The West Wing

Season 3 Episode 15

Dead Irish Writers

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 06, 2002 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
111 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Concern arises over the medical board's decision on Abbey's actions in treating Jed's M.S.; Sam tries to get a Senator he doesn't like to pass a bill for a super-conducter that he doesn't even understand; Amy tries to influence Josh; Lord Marbury explains to Toby why a member of the IRA cannot be invited to the White House; Donna receives shocking news when the Secret Service won't give her clearance to attend Abbey's birthday party.moreless

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  • Screw the Fruit Loops.

    The first few moments after the cold open were nonstop hilarity, including the return of Lord John Marbury.

    Abigail: "You really planned this all yourself?"

    Bartlet: "I'm like Gatsby but without the problems."

    Lord Marbury: "May I inquire, Mr. President, the first thing that attracted you to Abigail? Was it her magnificent breasts?"

    Abigail: "It was."

    Bartlet: "You know, John, there are places in the world where it might be considered rude to talk about the physical attributes of another man's wife."

    Lord Marbury: "My God! Really?"

    I also enjoyed Marbury's scenes with Toby regarding Brendon McGan's visit to the White House. It was moving to see Marbury admit that England was going to have to accept the US intervening in their conflict with Ireland. It was also sad in a way, with Marbury's hopes of his own government unifying Great Britain peacefully and fairly dieing.

    Sam's scenes with Dr. Millgate about an American Superconducting Super Collider also kept me entertained. I love that Sam can throw punches with the best of them but can also swallow his pride and hide his dislike for someone if it means getting something important done.

    Amy, on the other hand, still hasn't won me over. I'll admit she got some laughs out of me in the scenes where her, Abby, CJ, and Donna were getting drunk, but her hamstringing Josh by going to the First Lady to get more women on the shortlist for Deputy Political Director didn't sit right with me.

    Abby's birthday party itself led to some great scenes, especially Donna no longer being a US citizen. I lost it when Abby had them play the Canadian anthem, and again whenever Bartlet walked in during it.

    Bartlet: "What the hell is going on? I was gone for forty-five minutes, they were all Americans when I left."

    Donna: "I know exactly how you feel, Mr. President."

    The scenes with Charlie and Bartlet working on his toast to Abby were also great. The highpoint of the episode though was the scene in which Abby tells Bartlet she will be voluntarily forfeiting her medical license. Bartlet's initial silence spoke volumes, you could really tell how much he hated himself in that moment for what he had done. Definitely one of the most emotional moments in the series.

    Bartlet: "Okay. I'm gonna do a toast and everything in a minute and I'll tell the Ditch story, but I wanted to say that I love you very much."

    Abigail: "I love you too, Jethro."

    Bartlet: "Don't call me that."

    Abigail: "I think I will."

    It was tough seeing Sam and Abbey have to say, "Screw the Fruit Loops," so to speak, but it further endeared their characters to me. Entertaining episode, on point with the rest of the season.moreless
  • Abby's birthday

    It's Abby's birthday and president wants it to be great day for her and great party but tomorrow she will have to answer the questions and she is frightened she will lose her license.

    The party gets even more interesting when Donna cannot get there - they say she is not American citizen and there is quite a lot fun about who she is and the talk she, Amy and Abby have and where Abby switches between Abby and first lady - it was interesting.

    And the way Amy and Josh were having talks.. it was good.. and of course the title and Lord.. oh.. what ever his name was. His talk with Toby and Irish writers.. it was good.moreless
  • Abbey celebrates her birthday.

    I thought that this was an excellent episode of the West Wing. I really liked how the President trys to celebrates Abbey's birthday evan though there is an investagition going on with Abbey. I found it funny that all this time Donna thought that she was an American evan though she is Canadian. I really liked seeing Mrs Bartlet partying with Donna and Amy while their is a party going on downstairs for her. I thought that it was funny that the President was having trouble with a speech for Abbey. How nice was it that Abbey had the Canadian national athem for Donna after learning that she could be "adopted" by the US.moreless
  • Cutesy episode focusing on the women of the West Wing.

    Eh, I was never a big fan of Abbey Bartlet. I mean she's okay and all, I just never loved her like I do the rest of the characters.

    Donna rocked in this episode! I love her Canada jokes, and I was laughing so hard when I first saw this. Then Amy. Some people have pointed her out as being annoying in this episode for going over Josh's head, but I think she was great, because you know that's the kind of thing Josh would do. Amy rocks. Then I loved it when they were upstairs getting drunk. That was pretty great. My favorite part, bar none, though would have to be the Canadian Anthem and song. That was just hilarious.

    Sam's thing was cool, I guess. I like Hector Elizonda, and I recognized the Super Collider stuff from Angels and Demons. I love Lord Marbury, but the thing with Toby felt like not fully done...

    Oh well, I liked this episode.moreless
  • I love this show!!

    I absolutely love this show, especially the drunk scene between Abbey, CJ, Amy and Donna. I love it!! I'm aslo a big fan of Roger Reese, so that might be a big reason why I love this show.

    It provides a great insight into CJ's and Abbey's friendship, and gives you a new respect for Donna when she's able to say exactly what Abbey needs to hear.

    A detail you need to check out: What is Amy doing to Abbey's dress when she's drunk? Don't think she'd be doing that if she was sober!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

Hector Elizondo (I)

Hector Elizondo (I)

Dalton Millgate

Guest Star

Robin Thomas

Robin Thomas

Jack Enlow

Guest Star

Jerry Lambert

Jerry Lambert

Chuck Kane

Guest Star

Roger Rees

Roger Rees

Lord John Marbury

Recurring Role

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Amy Gardner

Recurring Role

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Goof: Lord Marbury talks to Toby about a fine Islay scotch and pronounces it "Islay". It's actually pronounced "Ee-lugh"

      The correct Scottish pronunciation is "Isle-ah" but an English person such as Lord John might say it wrong.

    • Although the Americans refer to him as Lord John Marbury, Marbury describes himself as "John, Lord Marbury" and gives a list of his other family titles. This means that he should always be addressed as Lord Marbury, not Lord John. The two are mutually exclusive. The only way he could be Lord John Marbury would be if he were the younger son of a Duke or Marquess, and thus not due to inherit the actual family title.

      However, in referring to himself he would also say "Marquess of Needham and Dolby" *before* saying "Earl of Croy", as Marquess is a higher rank, and titles are given in descending order.

    • Even though several scenes in this episode occurred during a large party, there were only five guest stars and one co-star listed in the credits for this episode.

    • Jed asks Abbey which organ in the body produces hydrochloric acid, and she responds "the pancreas", which is incorrect. Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach. The pancreas produces a substance which decreases acid.

    • Everyone talks during the playing of the Canadian national anthem, "O, Canada", which is extremely rude. Protocol, as well as good manners, demands that listeners at an official function stand quietly at attention during the playing of any national anthem.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Dr. Millgate: Great achievement has no roadmap. I mean the x-ray's pretty good. So's penicillin. And neither was discovered with a practical objective in mind. I mean when the electron was discovered in 1897 it was useless, and now we have an entire world run by electronics. Hayden and Mozart never studied the classics. They couldn't. They invented them.
      Sam: Discovery.

    • Bartlet (as O, Canada is played and Canadian flags are hoisted at a dinner party): What the hell is going on? I was gone 45 minutes! They were all Americans when I left.
      Donna: I know exactly how you feel, Mr. President.

    • Abbey: Women talk about their husbands overshadowing their careers; mine got eaten.
      C.J.: Your husband got eaten?
      Abbey: My career.
      C.J.: Yeah, well, I'm on dangling-modifier patrol.

    • Toby: I think we have to be careful how we use the word "terrorist". Can I call you John?
      Marbury: I am John, Lord Marbury, Earl of Croy, Marquess of Needham and Dolby, Baronet of Brycey, England's Ambassador to the United States. A terrorist is a terrorist even if he wears a green necktie and sings "Danny Boy". Yes, you can call me John.

    • Sam: I need you to tell me everything you can tell me about the superconducting supercollider.
      Millgate: How much time do we have?
      Sam: About ten minutes.
      Millgate: If you pay close attention and stay very, very quiet, I can teach you how to spell it.

    • Josh: You went over my head, and you did it behind my back.
      Amy: Quite the contortionist, am I.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      Stockard Channing won the 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in this episode and in "Dead Irish Writers"

      This episode won the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series along with several episodes from the season (Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, John Wells, Kevin Falls, Alex Graves, Christopher Misiano, Michael Hissrich, Kristin Harms, Llewellyn Wells)

    • The Canadian national anthem plays at the dinner. It's name is "O, Canada."