I was also so glad to see the President and Leo back together again. Leo can challenge Jed like no one else can. They call each other on mistakes and get angry but have so much respect for the other person. Their friendship is always so refreshing to see.



    I have to admit that at first I was angry at the show for skipping over the State of the Union to show us Josh and Santos. I’m still angry that they just bypassed the issue of the President being able to stand up by implying the passage of time. I felt like we got gypped out of an episode or two. By the end, though, I was so in love with the episode, that I was willing to forgive these transgressions, but cutting between Josh in New Hampshire and the goings-on in the White House last week still would have been nice. What was in the episode was great, but there were some definite sins of omission.



    OTHER THOUGHTS:



    - I don’t understand Annabeth’s position. She seems to be the new Press Secretary, but did they just forget that she was the Deputy Press Secretary in charge of hiring a new Press Secretary? At least one scene of Toby saying, “Forget hiring a new secretary, you are good at this. You’re it.” would have cleared up a lot of confusion. I’m all for complexity but not so much for using blatant assumption and implication to tell a story. (Side note: The stuff with NASCAR and the First Lady this week seemed random and slightly pointless except to show Annabeth being good at her job.)



    - There seems to be discrepancy with jobs in the West Wing. Josh is just gone, and they aren’t very concerned with hiring a new Deputy Chief of Staff. (Except the President’s comment that he’s “hemorrhaging staff”) He always seemed to be pretty busy to me, I would think someone would have to fill in. When Sam left, Will replaced him. But now Will has been gone a while and still no new Communications Director. Kate didn’t really replace anyone, so how did they manage without her predecessor but need her around all the time now? It just doesn’t all fit together. I suppose the viewer is suppose to figure that the new Communications Director exists but just isn’t shown. Again with the assumption. But even that doesn’t match up because Toby and Josh would need to interact with the new guy all the time. He would be in staff meetings. I think the writing staff needs to sit down with some charts and bubble diagrams and figure this out.



    - I think someone should have mentioned Josh. Just a passing line of dialogue would have been nice to show that they haven’t forgotten about him.



    - I really enjoyed Toby in this episode for his pure Toby-ness. I loved him reciting his own speeches with Leo and his denial of compliments. That plus his constant abrasiveness, especially toward Leo when everyone else was gushing about him, made Toby one of the stronger points in this episode.



    Written- 1/21/2005

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Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Dule Hill

Dule Hill

Charlie Young

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing

Abbey Bartlet (Episodes 45-, recurring previously)

Carol Avery

Carol Avery

Congresswoman Gleeson

Guest Star

Rafael J. Noble

Rafael J. Noble

Congressman Swarthout

Guest Star

Gregory White

Gregory White

Congressman Auren

Guest Star

Steve Ryan

Steve Ryan

Miles Hutchinson

Recurring Role

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth

Annabeth Schott

Recurring Role

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson

Margaret

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The plural form of "State of The Union," as used several times in this episode, is incorrect. The one used is "State of The Unions" while the correct one is "States of The Union."

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Debbie: That wasn't very long.
      Bartlet: I couldn't sleep.
      Debbie: Couldn't or wouldn't?
      Bartlet: I have three daughters and a wife; two of whom are also doctors. If you presume I don't get enough of that sort of comment, you're really not using your imagination.

    • Leo: Everyone's walking around here like we're finished. We have 365 more days.... For both of us, sir, this is our last game. Let's leave it all out on the field.

    • Leo: I'd like to have the occasional light cream sauce without people reacting as if it was a suicide attempt.

    • Leo: "Took me a year to find out what the hell I was doing, and those were the easy years."
      C.J.: "We had easy years?"
      Leo: "Easier than this."

    • Will (on Bob Russell): I spent the last year and a half looking for what you saw in him: you and the President, when you gave him this job. You picked Russell. Him to serve as Vice President to a President with a serious health condition. You were aware you were picking a potential successor. On some level I've just trusted that.

    • Will: Getting tired of people treating me as if I've sold my soul to the devil.
      Leo: Think you have?
      Will: No. I don't think the VP's the devil and I don't think I've sold my soul. (pause) I may have rented it out for a bit.

    • Toby: "What are you doing here, Leo? Watching old speeches and reading about the Founding Fathers? We don't have time for you to sit around like a garden Buddha parsing out fortune cookie wisdom. We're getting buried alive here. Get up and grab a shovel...."

    • Annabeth (on NASCAR drivers): Hotties running around in tight-fitting firesuits.
      Abbey: Hotties?
      Annabeth: Hotsy-tot hottentot hotties. Ma'am.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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