The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 11

Internal Displacement

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 15, 2006 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
127 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Westins visit Washington and Doug may be keeping a secret from Liz that many other senior staffers already know about. C.J. tries to make a deal with the French to try to handle a problem in the Sudan. Gail has an incident. Josh asks Will and C.J. for a little help with the campaign. C.J. and Danny go out to dinner twice and talk like good old friends. During dinner, C.J. likens men to salmon while dealing with a waitress who is not all that fond of her.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • An episode so good it makes you feel we're in the early seasons again.

    9.0
    At the end of a president's term people start thinking about the administration's legacy. The men and women of the White House may also wonder whether they've achieved their goals or whether they've turned into the kind of politicians they campaigned against four/eight years earlier. This situation is taken by Bradley "Josh" Whitford to create a wonderful episode. It takes a remark by Danny Concannon to have C.J. reconsider a strategy. And what a change C.J. has undergone! Earlier in the series Miss Cregg had moments that her emotions got in the way of what she had to do. Now she's the consummate pragmatist, using diplomats in a complex game and even lying to a human rights spokesman, pretending not to care. You might quibble about whether this transformation is believable. (How many White House spokespersons ever turned into chiefs of staff?) But as a viewer, there is plenty to enjoy. Mr. Whitford also has a knack for great dialogue, bringing back the spitfire delivery of verbally talented characters.moreless
  • In the middle of all the problems...

    8.7
    I sometimes use to do this - I have seen some early seasons, I have little idea about the show and then I decide to watch one random episode from the serie newest season - this is what I did with this episode. I have not made it to the end of second season yet, and it was little weird to watch it as there are new faces around and.. but.. it was good episode and this proved me, there is so many reasons to keep going with this serie..



    I like the way the complex of the episode - the way it all was multi layered, but everything was somehow leading into one point - to CJ. And the emotions what were involved - not only Danny and the fish (oh..) but the conflict on Dafur.. and the way it ended.. great episode.moreless
  • CJ regulates.

    9.0
    It's always something to worry about when actors start writing - witness Michael Imperioli's abyssmal Sopranos scripts and/or David Duchovney's ridiculous X Files scripts; these tend to be episodes in which characters wander off in ludicrous and out of character flights of conversation (occasionally, as in Duchovney's case, a character may start to talk like a giddy and loquacious 15-year-old). Happily, Bradley Whitford has, for the most part, not done this - two speeches strike me as unswallowable, one, a Chinese ambassador waxes philosophically about capitalism, the other, CJ finds herself comparing men to salmon. Happily, those add up to a total of less than a minute of screentime, and in an episode that takes place over two days but feels like 40, you have to appreciate Whitford's knack at that Sorkinesque dialogue The West Wing rediscovered in its natural form for its magnificent final season. Allison Janney's CJ always seemed the wrong choice for Chief of Staff in the 6th Season, but "Internal Displacement" finds her at her crackling, vicious best - delicate one minute and intimidating the next. It's not simply that she selflessly brokers a deal to help ameliorate genocide in Darfur, but that she does it in a way that's true to her character - her passion never overtakes her professionalism. This episode is Janney's finest of the season, and it's because, by this point, CJ's repartee with each cast member is a different beast - witness the power of her true plea about genocide to the president, her harsh demands at communications director Will, her never-lost crackle with Whitford himself. Whitford gave Janney a gift with this episode, a vital and pulsating one woman show.moreless
  • A good, well written episode, centered around CJ.

    9.0
    I enjoyed this episode a lot. It was interesting to see how the Chief of Staff juggles their personal life, with the important political situations constantly happening. It was well acted and written, with just enough humour (something i've come to expect from the west wing). Although it may have been a filler episode, there was enough to keep moving the story along.
  • Perfect? Nope. Worth watching? Hell yeah!

    8.0
    It’s been quite a while since an episode was told from one particular point of view, especially covering so many different plot threads at once. I’m not quite sure that the episode hit its mark, especially with some of the Sudan-related scenes. They felt a little forced, even knowing that CJ has a tendency to go hardball on certain issues. For all that some felt that CJ’s promotion to Chief of Staff was ludicrous, she is very capable in this episode, with her past role firmly in mind.



    At the same time, this episode does highlight the fact that the Bartlet administration has been rocked back on its heels most of (if not all of) its second term. The Middle East accord was the only item of serious note; the changes to the Supreme Court were also substantial but never seemed to have lasting impact. The point is that CJ has been Chief of Staff during Bartlet’s least effective time in office, and while that is hardly new in terms of the direction of the story, it is personalized in this episode.



    Just what has CJ accomplished during her tenure as Chief of Staff? Several times, the administration has tried to jumpstart the political fervor going into the final days. There was that whole episode devoted to Leo highlighting how many days were left to advance their agenda and make a difference. Has anything happened since then? And how many fires have they struggled to put out, while all but ignoring the Democratic candidate?



    That, at least, gets addressed in this episode, but Josh has to negotiate to get Bartlet to support Santos, which is hard to believe. Josh is quite right: CJ and the others should be trying to ensure four more years with a Democratic presidency than one minority seat in Congress. CJ is more concerned with getting Bartlet to the end of his term without a major war on his watch or unnecessary political scandals. Leo used to do the same thing, but thanks to the timing, CJ’s situation feels a lot more hopeless.



    Amid the reminders that the administration is about to end, and several careers with it, is the return of Danny Concannon. I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic between Danny and CJ, far more than the disastrous mess with Ben and the others in the fifth season, and this helps to bring context to CJ’s situation. She’s still an important part of the machine, still tied down with the responsibility, but very soon, there will be a massive gaping hole in her life. Danny is just the person to step into her life and help her through it, and that helps bring CJ’s journey over the course of the series into an interesting context.



    Even so, there were some weaknesses. I think that too much was happening at once, and items didn’t always get the depth they deserved. The whole issue with Liz and her husband seemed to fizzle out at the end, and some scenes were too light-hearted. And then there’s that bizarre CJ/Kate relationship, which has never been that overtly girly in any other episode that I can remember. I have the feeling Bradley brought the funny, but it wasn’t always in the best context.

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Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford

Josh Lyman

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Matthew Santos (Episodes 114-)

Joshua Malina

Joshua Malina

Will Bailey (Episodes 78-, recurring previously)

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Mary McCormack

Mary McCormack

Kate Harper (Episodes 111-, recurring previously)

Tim Guinee

Tim Guinee

Steve Lawson

Guest Star

Ronald Guttman

Ronald Guttman

German Ambassador

Guest Star

François Giroday

François Giroday

French Ambassador

Guest Star

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson

Margaret

Recurring Role

Timothy Busfield

Timothy Busfield

Danny Concannon

Recurring Role

Steven Eckholdt

Steven Eckholdt

Doug Westin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • C.J.: Relaxing makes me nervous. It feels like I'm missing something.

    • C.J.: I think Doug Westin is having an affair with his nanny.
      Will: Gee, I don't want to know that! Why did you tell me that?
      C.J.: Because you deal with the press, and I don't want you to get blind-sided.
      Will: Exactly. I work with the press. I do my best work when I'm the least informed person in the room. You taught me that.

    • Danny: I think the president's son in law may be bangin' the nanny.
      C.J.: Is that a euphemism?
      Danny: No. Well I bangin' is, I guess.

    • (CJ and Will collide in her office doorway)

      C.J.: Did you take an awkward pill?

      Will: What? I'm always like this.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Although credited, Alan Alda, Kristin Chenoweth, Janel Moloney & John Spencer do not appear. Stockard Channing, Dulé Hill & Richard Schiff also do not appear and are therefore uncredited.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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