The West Wing

Season 2 Episode 17

The Stackhouse Filibuster

3
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 14, 2001 on NBC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
160 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The staff is blindsided when an elderly senator stages a Friday night filibuster to block their Family Wellness bill; Toby is confused when VP Hoynes, a strong supporter of the oil industry, volunteers to give a speech attacking the energy sector; CJ tries to locate a valuable Egyptian cat goddess statue given to the President.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Buccaneer Senator.

    8.5
    I really liked the format of setting up scenes through letters home from CJ, Sam, and Josh, it was interesting to hear the characters narrating. Sam's little dust up with the GAO intern, Winifred Hooper, was a great scene, I love how it's always the most unexpected people that end up giving Sam a fight.



    The filibuster itself is one of those things I will never understand about government/politics. How anything gets done is miracle. And as boring as an actual filibuster would be be, TWW managed to make it pretty entertaining. Donna was impressive, in not only figuring out that Stackhouse was filibustering because of his autistic grandson, but also in thinking of a way to get him to take a break. I loved the scene in the oval office when she tells them her idea to get Stackhouse to sit down.



    Leo: "What are you doing?"

    Donna: "I didn't know if I'm supposed to-"

    Leo: "We usually don't raise our hands."

    Bartlet: "Though it's not the worst idea in the world."



    Though the best part of the scene, and the episode, was definitely Bartlet's rant on grandfathers.



    Bartlet: "C.J., let me tell you something, don't ever, ever underestimate the will of a grandfather. We're madmen, we don't give a damn, we got here before you and they'll be here after. We'll make enemies, we'll break laws, we'll break bones, but you will not mess with the grandchildren."

    Leo: "There was quite a bit of sugar in the Crème de Caramel."



    While I did like that they were able to add Stackhouse's amendment, I felt bad that Josh's bill would have to get reopened and he'd probably have to make more concessions on the small stuff.



    Toby's plot with the vice president was upsetting. It's been nagging me that, besides Leo no one in the administration knows about Bartlet's MS. And it looks like situation is coming to a head. Hoynes could have at least tried to cover that the president might not be running for a second term, even if he knew Toby was on to it.



    8.5/10, Great episode, if not quite as good as the last few, but by such a small margin it doesn't really matter.moreless
  • Be afraid of old man revenge...

    8.9
    I really love the storyline of this episode. The Stackhouse problem is just genial. First it looked like it is just a long long day but when it comes clear what the problem is, it becomes interesting. And to be honest, the episode just nailed me to screen. I did not even realized that most of the episode had passed when Donna came up with the idea of asking a question. I most say I also loved CJ panicking about the curse as she broke cat statue. And Josh with his shoes and Donna commenting on them was also quite good.



    So, I really think.. different episode and good to watch.moreless
  • The staff deals with a filbuster in the senate.

    10
    I thought that this episode of the West Wing was really good and I liked the storyline. It was good to see CJ write a letter to her father explaining why she is not their with him. I thought that it was really cleaver of Donna to figure out why the Sentor was doing the filbuster. I liked what the President said about how no one messes with the grandchildren. I also liked that we got to see Josh and Sam write a letter to their families and i Liked how the staff came up with a way to be able to give the Sentor a break from the floor.moreless
  • Different is good.

    9.0
    This episode is different than many others, and when it first started, and I read the summary, I thought it would be just a filler episode, but alas the brilliant mind of Aaron Sorkin would have no such thing.



    The whole thing with Stackhouse was great. I love filibusters, it was so hilarious. But Stackhouse was a really great guy. I loved how determined he was, but at the same time, he didn't want to make a spectacle out of his grandson. Oh, and I love Bartlet's whole grandfather spiel.



    Donna is great with her hand raising! Josh... I love when he slips with those shoes, his narrative to his mom is really sweet!



    The goddess of Bast has put a curse on CJ! How hysterical! I love it! Her email to her dad was sweet too, she needs her spin boys...



    Sam was funny with the intern. OMG, she was so cool. And the whole shopping for fruit thing.



    Leo and Bartlet having dinner is definently one of the most classic scenes. "We'll just pretend there's no candle light." "And that were not paranoid homophobes."



    Lastly what's up with the VP? It's really bothering Toby... Guess we'll find out next episode.moreless
  • At first glance, this episode looked like this episode would be a real snoozer, but in fact, this was one of the key insightful episodes into the background, and personal relationships of the characters.moreless

    9.5
    At first glance, this episode looked like this episode would be a real snoozer, but in fact, this was one of the key insightful episodes into the background, and personal relationships of the characters. Gordon's directing and Sorkin's excellent wrinting do a masterful job of interwieving the many back stories. This episode not only gives you a little look into the character's personal lives, but finishes with a feel good ending that leaves you with a nice warm fuzzy feeling.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

Cara DeLizia

Cara DeLizia

Winifred Hooper

Guest Star

Robyn Pedretti

Robyn Pedretti

Candy

Guest Star

Darren Foreman

Darren Foreman

Hoynes Aide #2

Guest Star

Melissa Fitzgerald

Melissa Fitzgerald

Carol Fitzpatrick

Recurring Role

Randy Brooks

Randy Brooks

Arthur Leeds

Recurring Role

Charles Noland

Charles Noland

Steve

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Senator Stackhouse appears to be a left-leaning Democrat in this episode, but previous mentions show him leaning to the right in opposition to the President. "In This White House" mentions Stackhouse as one of the men Capital Beat tried to get to speak on the right in opposition to Sam, before they went with Ainsley Hayes. "Mandatory Minimums" also shows him on the right of the issue.

    • In the scene where Josh is writing his e-mail to his mother (and thanks her for the shoes), you can see the text of his e-mail jump rapidly to include new paragraphs much faster than he types. When he turns from his conversation with Donna to begin seriously writing the e-mail, the text has shrunk to only one paragraph.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Donna: Excuse me. (raises hand)
      Leo: What are you doing?
      Donna: I didn't know if I'm supposed to-
      Leo: We usually don't raise our hands.
      Bartlet: Though it's not the worst idea in the world.

    • Bartlet: C.J., let me tell you something, don't ever, ever underestimate the will of a grandfather. We're madmen, we don't give a damn, we got here before you and they'll be here after. We'll make enemies, we'll break laws, we'll break bones, but you will not mess with the grandchildren.
      Leo: There was quite a bit of sugar in the Crème de Caramel.

    • Bartlet: Charlie, I want to call senators. We'll start with our friends. When we're done with those two, we'll go on to the other ninety-eight.

    • (all in voiceovers)
      C.J.: There are so many days where you can't imagine anything good will happen.
      Josh: You're buried under a black fog of partisanship and self-promotion and stupidity...
      Sam: ...and a brand of politics that's just plain mean.
      C.J.: Yes, Hoynes had us nervous with his admonishment of big oil and, yes, the president was making us nervous too. But that's for tomorrow. Tonight, I've seen a man with no legs stay standing, Dad, and a guy with no voice keep shouting. And if politics brings out the worst in people, maybe people bring out the best. Because I'm looking at the TV right now, and damn if 28 U.S. senators haven't just walked onto the floor to help.

    • Grissom (via television): Point of order, Mr. Chairman!
      Chairman (via television): Mr. Grissom?
      Grissom: Will the senator yield for a question?
      Sam: Come on.
      Chairman: Mr. Stackhouse?
      Josh: Come on.
      (As Stackhouse continues to hesitate)
      President Bartlet: Trust me just this once you grouchy, old son of a bitch.
      Stackhouse (via television): Mr. Chairman... I yield to the senator from Washington for a question.
      Grissom: My question is in 22 parts and might take quite a while. Perhaps you might like to sit and have some water while I ask it.
      (cheering starts in the White House communications room)

    • Bartlet: We'll just pretend that there's no candlelight.
      Leo: And that we're not paranoid homophobes.

    • Sam: Hey, I'm senior staff.
      Winifred: Gee, genuflect when you say that, fella.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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