The West Wing

Season 4 Episode 16

The California 47th

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 19, 2003 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
97 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Bartlet plays hardball to end the genocide in Kuhndu; after the entire speechwriting staff quits, Will is forced to rely on Elsie and some inexperienced interns to write tax policy remarks; the trip to California to help Sam's campaign gets off to a rocky start; Sam refuses to let Bartlet hold off the Democratic response to the Republican tax plan because it might hurt the campaign; Toby and Charlie get arrested coming to Andy's defense after a drunk accosts her; Bartlet fires Sam's campaign manager and replaces him with Toby.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Mess in California

    8.0
    It looks like every time they get to California they manage to make a mess and this time it is a big one - Donna manages to be taken picture with person in communist party.. Charlie and Toby get arrested.. Sam's campaing leaders are fired and things on that little African country are not going well. So bad time for them there but it is even worser back West Wing.. specially for Will. I love the mess he is in and trying to struggle his way trough it.



    So episode with good twist, great dialog and very enjoyable from the start to end.moreless
  • The start of Sam's send-off.

    8.8
    Rob Lowe returns to say goodbye. In "The California 47th", the President will be campaigning for Sam while also preparing for war in Kuhndu and fending off a potentially devastating blow to the Seaborn campaign (i.e., Republican tax cuts). It's another busy day for the West Wing.



    This episode, while hardly the best of the series, does have frequent blurbs of brilliance. Any scene with Andy was exceptional (Toby calling her a mini-van was particularly memorable. "Stay back, ladies. I saw him first."). And you gotta love the dialogue between C.J. and Josh. After C.J. explains an airline mix-up to Josh, he asks for the bottom line. "Interstate 5 has been shut down for the past hour and a half." "Is that a freeway that gets used a lot?" "Not for the last hour and a half, no."



    Poor Will. The speechwriting staff resents him so much, they quit (Why am I guessing this is based on actual events?). It's Elsie to the rescue (Remember the great Danica days on this show? I thought she was a great counterpart to Will's introduction into the show.) with rather amateur interns. Will decides to "haze" them with jerseys and tax policy oration. Yahtzee!



    I also got the feeling there was some tongue-and-cheek regarding Rob Lowe's departure in this episode. Sam says at one point, "I don't know why, but it's great to see you." Constant reminders to Sam that his campaign is destined to fail. I don't know -- probably coincidence or sly genius. Either/or.



    To be honest, this episode is standard fare, but it's so much fun to watch when a show flows as well as this one did in its prime. Alas, Rob Lowe's departure was a foreshadow of an even bigger departure to follow. I guess we'll always have the California 47th.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

Matthew Glave

Matthew Glave

Scott Holcomb

Guest Star

Claire Coffee

Claire Coffee

Cassie Tatum

Guest Star

J. Patrick McCormack

J. Patrick McCormack

Jimmy Wendall

Guest Star

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

Debbie Fiderer

Recurring Role

John Amos

John Amos

Percy Fitzwallace

Recurring Role

Kathleen York

Kathleen York

Andrea Wyatt

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Aide: Kuhndu is in the midst of a civil war.

      Kuhndu is not a real country.

    • CJ makes a big deal about some miscommunication between AF1 and the CHP, stating Interstate 5 has been closed (presumably for the motorcade) and the CHP thought they would land in Santa Ana when they are supposed to land in Los Alamitos. Despite this comment from CJ, later in the episode Sam mentions airport traffic at John Wayne being on hold, implying AF1 landed there. Also, getting to Newport Beach from Santa Ana or Los Alamitos would not require the 5 Freeway, but the 405 Freeway. There is also mention of people being stuck in Disneyland waiting for the motorcade. We don't know where these people have to go to get home, but the route from either airport to Newport doesn't go anywhere near Disneyland.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • C.J.: Some wires got crossed between the Advance and Airlift Operations and CHP on the ground. They didn't get the word until late that take-off had been delayed and they also thought we were coming into SNA and not Los Alamitos.
      Josh: The result being?
      C.J.: Interstate 5 has been shut down for an hour and a half.
      Josh: Is that a freeway that gets used a lot?
      C.J.: Not for the last hour and a half, no.

  • NOTES (2)

    • When Will is explaining the upcoming tax increase, the plan involves raising the taxes on the richest 1% of the nation.

      On NBC's other D.C. based poltical show, Mr. Sterling, freshman Senator Sterling proses a tax increase on the richest 1% of Americans. It would seem that in an subtle way, the two shows are closely linked.

    • Music: The Stray Cats perform "Rock This Town" from their "The Best of the Stray Cats" CD.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Bartlet: Every time we come to Southern California, we are absolutely the Clampetts.

      The Clampetts are the family from The Beverly Hillbillies.

    • Air Force One holding up air traffic for pitiful families seems pretty similar to the widely reported (though ultimatly false) interruption of LAX air traffic that occured when President Clinton, aboard the presidential plane, got a ($200) haircut by a popular LA stylist.

    • C.J.: "They thought we were landing at SNA and not Los Alamitos."

      In discussing landing sites for Air Force One, C.J. mentions two Orange County air strips. SNA is airport code for Santa Ana, aka John Wayne Airport. Los Alamitos is a city in the northwest end of Orange County, next to Long Beach, and is home to the Joint Forces Training Base, which includes the Los Alamitos Army Airfield. Because it can handle a 747, the airfield is designated the official AF1 landing site for Orange County and has been used several times in the past decade by both Clinton and Bush.

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