The West Wing

Season 6 Episode 11

Opposition Research

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 12, 2005 on NBC
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
81 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Santos starts up his presidential campaign in New Hampshire, where he immediately disagrees with Josh on campaign philosophy: "No opposition research, no dirt on our opponents." Josh has an uncomfortable reunion with Russell campaign staffer Donna.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Tuesday
No results found.
Wednesday
No results found.
Thursday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Have a nice day off, West Wing cast.

    5.0
    I assume it is some sort of unwritten taboo to discuss one show in a review for a different show. But I’m going to. Watching tonight’s episode felt somewhat like watching the NBC sit-com Joey. It was good, entertaining, and interesting but just not Friends. Tonight’s episode was just not really The West Wing. It seemed more like the first third of a movie about Matthew Santos’ campaign for the presidency. As I watched, I felt myself thinking what Matt LeBlanc jokingly suggested they title his show, “Where the Heck is Everybody?”



    This show has never devoted a whole show to one storyline. Ever. No matter how big an issue is there is always something else going on. (The President works for peace in China while Josh deals with the possibility of an asteroid. The staff is at a Middle Eastern summit discussing Jerusalem while Leo suffers serious health problems. Etc.) I have no idea why on this occasion they decided to change that essential component of the show. The only people who benefited from the ordeal were Allison Janney and John Spencer who must have had some nice time off to spend with family.



    Although I wholly disapprove of the single-storyline approach, there were things of merit worth discussing in this episode. I was really convinced that Matt Santos had no hope of winning the election while I watched, even though logically I know that Josh’s candidate cannot fail, especially when they are devoting entire episodes to the two of them. Santos’ revelation about thinking he would be there for two months when Josh, as he said “gave up everything for this” was a worthwhile twist. Their last conversation was a good moment as well. We are learning along with Josh just who this guy is, and I am liking him very much. It was good to see Josh and Donna together again, even if momentarily. It was also interesting to see them relate as competing colleagues and not as boss and assistant. Josh’s facial expression when he saw Donna in Will’s office was priceless. Also, who has not had a “Hi” moment exactly like theirs? So much history between them and now all they can say is hello. That scene was the best of the episode.



    OTHER THOUGHTS:



    Quote of the Century: “You should be with me.” –Josh to Donna.

    I don’t think he just means the campaign do you? I also don’t think he really cares so much about Donna being an asset to the campaign (although that’s probably what he’s telling himself) as having her around him again.



    I just don’t think that any politician in the world thinks like Matt Santos, although it would be nice. Wouldn’t he rather try to get into office so he can implement these plans of his instead of committing political suicide right away so that his ideas are never put into use?



    Does anyone else think that the head of the DNC is a producer for The West Wing? We all know that the show has partisan bias (it is a Democratic administration, after all), but now the show seems to be trying to change the image of the party to appeal to voters who voted Bush. They have painted Matt Santos as the anti-Kerry. Kerry was blamed for flip-flopping and for not presenting any real ideas or plans. Santos even used the word “flip-flopper” and from Day One is spouting out radical education plans before people even know who he is. They also clearly scoffed at the importance of the New Hampshire primary (I would have to agree), which is arguably what got Kerry the nomination. They are trying to show Democrats as a party that cares about diversity and less so much about the Franco-Americans. But I digress.



    I want to make it clear that although I missed the other characters, this does not change my adoration for Bradley Whitford or Jimmy Smits.



    I apologize if the lengthiness of this review has overwhelmed you. I had a lot to say.



    Written: 1/13/2005

    moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Matthew Santos (Episodes 114-)

Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford

Josh Lyman

Janel Moloney

Janel Moloney

Donna Moss (Episodes 23-, recurring previously)

Joshua Malina

Joshua Malina

Will Bailey (Episodes 78-, recurring previously)

Frank Kopyc

Frank Kopyc

State Senator Butler

Guest Star

Richard Waugh

Richard Waugh

Jamie Jardin

Guest Star

Joe Egender

Joe Egender

Santos Volunteer

Guest Star

Steven Eckholdt

Steven Eckholdt

Doug Westin

Recurring Role

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

Joey Lucas

Recurring Role

Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien

Kenny Thurman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Josh: You're not making it easy.
      Santos: Well, you know if we're going to do this, I'm not going to make it easy.... I'm going to push every limit. And that's the campaign you get to run.
      Josh: What if I can't make that work?
      Santos: Well, then no one can.

    • Josh (after Santos admits he only became a candidate to get a couple of months of media exposure for his education plan): I gave up everything for this! You aren't even in it to win?
      Santos: Maybe we have a different definition of winning, Josh.

    • Santos: I want this to be a campaign of ideas... and these campaigns always wind up being about a candidate's high school transcripts.... You know, if we just took the money the campaign spent on personality contests and partisan side shows, we could solve this country's problems and shut down talk radio, all at the same time.

    • Josh: New Hampshire is about retail politics. People here won't vote for you until you've had coffee in their house five times.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Music Featured In This Episode: - "Someday, Someway" by Marshall Crenshaw

    • Allison Janney, John Spencer, Dule Hill, Stockard Channing, and Mary McCormack do not appear in this episode. Martin Sheen and Richard Schiff appear only briefly, in telephone conversations.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

More
Less