The West Wing

Season 3 Episode 12

The Two Bartlets

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 30, 2002 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
108 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
On the day of the presidential caucuses, Bartlet, Toby and C.J. go to Iowa to kick off the re-election, and disagree over Bartlet's making a statement about affirmative action. Back in Washington, Leo forces Josh to intercede with an old friend leading a protest against Navy arms testing at Vieques, Puerto Rico. Sam meets with Bob Engler again, who says he is now acting on behalf of two congressmen who want an inventory of Fort Knox because they believe that most of the gold bullion has been replaced with alien bodies recovered from Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico. After Josh rebuffs her request, Donna seeks Sam's advice in how to get out of jury duty. Josh brings a little bit of Tahiti to his relationship with Amy Gardner.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Two Bourbons and a conversation.

    9.0
    Another in an already long line of great cold opens. I loved the call back to season 2 with Josh still wearing the pajamas CJ got him. Amy even managed to score a few points with me by at least being interested enough in Josh to end her other relationship. But the highlight of the opening was definitely Josh inadvertently reading Leo a list of his and Amy's romantic encounters.



    Josh: "Time number four involves a variety of-

    Leo: Josh, I'm gonna stop you right here, ok?"

    Josh: "Leo?"

    Leo: "Yeah."

    Josh: "Anybody else in the office?"

    Margaret: "Hey, Josh."



    Amy scored even more points with her speech for the WLC, which was scary good, the overthrow the government line was a little much, but it was still inspiring. Unfortunately she lost those points in not being able to see that Josh was having a rough day, and maybe she should try wooing him for once. Considering what Josh had gone through he could have used it. I thought it was a low blow on Leo's part to force Josh to do that. I know as White House staff they have to set aside personal feelings and relationships, but that doesn't mean Josh should have to use a friendship to disband a protest that he would have been at himself if he could. I understand Leo had to do it, but it was still tough seeing Josh put in that position, though the scenes were excellent.



    CJ also gave another great performance, going from upset over her father's Alzheimer's, to covering it up by cracking jokes to Toby, that were actually really funny.



    CJ: "The cow made out of butter? That's how I like my irony served my friend."



    The build up of tension between Bartlet and Toby was done well and led to one of the most dramatic moments in the series. The final scene in the Oval was incredible. I loved the way Toby's tone never changed from calm and explanatory, despite knowing the reaction his words would elicit from Bartlet. The way his tone mimicked the steady ticking of the clock in the background was excellent. Bartlet's reaction was also acted perfectly, that barely controlled fury as he keeps in mind where he is but doesn't pull any of his punches.



    Bartlet: "You have stepped way over the line and any other President would have your ass on the sidewalk right now!"

    Toby: "Yes, sir."

    Bartlet: "They'd have had you on the sidewalk a long time ago."



    And I loved that shot of Bartlet in the Oval from outside the door as Toby is leaving.



    Most of the episode was good but it was the final minutes that really put it over the top.moreless
  • One of those crazy episodes

    8.2
    Once in a while there is just those crazy episodes were we do not understand exactly what he has to do with the other storylines. The main thing is about the reelection and there is a question asked from president and he did not answered and that made Tony worry.



    So.. that was the normal storyline and then come the others - Amy and Josh are in weird moment and Josh tries to fix their relationship and the way the episode started and Josh answered the phone and it was Leo.. And the alien guy.. it was weird.. Some people are just ... they have amazing imagination.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

Elizabeth Liang

Elizabeth Liang

Staffer

Guest Star

Ted Garcia

Ted Garcia

Newscaster

Guest Star

Tom Knickerbocker

Tom Knickerbocker

Civilian

Guest Star

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Amy Gardner

Recurring Role

Nicole Robinson

Nicole Robinson

Margaret

Recurring Role

Renée Estevez

Renée Estevez

Nancy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Donna is worried about having to do jury duty, but the biggest problem is that she's going to have difficulty reporting for it. In "Election Night" Donna votes by absentee ballot because her place of residency is still in Wisconsin. When called for jury duty, it is to a local court as decided by your residency. If she needs to report 'tomorrow,' she's not assisting Josh the next day, she's in Wisconsin.

    • We learn that President Bartlet was abused as a child.

    • Leo makes reference to the USS Thurmont battle group. The official name of Camp David is "NSF Thurmont", which they use as the name of a season 6 episode.

    • The President makes reference to the fact that "his family signed the Declaration of Independence" which, I assume, is a reference to the first signer of the document, appropriately named "Josiah Bartlett." What was the point of Sorkin changing the spelling of his character's name to one "t" rather than the two reflected on the declaration---if he was going to so tightly align the President with the forefather?

    • In offering Amy a Tahitian style cocktail, Josh refers to the rum as "Bacardi 451". Whew, definitely a Hawaiian Punch!

      Note: There is no such drink called "Bacardi 451." There is "Bacardi 151" because of its proof. It is 75.5% alcohol by volume. It is HIGHLY advised to NOT drink this straight. It is recommended to mix with other beverages.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • C.J.: The cow made out of butter? That's how I like my irony served my friend.

    • C. J.: How can you not want to see the butter cow?
      Toby: I'm that way.
      C. J.: You understand, it's a life-size cow made entirely of butter.
      Toby: We're not going.
      C. J.: There's also a butter Elvis, and a butter Last Supper which has, I swear to God, Toby...
      Toby: Butter on the table?
      C. J.: It's got butter on the table! Right there between butter James and butter Peter. An almost mind-blowing vortex of art and material that dares the viewer to recall Marcel Duchamp.

    • C. J.: I'm the wrong Democrat to talk to about [affirmative action].
      Toby: Why?
      C. J.: Because... After my father fought in Korea, he became what this government begs every college graduate to become. He became a teacher. And he raised a family on a teacher's salary, and he paid his taxes and always crossed at the green. And any time there was opportunity for career advancement, it took him an extra five years because invariably there was a less qualified black woman in the picture. So instead of retiring as superintendent of the Ohio Valley Union Free School District, he retired head of the math department at William Henry Harrison Junior High.

    • Josh: I'm buying plane tickets right now. I'm making reservations.
      Amy: Go.
      Josh: I'm going.
      Amy: You're not going fast enough.
      Josh: I'm saying, when I walk out that door, I'm buying plane tickets.
      Amy: I'm saying, when I walk out that door, I'm buying new bikinis.
      Josh: I'm going fast now.

    • Toby: It was Dr. Jekyll and Uncle Fluffy all over again.

    • Toby: Your father used to hit you, didn't he, Mr. President?
      Bartlet: Excuse me?
      Toby: Your father used to hit you, sir?
      Bartlet: Yeah.
      Toby: Not like a spanking.
      Bartlet: He hit me. Why?
      Toby: He punched you.
      Bartlet: I'm done being polite now.
      Toby: He did it because you made him mad, but you didn't know why.
      Bartlet: Toby, it was a complicated relationship. Can I help you?
      Toby: It was because you were smarter than he was.
      Bartlet: It was a complicated relationship.
      Toby: He didn't like you, sir. That's why he hit you. That's why people hit each other. He didn't like you. You were smarter than he was.
      Bartlet: Why are we talking about this?
      Toby: So maybe if you get enough votes, win one more election, you know? Maybe your father...
      Bartlet: You have stepped way over the line! Any other president would have your ass on the sidewalk right now.
      Toby: Yes sir.
      Bartlet: They'd have had your ass on the sidewalk a long time ago. I don't know what the hell goes on in a Brooklyn shrink's office, but get it the hell out of my house!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      Bradley Whitford was nominated for the 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode and in "H-Con-172"

      Won the 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series with several other episodes (Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, John Wells, Kevin Falls, Alex Graves, Christopher Misiano, Michael Hissrich, Kristin Harms, Llewellyn Wells)

    • Music: When Josh and Amy meet up at his house "Red, Red Wine" by UB40 plays. The song is from the album Labour of Love.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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