The West Wing

Season 5 Episode 9

Abu el Banat

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 03, 2003 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • This is the second time we see Gus Westin, Bartlet's grandson, but the first time the character gets any real screen time or lines. The first time we see him is in "7A WF 83429."

  • Quotes

    • Debbie: Do you want to belly dance for the Joint Chiefs or shall I?

    • Bartlet: You know, 15 years ago, we took a trip to Egypt, all five of us, saw the pyramids and Luxor, then headed up into the Sinai. We had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me "Abu el Banat." Whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as "Abu el Banat." The Bedouin would laugh and laugh and then offer me a cup of tea. And I'd go and pay them for the tea, and they wouldn't let me. "Abu el Banat" means "father of daughters." They thought the tea was the least they could do.

    • Bartlet: 3.2 billion men in the world. She picks him.
      Debbie: I hear he had a great pitching arm.
      Bartlet: When he was 19, sure. She dumped a Rhodes scholar for this guy. Zoey left Charlie for the Frog. Ellie and the guitar player with the purple van. My children choose morons. Every one.
      Debbie: They say daughters look for their fathers.

    • Donna: It's important that you look at the catalogues before the end of the day.
      Josh: That's three weeks away.
      Donna: Hannukah's two.
      Josh: There's plenty of time.
      Donna: Who's in charge of shopping?
      Josh: You are.
      Donna: There are pages turned down with Post-its to tell you which of your relatives the gifts are for. If you're happy with the choices you should initial at the X. If you're not happy with the choices, you should remember how this goes when you try to do this yourself.
      Josh: I like the polar fleece stuff.
      Donna: Who's in charge of shopping?
      Josh: You are.

  • Notes

    • Music: "We Three Kings" by the Irish Tenors plays when Gus and Bartlet go to relight the Christmas tree.

    • While it is not typical for the metro Washington area to have snow in early December, this is the second straight year that it has snowed during the actual lighting of the tree.

    • The title of this episode is an Arabic phrase which is translated as "Father of Daughters".

  • Allusions

    • The title of the episode "Abu El Banat" is an Arabic phrase meaning 'Father of daughters'.

      Traditionally in the Arab world when a man has a son and he names him, for instance, Yousuf he is then referred to as Abu Yousuf (Father of Yousuf). However when a man has no sons he is referred to as Abu El Banat.
      By this definition Jed Bartlet is Abu El Banat.

    • Bartlet: The lid's off.

      This is a reference to Pandora's Box.

    • Bartlet: When does my administration completely deteriorate into the Third Reich? The Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. The term "Third Reich" is often used synonymously with the term "Nazi Germany."

    • Leo: We fire him over assisted suicide, it's 16 verses of "Grandma Got Run Over by the Bartlets" now till Easter.

      This is a reference to a song called "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy. The song, which actually has 10 verses, chronicles the death of Grandma by way of Santa's Reindeer.

    • The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a consolidation of numerous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances. All the substances are placed into one of five schedules. Which schedule each is placed in usually depends upon the degree of danger to the user (i.e. hamfulness and potential for addiction). Schedule I is the most dangerous and Schedule V is the least dangerous.

    • C.J.: We restarted the government, Toby. There was a showdown at the OK Corral, and we gunned down the Clantons. We're heroes.

      The OK Corral is the famous historical site in Tombstone Arizona, where Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, Virgil Earp, and Doc Holliday fought against Billy Claiborne, Frank McLaury, Tom McLaury, Billy Clanton, and Ike Clanton on October 26, 1881. Thirty shots were fired in thirty seconds. Both McLaurys were killed, as was Billy Clanton.