The West Wing

Season 1 Episode 7

The State Dinner

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 10, 1999 on NBC
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
162 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The president of Indonesia is honored at a state dinner; the staff deals with Hurricane Sarah, a potential teamster strike, and a raid involving children in Idaho; a reporter flirts with C.J.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Nothing can ever be easy, including State Dinners.

    9.0
    This episode saw the introduction of the First Lady(Stockard Channing, loved her in Six Degrees of Separation), and I liked her right off the bat. Her reaction to the Vermeil was perfect,



    "Our history. Better or worse it's our history. We're not gonna lock it in a basement or brush it with a new coat of paint. It's our history."



    A good lesson for us all, hiding from the past just means you won't be ready when the same thing happens again.



    CJ was great as well, she's becoming one of my favorite characters.



    "Mirabella needed to know what kind of wine we we're having with dinner, so its a good thing I went to school for twenty-two years."



    Mandy was again getting on my nerves. Because Josh was right, she shouldn't get involved with deciding issues. She should be told what the options are and advise them on how the media and public will react to them, she shouldn't be pushing her own agenda. And that's not just because her decision was wrong. Toby was also in rare form, though hopefully he learned his lesson about his anger getting the best of him. I doubt it though.



    This episode was funny with a good amount of drama, the only thing bringing it down was Mandy, but she did bring it down a little.



    Best part was definitely the ending. I love how Bartlet, as president, is often as powerless as anyone else, and you can tell by his face in the scene how much it pains him to be.



    "Well, were looking at I guess eighty foot seas, with winds up to to a hundred and twenty knots. We're shipping solid green water over the bow and we got a fire in the engine room. We lost are running lights and may get run over by an aircraft carrier that can't see in the dark."



    "Well I don't know, man. Sounds pretty bad Harold, think I'd ask for my money back. Harold? I'm gonna stay right here as long as the radio works. Hang on."moreless
  • And the state dinner must go on....

    10
    I loved this episode! It brought tears to my eyes. Every idea in the episode started off well, but backfired (except the truckers- who were "pistol- whipped" by the President!). First with the hostage situation and Mandy's idea, then with Toby's speech and his plea, and finally the "standard procedure" of the naval ship deployment during the hurricane which massively backfired! And all the while they could do nothing, they had to pretend everything was ok and be present for a state dinner (which also was a disater due to the Salmon, which all the guests hated! lol)

    I loved the scene with the president 'pistol-whipping' the truckers...and I loved the first lady's comment abt why he was doing it... The last scene with the president talking to someone on the ship is so poignant.moreless
  • Review

    10
    In the 7th episode of the first season of the hit TV show The West Wing Titled. The State Dinner The President has a lot on his Plate A hurricane a trucker union strike and a standoff situation in anther country while attending a state dinner for incoming President of The Republic Of Indonesia. Overall I thought the episode was really good and none of it was bad and the stories worked well with each other. The subplots involving The West Wing staff was also good My overall rating for this episode is 10 out of 10 the end of reviewmoreless
  • It looks simple - just a dinner but the events become more and more serious and complicated.

    8.3
    First the beauty of this episode seems to be that they do not have no other problem than Indonesian President and dinner with him. But it is not so easy. First Donna gets wrong information and they build a chain to translate from one language to another not knowing that the Indonesian can speak English. It was quite funny to watch. Danny is not giving CJ easy time and brings up a theme of protesters what is just a little joke of 8 people. But Danny makes it look big and CJ is unprepared. She does not like to be in that kind of situations. On the background of the Indonesian president, there is hurricane and first it seems to threat some land arias but it turns back to the sea and now one ship is in the middle of storm with no way out. The manage to turn every little thing into big tragedy and for that it is enjoyable to watch but I wonder, would they ever could have a easy day?moreless
  • That is what a state dinner is like?

    10
    I thought that this episode The State Dinner was a great episode of The West Wing. I thought that it was really funny that CJ knew what the reporters were going to ask before they evan start to asked the question. I liked that the President tried to solve three problems durning the State Dinner. It was nice of the President to talk to the boy on the ship in the navy fleet that was in the middle of the hurricane. I felt bad for Mandy that her plan she went to the President with did not turn out the way she wanted. I was really excited to see that Stockard Channing is playing the Frist Lady AKA Mrs Bartlet.moreless
Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen

President Jed Bartlet

Dule Hill

Dule Hill

Charlie Young

Allison Janney

Allison Janney

Claudia Jean "C.J." Cregg

Moira Kelly

Moira Kelly

Mandy Hampton (Episodes 1-22)

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Sam Seaborn (Episodes 1-84)

Richard Schiff

Richard Schiff

Toby Ziegler

David Rasche

David Rasche

Carl Everett

Guest Star

Peter Kors

Peter Kors

Rahmadi Sumahidjo Bambang

Guest Star

William Lucking

William Lucking

Bobby Russo

Guest Star

Timothy Busfield

Timothy Busfield

Danny Concannon

Recurring Role

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing

Abbey Bartlet

Recurring Role

Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein

Laurie

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This episode is not the first time that Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler) and Lisa Edelstein (Laurie) have shared the small screen. They both starred in Relativity an ABC series that was cancelled the year before.

    • "Indonesian" is indeed a language, albeit an invented one. It starts with Malay as its grammatical base, then adds vocabulary items from the various other languages of the islands.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Josh: Don't worry about it. Donna, call FEMA, use my name. When that doesn't work, use Leo's name.

    • C.J.: You're a rabble rouser, you know that? You rouse rabbles.
      Danny: Hey...
      C.J.: I went and looked at your big vermeil demonstration. Six people in Lafayette Park with oak tag and magic markers.
      Danny: I didn't say it was Selma, Alabama, or anything.
      C.J.: Six people! Six pathetic people protesting on a Friday and you just lent their weak and feeble voices a megaphone. What do you call that?
      Danny: A job well done.

    • Mandy (when Josh doesn't seem to know anything about what's going on): What is it you do here exactly?
      Josh: It's never really been made clear to me.

    • Sam: Do you really think it's a good idea to invite people to dinner and then tell them exactly how to run their lives?
      Toby: Absolutely. Otherwise, it's just a waste of food.

    • Bartlet (annoyed at Senor Siguto's one word answers): I can't decide if that man is boring or rude, but he's one or the other.

    • Mandy: It really bugs you that the President listens to me sometimes.
      Josh: Yes, but you shouldn't take it personally. It bugs me when the President listens to anyone who isn't me.

    • Laurie: I'm not here because of you. I'm just here because I'm here. I would be here whether you were here or not. You're just some guy who happens to know me.
      Sam: Thank you.
      Laurie: I didn't ... you know what I mean.
      Sam: No. Could you keep talking about being here and not being here until blood starts pouring out of my ears?

    • Abby: You know, one of the things that happens when I stay away too long is that you forget you don't have the power to fix everything. You have a big brain, and a good heart, and an ego the size of Montana. You do, Jed. You don't have power to fix everything. But I do like watching you try.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      This episode won the 2000 Emmy Award for Outstanding Costumes for a Series (Lyn Elizabeth Paolo, Alice Daniels).

      Stockard Channing was nominated for the 2000 Emmy in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in this episode.

    • Music: When the President and the First Lady enter the state dinner the song "Hail to the Chief" plays. "Hail to the Chief" is the official theme song of the United States Presidency.

    • This is the first episode in which Stockard Channing appears as the First Lady. She is credited as a special guest star. Not until the beginning of season 3 does she appear in the opening montage.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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