The West Wing

Season 1 Episode 19

Let Bartlet Be Bartlet

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 26, 2000 on NBC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
160 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Mandy's old memo about Bartlet administration weaknesses surfaces; Josh tries to get administration nominees appointed to the Federal Elections Committee; Sam works to get a better policy on gays in the military.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A necessary argument.

    9.5
    Aww, poor Margaret, her fear of the repercussions for the email thing was pretty funny.



    Leo: Margaret thinks the FBI is gonna bust in here any minute.



    Leo: ohh, Margaret, Margaret. I'm sorry, I'm gonna have...I hung in there as long as I could, but you long since passed the point when I stopped caring. If you're curious it was right around raisin muffin.



    Her face after that was just gold. And Toby offering to take a muffin down to "the lab," was hilarious. Sam's plot with gays in the military was interesting, and Fitzwallace was great. My stance has always been if their willing, physically & mentally fit, why not let them? Though its obviously a decision for people above my pay grade.



    Well Mandy really topped herself this time. She's smart enough to know that an opposition paper like that should have been disclosed to the team as soon as she was hired, or before. They shouldn't have had to "vet" her to discover that. It was interesting to see how in this case **** rolled up hill, from Mandy to Danny to CJ. The scene between Danny and CJ(where he reveals he is the one that has the opp. memo) was excellent and showed that those two characters can be great together even when they're not getting along.



    Danny: You guys are stuck in the mud around here. And none of it is the fault of the press! I know you're frustrated, but it ain't nothing compared to the frustration of the people that voted for you.



    At least the whole thing led to something good, hell, something necessary. The scene between Bartlet and Leo was definitely one of my favorites so far.



    Leo: ...this 21 year old at six hundred dollars a week says, 'I'm going where I want to, because a man stands up.' Everyone's waiting for you, I don't know how much longer.

    Bartlet: I don't want to feel like this anymore.

    Leo: You don't have to.

    Bartlet: I don't want to go to sleep like this.

    Leo: You don't have to.

    Bartlet: I want to speak.

    Leo: Say it out loud, say it to me.

    Bartlet: This is more important than re-election. I want to speak now.



    Followed by another great scene when Leo lets the staff "off the leash."moreless
  • President Bartlett takes a stand.

    8.0
    This series is no doubt a television classic but viewers will also no doubt exhibit a certain amount of frustration with the administration as they themselves, the characters on the show, face all that is politics in order to stay in the game, in order to get reelected, in order to achieve small successes. As most politicians, they've found it difficult to stick to campaign promises. They went against current by nominating Mendoza and faced their 'day of jubilee' when he was confirmed but little, up to date, has given us that same sense of victory. It's been compromise after compromise. The gun law, the ethanol tax, death penalty, it's real life but not exactly inspiring. Perhaps the discussion today on campaign finance reform and the FEC wasn't the most exciting but Bartlett's admission that he's been in neutral and his exchange with Leo-it was the flood waters breaking loose. They all serve at the pleasure of the president and he wants to take the gloves off. A little light is also shed on the failings of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Kudos to the writers for the shift in story and hurrah to the senior white house staff for their policy change. Let Bartlett be Bartlett.moreless
  • When 2 seats open on the FEC, President Bartlett floats the idea of swimming against the current...plus Gays in the Military...

    9.6
    Classic episode that shows us exactly why the Bartlett Administration got off to such a bumpy start. Mandy runs into the some trouble with the other staffers after a memo from the past is revealed to a reporter. Which was fine by me, because I really could never stand Mandy. I didn't think she fit in well with the rest of the cast. I always got the feeling that nobody liked Mandy. And is it ever really revealed what she did in the campaign? Was she just a paid consultant? I think that might be it, kind of like a Bruno Gianeli but focused only on Media. But I'm glad that Mandy's demise actually helped Bartlett in the long run. It made Leo realize how much Bartlett was playing it safe. The way they get the FEC guy to commit to the job is priceless.moreless
  • Review

    10
    In the 19th episode of the first season of the hit TV show The West Wing titled Let Bartlet Be Bartlet. When a paper appears and it says how to beat President Bartlet when he runs for re-elation. Mandy and the rest of The West Wing staff try to fix her big mistake. Josh Toby And Sam have a bunch of meetings which turn out to be a big waste of time. overall the storyline of the episode worked well with each other and made the episode work very well and did not make it boring my overall rating is 10 out of 10.moreless
  • They decide to speak up...

    9.1
    It was an episode that defenetly showed - it is not easy what they do and it is never meant to be. Josh is having an argue with other politics as presidents plans to name his own nominees. Sam is having another fight with military as they are against gays. But the main problem is.. they are losing.. points.. and the game.. as Mandy's old memo comes up with their weakness.. And that is not the only problem - President is also not happy what he does and after little yell Leo comes up with plan: "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" It is more important than winning again...moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Dule Hill

Dule Hill

Charlie Young

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Moira Kelly

Moira Kelly

Mandy Hampton (Episodes 1-22)

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Sam Seaborn (Episodes 1-84)

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

Paul Provenza

Paul Provenza

Steve Onorato

Guest Star

Andy Buckley

Andy Buckley

Mike Satchel

Guest Star

David Brisbin

David Brisbin

Ken

Guest Star

Renée Estevez

Renée Estevez

Nancy

Recurring Role

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson

Margaret

Recurring Role

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

Delores Landingham

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: Since Mandy's memo is a work product of her contract with Russell, it would be owned by him, and therefore she could not legally show it to the Bartlet administration. (She could, however, create a new memo for them which said essentially the same thing.)

    • Goof: Sam says that he got the weather update from a Coast Guard First Lieutentant, but there is no such rank. The Coast Guard follows Navy ranks which would be either a Lieutenant or a Lieutenant Junior Grade.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Leo: That sound alright to you, Josh?
      Josh: I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.
      Leo: Yeah?
      CJ: I serve at the pleasure of the President.
      Sam: I serve at the pleasure of President Bartlet.
      Leo: Toby?
      (Toby pauses)
      Toby: I serve at the pleasure of the President.
      Leo: Good...well let's get in the game!
      (They leave. Leo follows them to close the door and sees President Bartlet in his office, having heard everything. They acknowledge each other before turning away.)

    • Leo: That guy gets death threats because he's black and he dates your daughter. He was warned: "Do not show up. Your life will be in danger." He said: "To hell with that, I'm going anyway." You said: "No." Prudent or not, this 21 year old at $600 a week said: "I'm going where I want to, cause a man stands up."

    • Fitzwallace: I also think the military shouldn't be an instrument for social change... Problem is, that's what they were saying to me fifty years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve with whites, it would disrupt the unit... You know what? It did disrupt the unit. You know what else? The unit got over it.

    • Mrs. Landingham: You don't get enough roughage.
      Bartlet: I know I'd like to beat you senseless with a head of cabbage. I know that for damn sure.
      Mrs. Landingham: Once again, you display an immaturity about vegetables that I think is not at all presidential.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      John Spencer was nominated for the 2000 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode in conjunction with "Five Votes Down"

      Won 2000 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in conjuction with many other episodes from the season

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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