The West Wing

Season 2 Episode 13

Bartlet's Third State of the Union

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 07, 2001 on NBC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
122 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The President delivers his 3rd State of the Union address, what critics call "the speech of his political career" and ends up angering Abbey by what he does and doesn't say; Josh must work the polling center with Joey Lucas, but a power outage delays the results; Sam attempts to introduce Ainsley to the President with disastrous results; CJ must juggle a live recording of the show "Capitol Beat" being broadcast within the White House and run damage control when a cop has a (possibly undeserved) black mark on his record; Leo and Bartlet must handle the matter of five DEA officals who are taken hostage by Colombian terrorists.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Almost a good night.

    9.0
    It was nice seeing Joey Lucas again. Her scenes with Josh, conducting the post State of the Union polling, were hilarious. Watching Josh's slow slide into complete inanity over not being able to get the numbers was just a joy to see.



    Josh: "Joey, can I ask you what might be a silly question? It's not possible is it for us to just open up one of these computers with a screwdriver and just get the numbers that are in there, right?"

    Joey: "Why did you think that would be a silly question?"

    Josh: "I WANT THESE NUMBERS!"



    The Capital Beat scenes were entertaining as well, especially Toby debating the 2nd Amendment and CJ's missing pants. Mrs. Landingham noticing her missing pants while watching on TV had me rolling. Plus the Capital Beat scenes lead to Ainsley's storyline, which was by far the funniest moments of the episode. If Mary Matalin is anything like Ainsley Hayes, I can see how Carville has stayed married to her. Ainsley's back and forth with Sam is beginning to rival Josh and Donna's, ok, not really, but it's close.



    Ainsley: "You say I shouldn't be drunk when I'm representing the White House?"

    Sam: "Yeah. And please don't forget that you're a blond, republican girl, and that nobody likes you."



    Her terror at meeting Bartlet was amusing and culminated in one of the most laugh out loud moments of the series; her, drunk, in a bathrobe, dancing to Blame It On the Bossa Nova, when Bartlet walks in to her office. She definitely proved she isn't just a blond, republican, sex kitten.



    On the dramatic side; the plot with the first lady confused me for a little bit, I couldn't understand how she didn't like such a great line from the speech. Finding out Bartlet had promised her he would only run for one term was a complete shock. Not really sure how to feel about it yet. I certainly would want Bartlet for another term, but I would prefer it be with Abby's support.



    I definitely agree with Leo on the issue of the five DEA agents taken hostage(or prisoner as he put it) in Colombia. I don't think they will make it back if they try to handle it diplomatically. I don't have much faith in a military strategy getting them home either, but I think I would prefer it to them trying to make a deal with drug kingpins.



    Might have blended comedy and drama better than any previous episode. Plus the snippets from the actual State of the Union were incredible as well.moreless
  • The promises three years ago do not count anymore - they want to run again.

    9.7
    It was beautiful episode, full of emotion and action all the time. The start was already so dynamic, much action and much happening. With all the hard things it dealt with, it had the humorous moments and some moments what the char wish they would never had like President meeting Ashley. Poor she. Things never go easy there, on White House. This time there main focus was on the speech of third state of union. Abbey was mad that they changed the final version of the speech and now it sounded like a cry for get reelected as she had got promise from her husband that it ends with one term. And even if he has not made any decision, others are sure that they will try once again.



    CJ is having hard time as one of those people mentioned on the speech and invited to the little party later has black mark on his past. It was long ago and he makes it quite logic that he could not have done it, there was never a case, but it is and it brings much problems.



    Josh is with Donna and Joey Lucas to get the numbers how people responded to the speech but electricity goes out... so.. not best place



    It was great episode with a lot of action, movement and had the tempo up all the time.moreless
  • State of the Union Number 3, and no one's wearing any pants!

    10
    This is such a great episode!!!



    *I love the wet paint and everybody loosing they're pants, how hilarious is that?



    *The Officer Sloan thing was good. It doesn't stick out in my mind as being really amazing, but good.



    *The thing with Abbey was really confusing the first time I saw this, but when you watch again, it makes sense and kicks starts a lot of things in the upcoming episodes. *Sam and Ainsley and meeting the president. That was hysterical! I love Ainsley dancing around and the president. haha!



    *Josh, Donna and Joey. They're all so great, I loved it when the power went out. That was really amazing. Why would you think that's a stupid question?



    Such a great episode, and leaves off so you've just got to see the next one!moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Dule Hill

Dule Hill

Charlie Young

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Sam Seaborn (Episodes 1-84)

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Ted McGinley

Ted McGinley

Mark Gottfried

Guest Star

Sean Patrick Murphy

Sean Patrick Murphy

Floor Manager

Guest Star

Keith Mills

Keith Mills

Edgar Finney

Guest Star

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing

Abbey Bartlet

Recurring Role

Melissa Fitzgerald

Melissa Fitzgerald

Carol Fitzpatrick

Recurring Role

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

Delores Landingham

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Toby opens by telling his staff to "delete 'vigorously' from the first sentence," so they are not "going to vigorously pursue campaign finance reform" because 'vigorously' feels inflammatory.

      Since Toby is a speech writer, he should have been more concerned with removing 'vigorously' because it splits the infinitive of 'to pursue.' Infinitive verbs cannot have adverbs inside them, only before or after. The prohibition on the splitting of infinitives is a 18th century Victorian relic. Most modern English style guides have dropped this prohibition. It dates from spurious a belief that Latin was the most 'pure' language, and as in Latin the infinitive is a single word (e.g. Ire - to go, Ire audaciter - to go boldly) However, English has a rhythm and metre that defies such archaic constraints, and "To boldly go..." is a much more powerful construction

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Josh: Joey... can I ask you what may be a silly question?
      Joey (Kenny): Sure.
      Josh: It's not possible is it for us to just open one of these computers with a screwdriver and get the numbers that are in there, right?
      Joey (Kenny) : Why would you think that would be a silly question?

    • Sam: Okay, can I talk to you about adrenaline for a second?
      Ainsley: Adrenaline?
      Sam: Yeah. You're feeling it right now and it's gonna get even more cause it's a big night, and you were a hit and you've never experienced anything like this.
      Ainsley: And you think I'm going to have a nutty.
      Sam: I'm saying don't drink until you're off television.
      Ainsley: God! Thanks Sam for that debating tip. You have a feel for nuances. You say I shouldn't be drunk when I'm representing the White House.
      Sam: Yeah. And remember you're a blond, Republican girl and that nobody likes you.

    • Josh: Where the hell have you been?
      Joey: My plane had mechanical difficulties.
      Josh: This is the State of the Union. There was nothing you could do about it?
      Joey: No, because as a child I never paid attention during airplane mechanics class.

    • Bartlet: What's up? I never even knew we had a nightclub down here!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      Stockard Channing received a nomination in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 2001 Emmys for her performance in this episode and in "The War at Home"

    • Music: Ainsley sings "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" by Annette Funicello.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

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