The West Wing

Season 1 Episode 2

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Sep 29, 1999 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
200 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Vice President refuses to fall in line with Bartlet; Sam discusses the problem of Laurie with Josh and Toby; the plane carrying Bartlet's doctor, a naval officer, is shot down en route to Jordan; Bartlet hires Mandy as his consultant.

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  • After it, therefore because of it.

    Guess I'll start where the show did with Mandy(Moira Kelly), really don't care for her, she had a couple of funny moments but her character is just to out there to be believable(as someone doing the job she has), plus I'm not crazy about the actress in general. Things picked up before the cold open even finished though, with Josh celebrating his victory,

    "I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land."

    Sam Seaborn just boggles my mind, is he really going to risk his career and risk making Bartlet's administration look bad just so he can be the knight in shining armor to this call girl? Toby summed up my feelings on it pretty well,

    "This administration doesn't even need an opposition party, you know that? We do fine by ourselves."

    Dialogue stayed sharp throughout the episode. My favorite scene was when Tulliver was examining Bartlet and giving him the flu shot,

    "How do I know this isn't the start of a military coup? I want the secret service in here right away."

    "In the event of a military coup, sir, what makes you think the secret service is going to be on your side?"

    "Now that's a thought that's gonna fester."

    I found the plot with the VP going rogue interesting, especially once Leo let him have it. I was beginning to wonder if the drama was going to catch up to the comedy in terms of drawing me in, and that scene helped. As did the end of the episode, when Bartlet hears that Tulliver's plane was shot down. Though the final line was a bit unsettling(as Leo's face portrayed),

    "Leo. I am not frightened. I am going to blow them off the face of the earth with the fury of God's own thunder."

    I'm all for retaliation in those circumstances, but just mentioning God at that point makes me nervous, because it easily leads to Bartlet thinking he's doing God's will by retaliating. Though I get the impression this will lead to more compelling drama in the next episode/episodes, which is what I was hoping for.moreless
  • The West Wing Episode 2.

    The 2nd episode of The West Wing is pretty good not bad not bad at all. The stories of the episode were good.

    CJ has to talk to the Vice President. Sam discusses his problem with some other senior staff members of the west wing The Presidents doctors plane is shot down and The President has to dill with his loss. The President and Leo decide to bring a former girlfriend of Josh's to work in The West Wing to the dismay of Josh. Overall I thought the episode stories worked well with each other and did not drag the episode down at all and I give the highest grade to this episode a 10 out of 10.moreless
  • Sam is making his life quite hard as he cannot let go some things. And it is not easy day for others too.

    I am not sure it can be ever a easy day for them and would it be so attractive if it would be but this day looks quite hard for the most of the staff.

    First Sam is still lingering with his one night stand call girl and instead trying to solve it, he seems to add even more to it. And the situation does not look good.

    Josh is sent to ask Mandy to work for them and that is not so easy thing to do for him. Also vice president is making staff day busy as he just does not seemed to agree with them. CJ don't seemed to handle it and so it ends up in Leo who has to bring the order.

    The other main story line focus on president and his doctor. The man is usual family man, with wife and kid and in the end of the episode we learn that his plane was shot down. And it is hard for president to take it as he cared about the doctor and about his family. It shows so well - nobody expected it but unexpected things happens.moreless
  • Sam tells Josh and Toby about Laurie and the President has a doctors exam.

    I thought that this was a wonderful episode. I really liked the parts of the episode where Sam was telling Josh and Toby about Laurie and what he found out about her. It was funny to see Josh Toby and Laurie tell Sam that he is trying to change her that is why he wants to be her friend. I really liked seeing the President and the doctor talking it seemed like they could talk about anything. I thought that it was really funny to see Josh freaking out about Mandy working for the White House evan though i seen it coming from the begininng of the episode.moreless
  • Not as good as the pilot, but still enjoyable...

    After such a good pilot, this episode was a bit of a letdown. With that being said, it was still enjoyable to watch. The characters are really coming together and it's clear by this episode that the casting was perfect.

    When Josh became so happy of his victory over Mandy only to have it thrown back in his face when Mandy is named the new media consultant after Bartlet's Ryder Cup mishap, was priceless. His face pretty much said it all. Sam telling Toby about the call girl was great writing. I have to say my favorite part was the introduction of Vice President John Hoynes and the scene where Leo confronts him about a comment he made. I think that scene was when I began to fall in love with Leo's character. The ending when Bartlet finds out about Capt. Morris Tolliver's death and finally condones violence against his enemies, had me in tears.

    The show is still off to a good start!moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

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

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

Robyn Pedretti

Robyn Pedretti


Guest Star

Rose Rollins

Rose Rollins


Guest Star

Andy Umberger

Andy Umberger


Guest Star

Peter James Smith

Peter James Smith


Recurring Role

Melissa Fitzgerald

Melissa Fitzgerald

Carol Fitzpatrick

Recurring Role

Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Josh and Donna are talking about football bets involving Central Indiana State. This is a fictitious institution. There is only an Indiana State.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • President Bartlet: You want to know when I lost Texas?
      C.J.: When you learned to speak Latin?
      President Bartlet: Go figure.

    • Laurie: Are you aware that I make more money than you do?
      Sam: You and any kid with a decent paper route.

    • Donna: What do you want for the pool this Saturday?
      Josh: Another hundred bucks?
      Donna: You can't win if you don't play.
      Josh : I see it different.
      Donna : Who do you like? Rocky Mountain College or Purdue?
      Josh: Tell you what, can you give me Yeshiva University over the Dallas Cowboys?
      Donna: If you're not going to take this seriously...

    • Bartlet: Morris, I made a joke about golfers yesterday, and now it consumes the whole building.
      Morris: Open your mouth, sir.
      Bartlet : Jokes like that are part of my folksy charm, Morris. It's the very heart of my popularity.
      Morris-Don't you have a job approval rating of like three percent or something?
      Bartlet: Oh, we're having some difficulty getting the word out.

    • Bartlet: What's in Jordan?
      Dr. Tolliver: Amman.
      Bartlet: You should stay here we got a man, a woman, little kids.....

    • Bartlet: I am not frightened. I'm gonna blow them off the face of the earth with the fury of God's own thunder. Get the commanders.

    • Josh: You want to call her again, don't you?
      Sam: Look, I really like her, and she's not what you think.
      Josh: The only thing I know about her is she's a call girl. Is she a call girl?
      Sam: Yes.
      Josh: Then so far she's exactly what I think.

    • Bartlet: C.J., on your tombstone it's going to read, Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc.
      C.J.: Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.
      Bartlet: Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know post hoc, ergo propter hoc? Josh?
      Josh: Uh, post, after. After hoc. Ergo, therefore. After hoc, therefore something else hoc.
      Bartlet: Thank you. Next?

    • Sam: About a week ago I accidentally slept with a prostitute.
      Toby: Really?
      Sam: Yes.
      Toby: You accidentally slept with a prostitute?
      Sam: Call girl.
      Toby: Accidentally?
      Sam: Yes.
      Toby: I don't understand. Did you trip over something?

    • Josh: Victory is mine, victory is mine, great day in the morning, people, victory is mine!
      Donna: Good morning, Josh.
      Josh: I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.
      Donna: It's gonna be an unbearable day.

    • Toby: Sarcasm's a disturbing thing coming from a woman of your age, Mrs. Landingham.
      Mrs. Landingham: What age would that be, Toby?
      Toby: Late twenties?
      Mrs. Landingham: Attaboy.

    • Mandy: I could kill you with my shoe!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music: The song that Mandy is listening to in her car is "She's Lost Control."

    • Tim Matheson makes his first appearence as Vice President John Hoynes.

    • The title of this episode is a Latin phrase which means "After this, therefore because of this." This is called the theory of coincidental correlation or the "post hoc" fallacy, which holds that it's incorrect to assume that if one event follows another, the first event caused the second event to occur (if you jump up and down and it starts to rain immediately afterward, it's a fallacy to assume that your action caused the downpour).