The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 2

The Mommy Problem

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 02, 2005 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

out of 10
156 votes
  • Good episode.

    Don't have level two clearance, but the inaccuracies in the cast lists in this season should be noted. The Mommy Problem page does correctly note that Dulé Hill, Janel Maloney, Joshua Malina, Kristin Chenowith, John Spencer and Mary McCormack do not appear in this episode. However, it is not noted that Martin Sheen does not appear in this episode. He's not here in this one. Alan Alda is credited but he is only seen briefly on television and has maybe one-two lines. Another solid episode, although abviously not as good as the best episodes when this show was hot.
  • Not a lot to The Mommy Problem, except Enter Mandy 2: Electric Bugaloo. I think I'm in love with Marlee Matlin though.

    Seriously, I want to know, is it possible to watch an episode featuring Marlee Matlin's Joey Lucas and not fall in love with her? The only time she's ever rubbed me the wrong way was in Take This Sabbath Day, but after that she's rocked my world, and she was also amazing in this one. Lol, of course the only to laugh at Josh's joke is the deaf girl.

    I'm less in love with Louise Thornton. Or Lou Thornton, or whatever the hell I'm supposed to call her. I like Janeane Garafolo and all, (when her eyebrows are in control) but... Lou is very Mandy-esque... and there was a reason why that character didn't work. I'm not looking forward to her as Communications Director but, I do know that she's not going to have any sexual tension with anyone, i.e. Josh (as opposed to every other woman Josh is put around) so that's good.

    Toby, C.J. all of them were good in this episode, as was Josh as usual. And did I spy Carol? Why yes, I believe that I did! Nice use of Jet Liner in the beginning too. All of it was solid but... very... unspectacular.

    A big whopping load of props goes to Marlee Matlin of course.
  • Candidato Santos avanza en su campana con los clasicos contratiempos del rival republicano, y ahora se une la falta de comunicacion con los miembros de su propio partido

    La Casa Blanca ha optado por no volver a comentar el incidente de la estacion espacial militar, y dejar todo en manos de una comision investigadora. Ello, favorece a los Republicanos para advertir a los votantes sobre los fallos de seguridad que se tiene al ser gobernados por los democratas. Ademas, Santos no se manifiesta a lo largo de este embrollo sobre el tema, quedando frente a la opinion publica como un desconocido de la materia, cuando ellos procuran meter en agenda el tema laboral en la ciudadania.

    Por otro lado, Josh sigue siendo el cerebro de campaña para Santos, pero se da cuenta que por si mismo no podra conseguir el objetivo. Es por ello que pide ayuda a Louise "Lou" Thornton, quien no tiene inconvenientes en dar su punto de vista sobre temas de comunicaciones en beneficio de los democratas. Santos la escucha, y decide que tanto ella como Josh deben trabajar juntos, para contar con las posiciones bipolares y no unilaterales sobre los acontecimientos de la campaña.

    Debido a que los planes de Josh figuran una agenda para temas domesticos, de defensa y neutrales, Santos le indica que los tres temas seran tocados por igual, pues el segundo punto le favorece el haber servido a su pais durante el primer conflicto del Golfo como miembro de las Fuerzas Aereas, lo cual sacara lustre cuando realice una practica delante de los medios de prensa, a sabiendas que su rival Vinick nunca sirvio a su pais en conflictos armados, siendo su profesion el ser un burocrata de saco y corbata.


    La actuacion de Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) ha sido impecable. Sus ansias de poder lo llevan a tomar las riendas de las elecciones. Pero a pesar de ello, siempre va a necesitar ayuda. Otro punto que ha sabido calar en la serie es el actual conflicto entre Josh y Toby Ziegler, interpretado magnificamente por Richard Schiff. Desde que vieramos la pelea a puño limpio en el episodio Drought Conditions, ambos personajes no se han dirigido la palabra, salvo por cortesia. Es mas, al inicio de la presente temporada, no cruzan palabra entre ellos, lo cual nos puede hacer pensar que, en efecto, la lucha entre ambos cerebros democratas continuara a lo largo de la serie.

    El incidente del cuarto de hotel, donde Santos aparece como un experto sexual, sale a un segundo plano, el cual no merece la pena hacer mayor comentario.

    TWW sigue siendo una de las mejores series emitidas hasta el momento sobre las idas y venidas en el campo del poder politico. Seguire esperando a Donna y su futuro ingreso en campaña.
  • The Santos campaign takes one more step closer to the West Wing!

    Very good. The writers are trying very hard to make sure it looks like a Santos win. The previous episode had the president stepping out of a limo 3 years later. there is no mistaking it was or some one who looks like Jimmy Smits. The first two episodes of the season very very positive for the Santos campaign. One thing I haven\'t heard mentioned is the fact that Santos is very good looking compared to Vinick. That would win an election for him in the real world. Let\'s see if it holds true. I was afraid the show would lose me after the last two seasons, but I now feel the show has come back very strong. There was some humor in the last two shows that has been missing for a while. I am very excited to continue watching. My hat off to the producers for bring this show back from the dead. My only hope to make it better is to bring Charlie back and make him a major contributor to the campaign. What happened with him and Zoey?
  • Again, the spotlight is on the democratic headquarters. The White house created a problem for themselves and for Santos.

    Todays episode was terrific. Again, so much going on. I have no idea if they think "Commander in chief" is their rival, but with these kind of episodes they don't have a problem.
    We could see a bit of the humor that Sorkin kept in "The West wing" for 4 seasons ; Josh was terrific in those parts, Santos, surprisingly as well. When he stepped in front of the press, and as they expected the big reaction to the stopping the investigation story, he simply said: "There's no way that was steel-enforced bed". Great bit!
    A new character Loise is also great, and she brought that dose of spunk in the show which is needed in the during the campaign.
    Can't wait for the new episode.
  • Still finding momentum for the season, but still solid...

    The season premiere was all about the creation of a true Santos/McGarry ticket, amid Josh’s foaming at the mouth and the White House’s leak problem. So I was a little surprised to see absolutely no follow-through on that plot thread. Apparently all is well with Leo and his candidacy, because the question now is whether or not Santos can even win the election. Vinick continues to be strong off-screen, and when the entire Santos campaign is playing catch-up after one sound bite from the opposition, it’s not a good sign.

    It is, however, an interesting look at how the situation in the sixth season, where Josh was all but running for Santos, has evolved into near-disaster. Josh has been trying to control everything, including his candidate, and that hasn’t been working as well as he thinks it should. Josh has been pulling too many all-nighters and his attention is slipping. Meanwhile, the press is eating Santos alive.

    This leak story has gone on long enough, I think, and it’s clear that someone on the show is going to be leaving as a result. It has all the hallmarks of a targeted plot device. My current suspicion is that Toby is the leak, based on his brother and his general desire to step over the line for what he believes in. Plus, there really is no role for him beyond Bartlet.

    So we get to see Janeane Garofalo play the role of Louise, a feisty communications director that looks and sounds like she’s trying to convince everyone that she knows her stuff. She, too, plays a targeted role. It’s about exposing the weaknesses in Josh’s hand-holding and reminding him and Santos that Bartlet had an entire team working on his election, not just Leo. And Santos is right: Bartlet was the one calling the shots in the end, not just Leo.

    More importantly, none of these characters (especially Santos) are direct analogues of the previous cast. Granted, the growing ensemble isn’t as compelling, but there’s a logical reason for that. By the time the series began, everyone had a certain degree of confidence, based on their previous relationships and a great deal of experience with one another. Santos has Leo and Josh. The rest of the team is still pulling together, or at least, they should be. If this series is supposed to continue past this year, then the writers need to find characters and actors with the presence of the original cast.

    This was a good episode, if only because I liked the fact that Santos took the reins. I wasn’t thrilled with the White House side of the story, yet again, but something tells me that it will be more prominent and meaningful in the next episode. What I was really thinking, however, is that the producers might do better to pull a “Practice”/”Boston Legal” move after this year.

    Want to save money on contracts? End the series and start new. Contracts get big with success and longevity. First season salaries are typically lower. Make the break cleanly with this series for the sake of sticking with the Bartlet administration timeline, and don’t let the series end halfway through a Santos or Vinick administration. If a spinoff dies early, it won’t drag down the original. For some, it’s too late for that, but I want this series to go out on a good note, and this season is playing like the end of an era.
  • Dynamic cast has this show back on the 'must watch' list

    For the last few years, West Wing has started to fade. Not any more!

    The exchange between Rebuplican and Democrat added to the many new faces (love Garafolo's role...could surpass Toby as character we love to hate to love) made this episode one I'll watch again soon.

    I like the connections all the characters are making with each other and the direction that the inquiry (White House leak) is going. THe many layers of conflict that Santos faces the Bartlett never had to will make his victory that much more sweet.

    In a show about politics, I am surprised at how much I like it week after week.
  • An exciting, fast-paced episode of the Santos campaign, highlighted by the conflicting perspectives and criticisms made by the Garafolo character, with bits of humor interspersed, and an affirming ending that Santos is becoming a true leader.

    This episode was a Santos and Josh focused one, and thus carried the fresh energy and verve of the political campaign. The directors are seemingly embracing the fast and loose camera feel for the election, as shown with that crazy opening montage of Santos out on the campaign trail. It was effective though, and a nice change of pace from the static almost painterly shots of the good old Bartlet days. It seemed to shout "This is a campaign, and its a whirlwind."

    Jeanene Garafolo stole the spotlight in this episode, as she brought the conflicting perspectives and criticisms to how Josh is handling the campaign. I liked how I would agree with her on certain criticisms, but would not with her recommendations. It made her into a complex, intelligent, yet fallible figure, and not an all-knowing political guru.

    The writing was tight and informative, yet I was bothered by the forced portrayal of the sycophantic people in regards to the media buy-out. The way the White House screwed the campaign seems realistic to me, and though the reporter leak story is reflected in real-life, I can't help admit a fascination for the dramatics of the whole situation. It's such a crazy real life story, that it almost seems it has to be used in the fictional West Wing world.

    Finally, the portrayal of Santos as a strong presidential figure-in-the making was cemented in this episode. I liked the way the episode portrayed his authority and competency, without idealizing him as a prestigious statuesque figure, in contrast to the current Bartlet. It reminded me of the younger West Wing years, in how Bartlet though he was a Nobel-prize Economics professor managed to resolve political situations with his acquired just-folks humor and attitude. In contrast, Santos here is portrayed as a Texan who already has an everyday man appeal, and instead needs to strive for depth, respect, and authority.

    Overall, this was a rollicking good episode of the Santos campaign, highlighted by the criticisms and insights that the character Garafolo makes, marked by bits of humor (steel-reinforced bed), and a final assertion that Santos is well on his way to becoming a worthy leader of the free world.
  • The pacing was solid, good shift in focus from campaign to campaign, bringing in the White House when it made sense to do so. Has the look and feel of the early seasons with tight direction and crisp writing.

    I like this new character played by Janeane Garofalo already; she\'s sharp-edged and won\'t back down and will provide a good challenge for Josh.

    I thought Josh would hit the roof when he found that Louis Thornton would report directly to Santos...NOT hit the floor. That\'s a \'rerun moment\' for sure.

    There was an awful lot packed into this episode, reflecting very nicely the fast-paced meat-grinder that is a national Presidential campaign.

    The bit about \"Hurricane Santos\" was priceless, as was Josh\'s line: \"Say that outside this room, and I\'ll have you knocking on doors in Alaska, and not the urban part.\" Just how *do* you break a steel-reinforced bed, anyway? :)

    The floundering campaign got a little more focused this week as Santos took a bit more control and stopped leaving so much to Josh.

    The weak spots in this season, as in the last, is a too-strong reflection of current events, as indicated in the leak storyline. David Brock goes to jail this week, just as in real life, Judith Miller got out. Art reflecting life is fine, but I don\'t like TWW as a current events commentary.

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