The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 10

Running Mates

0
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 08, 2006 on NBC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
128 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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All eyes are looking forward to the Leo McGarry/Ray Sullivan Vice Presidential debate. Meanwhile, Santos is trying not to catch his children's cold and he visits his home in Texas and continues to campaign. Jorge Santos, the Congressman's brother, may cause some problems at a gathering.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • good episode and looking forwar to the end

    9.1
    this was and exciting episode, we are aprochiting to see how the directors and writers deal with the end of leo apperance on the show because of the death in real life. The actors do a good job on delivering the truth on howe is the life on a presidential campain
  • The first new episode since John Spencer's death is good but painful due to the fact that this episode heavilly centers around his Leo McGarry

    9.1
    I knew this was coming. I knew the next episode was to be entitled "Running Mates", was going to be about the VP Debates, and was going to feature a lot of Leo, and yet I still managed to be surprised by it all. Every scary foreshadowing moment, from the constant mention of Leo's previous heart attack as being cause of concern to this heartbreaking conversation following the debate--



    Leo: Just don't make do that again.



    Josh: Four years. Book it.



    The millions who watched that probably had the same reaction I did. He can't book it, because in a few episodes Leo McGarry will be dead, just like John Spencer sadly is.



    And yet, there were moments where I forgot, and this is a testament to the realism of John Spencer's acting. After all, how can he be dead when I see Leo up on my screen, being just as much Leo McGarry as he was when we followed him in that long walk-and-talk that started this series. He was laughing, smiling, flirting with Annabeth (who is absolutely perfectly played by Kristin Chenoweth as she always is, the biggest shame of all, story-line wise, for this show, is not that we'll never get to see Leo as Vice-President but that he'll never truly find the love with Annabeth that he was denied with his wife, Jenny)



    There were rough spots. The scenes with the Republicans seemed odd... What, we're just supposed to expect that these three high profile people (Senator Vinick's CoS, the campaign Communications Director, and the VP Candidate) just hang out together in a hotel room all day, 'cause that's pretty much all we ever saw them do, also the White House scenes seemed out of place, since it was only Will and Kate flirting, nothing substantial, but all that can be overlooked, as there was such great performances by John Spencer, Bradley Whitford, Kristin Chenoweth and Janel Moloney. Speaking of Janel, was I the only one who was waiting for her to say to Helen, "Well, I may never have had my thong revealed in a tabloid, but I DID drop my underwear in front of a reporter... Does that count?" Would have been a nice call-back, but alas.



    And also, props to whoever plays Ronna, because she is quickly becoming the new Margaret. "All my friends are in this room." Hilarious.moreless
  • Maybe it's just an opportunity of circumstance: I'd like to think, though, that "Running Mates" will prove a great tribute to the life and career of Mr Spencer.

    9.0
    In other reviews I've read, Ms Chenowith's character seems not always to fare that well -- especially in the environment this show enjoys. She's just a recent addition to a group of staff minions supporting the big guns, Mr Sheen and Mr Spencer.



    I was delayed by traffic the night this show aired, and missed everything before the theme music, including Mr Sheen's introductory remarks regarding Mr Spencer's passing. As I watched the program, though, it dawned on me that the interaction between Ms Chenowith and Mr Spencer (not only their chacterizations, but the thoroughness of those characterizations, which is about the only way a viewer can sense the personality behind the character), was a stellar demonstration of the quality behind the quality of the acting these two people bring to each scene they appeared in.



    At the time(s) of the various scenes' filming, no one could've imagined that this program would be Mr Spencer's first posthumous performance. In other words, nothing at all was 'tricked-up.'



    He learned his skills on the stage, and honed them every chance he obtained. Without disrespect, he was an old hand, masterfully marvelous. Ms Chenowith, again without disrespect, also began on the stage, and (I would respectfully posit) has done pretty much the same thing: honing her skills with every opportunity. (Full disclosure admission: I was never able to see Mr Spencer on stage; however, I was able to see Ms Chenowith on stage, and was thoroughly amazed by her acting abilities.)



    The scenes these pros shared in front of the camera(s) in this episode will always be the best tribute to the quality of Mr Spencer's life and performances.



    Thanks!moreless
  • Mostly about the vice-presidential debate. Has a little bit of scandal over Santos' wifes choice of underwear.

    8.5
    I must say that I never liked Leo. The character was always annoying and critical. But nthis episode really redeamed him. Also the fact that he died made me feel bad for disliking him. In the epsode he really whoed what a good actor he is.

    I really do worry about Teri Polo, I haven't been the biggest fan of her, the playboy thing was a little sad. But now I wonder if she's even going to come back after Santos wins (really I have my doubts about whether he will or not, but if I ignore my doubts I figure they'll amount to nothing).

    I wish Lou could stay forever I just love Janeane. But htt's just wishful thinking.moreless
  • Painful only because of John's death. Other than that, a good episode. One question, though.

    8.5
    Painful only because of John's death. Other than that, a good episode. One question, though. Did anyone else notice the mistake? Or am I mistaken? The photo in the tabloid showed Satos's wife's thong, right? And that was the big deal, that she wears a red thong. When Josh was on the phone with Toby, Toby asks if the "Tatoo picture was their idea". Did I miss the tatoo, or did the writers make a mistake?moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Senator Arnold Vinick (Episodes 123-)

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Bradley Whitford

Bradley Whitford

Josh Lyman

Janel Moloney

Janel Moloney

Donna Moss (Episodes 23-, recurring previously)

Jimmy Smits

Jimmy Smits

Matthew Santos (Episodes 114-)

John Spencer

John Spencer

Leo McGarry

David Barrera

David Barrera

Jorge Santos

Guest Star

Joshua Cabrera

Joshua Cabrera

Peter Santos

Guest Star

Ashlyn Sanchez

Ashlyn Sanchez

Miranda Santos

Guest Star

Karis Campbell

Karis Campbell

Ronna

Recurring Role

Teri Polo

Teri Polo

Helen Santos

Recurring Role

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo

Louise Thornton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: Will and Kate are eating dinner as they watch the VP debates. At the start of Leo's response about his health, Will's wineglass is on the table near his right hand, with the camera facing Kate and Will. Within the space of a less than one second, as the camera shot changes to behind Will's head and facing the office television, his wineglass is now in his left hand and away from the table.

    • The Santos house features three different staircases in three different episodes.

      In the season 6 episode "Impact Winter", the staircase inside the front door to the house can be seen leading away from the door to the left of the hall.

      In season 7, in the episode "Running Mates", the staircase can be seen coming down from left to right behind the door in a number of scenes.

      Later in season 7, in the two "Election Day" episodes, the staircase has changed yet again, now curving upwards from the right of the door. Either Helen Santos has been doing some extensive remodelling, or different sets were used in each episode.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Leo: (referring to a leak that he was responsible for) I let a couple of them think it was you.
      Annabeth: Wasn't the voice a tip-off?
      Leo: There's not enough helium in the cosmos. So I borrowed your e-mail account.

    • (To Annabeth after Leo told her he accessed her email account)
      Leo: Never use your cat's name as your password.

    • Josh: I forget, in D.C. do they allow felons to vote?
      Josh: Too soon?
      Toby: Yeah, a little bit.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Will: I'm a woman, hear me withhold.

      Reference to "I'm a woman, hear me roar", the chorus of pop singer Helen Reddy's 1972 song "I Am Woman".

    • Josh: I will devise a punishment that will make Torquemada blench.


      Tomás de Torquemada (1420 – September 16, 1498) was a fifteenth century Spanish Dominican, First Grand Inquisitor of Spain.

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