The West Wing

Season 1 Episode 10

In Excelsis Deo

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 15, 1999 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

Write A Review
out of 10
200 votes
  • How good TV can get...

    It's not story line of Josh and Sam going to Laurie for information to try to cover Leo's butt was a little overdone, and they go a bit overboard with the "nerd" bit with the Prez going after obscure books, I love old books and some strange stuff, but this one just felt a little over-done. Laurie's a good character, though just say very easy on the eyes)

    But what makes this one one of the greatest in the show's run is the story line of Toby and the dead veteran. It breaks liberal with a deep love for his country and respect for servicemen, the very gruff Toby with his heart broken for the disrespect shown for a courageous hero, Mrs. Landingham scolding Toby for exploiting his position, then asking in a voice that is the best of her great acting ability to go along to the funeral, the President placing his hand on Toby's shoulder, a great moment of caring and one just hits nothing but winners.

    Then an episode that was already a great goes into the Hall of Fame with what becomes a trademark of "The West Wing," the closing music montage in which the children's voices singing "Little Drummer Boy" mix with the scenes from the funeral right up to people responding very naturally to the 21 gun salute, it was as good as television gets. Brilliant in every way possible. There would be other great music end of the episode in which Simon Donovan is killed, the tear-jerker as the President's family prays for the missing Zoey and Josh and Donna visit "The Fence" while contrasted with the violence of the Sit Room, and perhaps the finest and most underrated, the "Brothers In Arms" scene at the end of Season 2 Nobody else does this nearly as well, and it's why TWW will be remembered among the best series ever.
  • About this episode

    It was depressing. This had great Teleplay.
  • Christmas in The West Wing.

    It was nice to see a softer side of Toby, even if it was only spawned from his anger at the mistreatment of a war vet. The continuation of Leo's rehab troubles was very well done. Really showed how desperate Josh and Sam were that they would try something that they know is so immoral and underhanded.

    "I could care less about your indignation right now. A man has left himself open to the kind of attack from which men in my business do not recover. Now if our tactics seem less than civilized it's because so our are attackers. In any event I don't feel like standing here and taking a civics lesson from a hooker."

    The story of the gay student being basically stoned to death was pretty upsetting. Seeing the characters reactions(mainly CJ and Bartlet) made for some very moving scenes.

    All in all, an excellent Christmas episode, very emotional.
  • Review

    In the 10th episode of the first season of the hit TV show The West Wing Titled. In Excelsis Deo. Toby arranges a funeral for a homeless war veteran. Josh and Sam try to a congressman to lay off of Leo because of problems in his past.Meanwhile President Bartlet, Leo and some other West Wing staffers do a little book shopping. Overall a good episode of The West Wing. All the stories of the episode where good and not boring at all and I thought the scene in the book store was a very funny scene my overall rating of the episode 10 out of 10 the end of review.
  • Super episode, moving, well written.. All the good things in so good episode.

    I am impressed. I did not expected it to be so good - it was just stunning. The way it first looks maybe just as another episode, but the way the main storyline is worked out and the ending.

    It is Christmas time and most of the people are in holiday spirit. Donna wants skies but in the end get a old book with signed by Josh and like Donna says - most of the time he acts like he and then he wrote something stunning. Toby gets a call as a man is found dead with his name label in is bucket. It comes out the man was war veteran and Toby gets emotionally involved and tried to get proper funeral for him. With Christmas song in background .. he with president's secretary go to the funeral...
  • Toby arranges a funeral for a homeless veteren.

    I thought that this was a very good episode of the West Wing and it was sad at moments. I thought that it was very sad that Toby got a phone call for a dead homeless man because his card was in a pocket of a jacket he donated to the good will then to find out that the man was a veteren. It was also sad to hear that Mrs. Landingham had lost two sons in a war at the same time. I was really happy that Sam and Josh was so supportive of Leo and that they wanted to help him stay out of trouble.
  • By far the marquee episode of the first season. This one episode epidomises everything that makes the West Wing great.

    By far the marquee episode of the first season. This one episode epidomises everything that makes the West Wing great. It's not a surprise that this was the episode that Richard schiff won the Emmy with. The excellent cinamatography, Fantastic art direction, and Aaron Sorkin's poetic prose elevated this episode from what could have been your standard campy Christmas episode to one of the greatest in Television history.