The West Wing

Season 2 Episode 1

In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 1

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 2000 on NBC

Episode Recap

Monday, 9:37 P.M.

The President's car is speeding away from the shooting with police escort. Tensions are high as Bartlet asks Ron Butterfield that he wants to speak with Zoey, who is in another car, apparently vomiting, and without Gina. Bartlet is then concerned with Ron's bleeding hand. Ron then sees blood on Bartlet's lips, feels his body, finds blood from the side of his body and yells to turn the car to GW.

At the site of the shooting, there are wounded people, medics and police all over. C.J. is holding gauze to her head. Somebody had put her down. The medic tells her she won't need stitches but she should lie down. She is concerned about Bartlet's well-being. Sam approaches her, asking her if she is all right. He tells her that Bartlet, Zoey and Leo are in their cars and are all right. Sam sees Gina and tries to talk to her, but Gina is rushing to the ID agent. Gina tells him that they got two shooters in the window from the roof, but there was a signal from the ground, white male, wearing a baseball cap. Gina can't recall what kind of cap. Toby is making his way through the crowd, looking for Josh. He sees Charlie, and Charlie tells Toby that Josh got in the car with Leo, but Toby knows Josh didn't. Toby then spots Josh sitting by the stairs. He goes over to Josh, and then sees Josh holding his bleeding chest. Toby calls for help, a doctor.

In the Emergency Room at GW, the staff is going about their normal duties. The phone rings, and the attendant notices it isn't the normal phone ringing, but the red hotline. She picks it up, thinking that this is just a drill, until she sees police cars approaching. She makes a Trauma 1 blue call. Security agents quickly begin to secure the place, evacuating patients.

At the White House, Vice President Hoynes is with the press, congratulating the coach from USC for a great season, when security agents suddenly interrupt and escort him out.

Abbey hurries to a car to get to GW.

Bartlet is wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher. He has been shot in the abdomen, a visible enter and exit wound. As he is being wheeled in, Bartlet is fully conscious and insists he wants to speak with his daughter and worries about Ron's hand. He asks to wait as long as possible before the anesthesia. He also wants to speak with Leo first. He tells the nurse he has no medical condition.

Margaret and Delores chat on the way back to their desks, when Margaret notices a special news bulletin, which announces that there was a shooting where the President was, and Delores darts out.

Zoey is at the hospital and sees Bartlet, who jokes around. Leo also arrives, and Zoey leaves them to be alone. Leo reports that they got the two shooters, there were a few injuries, C.J. hit her head on the ground, but that's all. Bartlet instructs to get the Cabinet and Security Council together and to suspend trading on the stock exchange. Bartlet is now ready to go under anesthesia for a couple of hours. Abbey arrives. She asks to see the anesthesiologist, Dr. Lee. She tells him that there are only fourteen people in the world who know about this, and Dr. Lee will be the fifteenth. Bartlet was diagnosed seven years ago with a relapsing-remitting course of MS.

Leo sees Gina and tells her he has heard that there was someone on the ground. She is upset that she can't describe the man so that everyone would know whom to look for. Just then, Josh is carried in, single gunshot wound with no exit. As he is wheeled into the operating room, he begins to mutter about having to get to New Hampshire.

Capitol Hill Offices
Senator John Hoynes (D) - Texas
Three Years Earlier

Flashback to Josh working for Senator Hoynes, who is looking to be the Democratic nominee for the Presidency in the next election. Josh insists that the Senator take up social security as a priority issue in his election campaign, but the Senator and the rest of his staff are reluctant. The Senator asks to speak with Josh privately. Josh is frustrated, because he doesn't know what they are fighting for, only for winning. The Senator tells Josh to back off on social security. Leo is there, to speak to Josh. They take a walk in the Mall in front of the Capitol. Leo wants Josh to come to Nashua, New Hampshire, Thursday night, to hear Jed Bartlet speak. Josh is confused, saying there is no way that the Democrats will nominate a former governor from New England, but Leo just tells him to come. Josh calls to arrange for train tickets.

Gage Whitney Pace
Midtown Manhattan

Sam, a lawyer working for Gage Whitney Pace and looking to be partner next month, is in a meeting discussing avoiding liabilities in buying oil tankers. He excuses himself from the meeting to get the tax figures, when his secretary tells him that an old friend, Josh Lyman, is waiting in his office. They hug each other, and then take a walk outside for a hotdog. Josh was going to call first but he forgot the name of Sam's firm, Gage Whitney, the second biggest law firm in New York. He dropped by on the way to Nashua, and is inviting Sam to work for Hoynes as a speechwriter. Sam can't; he is getting married to Lisa in September. Josh has to go. Sam then asks Josh whether Hoynes is the real thing. Sam asks Josh what Josh is doing. Josh doesn't know. Josh asks Sam that if he sees the real thing in Nashua, whether he should tell Sam about it. Sam responds that he would know anyway because Josh is not good at making a poker face. They part. As Sam turns, he runs into another pedestrian.

Back to the present, GW. Sam runs into a hospital employee. Abbey is told that Bartlet is fine. But for Josh, the bullet cut his pulmonary artery. Abbey walks into the private room where everyone is to announce that the President is fine.

Leo joins the Security Council. The Vice President steps in. The meeting starts. Not too many domestic incidents. The shooters had no ID on them, so they don't know who they are. Nancy McNally, the National Security Advisor, is concerned about the KH-10s showing images of sudden buildup of Iraqi Republican Guard units along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, moving south. She recommends that the 32nd Tactical be on ready alert and that they be taken to DEFCON 4. Leo thinks there is no need to hurry. Nancy thinks otherwise, and everyone looks at the Vice President for a decision. Hoynes decides to go with Leo. Leo decides that a message be sent to Iraq via Jordan not to mess with them tonight.

The hospital administrator tells the people in the private room that this is not a comfortable room, so they might want to leave, when Donna enters the room. She was told to come here, and is relieved to hear that the President is fine. She hadn't heard about Josh. Toby tells her Josh was hit, and she takes it hard. The administrator once again recommends that since the procedures on Josh will take until morning, they leave for now. C.J. and Charlie leave.

C.J. is being stormed with questions at the press conference. Danny Concannon questions her about the 25th Amendment. C.J. answers that the President is only injured superficially and that he will be back right away. Arthur Leeds questions her about why there wasn't a tent or canopy to hide the President on entrance and exit. C.J. says they don't answer on protection procedures. She repeatedly touches her neck, which Carol notices. She seemed to have lost her necklace when someone pushed her down. Danny, seemingly concerned, comes up to C.J. to ask a question off the record.
Since the President went under anesthesia and will not be fully conscious until morning, without the 25th Amendment, who is currently in charge? C.J. can't provide an answer.

Leo and Nancy are arguing. Nancy believes that they are currently under attack by the Iraqis. They would need the Vice President to move the 32nd Tactical and take them to DEFCON 4. However, Leo says that can't be done technically. Before going under anesthesia, the President didn't sign the letter giving the Vice President power. The 25th only gives the Vice President power if the President is dead. Section 202 of the National Security Act of 1947 makes it more complicated, which says that the Secretary of Defense will be "principal assistant" to the President on matters of national security, but "principal assistant" is not defined.

Toby tells C.J. to hold off Danny until the Counsel's office confirms. He also noticed that C.J. scratched her neck. C.J. also mentions to Toby that Arthur asked about the Secret Service canopy for entrance and exit. Toby will look into it.

Toby walks into his office and notices that Ginger is there, shook up about the incident. Toby gives Ginger a hug and tells her it's okay. Toby suddenly hears a man's voice asking if he wants another one of those.

Hank's Tavern
Nashua, N.H.

Flashback for Toby. The bartender is asking if Toby wants another one of those. A fellow lady drinker tells Toby that she didn't even know that Bartlet was running. Toby tells her that Bartlet is speaking that night at the VFW Hall and that she should come. Toby has been a professional political operative all his life, but has won no election to date. He is drinking so much early in the day because he is about to get fired.

VFW Hall
Nashua, N.H.

Bartlet is speaking to a sparse audience, answering to a question about taxes. Leo is there. Josh is there, seemingly bored. Toby is there, being haggled by another of Bartlet's staff about the preparation of an answer for a possible question about the New England Dairy Farming Compact. Just then, a dairyman asks Bartlet why he had vetoed the New England DFC. Bartlet honestly answers that he had screwed him, along with a lot of his other constituents. This gets Josh's attention. Bartlet continues that he voted against the bill because he believes the children are what is important to this country, but a lot of them are in poverty, and he didn't want to make it harder for people to buy milk. He ends his speech by telling the audience that if they expect a president not to do the same, then they should find someone else to vote for. Josh is very impressed.

Tuesday, 1:45 A.M.

Leo arrives at the hospital. Bartlet, who is in the recovery room, has heard about Josh and wants to see him.

Back to VFW Hall. Bartlet, Leo and the staff are going over Bartlet's performance. The staff insists that Bartlet refer to Hoynes, his opponent, as "the other guy" without using the name. Bartlet thinks it makes him sound stupid, and leaves. The staff begins to tell Leo that Toby is a problem and should be fired, but before they get to that, Leo fires all of the staff, except for Toby, who will remain. Leo meets Bartlet outside in the freezing cold. Bartlet is upset that Leo fired all of the people he knew, keeping only one that he didn't know. Leo made the decision on his own because Bartlet is a crappy politician, and he declares that he will be making more decisions on his own from now on. Bartlet doesn't understand why Leo is doing this for him, when Hoynes could give him a better position. Leo tells Bartlet that Bartlet is a good man, the real man. Bartlet is unsure of that, but Leo is certain.

Back to GW. Bartlet is limping slowly in the hallway. Sam, Toby, C.J. are shown, deep in thought. News reports are continuously heard in the background, about the letter not being signed, several thousand people gathered to take vigil for the president, C.J. appearing to be distraught, manhunt for the third suspect, closing of airports and other means of transport, the marines put on higher alert, Ron being hurt. Donna and Delores are in the hospital private room, waiting. Josh is in surgery, and Bartlet watches the surgery.

Written by: meancoconut