The West Wing

Season 4 Episode 17

Red Haven's on Fire

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 26, 2003 on NBC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
93 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
While Toby is in California working on Sam's campaign, Josh drops Abbey's agenda in favor of political expediancy, Jed deals with a military hostage situation, and Will runs his intern writing staff ragged.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • God save Sam Seabourne

    8.5
    So it is a episode in two fronts - one is Sam campaign what is not going well but that's they way it was going and Toby is doing his best to help her and president's wife has a stunning idea and hires Amy.. and how Josh takes it.. that's worth it.



    On the other hand it is about the situation in that African country.. and there is some hard scenes with the family of soldiers who were taken.. and how it all works out - you can be happy as your kid is saved but other died..



    Quite a lot of to think about.moreless
  • Rob Lowe says goodbye.

    8.2
    Rob Lowe says goodbye to The West Wing (well, at least until the series' last episodes) in this disappointingly modest episode.



    Although the last scene between Sam and Toby is fairly touching, I thought Sam's departure on the show was inappropriately vague and disappointingly quiet -- in other words, unacceptable. It was hard not to appreciate, however, some of the comedic scenes surrounding him -- such as Toby on the beach, C.J. and Charlie talking about bad things they have to tell the First Family, and Toby and Charlie getting out of the jail jam. But Sam was given little to work with (unlike the previous episode), and that's more than a little disappointing.



    However, my problems with Sam's departure aside -- there were many good things about the episode. For example, I love the Will storyline involving the writing interns (and his interaction with Elsie continues to shine -- love Danica McKellar). I also appreciated the family of one of the hostages visiting the White House (although some of the results were ineffective moralizing -- not to mention unnecessary melodrama). The tense Situation Room scenes were also keepers.



    The best storyline of the whole episode was the Josh-Abbey-Amy confrontations. Gotta love Amy when she insults unabashedly a First Lady "supporter", to the horror and to the admiration of Abbey herself. When Josh decides to put a figurative hand to Abbey's face given her "amateur" staff, Abbey one-ups him by hiring Amy. Perfect. Mary Louise-Parker is just a blast to watch.



    The episode as a whole, however, was a little overstuffed and felt somewhat lost in itself. This was one of the more serious problems with Season 4, maybe no more evident than in this episode where the number of characters seemed to cause a loss of useful and necessary screentime for all of them.



    While "Red Haven's on Fire" was indeed a good watch, it was also uncharacteristically lagging in quality from most of the episodes of the series to this point. This would become a front-and-center problem after Aaron Sorkin's departure after this season.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

Elisabeth Rosen

Elisabeth Rosen

Diane Halley

Guest Star

Carrie Snodgress

Carrie Snodgress

Martha Rowe

Guest Star

Lee Garlington

Lee Garlington

Alana Waterman

Guest Star

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Amy Gardner

Recurring Role

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

Debbie Fiderer

Recurring Role

Danica McKellar

Danica McKellar

Elsie Snuffin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Leo flew F-105 jets in the Vietnam War.

    • Newscaster: On what was described as a routine patrol of the perimeter of Bitanga airport, the three reported by radio an attacked by an estimated 50 members of the Kundu National Army.
      Kundu is not a real country.

    • In the final scene with Sam and Toby at the bar discussing Sam's losing the congressional race being inevitable:

      Toby orders 2 shots and a beer. The scene before ending with them walking out to go back to work shows two empty shot glasses on the bar but the beer was never brought nor drank. Silly thing to notice but that's how nitpicks go.

    • Fitzwallace's statement about Delta going in with two RAH-66s and a Blackhawk, and twenty men securing the area is incorrect. The RAH-66 is not in general service, and the UH-60 "Blackhawk" only seats 10. A MH-60 "Nighthawk" is usually used for an op like this.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Abby: How did you live with Josh Lyman?
      Amy: I'm sorry?
      Abby: How did you live with him? He beat Max out of the 12 million earmarked for vaccine education. And when I said I wanted the 12 million he said "So did I. And at the end of a prize-fight, you look at the guy who's dancing around and that's who won"? So I wanna know how you lived with him.
      Amy: We never technically lived together which was the subject of many...
      Abby: Don't you wanna kill him when he says things like that?
      Amy: My problem is I wanna jump him when he says things like that.
      Abby: Where'd you get your mouth?
      Amy: Brown, then Yale Law School.

    • Toby: We made a rough entrance here, but things are looking up.
      Sam: You trapped people at Disneyland, told the French they could stick a loaf of bread up their ass, had a meeting with a communist and things are looking up because my new campaign director just made bail.
      Toby: Look, the glass is half full or half, you now, the other thing.
      Sam: How'd you call Josh?
      Toby: What'd you mean?
      Sam: Didn't they take your cell phone?
      Toby: I used theirs. (points to group of call girls)
      Sam: So on a call girl's phone bill there's gonna be a call to Airforce One?!
      Toby: You're really gonna give a seminar on call girl caution? Really?

    • Charlie: You want me to tell the First Lady she's going to look like a dilettante?
      C.J.: I once had to tell the President he was wearing two different shoes.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Toby (to Charlie): Hurricane. We were in the joint for two hours and twenty minutes.

      Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is an African-American boxer better known for his controversial convictions and his subsequent release from prison (after 18 years).

    • Toby: You're really gonna give a seminar on call girl caution? Really?

      Toby is alluding to Sam's first season relationship with a call girl named Laurie.

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