The West Wing

Season 4 Episode 16

The California 47th

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 19, 2003 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Mess in California

    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.
  • The start of Sam's send-off.

    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.
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