The West Wing

Season 2 Episode 2

In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part 2

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 04, 2000 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
198 votes

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Episode Summary

With the accomplice in custody, it's revealed that the intended target was Charlie, not Bartlet. The staff still awaits news about Josh, and recalls how C.J. and Donna came to join the Bartlet campaign.

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  • About this episode

    This had great directing and sound mixing.
  • What's next?

    I was praying that skinhead punk(Carl Leroy) was going to try something. In my head I was saying over and over, "Just give them a reason, just give them a reason." But we don't always get what we want. It was nice however to see CJ get her game face back on, even if she was still pretty shaken. The scene with her talking about the gun crimes was really well done.

    CJ: And if anyone thinks those crimes could have been prevented if the victims themselves had been carrying guns, I'd only remind you that the President of the United States was shot last night while surrounded by the best trained armed guards in history of the world.

    I could tell it was Sam that had knocked her down(from the shot in the season finale, though I actually thought he had gotten hit then). His reason for not telling her right away(so she wouldn't feel beholden) fit perfectly with his character. His walkout of Gage/Whitney was excellent as well. I also enjoyed CJ's back story, as a spin doctor for a Hollywood PR firm.

    CJ: You know why the new Coke marketing campaign failed? Because nobody liked new Coke. The movies were bad. If the movies were unknown I could help you. But they weren't, they were just bad.

    Learning that Charlie was the intended target was a shock. I knew the shooting was because of him and Zoey, but I never thought they would be aiming at him. A man certainly has a right to know when he was just the target of an assassination attempt, but its still something I wish Charlie didn't have to find out. I felt bad for Toby also, with the protection memo he had Bartlet sign. Interesting that the guy with the bloody and broken hand(Butterfield) has to point out that it was no one's fault and simply the act of madmen. Leo and Margaret added some welcomed levity to the episode. If Sorkin or his casting director have a thing for red heads(there's been four or five on TWW and two I can remember off the top of my head on S60), they've passed it on to me.

    Leo: You can sign the president's name on a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?

    Margaret: Yeah! ...Or do you think the White House council would say that's a bad idea?

    Leo: I think the White House council would say that's a Coup d'état.

    Margaret: I'd probably end up doing some time for that.

    Leo: I would think. And what the hell are you doing practicing the President's signature?

    Margaret: It's just for fun.

    Leo: We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret, vetoing things and sending them back to the Hill.

    Seeing how Donna started working for Josh instantly became one of my favorite moments, I like knowing they had an immediate connection. Bartlet and Josh's scene in the airport(when Josh was on his way home for his father's funeral) was excellent also. I like to think that up until then Josh only thought of Bartlet as a great politician and speaker, but it was then that he realized Bartlet was also a great man. I loved how they overlaid Bartlet's presidential acceptance speech over him and Leo walking out of the airport.

    I'd be hard pressed to choose which part of In the Shadow of Two Gunmen I liked more, so I wont.moreless
  • part 2 of the flashback episode

    we found out that in this episode that the president was not the target of the shoting it was charlie. but before we found out about that we found out that cj worked for a pr firm in la and she felt it was beneath her and she had never worked on a presidential election before. toby wrote a memo about the president secerity in public out in the open. we found out all about doona and how she came to work for josh and how valueable she is to him. i was an amazing episode and it had a lot of drama in it.moreless
  • Aaron Sorkin created a great series that catched people's attention although it's main topic is politics. This two-part episode is one of my favourites from the series and a good example of why I became a fan of "The West Wing".moreless

    You sit down, prepare to watch the second season of one of your favourite series and suddenly... Josh is shot. You think... nothing can happen to him, he's Josh and you expect an episode about he at the hospital having all his friends worried about him. Ok, the episode has something of that but what's the most important is that we start to know the characters better thanks that this retrospective. We discover who knew who before the White House, how they got inside Bartlet's campaign (Donna's way to get the job was incredible and very witty) and how they arrive to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And although it is a dramatic episode because the poor Josh has to be operated and has to fight for his live and everybody goes to see him and people cry... it's a funny episode as well (remember CJ falling into the swimming pool). This combination of drama and humour is one of the things that made "The West Wing" a great series.moreless
  • Another flashback how they get where they are now.. how Donna and CJ joined their campaign and some things in now are settled.

    This was beautiful episode with magnificent and deep story, superbly written and well outplayed. Again there was a nice balance between the flashback calm atmosphere with deep thoughts and reflection and character opening, and the reality, what was slower and less action than previous but was settling down the events they had. The third man was caught and it was confirmed that it was not President but Charlie who was the real target. Also CJ, who had troubles to remember what happened, after listening Sam in morning shows, recalled everything and it was just so lovely moment when she asked him to give her necklace back. It was just so warm and show that they are ready to risk for each other.

    A beautiful episode.moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Dule Hill

Dule Hill

Charlie Young

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Sam Seaborn (Episodes 1-84)

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Grace Zabriskie

Grace Zabriskie


Guest Star

Allen Garfield

Allen Garfield

Roger Becker

Guest Star

Peter White

Peter White

Jack Gage

Guest Star

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing

Abbey Bartlet

Recurring Role

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson


Recurring Role

Michael O'Neill

Michael O'Neill

Ron Butterfield

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In flashback, it is revealed that it was Toby who recruited C.J. to join the Bartlet campaign.

    • We learn in flashback, that Donna Moss joined the Bartlett campaign in New Hampshire as a volunteer after having broken up with her boyfriend, and that she had dropped out of the University of Wisconsin.

    • In the flashback with Josh and Bartlet at the airport, Josh says, "If you don't lose this election, it isn't gonna be because you don't try hard enough."

      Some people think the "don't" is a goof. But in context, Josh is pointing out that by doing things like going to the airport instead of making his victory speech, Bartlet must be trying to LOSE the election. So if he doesn't lose, it won't be for lack of trying.

    • In one of the flashbacks, Josh uses a pay phone with a Verizon logo long before the Verizon brand name was created.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Roger: Are you aware that the new Premier Magazine list is coming out on Monday?
      C.J.: The Hundred Most Powerful People in Hollywood?
      Roger: Yeah.
      C.J.: Yes I am. And I can tell you that you're on it, and congratulations, and it must - y'know - feel good being that powerful.
      Roger: I went from third to ninth...I dropped to ninth! Do you know how that looks? Do you know how many other people were ahead of me?
      C.J.: Eight?

    • C.J.: At this time, we cannot...we are not releasing any information whatsoever
      about the suspect.
      Steve: Can you tell us anything, his name, where he's from, ethnicity, if you guys suspect a motive?
      C.J.: Yes, Steve, I can tell you all those things, because when I said we weren't releasing any information whatsoever, I meant except his name, his address, his ethnicity, and what we think his motive was.

    • Toby: Ron, I don't think it's right that the Secret Service get blamed for what happened last night, I want the Treasury Department to hand over my memo to the Press.
      Ron Butterfield: No, we can't do that.
      Toby: There are going to be a lot of questions.
      Ron: There are always a lot of questions.
      Toby: Ron.
      Ron: Don't worry about it, Toby.
      Toby: It's not right. You're the guys -- look at your hand!
      Ron: My hand is fine.
      Toby: Your hand is not fine.
      Ron: Toby --
      Toby: Let me go over there and tell them it was my fault.
      Ron: It wasn't your fault.
      Toby: Ron!
      Ron: It wasn't your fault. It wasn't Gina's fault, it wasn't Charlie's fault, it wasn't anybody's fault, Toby. It was an act of madmen. You think a tent was going to stop them? We got the President in the car. We got Zoey in the car. And at 150 yards, five stories up, the shooters were down 9.2 seconds after the first shot was fired. I would never let you not let me protect the President. You tell us you don't like something, we figure out something else. It was an act of madmen. Anyway, the Secret Service doesn't comment on procedure.
      Toby: Okay. (Ron begins to walk away.) Good job last night.
      Ron: Thank you.

    • C.J.: This is our fifth press briefing since midnight, and obviously there's one story that going dominating news around the world for the next few days, and it would be easy to think that President Bartlet, Joshua Lyman, and Stephanie Abbott were the only people who were victims of a gun crime last night. They weren't. Mark Davis and Sheila Evans of Philadelphia were killed by a gun last night. He was a biology teacher and she was a nursing student. Tina Bishop and Belinda Larkin were killed with a gun last night. They were twelve. There were 36 homicides last night. 480 sexual assaults, 3,411 robberies, 3,685 aggravated assaults, all at gunpoint. And if anyone thinks those crimes could have been prevented if the victims themselves had been carrying guns, I'd only remind you that the President of the United States was shot last night while surrounded by the best-trained armed guards in the history of the world.

    • Toby: I tried calling you at your office. They said you were fired. Were you stealing things?
      C.J.: Roger Becker dropped from third most powerful person in Hollywood to ninth most powerful person in Hollywood.
      Toby: Does he still make the playoffs or is the cutoff line…
      C.J.: They take it seriously.

    • Toby: Come join the campaign.
      C.J.: How much does it pay?
      Toby: How much were you making before?
      C.J.: $550,000 a year.
      Toby: This pays $600 a week.
      C.J.: So, this would be less.

    • Margaret: I can sign the President's name. I have his signature down pretty good.
      Leo: You can sign the President's name?
      Margaret: Yeah!
      Leo: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?!?
      Margaret: Yeah. Or do you think the White House Counsel would say that's a bad idea?
      Leo: I think the White House Counsel would say that's a coup d'état!
      Margaret: I'd probably end up doing some time for that.
      Leo: I would think!
      (Margaret retreats to her office as C.J. enters)
      Leo: And what the hell are you doing practicing the President's signature?
      Margaret: It's just for fun.
      Leo(to C.J.): We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret vetoing things and sending them back to the Hill!

  • NOTES (4)

    • Additional Credits:

      Special Assistance: National Park Service

      Special Assistance: National Capital Region

      Special Assistance: United States Park Police

      Washington D.C. Produciton Assistance by ThinkFilm, Inc

    • In this episode, Margaret reveals that she can sign the President's name. In the season 7 episode, "The Al Smith Dinner", CJ suggests that Margaret forge her signature, only to learn that Margaret can't.

    • Music: Heard during a flashback sequence when Bartlet has just won the Illinois primary is Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" from their CD Celebrate!

    • Awards and Nominations: The episode in combination with the Part I won 2 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series. The episode in combination with Part I was Nominated 2 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore). Nominated with the Part I for 2001 Banff Rockie Awards in the category of continuing Series. Nominated with the Part I for 2001 CAS Awards in the category of Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Television Series.


    • C.J: Sorry I talked to him like that, but did he really think he had The Maltese Falcon out there?

      The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 classic Academy Award winning movie.