The West Wing

Season 2 Episode 14

The War at Home

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 14, 2001 on NBC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
122 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Bartlet authorizes a special ops team to rescue the five DEA agents only to have them caught in an ambush; C.J. arranges for the host of "Capitol Beat" to have an exclusive interview with the wronged police officer; Toby must deal with Senator Gilette who threatens to make a third party run for president due to the tone of the changes on social security reform; Sam gives Ainsley another chance to meet the President, but she still fails to create a good impression; Josh finally gets the poll results from Joey; Abbey and Bartlet discuss his running for a second term.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A broken promise.

    9.5
    Ainsley and Sam's back and forth was still going strong in this episode.



    Ainsley: "And I'm still scared to meet him, but I'll overcome that in order to erase the humiliation that I've brought upon myself and my father."

    Sam: "You are just in your own little Euripides play over there aren't you?"



    I think she actually topped her last embarrassing performance, by inadvertently hiding in a closet when Bartlet comes in.



    The black hawk helicopter getting shot down in Colombia was very upsetting. Bartlet's reaction mirrored that of my own.



    Bartlet: "We weren't prepared for someone to try and outfox us with a stratagem so sophisticated it's an entire generation beyond, 'Hey look, your shoelaces are untied?' Is that how I just lost nine guys, to a damn street gang with a ham radio?"



    In the end, I guess all the satellite phones, GPS tracking devices, and wire taps; don't make much difference if you're still dependent on a person to provide you intel. Bartlet's voice cracking during that scene really brought home how upset he was over the situation. Brilliant acting and writing.



    While I agree with Sam that it doesn't matter if Aguilar is in or out of prison, I still didn't like them releasing him to get the DEA agents back. I just don't see how you can negotiate with them after they shot down the black hawk. Obviously Vietnam 2.0 is a horrible, horrible idea, but I still wish there was another military option. I guess Bartlet was right though,



    Bartlet: "You really gotta ask yourself, what's the point in being a super power anymore?"



    The scene between Bartlet and the first lady, about his MS and reelection, was incredible. Especially Abigail, definitely Stockard Channing's best performance so far.



    I enjoyed the continuation of the polling plot with Josh, Joey, and Donna, especially Joey comparing Josh to the French radical. Though I'm extremely leery about a romantic relationship between Josh and Donna. They're chemistry is so perfect, that it hard for me to think that having them get together wouldn't bring it down in some way. Guess I'll just wait and see what happens though.



    I liked this one a little more than the last episode, but they were both excellent.moreless
  • A good episode

    8.9
    This is one of those episodes what in one point can really break your heart. And this time I think it was not so much the story what was very thoughtful and those dilemmas president had but more about the acting as Martin Sheen really played marvelously, better than usually. It all looked just so real and somehow so true and the feeling of acting was gone.



    But it was not only hard topic episode all the long. Ainsley was again as crazy as always and added some laughter moments as Josh and Donna did. I specially loved the dialog when Josh was on hold.moreless
  • Near perfect.

    9.0
    This is one of my favorite episode for a number of reasons. First of all it gives Martin Sheen a chance to do some real acting, and he does it well. The dilemma of the President who has to decide whether or not to employ force in a hostage situation, is handled realistically. When things go wrong, President Bartlet's frustration gives us an idea of the stress in the White House.



    Secondly it shows the complexity of modern day politics, what with polling and pressure groups. Within all of this Sorkin successfully puts some comedy with Ainsley's second attempt at meeting the President. One of the funniest scenes in a drama.



    There is some unintentional irony in the episode as well. A large part of the plot is centered around illegal drugs. How can we fight the cartels? Should we make the drugs legal? A few years later Sorkin got into trouble with the authorities as a result of ... his drug use.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

Ted McGinley

Ted McGinley

Mark Gottfried

Guest Star

Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.

Seth Gillette

Guest Star

Patrick Falls

Patrick Falls

Billy

Guest Star

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

Delores Landingham

Recurring Role

Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

Joey Lucas

Recurring Role

Kim Webster

Kim Webster

Ginger

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Ainsley: And I'm still scared to meet him, but I'll overcome that in order to erase the humiliation that I've brought upon myself and my father.
      Sam: You are just in your own little Euripides play over there aren't you?

    • Bartlet: You really gotta ask yourself, what's the point in being a super power anymore?

    • (Josh is on the phone.)
      Josh: I'm on hold. I'm on hold. I'm on hold. I'm in some hellish hold world of holding.

    • Josh: Numbers don't lie.
      Joey (Kenny): They lie all the time. They lie when 72% of Americans say they're tired of a sex scandal while all the while newspaper circulation goes through the roof for anyone featuring the story. If you polled 100 Donnas and asked them if they think we should go out, you'd get a high positive response, but the poll wouldn't tell you it's because she likes you, she knows it's beginning to show and she needs to cover herself in misdirection.

    • Josh: Last night at the phone bank Donna kept telling me I should ask Joey Lucas out.
      Sam: You should.
      Josh: Fine, but putting that aside, what do you think of Donna being the one pushing it?
      Sam: I don't think anything.
      Josh: You don't think she'd be jealous?
      Sam: She goes out with guys, are you jealous?
      Josh: No.
      Sam: See?
      Josh: I don't get jealous...
      Sam: So…
      Josh: I don't like it. I usually do everything in my considerable powerful capabilities to sabotage it, which is why it's curious that Donna would do nothing to discourage, and in fact do everything to encourage a date with Joey Lucas, who is quite frankly a very attractive woman.

    • Bartlet: Damn it! How the hell did it happen?
      Leo: It was bad intelligence, sir.
      Bartlet: YOU THINK?
      Leo: Ferente left behind a radio and a soldier at the outpost. And they were deliberately sending us misinformation.
      Bartlet: We never anticpated they somebody might try that? We weren't prepared for someone to try and outfox us with a stratagem so sophisticated it's an entire generation beyond "Hey look, your shoelaces are untied!?" IS THAT HOW I JUST LOST NINE GUYS, TO A DAMN STREET GANG WITH A HAM RADIO!?

    • Leo: How you doing, Ainsley?
      Ainsley: I'm concerned about peeing on your carpet.
      Leo: Ok. Well, now I am, too.
      Sam: Tell her it's going to be fine.
      Leo: Your skirt's on backwards.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Sam: You're just in your own little Euripides play over there, aren't you?
      Sam: Don't you have to absolve yourself of the humiliation visited on your family and the House of Atreus?

      In reference to Ainsley's attempt to reverse the dishonor she thinks she brought to her father and family name Sam makes two references to Greek classical tragedy. Euripides (480 B.C.?- 406 B.C.) is considered to be one of the three greatest ancient Greek playwrights. Drawing on Greek mythology, many of his plays dealt with family issues that explode into deep tragedy. The House of Atreus is royal family featured in the Oresteia, a trilogy plays written by Aeschylus. Both Euripides and Aeschylus wrote plays about daughters struggling to resolve the troubling legacies of their fathers.

    • The War at Home, the title of this episode, is also the name of a movie that starred Martin Sheen and was directed by his son Emilio Estevez.

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