The West Wing

Season 5 Episode 21


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 12, 2004 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Goof: Donna and Colin are drinking juice in the bar after just meeting. As Colin picks up his glass of juice, his fingers are at the top of the glass as he starts talking to her. As she replies, the camera focuses on her and now Colin's fingers are now on the middle of his glass.

    • In this episode, Donna visits the settlement of Kfar Darom. The issue of evacuation arrises, and the settlers say that they will never leave it because they believe it's their moral obligation to stay there. In reality, several years later the IDF began evacuating settlers in the settlements surrounding Gaza, and Kfar Darom was the last stand of the settlers, who barricaded themselves in a synagogue in town and refused to be removed from the town. Eventually, the IDF broke the barricade and evacuated the settlers by force.
      More information on Kfar Darom can be found here:

    • Yossi, the Israeli border guard soldier Donna speaks with, tells her about two female soldiers who were killed by a terrorist in their barracks.

      This is in fact a true story. On the morning of the 24th of October 2003, a terrorist acting in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad infiltrated the IDF base at Netzarim (near the Gaza strip), and killed two female soldiers in their barracks. Their names were Sgt. Sarit Shnior and Sgt. Adi Osman, both nineteen years old. Also murdered in that incident was Sgt. Alon Avrahami, twenty years old.

    • The uniform worn by the Israeli border guard was accurate rendition of an IDF uniform apart from the head-cap. Soldiers at border passings wear full protective gear - which includes a ceramic bullet-proof protective vest, and a helmet.

    • Mrs. Fitzwallace is called Gail in this episode, but her husband referred to her as Laura in "The Dogs of War".

  • Quotes

    • President Bartlet: The Mideast reminds me of that old joke about the optimist and the pessimist. The pessimist says, "It can't get any worse!" The optimist says, "Oh yes it can!"

    • Fitzwallace: What do photographers say in the digital age, now that the old 'Come up and see my darkroom' line has gone the way of the dodo?

  • Notes

    • Music Featured In This Episode: - "Indra" by Thievery Corporation
      - "Way of the Mystic" by Angel Tears

    • Awards and Nominations: Episode was nominated for 2 Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series and Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series. This episode was nominated for the 2005 ASC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Episodic TV Series (Thomas Del Ruth, A.S.C.).

    • When Josh finds out that Donna has a collapsed lung he says "Collapsed lung. That's no biggie, right?" This is a reference to the collapsed lung he survived through at the beginning of the second season.

  • Allusions

    • Fitzwallace: What do photographers say in the digital age, now that the old 'Come up and see my darkroom' line has gone the way of the dodo?

      The dodo, Raphus cucullatus, was a large, flightless bird that inhabited the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. It was hunted to extinction by the late 17th century. Seafarers would stop at the island and kill the birds for food. It was likely a relic of the expansive evolutionary radiation that occured after the K/T extinction (Dinosaurs), only surviving because of isolation on the island.

    • Leo: It's a tar baby, Sisyphus.

      Sisyphus, Greek spelling Sisuphos, was a king in Greek mythology, who was cruel and punished by the gods. His punishment was to forever roll a large rock up a hill, only to have it roll back down when he neared the top.