The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 17

Election Day (Part 2)

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 09, 2006 on NBC
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
173 votes
21

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Abbey is in New Hampshire with Liz Bartlet-Westin and they are awaiting the results of Doug Westin's campaign for a seat in Congress. Members of both the Santos campaign and the Vinick campaign must decide how to handle a tragedy, as the voters around the country continue to cast their votes for the next President of the United States.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Thanks, Boss.

    10
    Last episode former Bartlett Administration chief of staff and current vice-president nominee Leo McGarry was discovered unconscious. We know what happens to Leo this week because we know what happened to John Spencer in late 2005. Spencer - a gritty well-worn actor – died of a heart attack before the final clutch of West Wing episodes were filmed; and now Leo follows. That this should cast a pall over the proceedings is no surprise. What is perhaps more surprising is the particular intensity of that pall. Suffice to say, when we see the incumbent president shed a tear, it is impossible not to wonder whether the tear has fallen simply because Bartlett is mourning Leo, or also because Martin Sheen is mourning Spencer. Death is a serious matter in itself, that said this episode depicting Election Night and its aftermath, could not be dedicated to simply mourning Leo. Personal tragedy for a politician is never simply personal and Leo’s death, which occurs hours before West Coast polling booths close to decide the Santo-Vinick race, becomes a catalyst for the sort of debates for which the West Wing has been famed. As has commonly been the case inside the Bartlett Administration, personal principles must be weighed against potential political gain. For Democrat candidate Matt Santos’ team, the question is whether to immediately inform the public of his running mate’s death, and risk losing the votes of risk-adverse voters. Republican candidate Arnie Vinick meanwhile is being pressed by his campaign to draw attention to Santos’ inexperience, which will no longer be offset by Leo’s many years of service. Even with Leo’s death casting gloominess over proceedings, this episode still offers the adrenaline rush that you would expect from a West Wing election night. The regionalism of the American body politic and the vagaries of the electoral college lend themselves easily to drama, which the writers take advantage of, and without spoiling the outcome, I can say that the race is close enough to give Santos staffer Josh Lyman cause to say words along the lines of those that we might henceforth expect in every election in this Diebolded, hanging chad-affected era: “Every Lawyer we’ve got, get ‘em to Oregon and Nevada.” It’s hard-nosed, pragmatic thinking. Leo, you guess, wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.moreless
  • The election results are put into perspective by tragedy

    9.5
    I watched this episode with a sense of trepidation for a couple of reasons. The longer I kept this episode without watching it meant that there was still another six to see. But I was also dreading seeing the death of one of my favourite actors and characters.



    What could have been a heavy handed approach to tragedy (but that’s not something one would associate with THE WEST WING), instead played out as a very touching, beautifully crafted forty minutes of television. The writers need to be congratulated by how seamlessly they moved the audience from tears of sorrow, to joy and then back again.



    A true heartbreaking piece of drama.

    moreless
  • CJ not Claudia Jean?

    9.9
    Was anyone else bothered by the fact that Bartlett refered to CJ as \"CJ\" when she told him about Leo. He always calls her Claudia Jean. It seems like an odd time for him to start calling her by her nickname.



    He seemd to know something was wrong so of all times a more personal reference would have been more inline. Anyone else notice this or am I just one of those annoying people.



    That Said :



    Besides that script issue I loved the episode. Classic West Wing. I am going to be sorry it is not around next season.moreless
  • a great final strech for this series

    9.7
    a moving and well writen episode, the actor have done a great job on delivering some tru feelings for the los os a co-actor of this series. Even if in real life there is no recolection of a vice president runner up has die, the directors make a fenomenal job on shifting the episode line to cope wit the death in real life or the actor that plays leo in this series. Is obvious in this episode the sentiment and true felling that all the cast had for leo in real life. Will be sad to see this series end this year since i think this is one of the best series i had ever seenmoreless
  • I enjoyed this episode, though knowing the conclusion of Leo's storyline, i still cried my heart out.

    9.0
    As a viewer of 7 years now, Leo McGarry was one of my favourite characters. His scenes with Martin Sheen, could make me laugh and cry.

    I'm glad that the death was worked into the plot of the show, I would have hated Leo to become an off camera presence, his character and John Spencer himself deserved to have some kudos for his work.



    In this episode, it was really upsetting to see a cast obviously grief stricken, show that kind of emotion without being over the top, as unfortunately this is a television show, and as the saying goes it must go on.

    I thought Bradley Whitford, Martin Sheen and Allison Janey especially were wonderful, as they always are.

    moreless
Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford

Josh Lyman

Janel Moloney

Janel Moloney

Donna Moss (Episodes 23-, recurring previously)

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Matthew Santos (Episodes 114-)

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth

Annabeth Schott (Episodes 133 -, recurring previously)

Melinda McGraw

Melinda McGraw

Jane Braun

Guest Star

Shawn Michael Patrick

Shawn Michael Patrick

Gene

Guest Star

Michael Bofshever

Michael Bofshever

Klain

Guest Star

Karis Campbell

Karis Campbell

Ronna

Recurring Role

Teri Polo

Teri Polo

Helen Santos

Recurring Role

Matthew Del Negro

Matthew Del Negro

Bram Howard

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The Santos house features three different staircases in three different episodes.

      In the season 6 episode "Impact Winter", the staircase inside the front door to the house can be seen leading away from the door to the left of the hall.

      In season 7, in the episode "Running Mates", the staircase can be seen coming down from left to right behind the door in a number of scenes,

      Later in season 7, in the two "Election Day" episodes, the staircase has changed yet again, now curving upwards from the right of the door. Either Helen Santos has been doing some extensive remodelling, or different sets were used in each episode.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Josh: I talked him into this, into joining the ticket.
      Donna: Nobody ever talked Leo into doing anything he didn't want to do. And he'd want you upstairs. Not down here. You belong up there. It's your night. He was so proud of you, Josh

    • Bartlet (To C.J.): We almost lost him 15 years ago. Did you know that? Abbey and I used to talk about it. I was prepared then. Not today.

    • (A melancholy Josh gazes at a picture of Leo after learning of the Santos victory.)
      Josh: Thanks, boss.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Although credited, Joshua Malina, Mary McCormack & John Spencer do not appear in this episode. Stockard Channing, Dulé Hill and Richard Schiff also do not appear and are therefore uncredited.

    • Music Featured In This Episode: - "Beautiful Day" by U2
      - "Miracle" by Foo Fighters
      - "My Cherie Amour" (Muzac version) by Stevie Wonder

    • Santos wins the presidency with a total of 272 electoral votes compared to Vinick's 266. The following is a list of states that each candidate won, and their electoral vote value:
      Santos: Arizona - 10, Colorado - 9, Connecticut - 7, Delaware - 3, District of Columbia - 3, Hawaii - 4, Illinois - 21, Maryland - 10, Massachusetts - 12, Michigan - 17, Minnesota - 10, Missouri - 11, Nevada - 5, New Hampshire - 4, New Jersey - 15, New Mexico - 5, New York - 31, Oregon - 7, Pennsylvania - 21, Rhode Island - 4, South Carolina - 8, Texas - 34, Washington - 11, and Wisconsin - 10.
      Vinick: Alabama - 9, Alaska - 3, Arkansas - 6, California - 55, Florida - 27, Georgia - 15, Idaho - 4, Indiana - 11, Iowa - 7, Kansas - 6, Kentucky - 8, Louisiana - 9, Maine - 4, Mississippi - 6, Montana - 3, Nebraska - 5, North Carolina - 15, North Dakota - 3, Ohio - 20, Oklahoma - 7, South Dakota - 3, Tennessee - 11, Utah - 5, Vermont - 3, Virginia - 13, West Virginia - 5, and Wyoming - 3.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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