The West Wing

Season 3 Episode 20

We Killed Yamamoto

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 15, 2002 on NBC
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
100 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
While Jed, Leo and Fitzwallace grapple with terrorism and moral absolutes, Josh and Amy grapple with each other over a welfare-reform bill; Donna represents the White House at a North Dakota state-party caucus whose goal is to remove the word "North" from the state's name; Toby doesn't want Jed to attend a New York fund-raiser because Ritchie will be there; Charlie is assigned the responsibility of finding Jed a new secretary; C.J. discovers that Simon Donovan is a very straight shootermoreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The bridge did not fall.

    9.0
    Amy got on my good side(for a brief time) with a little Van Morrison in the scene coming off the opening credits. I'm still not crazy about the character, but I do appreciate the chemistry between her and Josh. And while I was pissed at how she ruined Josh's night; and cellphone, her argument was pretty convincing.



    Amy: "Does my government really believe that the law can create a family? Do these old, fat-ass men really believe that if they just pay people to act like 'Leave it to Beaver' everything will be fine?"



    She just needs to realize that Josh feels the same way, but knows that sometimes you have to take one on the chin if it means holding on to the ball. Yes, reelection is more important than railing against marriage incentives, it has to be. The reaming that Bartlet gave Josh was really hard to watch and pretty much insured that I would never like Amy. Though at some point you got to blame Josh for continuing to tell her these things that she probably wouldn't find out about until it was too late.



    Still not crazy about Agent Donovan either. While it seems to be mostly the actor that bugs me, the character also isn't winning me over. Granted, I would much rather see CJ with Danny so that might be affecting my feelings about Donovan. The scene at the shooting range was a little heavy on the physical humor, which can be good in small doses, as TWW has done before, but this wasn't one of those times. The scene did get a few laughs out of me however.



    Donovan: "It's a .357 magnum."

    CJ: "I've heard of that, that's a good brand.

    Donovan: Yes."

    CJ: "Let's go, I'm feeling twitchy."

    Donovan: "Good news for me."



    Sam doubting himself after his fumbling of the attack ad on Bartlet was tough to see. I thought Toby handled the situation well though and he's right, Sam pissed off is a dangerous thing. Leo's line about Sam during the meeting in his office was just perfect, and I was glad they weren't too upset with him.



    Leo: "You know, it was a screw up, but I gotta say I love the way he did it full speed, bam! Like there's a Sam Seaborn shaped hole in the wall."



    I thought the continuation of the plot involving Abdul Shareef directly funding terrorists was incredibly well done. Particularly the scene between Leo and Fitzwallace in the the Situation Room. I loved their back and forth together, Fitz's comment about Leo's shampoo was comic gold. Both actors were really on top of their game in that scene, and not just comedy wise. It was interesting to see the three points of view from each man. Fitz, who knew what had to be done and was ready to do it, Leo, who knew it too but wasn't ready to accept it, and Bartlet, who just couldn't even see killing Shareef as an option. It really spoke to each character and how none of them were actually wrong for feeling how they did, though I would definitely side with Fitz in that situation. The only scene to rival Fitz and Leo's was the one in the Oval between Leo and Bartlet. I think Leo is one of the few people who can be so direct with Bartlet anymore; which Bartlet really needs sometimes.



    Amy and Donovan(mainly Donovan) brought it down from a 10, but the rest of the episode was brilliant.moreless
  • Getting ready for season ending...

    8.7
    So, this is a really amazing episode if it can be think that it just sets the state for final episode. But if it could stand alone, it is little... not so great.



    The terrorist threat is the main subject and the Qumar is brought in again and it looks like things are not going well and they have to decide what to do as they realize they got all their proves from the fact that first came torturing. CJ storyline continues and I am eager to see it culmination as I really think that storyline has been one of the best over long time.



    And Amy and Josh.. it was just meant to end sooner or later in that point and the choice Amy made.. Anyway.. as I said.. a ground preparing for season final.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

Harry S. Murphy

Harry S. Murphy

Witness

Guest Star

S.E. Perry

S.E. Perry

Tommy

Guest Star

Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon

Simon Donovan

Guest Star

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Amy Gardner

Recurring Role

John Amos

John Amos

Percy Fitzwallace

Recurring Role

Glenn Morshower

Glenn Morshower

Mike Chrysler

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Leo: They used a pencil.

      In this episode Leo says that the Russian solution for writing in zero gravity is the use of a pencil. This is an urban myth, It would actually be dangerous, if the tip were to break off and float around freely.

    • David: We have no extradition treaty with Qumar.

      Qumar is not a real country.

    • Fitzwallace uses the example of the Battle of Agincourt to discuss how well enemies were treated if they surrendered. However, Agincourt is an example of the opposite. After the first and second attacks by the French, they had too many prisoners. Fearing the prisoners would overtake them, Henry
      ordered them slaughtered. The code of chivalry does not permit such action, so Henry had his archers aim at the knights and forced them to kill the prisoners.

    • When Donna is at the meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota, there is a banner hanging in the background that says "Democratic Party of North Dakota". North Dakota does not have a Democratic Party. Years ago, the Nonpartisan League merged with the Democratic Party to form the Democratic-Nonpartisan League (Dem-NPL for short), which serves as North Dakota's version of the Democratic Party. The state party is quite adamant about publicizing itself with the full name at all times, and would do so on such a banner.

    • The current duty weapon for the Secret Service is the Sig Sauer P229 9mm semiautomatic pistol, which is the only weapon agents are allowed to carry. If an undercover assignment required the use of a revolver, it would be a short barrelled model, and never a .357 Magnum revolver, since a long barrel prevents quick drawing from a holster.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Leo: We spent millions of dollars developing a pen for the astronauts that would work in zero gravity. Know what the Russians did?
      Toby: Used a pencil?
      Leo: They used a pencil.

    • Donna: Eliminating the term north from North Dakota is an important state issue and the President feels it should be resolved on a state level. While the President is sympathetic towards the cause and understands the large economics ramifications of this name change, he feels the issue is not yet ripe for national attention. The President wishes you well on your endeavors and thanks you for your support.
      Man:Uh, Miss Moss? Are you aware that studies clearly show the word 'north' leaves the impression
      that this state is cold, snowy and flat, significantly depressing tourism and business startup.
      Donna: With due respect, sir, your average temperature is 7 degrees. Your average snowfall: 42 inches, and a name change isn't going to take care of that.
      Woman We enjoy roughly the same climate as South Dakota. We took in 73.7 million in tourism revenue last year. They took in 1.2 billion. They have the word south.
      Donna: Also Mount Rushmore.

    • Simon: Have you ever shot a gun before?
      C.J.: Yeah.
      Simon: What kind?
      C.J.: Well, I haven't shot one as much as I have seen someone shoot one in the movies.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Awards and Nominations:
      John Spencer won the 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode and in "Bartlet for America"

      This episode along with many others from the season won the 2002 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series (Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme, John Wells, Kevin Falls, Alex Graves, Christopher Misiano, Michael Hissrich, Kristin Harms, Llewellyn Wells)

    • Music: Amy Gardner dances to two songs by Van Morrison, "Caravan" and "Moondance", both from the Moondance CD.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • C.J.: Agent 99.

      Referring to Simon Donovan, C.J. alludes to the classic comedy series Get Smart (1965-1970). The show starred Don Adams as the inept yet inexplicably successful Maxwell Smart, agent 86 of CONTROL. Barbara Feldon co-starred as Agent 99, perhaps CONTROL's most intelligent and competent spy who was inexplicably in love with Max.

    • Leo: "We Killed Yamamoto"

      Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, was killed in an aerial ambush on April 18, 1943 by American P-38 aircraft.

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