The West Wing

Season 5 Episode 16

Eppur Si Muove

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 03, 2004 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
91 votes

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Episode Summary

When a conservative Republican Congresswoman targets Ellie's research project in an effort to discredit Jed, Toby discovers that the source of the leak is uncomfortably close to home, and Will realizes that they've all greatly underestimated his boss; Josh investigates the wisdom of a recess appointment as he tries to convince an old friend to be patient with the Sixth Circuit judicial nomination process and keep his hat in the ring; C.J. completely misreads Ben's intentions; Donna tracks down an AWOL Ryan; an opening is created on the Supreme Court; in an effort to redefine Abbey's image with the press, C.J. sets her up to do a public service announcement with the Muppets, which inspires Ellie to stand up before the press in defense of scientific research unhampered by politics.moreless

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  • Science and politics..

    It was quite a slow in one point, but it hide some great developments. First of all, I think, in the end, we realized that Will is not having so nice life as they think as the chief of staff to the vice president and there are quite many things yet to come.. the ending at least promised that.

    Also the main topic.. Ellie and the project and the whole science and list.. the way Toby and CJ tried to hold it down and how it did not worked.. and to have president that mad.. They have used the topic of using their children in previous seasons, but this episode offered some nice additional thoughts.

    Good but could have been bettermoreless
  • Congress questions Ellie's research.

    This episode made me made a little. I thought that the Congresswomen was wrong going after Ellie working in a research lab because she did not like the research they were doing. It made me mad because to me cancer is cancer and they should research all the causes and effect of it on a person. I thought that it was great that Mrs. Bartlet decided to do the Muppets it was good that she is raising public awareness about her situation. It was good that Ellie decided to speak out about her research I was happy to see that her mother was a factor in her descision.moreless
Carmen Osbahr

Carmen Osbahr


Guest Star

Carroll Spinney

Carroll Spinney

Big Bird

Guest Star

Kevin Clash

Kevin Clash


Guest Star

Penny Griego

Penny Griego


Recurring Role

Melissa Marsala

Melissa Marsala


Recurring Role

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

Debbie Fiderer

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • During the filming of this episode, PBS also filmed Stockard Channing, Allison Janney, and Lily Tomlin dancing to the song Boogie Woogie Sheep for their special "Sesame Street Presents: The Street We Live On," which first aired on Sunday April 4, 2004.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Leo: Where's my twenty bucks?
      Josh: How do you feel about executive decrees?
      Leo: Love them. I'm making one: I want my money!

    • Leo: I'm sorry, but can we really justify spending $800,000. on "A Bio-Cultural Approach to the Study of Female Sexual Fantasy and Genital Arousal"?
      Toby: How can we afford not to?

    • Elmo (to Abbey): Wait a minute! Didn't you give up your medical license? Do you have a diploma you could show Elmo?

  • NOTES (4)

    • Additional Credit:
      Washington D.C. Production Services by Thinkfilm, Inc.

    • Ratings:
      8-9PM EST
      The Apprentice (5.3/ 8)

      9-10PM EST
      The West Wing
      Overnights: (9.9/14)
      Adults 18-49: (4.0/10)

      NBC placed first in overnights (9.3/14) for the night. They were 4th in total viewers (beat out by Fox, ABC, CBS) and 3rd among adults 18-49 (third to Fox and ABC).

      Timeslot Winners:
      1st > NBC > The West Wing (9.9/14)
      2nd > ABC > Kingdom Hosptial (9.8/14)
      3rd > CBS > King of Queens (7.9/11) and
      Everybody Loves Raymond (7.9/11)
      4th > Fox > The O.C. (7.1/10)
      5th > The WB > Angel (3.8/5)
      6th > UPN > America's Next Top Model (2.7/4)

      Among Adults 18-49:
      1st > ABC > (5.7/14)
      2nd > Fox > (4.8/12)
      3rd > CBS > (4.5/11 each)
      4th > NBC > (4.0/10)
      5th > The WB > (1.8/4)
      6th > UPN > (1.3/3)

    • In this episode Abbey appears on an episode of Sesame Street, a series in which Stockard Channing appeared from 1969-1974 as the Victim of the Number Painter.

    • The title of this episode is loosely translated from the Italian as "it still moves", an apocryphal sotto voce comment attributed to Galileo after he was forced to recant his heliocentric theory. Today's "Eppur Si Muove" movement holds that the search for truth should be the governing principle in the pursuit of scientific inquiry, and that no political or governmental authority or interest should have any power over scientific truth and its pursuit.