The West Wing

Season 1 Episode 6

Mr. Willis of Ohio

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 03, 1999 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
187 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Toby and Mandy push for a commerce bill with a census-counting provision, with three votes as the deciding factor; Sam tutors C.J. on the finer points of the census; Zoey faces a potentially dangerous situation when she goes out for the evening.

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  • Toby meets an unusual man.

    This is the first episode that I wasn't crazy about. It was good, just not as good as the previous ones. Toby definitely was the high point of this episode I though. As bad as the individual head count is I agree with him the precedent that sampling would set is just too dangerous. I loved Mr. Willis' response to that though,

    Toby: "What's to stop us from saying we don't need elections, we'll just use polling data? Eleven hundred and fifty people, with a sampling error of plus or minus three, will decide who runs the country."

    Mr. Willis: "It's okay by me. As long as it's not the same people who decide what's on television."

    I wasn't crazy about the bar scene, just felt a little forced or something. I did love CJ's line to Josh though,

    "You keep telling him to relax with a sense of urgency."

    While that scene wasn't great, it did lead to one between Zoey and the Pres., where he explains to her the nightmare scenario.

    I haven't mentioned Josh's assistant Donna(Janel Moloney) yet, wasn't crazy about her at first, but her back and forth with Josh is something I'm starting to look forward to in episodes.

    Favorite part was Toby near the end describing Mr. Willis,

    "I met an unusual man. He didn't walk into the room with a political agenda, he didn't walk in with his mind made up. He generally wanted to do what he thought was best. Didn't mind saying the words 'I don't know.'"

    Just a shame he's not going to be in politics anymore.moreless
  • Review.

    In the 6th episode of the first season of the hit TV show The West Wing Titled Mr.Willis Of Ohio. Toby and a few Congressman discuss a bill that is in congress. Zoey The Presidents daughter goes to a bar with Josh and Charlie and a few others and has a close encounter while at the Georgetown bar. The senior staff plays a game of poker with the President. Overall I thought the episode was really good and not bad the bill storyline was favorite and the ending of that storyline was the best part of the episode where the votes on the bill.moreless
  • Again, a beautiful episode with so much to think about.

    I just adore the way this serie effects me. It makes me think about things I usually won't. And this episode was again beautiful example how the manage to write stunning story and open the characters for us in different angle.

    When in last episode we first time met Zoe, then now we can see that 19 years old girl's life little more. President wants that Josh would take Charlie out as he is not having no free time but Zoe and Leo's daughter also want to join, so there is much bigger company as Sam and CJ come too. Everything is going fine until Zoe gets little disturbed by some guys. Charlie goes to defense her and the situation is not looking best but do they think Zoe is let out alone? That incident makes President even more worry as day before it someone tried to brake in the White House and kill Zoe. Of course the intruder was caught before getting far. And he has to make Zoe understand that she is not in the usual spot for her age and that he cannot work if he would know she is danger. That speech really made it point and was superbly written.

    And also the storyline with Toby and Mandy and the way that congressman talked with Toby after he has made it point.

    Beautiful episodemoreless
  • The staff works on the census bill.

    This was such a great episode. I found it funny that CJ was pretending to know how the census work while she had no idea. I liked that Tobey and Mandy brought in Mr. Willis with two other guys (i forget who they are) and talked to them about the census bill who knew that Mr Willis was a history teacher and knew the admendment Tobey was talking about. I was happy that they were able to convince him to vote how they wanted him to. I thought that it was really nice of Charlie to be looking out for Zoey while they were at the bar. I liked the President's reaction when he found out the situation with Zoey.moreless
  • Continuing the wonderful first series of The West Wing comes episode 6.

    This is a great episode to the series as the storyline is fairly easy to follow and there are some scenes outside of The White House (it seems that in most episodes we rarely venture outside it!).

    After a poker night in the oval office it seems that there is an intruder outside. It turns out that the intruder is a heavy, fairly drunk, woman who was armed. She, however, was not after the President - but after his daughter, Zoey. When she is out at a bar with Sam, Josh, Charlie & CJ a fight starts between the 3 lads and some thugs causing the secret service to barge in.

    Not too many laughs in this episode but an easy storyline and appearance of Zoey soon make up for that. Another great episode of a great series!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

Al Fann

Al Fann

Joe Willis

Guest Star

Juan A. Riojas

Juan A. Riojas

Agent #3

Guest Star

Greg Wrangler

Greg Wrangler

Agent #2

Guest Star

Renée Estevez

Renée Estevez


Recurring Role

Suzy Nakamura

Suzy Nakamura


Recurring Role

Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss

Zoey Bartlet

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • In this episode President Bartlet was angry at Zoey and ranted about a possible scenario of her being kidnapped in club party whilst going to the restroom. A similar scenario was depicted in Season 4 in the episode Commencement as how Zoey was actually kidnapped.

    • Toby has Mandy read from Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. However, the sentence she reads is no longer part of the Constitution. It has been changed by Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Constitutional issue they are discussing still exists, but Toby's point that the clause is discriminatory is no longer based in the law.

    • The episode suggests that Mr. Willis was appointed to his late wife's seat until a special election is called. There is no provision in the US Constitution that allows for an interim appointment to the House of Representatives as there is in the Senate.

    • The home of Susan B. Anthony is in Rochester, New York.

    • The sandwich Sam is eating while telling C.J. about the sentence noticeably changes from a bun to bread and back again.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Mrs. Landingham: Josh, aren't you a little old to be leering at college co-eds?
      Josh: I'm a Fulbright scholar Mrs. Landingham. I don't leer. Also, there'll be plenty of grad students there.
      Mrs. Landingham: Oh well. Good then.

    • Gladman: I thought we were here to talk about the census?
      Josh: We are. The White House just wanted to take this opportunity to point out that you're criminals and despots.
      Gladman: Thank you.
      Josh: No problem.

    • Mandy: Two million dollars for a volcano monitor in Alaska to warn passing airplanes about ash?
      Leo: By the way, the FAA doesn't know what that is!
      Toby: 550,000 dollars for New York State to restore the home of Susan B. Anthony.
      Josh: While we're at it, the tile in my shower could use re-grouting.

    • Josh: Well, you know what they say?
      Donna: What do they say?
      Josh: A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there. Sooner or later it starts to add up to real money.
      Donna: That's a nifty saying Josh.
      Josh: I didn't coin it or anything.

    • Cathy: Bonnie, would you get Toby a copy of the Constitution?
      Bonnie: Is it still in print?
      Toby: Oh for crying out loud! Try If they don't have it then just bust into the glass display case at the National Archives!

    • Toby: Do you call or raise, sir?
      Bartlet: There are three words in the English language and three words only that begin with the letters dw.
      Josh: This is a pretty good illustration of why we get nothing done.

    • In response to Josh's earlier speach to Donna about why the government does not issue refund checks for each person's portion of the budget surpluss.
      Josh: Donna? How much were the sandwiches?
      Donna: $12.95
      Josh: I gave you a twenty.
      Donna: Yes, as it turns out, actually, you gave me more money than I needed to buy what you asked for. However, knowing you, as I do, I'm afraid I can't trust you to spend the change wisely. I've decided to invest it for you.
      Josh: That was nice. That was a little parable.
      Donna:I want my money back.

    • Josh: The president's daughter, the chief of staff's daughter, a Georgetown bar, and Sam. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Toby: I met an unusual man. He didn't walk in with a political agenda. He didn't walk in with his mind made up. He genuinely wanted to do what he thought was best. He didn't mind saying the words 'I don't know.'

    • Frat Boy #3: You know, I ain't done with you, Sammy.
      Charlie: My name is Charlie Young, jackass, and if that bulge in your pocket's an eight-ball of blow, you're spending spring break in a federal prison.

    • Toby: What's to stop us from saying we don't need elections? We'll just use polling data -- 1,150 people with a sampling error of plus or minus three will decide who runs the country.
      Joe: I thought about that.
      Toby: And?
      Joe: It's okay by me, as long as it's not the same people who decide what's on television.

    • Sam: You see how good it feels to know what you're talking about?
      C.J.: And you see how I'm able to do it without being patronizing?
      Sam: What happened to "You look good today."?
      C.J.: I got over it.

    • Sam: Let's forget about the fact that you're coming a little late to the party, and embrace the idea that you showed up at all.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Awards:
      2000 Banff Rockie Award for Continuing Series

    • Music: At the bar "Learn to Fly" from the Foo Fighters album There Is Nothing Left to Lose is playing in the background.

    • C.J. orders a grasshopper at the bar.
      The recipe for a Vodka Grasshopper is:
      1 part ~ green creme de menthe
      1 part ~ white creme de cacao
      1 part ~ vodka
      Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

    • The events of "Twenty Five" are foreshadowed in Jed's argument with Zoey about her security and the possibility of her getting kidnapped at a club.

    • Jed's trivia quiz questions:
      1. Name the one fruit whose seeds are on the outside.
      2. Name the fourteen punctuation marks in standard English grammar.
      3. Name the only three words in the English language that begin with the letters "dw".
      1. The strawberry.
      2. Period, comma, colon, semi-colon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, braces and ellipses.
      3. Dwarf, dwell and dwindle. (Apparently the President doesn't know any dweebs.)


    • Charlie: My name is Charlie Young, jackass. And if that bulge in your pocket's an 8-ball of blow, you'll be spending Spring Break in a Federal Prison.

      An "8-ball of blow" is slang for an eighth of an ounce of cocaine (or about 3.5 grams). Crack cocaine was the first drug for which the first offense of simple possession can trigger a federal mandatory minimum sentence (5 years for 5 grams).

    • Willis: I think the problems that we're going to face in the new century are far beyond the Wisdom of Solomon, let alone me.

      In the Bible the wisdom of Solomon was known throughout the ancient world. Solomon was a king known for his fair and sensible problem-solving abilities.