The West Wing

Season 5 Episode 22

Memorial Day

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 19, 2004 on NBC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
88 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Jed weighs his options for responding to the bombing as Israeli and Palestinian forces face off against each other; Josh has an interesting reaction when Colin arrives at the hospital to visit Donna; Kate and Leo clash over the advice she's giving Jed; Josh assumes a diplomatic role when the Palestinians approach him to initiate settlement discussions; Toby and Charlie prepare a reluctant Jed for throwing out the first ball at Camden Yards; Donna's life is threatened when she develops a pulmonary embolism; Jed reflects on the days prior to his first inauguration.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This ep was a great season ender... where we got to learn more about the character's past, and get excited about the upcoming season!

    9.4
    The preview for this episode, at the beginning was brilliant, ending with Gail, Fitzwallace’s wife saying ‘I know the world’. Then cutting straight to the car where The President is thinking about what the audience assumes is revenge, on a killing a friend, colleagues and injuring others. Toby’s concern for Bartlett was real, it added to the shock of the earlier incident. Showing Josh watching Bartlett’s address to the world, in Donna’s ward where she has been blown up. It reinforces to the audience Josh’s love for Donna, his patriotism, and the revenge in his eyes. Throughout the episode there was some humour, which did lighten the atmosphere. The chance meeting between Josh and the photographer from The Gaza Strip, in Donna’s ward was a little awkward, and was portrayed very well. The diplomatic meeting between Josh and the unknown person was very CIA ish. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and his reassuring conversations with the NSE lady were also quite funny. It added humour to the episode, while on a serious note. Those scenes contrasted with the President trying to pitch a baseball, and Toby’s wisecracks about the President’s lack of pitching skills made for a wonderful episode. It was also a way for the President to let out some of the pent-up anger revolving around the death and injuries which occurred in the Gaza Strip. Leo and Abbey’s conversation about the President was well played out, it was something I was not expecting, and viewers get the impression that Abbey cares a lot for her husband’s best mate. The ‘tilting at windmills’ is a good metaphor, for what the President may be considering. Flashbacks, a good camera technique were used well, in this episode, especially Leo’s flashbacks. It showed great mateship between Leo and the President, and it did bring a little past into the episode. Josh’s utter shock was portrayed well, when he went running around to the nurse’s station to find Donna. It was an important moment when Josh said that he has the diplomatic rank of a three star general and works for the President of the United States of America, leader of the free world. Bartlett’s speech at the end to Leo, where he is saying that its about his children, Leo’s children and the children of the people of the United States, was a moving one, it was an integral point to trying to change Leo’s mind. The closing scene, in which the President pitches the baseball, is a good one, where all we hear at the end, is the baseball, on contact with the bat, to me this signified that the Bartlett had made his decision, regarding the Gaza Strip, and the proportional response that he should take. Overall, this episode was another great season ender for The West Wing. It was intense, saddening, humorous, and most of all it was dramatic. I just can’t wait like many more Australian fans to see the first episode of the sixth season; it is shaping up to be a great dramatic season, where there will be a lot of twists and changes, suspense and shock.moreless
  • Hands down one of the best!

    10
    I was a late comer to the West Wing so I missed what little of it aired in Australia. When a friend recommended it to me i went and brought the first season. That was the beginning of my love affair with this superb show. Since then I have purchased seasons 2-5 despite warnings that the show is not the same after season 4 without the masterful Aaron Sawkin at the helm. However, while at certain stages throughout the 5th season I saw what those people were saying, for the most part I found the season thoroughly enjoyable with a number of flashes of the brilliance that characterised the first four seasons. The season final 'Memorial day' was one of those episodes. This was an amazing episode with its mix of humour and drama. Jed Bartlett's line to Toby ('not a word Ziegler') whilst practising for the opening pitch at Camden Yards was priceless. The scenes at the end were intense and sent shivers up my spine; a feeling multiplied by the flashbacks of Jed and Leo. To sum up this was a brilliant episode of a great season, one that sets up the sixth season in a suspenseful fashion. 10/10moreless
Mary McCormack

Mary McCormack

Kate Harper

Guest Star

Gerald McRaney

Gerald McRaney

Alan Adamley

Guest Star

Sonya Leslie

Sonya Leslie

Nurse Parnes

Guest Star

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

Debbie Fiderer

Recurring Role

Melissa Fitzgerald

Melissa Fitzgerald

Carol Fitzpatrick

Recurring Role

Gary Cole

Gary Cole

Bob Russell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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