The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 3

Message Of The Week

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 09, 2005 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
134 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
It's three weeks into the presidential campaign and Vinick meets with Frost out on the trail. Santos pulls a stunt which leads to higher approval ratings and jolts the Vinick camp. Vinick and Santos try to kick each other politically while they focus on their messages of the week.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Thursday
No results found.
Friday
No results found.
Saturday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Good episode. See review for updated regular cast member listing.

    7.2
    Don\'t have level two clearance, but the inaccuracies in the cast lists in this season should be noted. The page correctly mentions that Janel Maloney, Dulé Hill, Joshua Malina, Kristin Chenowith, John Spencer, Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, and Martin Sheen are not in this episode. However, it is not mentioned that Mary McCormack is also not in the episode Someone with clearance please add this to the page information. Good episode, despite not featuring hardly any of the series regulars. Again it would be nice to see Richard Schiff more before he is sent packing. The Josh-centric nature of this season is really irritating. But Alda is great in this episode.moreless
  • This is a Vinick episode and is done not nearly as well as the previous Vinick episode. Very "meh" over all.

    7.7
    First off, the only true character we get in this episode is Josh Lyman. And I mean, that's great, he's my favorite character. But still... I don't want to watch the show if it's filled with boring Republicans I don't know and even boring Democrats I don't know. Obviously it's the same old same old. Republicans have problems with Vinick because he's just too dang liberal what with his abortion-loving... Vinick deals with it. Blah blah blah. It's nice and all, but... I don't know. And where was Stephen Root as Republican Communication Director Bob Mayer? Was Alan Matthews from Boy Meets World his replacement? Whatever. Anyone notice that the Vinick staff is just rife with ex-sitcom stars? MASH, NewsRadio, Home Improvement, Boy Meets World... Get Jason Alexander or Bill Cosby and I might get interested. Or hey, bring back Matthew Perry, he plays a Republican on this show. Stop introducing newbies though.



    I did like the scene between Josh and Bruno detailing debate stuff though. But everything else was, while interesting, made less interesting by the fact that I honestly don't much care about a lot of these guys, this was particularly evidenced in the scene where Leon, Vinick's aide, quits. Very dramatic, except, you know, we don't know who you are.



    Good work by Alan Alda, Bradley Whitford and Ron Silver but very "meh" over-all.moreless
  • Los topicos de la campaña siguen algidos: seguridad nacional, empleo y latinos ha sido el comun denominador.

    9.0
    Los Republicanos continuan su marcha hacia la presidencia mostrando la seguridad nacional en la zona fronteriza con Mexico. Con ello, busca restar votos al candidato Demócrata, pues utiliza el factor nacional y la de los inmigrantes dentro de un pais proximo a hacer uso de los votos.

    Por otra parte, Santos sigue confiando en su estrategia de ex defensor del pais. Ademas, el apoyo que consigue por parte de los errores de los Republicanos, como es el caso de la posible coalición que se hubiera formado entre Vinick y los Catolicos frente al nombramiento de jueces y fiscales, como tambien de temas tan subidos de tono como el aborto.



    ***



    Temas sobre coalición, falsas promesas, educación y seguridad han sido tratados en este episodio. Ha habido, ademas, temas mucho mas influyentes y que han captado la atención de nosotros. Coincido con un comentarista anterior, en que la inclusión de Bruno como el vocero comunicaiconal de los Republicanos. Las pocas frases que se emplearon durante la reunion Bruno – Josh, fue tan impactante que muchos quedamos satisfechos con la escena.moreless
  • Stunts are flying all around...

    9.5
    First of all, we got to see Vinnick's side. And it showed everything one campaign normally has; stunts,serious disagreement between the staff and the candidate, even quitting because of the principals.



    Two stunts, Santos fulfilling his army duty, and Vinnick sucking up to the Latino public are just pieces in the whole picture. We can see the propaganda, but we also see how much that propaganda, even a transparent one, effects people's opinion.



    I have to say that I had a favorite moment in this episode, and I mean a scene that marked this show for me. And that was when Bruno came to see Josh. I mean, there were only a few sentences in that part of the script, but the tension was more than visible. Personally I would like to see more of their interaction.



    Alan Alda was a perfect choice of a Republican who plays by his own rules. He can certainly bring out positive and negative sides of his character.



    Great episode!



    moreless
  • Vinick's weaknesses and edgy attitude is exposed in this episode. Sullivan comes off as a menacing, but effective vice-president. In the end, it seems a nobler, and softer Santos would be the better choice for President.moreless

    9.0
    It's all about the Vinick-Sullivan campaign this episode, and it was a refreshing change for this West Wing viewer. Although I felt that the Vinick character was a bit shlumpy throughout the episode, except when being accused of killing babies. Alda has that hunched up figure, as opposed to the rock-solid posture of Santos. I enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the campaign as a move and counter-move, with this week, Vinick holding court and changing his message of the week. They picked up on what I saw was a perceived weakness of Santos in episodes last season with his hesitance to paint himself as the "brown" candidate and avoid Latino issues. Alda is crafty, a political pro in the way he can twist phrases to suit his purposes (with the border security and vigilante remark) and make noble pronouncements before backhanding his opponent (Santos' reserve duty and being commander-in-chief).



    The surprising move was the strength of the Sullivan character as a rock-solid VP who has his own political experience in dealing with the Christian coalition. The menacing aspect of Sullivan's conversation with the Christian coalition rep was chilling.



    Alda himself has an edge, as shown in his war-like metaphors, and approval of negative campaigning. Bruno is there to soften him (no negative campaigning yet) it seems, and try to have him appeal to a more moderate constituency.



    I can see now that the show is definitely looking for a Santos win, as the flaws of Vinick (I lied, so what) and Sullivan (menacing attitude) come out in this episode. The media-savvy and attack-mode of Vinick, is not portrayed as a good thing, but more of a dishonest means to an end. Santos on the other hand believes in nobler things and his problems tend less to dishonesty, than in how this good, complex, well-intentioned guy can win a dirty campaign battle. As a mode of wish-fulfillment and rewarding the better man, it seems Santos will become the next President of the United States.





    moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Senator Arnold Vinick (Episodes 123-)

Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford

Josh Lyman

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Matthew Santos (Episodes 114-)

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Gavin Glennon

Gavin Glennon

Secret Service Agent

Guest Star

Becky Meister

Becky Meister

TV Reporter

Guest Star

Sumalee Montano

Sumalee Montano

Vinick Reporter #1

Guest Star

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo

Louise Thornton

Recurring Role

Ron Silver

Ron Silver

Bruno Gianelli

Recurring Role

Patricia Richardson

Patricia Richardson

Shelia Brooks

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • At about the same time as this episode aired, a real-life news story developed that closely followed the plot. In the show, a religious conservative claims to have private assurances from Vinick that future Supreme Court appointments would be "anti-abortion". In real life, a conservative leader claimed that he had similar inside information about the President's most recent nominee for the Supreme Court.

      It's common for West Wing to develop plots loosely based on news stories, but unusual for a news story to develop at about the same time as a similar plot thread from the show.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Bruno tells Vinick that no sitting senator had won the presidency since 1960. Of course, the 2008 election changed that, as it was a guarantee that a sitting senator (Obama or McCain) would win the presidency.

More
Less