The West Wing

Season 3 Episode 19

The Black Vera Wang

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 08, 2002 on NBC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
107 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Bartlet and the staff are on high alert when they receive reports of an impending attack on a military installation; Josh is furious when he discovers that a gift he passed on to Donna, who in turn passed it on to an unpaid intern, ends up for sale on eBay; C.J. takes her niece shopping for a prom dress while the threats on her life continue, and her stalker manages to get close to her despite the protection of the Secret Service.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Long, cool woman in a black dress.

    8.5
    Cold open started off very funny with CJ and Agent Donovan going at it. Sam's remark to Ginger about the unmarked tape had me rolling as well.



    Sam: "You think it's porn?"

    Ginger: "I don't know."

    Sam: "'Cause I'm pretty tired but if it's porn, I mean really good porn...By the way if my innocent joking is making you uncomfortable in any way-"

    Ginger: "No, I'm hoping it's porn."



    Things certainly took a serious turn once the staff saw what was on it though. Sam's idealism really bit him in the ass this time around. It was tough to watch him screw himself and the campaign over like that, harder still to know how easily it could have been avoided if he just listened to Bruno. I loved their scene together in the Communication's bullpen. Sam's face as he sees all the news coverage the attack ad is getting was the definition of chagrin, and Bruno's line helped drive home what a fatal mistake Sam had made.



    Bruno: "You got played, Sam. And, you forgot that all warfare is based on deception. One of these times you guys are gonna listen or you're gonna find out what the crappy end of inauguration day feels like."



    Toby dealing with the network news directors made for some interesting scenes also. His idea for implementing trap doors into awards shows was great. While I did sympathize somewhat with them for not being allowed by their respective boards to report real news instead of gossip, I did still really enjoy Toby threatening to indict them for antitrust violations if they didn't televise more of the conventions.



    CJ's secret agent grew on me a little more in this episode, I think it's just a matter of not liking the actor, the character is okay. Finding out he had been at Rosslyn definitely earned him some points. At first I thought his reaction to the latest email from the stalker was a little melodramatic, but I guess him being that hard on himself for missing the guy is something to be admired.



    The plot with the possible terrorist attack inside the US provided some drama and suspense. The target turning out to be the Golden Gate Bridge when they thought it would be on the east coast was frightening enough, but for it to have been orchestrated by the Qumari Defense Minister, Abdul Shareef, who they thought was an ally in the fight against terrorists, was the real bombshell. I respected Bartlet's refusal to be taken down to the bunker when they thought the White House still might be a target, and his threat that Butterfield had better bring more than a couple guys was hilarious. Guess Bartlet is one of those "Not the size of the dog in the fight..." guys.



    Some good laughs and compelling drama, if not especially noteworthy.moreless
  • Great episode

    9.2
    Oh.. it was great moment. You could feel the season is soon going to end and they are making it ready for big bang.



    First the CJ thing - it is just getting it steam and the way the episode ends, it proves that there is something to worry about even if she does not see it.



    And then the terrorist threat. They just managed to clean with Russia and now this and they have political relations with that country and there is visit coming. It is going to be big.



    And all of the meat thing. I think it was supposed to be funny part of this episode but I did not bought that storyline.



    Eager to see what comes next.moreless
  • OMG, there is so much to love about this episode! I just adore it. It's one of the really great season 3 episodes. I'm just glad it isn't moose.

    10
    *First off, the MEESE, as I fondly call the plural of moose. I love it! The whole moose meat thing was funny and then Donna talking to the intern. I didn't like him very much...

    *The horrible Bartlet hating campaign ad... That made me MAD! Bartlet isn't all those things they said, the other guys are! The ad was so dark and spooky. I love Sam's scene with Bruno though, when he takes him out and all the tvs are playing it and then Sam goes to confront Kevin Kahn in the rain. That was AWESOME! *Also I loved the scene with CJ shopping in the mall with Simon and Hogan. That was cool, and finding out that Simon was at Rosslyn. I liked Hogan, I wish she could be in another episode. "Don't Know Why" in the background made me sad though. It really is foreshadowing!

    *Two scenes that are just classic end of the season dramatic ones I loved. First off, when Leo's asking why they would target Meyer and Dover, and Fitz is like because it's close to something else and the White House is on there! AMAZING, and of course the end scene when Simon reads the email and then slams his fist. Perfect ending! I love the tension!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

Patrick Breen

Patrick Breen

Kevin Kahn

Guest Star

Gerry Becker

Gerry Becker

Network News Director

Guest Star

Leon Russom

Leon Russom

Network News Director

Guest Star

Ron Silver

Ron Silver

Bruno Gianelli

Recurring Role

John Amos

John Amos

Percy Fitzwallace

Recurring Role

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson

Margaret

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (6)

    • CJ's stalker uses an AOL ID, "bill182."

    • Leo and Fitzwallace make two fairly large errors when discussing the possibility that Dover Air Base, Fort Meyer and the White House are possible terror targets.

      First, on the map, all three locations have the same longitude and latitude coordinates, which would put them all on top of each other. As Leo is a former pilot and Fitzwallace is a Navy man, both should have realized instantly that these long/lat coordinates were wrong.

      Following are the correct long/lat indicators:

      39'07Œ42 N,75'27Œ53 W Dover Air Force Base

      38'52Œ49 N,77'4Œ47 W Fort Meyer

      38'53Œ51.61 N,77'2Œ11.58 W The White House

      Second, the long/lat indicators on the maps, 29'30Œ N, 45'45Œ E, are coordinates at a location roughly 130 miles east of Kuwait, and obviously not on the North American continent like the three locations should be. Coincidentally, if the latitude coordinate was changed to west instead of east, it would put all three "targets" in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

    • Bartlet: Isn't Shareef supposed to be helping us with intelligence
      out of Qumar?

      Qumar is not a real country.

    • Fitz:The NSA's been monitoring web sites of the Bahji cell operating out of Syria. They've been looking for pictures codes and they intercepted cellular calls.

      The Bahji terrorist cell is made-up.

    • Leo incorrectly states that Fort Myer is in Maryland, when it's actually in Virginia.

    • Barneys doesn't have a store in the Washington, D.C. area. The closest one to the nation's capital is the flagship store in Manhattan.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Josh: Good morning!
      Donna: My man!
      Josh: Yes.
      Donna: You came back to me.
      Josh: Just like I promised.
      Donna: I missed you.
      Josh: When did you find you missed me the most?
      Donna: The nights.
      Josh: Of course.
      Donna: Did you bring me anything?
      Josh: I did.
      Donna: Where is it?
      Josh: It should be in my office.
      Donna: (she sees the package on his desk) Wow!
      Josh: Open it.
      Donna: I'm just happy it's not moose. What is it?
      Josh: Moose. It's sauna-smoked moose meat. Nicely packaged in a burnt pine box--the hinges are made from handwoven Lapland ribbons.
      Donna: I missed you so much.
      Josh: Where am I supposed to be right now?
      Donna: The basement, Office C.

    • C.J.: There's no way you're letting me walk out the door, so what is it we're doing?
      Simon: I'm sorry?
      C.J.: What's your plan for me?
      Simon: I don't have a plan.
      C.J.: Are you gonna let me drive myself home?
      Simon: No. [holding up something] I've got your spark plug. Is that what you meant?
      C.J.: You've got my spark plug?
      Simon: And your battery. Fuel pump, starter relay, timing belt, the ignition fuse. And well also the engine, I guess.
      C.J.: Did you leave me anything?
      Simon: Wiper fluid. You can clean your windshield. No, actually, you need the battery.

    • Sam: [holding up an envelope] What's this?
      Ginger: I don't know. It's marked "personal."
      Sam: You don't know who sent it?
      Ginger: There's no return address.
      Sam: Think it's porn?
      Ginger: I don't know.
      Sam: Cause I'm pretty tired, but if it's porn, I mean, really good porn... By the way, if my innocent joking's making you uncomfortable in any way...
      Ginger: No, I'm hoping it's porn.

    • Bartlet: I'm not going to the bunker. There are going to be people who aren't going to the bunker, and when I get out I'm not going to be able to tell them what to do anymore and I like doing that. Let's get Abby to New Hampshire but I'm not going to the bunker. And if you say I have to, I'm walking across the alley with the Chief Justice and I'm handing John Hoynes my resignation. And as soon as he's sworn in I'm telling him to appoint me his Vice President because I'm not going to the bunker. If the agents come, the agents come, but tell Ron he'd better bring more than a couple of guys.

    • C.J.: Anything else, Agent Sunshine?
      Simon: It's Special Agent Sunshine, but that couldn't matter less.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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