The West Wing

Season 3 Episode 4

On the Day Before

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 2001 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
103 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
When Bartlet vetoes the "death tax", the staff must scramble to keep the veto from being overridden; Josh tries to smooth talk a governor who is considering running against the President in a primary; Charlie is urged to accept immunity in his upcoming testimony.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Throwing an elbow.

    9.0
    t was nice seeing Abby and Bartlet getting along again, it just seems like Bartlet does better when he has her there to talk to. Plus they're back and forth was great.



    Abby: "I'm like a petri dish."

    Bartlet: "Yeah, you're pretty gross."



    The main plot of the west wingers trying to prevent congress from overriding their veto drew me in so much that I was getting frustrated along with them. The only thing better than them being able to save it, was how they saved it. Taking Kimball's offer to the republicans was brilliant, even if he didn't actually take that offer. Nice thinking on Sam's part in coming up with that, and I loved him and Toby showing that chicken-ass democrat the door. Though the republican congressman's words were unsettling enough to take some of the joy out of the victory.



    Congressmen Royce: "Take a look around at all the democrats running from you right now. Do you even know who your friends are anymore?"



    Charlie refusing to take immunity was really touching. Granted at this point I would have been surprised if he hadn't, but it was still nice. And his line to Leo was a perfect close to the storyline.



    Leo: "Don't be a hero."

    Charlie: "Why not? I'll stay with my team, people should stop trying to get me not to do that."



    CJ crushing the gossip reporter was a thing of beauty, nice to see she really is back in the game.



    I gotta say, I was a little pissed at Donna myself. Not for dating the guy Josh was battling on the estate tax(sorry, death tax), date whoever you want that shouldn't matter, but why in the blue hell did she see him again after finding out he's with the prosecution? Just as it was last season, I think any "snarking" Josh gives her was well earned.



    I was glad they were able to capture the terrorist behind the cafe bombing in Jerusalem and the final scene with Bartlet and the staff going over what to say to the parents of the two dead brothers was beautifully done.



    Best episode so far this season.moreless
  • Problems with veto

    8.0
    So, president vetod a tax and now they have to have the votes to keep the veto and it is hard. Josh, Sam and Toby work as hard as they can and it looks like it is falling apart until they come up with rather unique idea how to get the votes they need.



    CJ has to deal with reporter who acts out of the limits and she has her revenge. Everyone wants Charlie to take immunity but he wants to do the right thing. Very brave of him.



    And the most moving storyline of this episode is the situation in Israel..moreless
  • This is a great CJ episode, and it's just a good one.

    9.0
    *CJ rocks in this one, that reporter girl is so annoying and mean! I love how CJ grills her during the press conference and then confronts her afterwards... That was really cool.



    *Usually I don't connect with the Sit room stuff. I just don't get into the whole military aspect of the show, even though it's a big part of politics. But this one was so sad. I think it helped that I actually understood what happened, but it was so heartbreaking, they were two teenagers, at a soccer match! That's horrible. Bartlet's phone call was really great though. I liked that.



    *The veto thing...eh... It had me confused and a little bored.



    *Josh sitting with the guy was pretty funny, they are threatened by his health. This just explains why I love politics so much, it's so bizarre! *Then when Donna told Josh... I've never seen Josh that kind of mad/disappointed in a person he actually likes. I mean you see him mad at other politicians, but this was different. It was really sad...moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Dule Hill

Dule Hill

Charlie Young

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Sam Seaborn (Episodes 1-84)

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Mary Mara

Mary Mara

Sherri Wexler

Guest Star

Kevin Tighe

Kevin Tighe

Jack Buckland

Guest Star

Ana Mercedes

Ana Mercedes

Sally

Guest Star

Anna Deavere Smith

Anna Deavere Smith

Nancy McNally

Recurring Role

William Duffy

William Duffy

Larry

Recurring Role

H. Richard Greene

H. Richard Greene

Robert Royce

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Josh refers to the "Indianapolis Post-Dispatch", which is not a real newspaper. The only daily paper in Indianapolis is the Indianapolis Star.

    • Continuity error - CJ says this is the President's first veto - however on episode 4 of season 2 on Capitol Beat (where Ainsley Hayes is introduced) the presenter says that the President veto'd a Republican education bill the year before.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Leo: Don't be a hero.
      Charlie: Why not? I'll stay with my team, people should stop trying to get me not to do that.

    • Congressman Royce: Take a look around at all the democrats running from you right now. Do you even know who your friends are anymore?

    • Bartlet: [sadly] Mr. and Mrs. Levy, this is Jed Bartlet. I have three children. I really don't know what to say.

    • Josh: He can have a member try to attach an amendment to the override vote.
      Donna: What kind of amendment?
      Josh: Doesn't matter. "To qualify for the estate tax repeal, the estates have to have Astroturf™."
      Donna: And still it's hard to figure why Congress can't get anything done.

    • Toby: They don't have the votes to override.
      Sam: Says you.
      Toby: Says me, Josh, the Office of Political Liaison, Legislative Liaison and the Minority Whip.
      Bartlet: Sometimes it's like I don't even need to be here.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      Janel Moloney was nominated for an Emmy in 2002 in the category for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series her performance in this episode and in "War Crimes"

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The episode title, "On The Day Before", is derived from Jed Bartlet's explanation of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. He tells the senior staff that before Jews can ask forgiveness from God on that holiday, that first, "on the day before", they must ask for forgiveness from people.

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