The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 5

Here Today

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 23, 2005 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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  • Interesting way of shooting and interesting way of development

    Well, I have to say I watched this episode twice. First time I was more preoccupied with the way of directing that the actual storyline. West Wing has always had some interesting additions, but, in this episode it was clear that directing was another way of presenting the story. And it worked out great.

    I would have to agree with some who think that Toby wasn't the actual leak. However, I think "Columbia" on which Bartlett reffered to in the premiere, was acually a college? I don't want to assume anything, so I guess we'll have to wait. Still, Toby's ulterior motive could have been to save leo from testifying, and to save Santos's campaign. Can't wait to see how they will react to the development.

    Things are stirring up in the West wing, where Will is summoned by the President. No matter where they work, these characters are all tied up together. Personally, I LOVE the fact they are changing the opening credits according to each episode.

  • Staffing changes in the White House and on the campaign trails, Toby\'s losing his job, something\'s goin on in Kazakhstan.

    The West Wing stacked its season left to right with plots - in season 7, the cast seemed to balloon to about 20, and often the payoff on plotlines would have to wait a few episodes to get fulfilled. That\'s not a complaint - Season 7 ranks as one of The West Wing\'s best, before or after Aaron Sorkin ran the show. Toby being the White House leak seemed, at least from afar, a sort of contractual plot turn - something to take Richard Schiff out of the primary action of the season. What makes the leak plotline, and \"Here Today\" in particular, so exciting is that it fulfills who Toby is - someone whose arrogance kills him. I love the action of \"Here Today\" - Schiff is magnificent in his high-minded defense, and in his sadness at being forced out of the White House. Even better, Allison Janney, so close to snapping and crying at any second of the episode, reminds us why she\'s the best bottled-up actress on television. This episode really starts the ball moving on the Kazakhstan situation, as well as deals with a shakeup of staff on the Santos campaign - both exciting plotlines. That should make \"Here Today\" one of the strongest of the season, but Alex Graves is determined to direct the thing into the ground. He gives it some good touches - its murky late-night lighting, an extraordinary shot of CJ that frames Toby\'s removal from the building. The majority of the episode, though, is shot in intense close-ups and weirdly framed around out-of-focus objects making prominent events in soft focus off in the distance - CJ or Toby or Oliver Babish (Oliver Platt in another stellar guest turn) seem constantly stuck behind lamps. Worse, Kate (Mary MacCormack), forced to confront creepy analyst Charles Frost, is not aided by the cinematography of her plot - her confrontation is, bizarrely, mediated by a reflection on a television screen, and she\'s given a personal nostril cam during a briefing. The direction is beyond pretense in \"Here Today;\" it threatens to turn the episode into amateurish junk. Luckily, the episode\'s good enough to forgive it.
  • Toby Ziegler: Patriot or Traitor? It's all laid out on the line in this FANTASTIC episode.

    Wow. Absolutely fantastic, and Emmy-quality work by almost everybody involved. As we watch Toby sink lower and lower throughout this episode, it almost seems as Jed hits on, fitting. Toby Ziegler's morals have always guided him, he will do what's right no matter what the cost to himself, and even sometimes gets a sense of satisfaction, of right-doing, at getting persecuted for having done the right thing. Toby is long-suffering, his wife left him because he's too sad, his father used to kill people for a living, he's regarded as an asshole by everyone he meets. But he's brilliant, talented and has a conscious and a heart that outweighs everyone in the West Wing's. And so why wouldn't he do what he did? He could save lives, that was the important thing, that was what mattered, and the rest of it be damned. That scene in the Oval Office, the final checkmate in the chess game Jed and Toby have been playing for so long, that we've seen between these two giant intellects in episodes like "The Crackpots and These Women", "17 People", "The Two Bartlets" and "Hartsfield's Landing" comes to a close. Who has won? Difficult to say, but my money leans towards Tobias, as there is no question the President sees nothing of what happened here as a victor.

    Equally compelling are the performances of Allison Janney's C.J. Cregg, the member of the staff who's known Toby the longest and who fans often speculate there might be something going on between. The only two to stay behind with Jed during that season of change. We see her absolute pain as she can no longer talk or even be a part of Toby's life anymore. Oliver Platt is great as always as the cunning and abrasive White House Counsel Oliver Babish, that final scene between Toby and Babish.

    Babish: Thought he'd at least thank you for your service.

    Toby: He's angry.

    Babish: ...Someone should thank you for your service.

    And then he walks off. Back into the world as a normal civilian, ready to take the scorn and contempt of the nation for having down the right thing if he must. And we here the drum beating unevenly showing that Toby continues as he always has, to march to the beat of his own drummer.

    Excellent, and as I said, Emmy-quality work by Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt and Martin Sheen
  • The best written and acted West Wing in years.

    The best written and acted West Wing in since Alan Sarkin left. NBC needs to keep up the quality of this show and promote it more. It\'s getting terrible ratings and it\'ll be history if the network doesn\'t do SOMETHING. If you love this show write NBC to do something.
  • La campaña Santos/McGarry se debilita, mientras que la Casa Blanca sufrira la perdida de Toby al inculparse como el huron que dio la información al N.Y. Times.

    Toby confiesa a C.J. que ha sido el quien filtra la información sobre la estacion militar a un periodista del N.Y. Times. Frente a ello, C.J. llama a un asesor legal lo cual llevara a Toby a ser un personaje interrogado. Babish es quien interroga a Toby, pero al asumir un abogado la defensa de este, las cosas se tranquilizan momentáneamente.
    La campaña de Santos necesita cambios dramaticos, pues se encuentran estancados con 9 puntos debajo de los Republicanos. Frente a esta situación, Josh cree conveniente eliminar a un grupo de colaboradores pues, en lugar de ayudar, se estan convirtiendo en una carga para la campaña.
    Matrimonio en la Casa Blanca. Una de las hijas Bartlet se casara con un amante de los bichos. Los preparativos hacen feliz a la pareja presidencial, mas no a los contrayentes, pues desean agilizar los tramites debido al embarazo de ella, lo cual era desconocido por sus ahora desconcertados padres.
    Finalmente, la mayor tension del episodio se da cuando Bartlet es informado de la fuga de información, y decide hablar con Toby. Estando los dos frente a frente, y ante la mirada sigilosa del abogado Babish, la discusión termina cuando Toby presenta la carta de renuncia a Bartlet, la cual es rechazada, pues en ese momento el Presidente le indica que ha sido despedido y dirigira un mensaje a la nacion explicando los motivos.
    Finalmente, Toby abandona la Casa Blanca, con pena y sin gloria, después de 7 interminables años de trabajo.


    Este es otro de los episodios que mas impacto ha dado a los seguidores de TWW. El episodio entero ha estado lleno de tension, salvo el matrimonio de la hija Bartlet, en todo momento nos hemos sentido atraidos por la trama.
    No sabemos que pasara en el futuro con Toby. Recordemos que al iniciar la setima temporada, Bartlet saluda a su equipo en la Biblioteca Bartlet, y Toby se encuentra presente. Bartlet le pregunta sobre su situación en Columbia, y le responde que todo iba bien.
    ¿Se ha dejado culpar Toby para salvar el pellejo de C.J, Toby y hasta de Bartlet? Me da que pensar esta situación. Sabemos que Toby ha sido constantemente un defensor de la verdad, pero no me imagino que el sea el verdadero huron dentro de la Casa Blanca. Las escenas finales han sido de infarto, en la conversación Toby – Bartlet. Bartlet descarga su resentimiento hacia Toby, pues le confiesa que siempre lo creyo una persona que se sentia superior a todos. Ello es descartado por Toby, pero el Presidente remata la conversación diciendole que quiza no de todos, pero si hacia el. Finalmente, al presentar su carta de renuncia, Bartlet la rechaza, pues le dice que ha sido despedido. Toby es obligado a salir de la Casa Blanca sin poder llevarse nada con el. Y, asi, abandona el lugar donde trabajo por tantos años.
    No creo que sea el final de Toby. Su personaje merece mas que ello. La temporada USA esta mas avanzada que en latinoamerica. Ojala me equivoque y solo sea una salida temporal, pues su presencia se hara notar.
  • hoing for the next generation of stars

    i am giving high hopes to this episode because is starting the shaping of the new comers. I am sad that the person of "toby" is the one going first but someone had to go first. I hope that the nes comers will keepo the high rating that this show has for me personally and for the other viewers.
  • Well done.

    The writing and acting in this episode were above-average, even for this series. And the directing was definitely different, what with the oddly-placed static cameras.

    It was great to see the President get angry at Toby. Remember, Toby is the one who was with him from the beginning, so I was wondering whether Bartlet might cut him some slack - but no. And I liked the comment made by Bartlet to Toby about how he knew that Toby would always go out like this, sticking to his principles. That does fit in more with his character than the red herring of C.J.

    Anytime Oliver Platt is on the screen it's a good thing and this episode was no exception. When Babish sits down to grill somebody, it's entertaining.

    What was up with the hushed conversation between Josh and Louise? Sometimes they make us work too hard just to follow a conversation. It wasn't the first time I thought of turning on the closed-captioning. But the nice little jab that Santos made to Josh, that nobody's job was completely secure, makes you wonder whether Josh's head is going to roll from his own campaign.

    Another fine season continues strongly.
  • Heart Breaking Episode - But what would the real White House be like if we had honourable men like Toby, instead of snakes in the grass like Scooter?

    Such a sad episode - to see Toby's eyes well up, when he knows the trouble he's put everyone in, when he realises that's the last time he'll see the inside of the White House, when he realises that that's the last time he'll serve at the pleasure of the President of the USA, a man he loves, when he hears the same man say "I don't want you for a mnoment to think I'll be one of them" when talking about how many people may cheer his actions in leaking classified information.

    Sad to watch. WH in disarray - no Leo, no Toby, no Sam, no Josh? How the hell does anything get done?

    On a footnote, it's interesting which parts of the storylines match real life, and which parts differ, with regards to leaks and people owning up to them.

  • Toby\'s the leak -- he doesn\'t go to the country Colombia -- he goes to teach at Columbia University.

    The wrap-up of this ep was a real gut-puncher. So much pain in the WH, capped by Bartlet\'s last words to Toby: \"Toby, when you walk out of here, there will be people out there, perhaps a great many, who will think of you as a hero. I just don\'t for a moment want you thinking I\'ll be one of them.\"

    Both held true to their personalities and their essential character. Both are right; at the same time both are wrong. And there\'s the pain.

    I somehow think while we\'ll never again see Toby in the WH, we haven\'t seen the last of him on TWW.
  • Just for the sake of controvery, looking back, CJ was emotionally distraught over the presence of a military shuttle that would not rescue the astronauts. CJ has always been the one to get emotionally upset and leak info to the press.

    What if...
    Toby wasn't the leak, but it was really CJ. Toby could have realized the devastating effect of the White House Chief of Staff leaking national security information and decided to be the fall guy. Does anyone else remember the look on CJ's face at the close of last season when it was announced that someone leaked information? When Toby confessed, could her pained expression be equated with the horror of knowing Toby was doing the right thing for the country by confessing and knowing what this would cost him, even though he wasn't guilty? Or how about how grief stricken CJ was when Toby met with the President? For me, the icing on the cake was Toby holding his tongue as he left the Oval Office. I think he had the power to set things right between himself and the President, but resolutely held his peace.

    CJ is still my bet for being the leak and I hope future episodes prove that theory. Given the cleverness of the writers, this is just the kind of twist I've come to expect and appreciate. It certainly still could happen. If I'm wrong, at least I'll enjoy not having to look at Toby's very bad mullet haircut anymore.

    Is it just me or does it seem that Toby isn\'t the leak, in the season preimer of Season 7 Bartlet asks toby how is Columbia? I\'m thinking that he isn\'t the leak but covering up for someone else!

    Could Toby Zieggler be the United States Ambassador to Columbia? Or he just spending time in columbia for leaking the info?
  • tattle tale

    While emotionally evocative, this was an excellent show. Santos is tanking and the usual 'shake up' is required (I wonder when Donna will show up to save the day?) but that's just the icing.

    Toby? I understand his motives, but I mean come on. TOBY?

    The one guy Leo kept with the Bartlett comapaign was flailing? The one guy who continually calls the president on the big issues but continues to back him up?

    Say it isn't so, Toby. If the first episode of the season is any indicator, he doesn't spend life in prison, but the stinger as he lef the office. "Don't think I'll be one of those people."

  • A moment no one wanted to see, but was a long time coming

    I’ve said a number of times that the leak investigation and Toby’s complicity make sense in terms of the character and the larger theme of the series itself. In essence, this is not just a matter of Bartlet’s slow but inevitable decline from power; it’s also the decline of anyone left to man the ship with him. These are the twilight days of the Bartlet administration, only months away from the end, and things are falling apart. Instead of leaving office with the world a better place and an heir apparent ready to win the election, Bartlet looks to end his second term with scandal and world war.

    Some might find it a stretch, but I like to think that Ellie’s very small part in the episode is a symptom of the larger problem faced by the administration. Bartlet is losing his control over nearly everything in his life, not just his health and his legacy. Ellie has always been her own woman, but in earlier years, Bartlet would have had some words. Perhaps he was just being conciliatory, but a lot of the fire seems lost.

    Of course, this episode is more about Toby and how his character’s defining traits more or less presaged such an end. Indeed, that’s what I’ve been saying for a few episodes now, and it was repeated more than once in this episode. Toby has always been an idealist with a healthy dose of arrogance, and eventually, it was going to come back to bite him. This is that time, and while it’s sad to see it happen so late in the game, when so much else is stagnating, it would have been too easy to let him go out quietly.

    Frankly, anyone who thought that Bartlet should have treated Toby better is letting sentimentality overrule reason and character consistency. Bartlet has been more than patient with Toby over the years, even when Toby has crossed the line in a thousand ways. A less flawed man might have actually learned something about limits, but Toby never did. Bartlet is like the father who must, despite his fervent wishes otherwise, cut loose his son with harshness if there is to ever be a lesson learned.

    What struck me last night, as I was watching the episode with typical enjoyment, was how mournful this season really is. I understand that some people were expecting the possibility of a continuance next season, but everything about the series says that this is the end. Every scene in the White House is drenched in darkness (it has been steadily getting worse, I think, or it just seems so). I’m left with such a sense of impending loss and a recognition that it has been coming for quite some time, and it adds a layer of emotional resonance to the story.

    Turning for a moment to the campaign trail, things are looking more and more problematic for Josh. He really needs to sit down with Leo and look back at the Bartlet for America campaign and see where things have gone wrong. Josh has never seemed like the best campaign manager in the world, but he really has hit his limit and it shows. Vinick keeps handing him openings, and nothing gets done. I’m sure that Santos will bounce back in the big debate or soon thereafter, but it’s painful watching the campaign founder.

    I won’t say I was quite as taken with this episode as the previous installment, but that was largely due to the treatment of the teaser and first act. I didn’t really get into the story until after that, which was probably just a subjective reaction. By the end, I was definitely hooked, and I felt the ending was very strong. The debate over old and new will no doubt wage on.
  • Absolutely one of the best episodes of the last few seasons.

    This is an episode where your heart nearly breaks in two. Richard Schiff has done a tremendous job with his character over the last seven years, and if this episode is his sendoff (it's hard to know, in the season premiere, he is standing with everyone), it's a fantastic sendoff.

    What liked most about this episode was the nonverbal moments. For once, instead oof hamhanding it with subtitles and overdone exposition, they give us moments of subtlety and silence. CJ pacing around the room because she can't say anything. Bartlett wringing his hands during his speech.

    Of course, the Toby plotline wasn't the only plotline in this episode. Mr. Frost is found again, and we have more theories over what is happening in Asia, with Kate mentioning that it could all lead up to a nightmarish World War III. I'm still not sure I like this part of the episode, or even the plotline. Maybe it's partly because I've never been a huge fan of Kate, but I would have rather spent more time with Toby for this episode.

    Also, on the campaign trail, Lou convinces Josh to shake up the staff, and Ned, who has been with Santos for a long time, is a casualty. He doesn't take it very well, asking to talk to Santos, and then telling Josh to screw himself. He left very unprofessionally, which makes me think that maybe he really wasn't cut out for the job.

    Some realignments happen with this episode. Toby's absence leaves an empty Communications office, and CJ asks Will Bailey to return. Here's hoping it's the season 4 Will Bailey, the one who wasn't a complete jackass. I also wonder who will be handling press secretary duties. Also, the shakeup on the Santos campaign will apparently make room for Donna to be hired, and maybe after seven seasons, something will happen between her and Josh.

    All in all, this episode was absolutely fantastic, and I would say that the acting in this episode is highly deserving of an Emmy award.
  • Amazing episode which builds with dramatic intensity with each scene.

    WOW! Definitely one of the best episodes of this series! Bartlett told Toby everything I had always thought about this selfish, self-righteous elitist snob. This episode included some of the best moments in television history and because of the painstaking efforts that this series has taken over the last seven years to fully flesh out and realize its characters, the emotions were truly earned if not awe inspiring. Show is certainly heading for its finest season, more than making up for last season's shortcomings.
  • The Bartlet-Toby confrontation that has been brewing for seven seasons finally occurs.

    This episode was The West Wing at its best: treating its viewers as if they were intelligent, and as if they've been following the series enough to have back knowledge (true in both cases, I suspect). The entire season has pointed toward Toby's revelation (we saw that one coming down Pennsylvania Avenue, right?), but more importantly, the entire series has been pointing toward Bartlet's final confrontation with Toby. Tonight's penultimate segment had echoes of all seven seasons, going all the way back to the pick-up basketball game in season one, when Toby felt comfortable shouting, in the President's presence and in front of others, that the President would never achieve greatness. That moment led inexorably to the ms revelation, which Toby first sniffed out and then, upon being told, became the only person (aside from Abby, who is the First Lady, and Josh during his season-two troubles) to ever raise his voice in the Oval Office and live to tell the tale. Toby was right about the ms cover-up, and the President knew he was, and the President couldn't do anything about it except remember and bide his time.

    Deep down, the President has always resented Toby's moral umbrage even while admiring his gifts and his loyalty. Catholics have enough celestial scolds without dealing with those in flesh and blood. In his darkest moments, Bartlet has always waited for the one precise moment when he might stick it to Toby and make it hurt. That moment came tonight.

    If Bartlet had been truly heartbroken, a part of him would have seen into Toby's torment and allowed him to accept Toby's resignation. But no. Make no mistake: at the moment he fired Toby, a small part of him was loving it.

    Three predictions, but you're probably with me already.

    1. Toby joins the Santos campaign. The symmetry with Josh\'s housecleaning is too neat, but I can dig.

    2. Santos wins the election. Yeah, you knew that already.

    3. Last season, folks. Have you checked the ratings?
  • What to do with Toby? A felon or a hero, how do we describe his recent actions and what will Bartlet make of him when he finds the traitor in his administration? Along with the continuing leak story Santos and Josh are forced to reshape the campaign staff

    "Moral Superiority." The tension built in this episode could have been cut with a knife. The confrontation between Toby and the President was almost Sorkin-esque and it was the best scene I've seen in a long while. It was the elephant in the room for so many years, morality ethics in both religion and politics, and Bartlet finally addressed this unclaimed battle. This along with the focus on Bartlet's wringing hands as he addressed the nation about the leak made this a very good episode. But one question, what is The West Wing without our melancholic Toby?

  • Why didn't they just add in "Gone Tomorrow"?

    Low rating on account of the fact that Bartlet just "dismissed" Toby like that. Well I shall have to recant. It was Toby not C.J. that was the master of all shuttle leaks and presidential scandals. He will be missed and I need to see what happens next with his character. Sad disappointing way to go. From what I could see neither Toby not Schiff was enjoying this storyline. That was resentment I wouldn't give an Emmy for because it was real not acting. But it was well deserved.

    John Wells, as per usual, I HATE YOU.

    I knew Garafalo would be back. It was so painfully obvious. And it's not like Ned is gone forever, or that he was really here to begin with. Josh is gonna go soon. It's so painfully obvious. Maybe not fired but definetely demoted.

    And I can't imagine what C.J. is going through. But beyond that Bartlet just found out that one of his closest staff, practically a son or brother, betrayed his legacy and person, and had to fire him. Not to mention the fact that in the same day he found out that his middle daughter was pregnant in a politically horrible way, marrying a physically unattractive man, and sporting a very non-chic hairstyle. (And we really should have spent more time on that subject, not that we won't in future episodes.)

    And it was really nice to see Stockard Channing. (And is it just me or does it look like she's been working out? As in working out just a little too much...) (I love her but I just wasn't feeling the bulk.)

    Toby's wit while being interviewed was definetely the best part of the show. I don't blame Margaret for being confused, because we all were, and how could you ever be mad at Margaret. And Will as the new replacement Comminucations Director? I saw it coming, we all saw it coming in the event that the leak was Toby, but, come on, really? Will? Why? Why JW Why?
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