The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 6, Episode 9 - Impact Winter - full transcript

President Bartet's attack of multiple sclerosis requires hasty reorganization of the summit in China. Unable to endure the long meetings, he becomes frustrated when the Chinese take advantage of his absence to drag their feet over North Korea. Back at the White House, Josh is told by NASA that a large asteroid is on a collision course with earth; staffers are unsure whether to prepare for the end of the world or not. Donna becomes frustrated when Josh continually postpones what she says is an important conversation. With the New Hampshire primary looming and Vinick looking like a formidable opponent, Josh and Leo try to find a Democratic presidential candidate they can believe in.

Previously on The West Wing:

This is my last China summit.
It's my last chance.

Progress isn't good enough for me now.
I want to get something done.

You used to love it when I couldn't dress
myself without you.

I used to love peppermint ice cream,
but now they get stuck in your teeth.

Help me bring the promise and the
opportunity of America to all Americans.

- President can't give me the job I want.
- Which one?

- His.
- You're running?

- Starting tomorrow.
- C.J....


I can't move.

Hopefully, the doctors will influence him
and get this plane turned around.

We turn this plane around,
and that's the end of his presidency.

- We can't land in China with you...
- This plane is going to China.

Josh Lyman's office.

- He's got a lunch. Afternoon's open.
- Who is it?

- Didero's office. Three o'clock? Done.
- Who's my lunch?


- We're having breakfast.
- We need conversation.

- What are we doing now?
- We get interrupted.

Nothing's going on here today.

This lunch has been cancelled six times.
It's gonna kill you to buy me a salad?

- Josh Lyman's office.
- Come on in.

- Who is it?
- Wrong number.

- Quiet day.
- Would you like to do the briefing?

- I really wouldn't.
- You'd be good.

Pressroom's a mausoleum.
Everybody's gone. Don't worry.

- I'd be more comfortable...
- I'm acting chief of staff.

I don't wanna be
acting press secretary on top of it.

They don't like him.

Just run through the schedule and then
do your Christmas shopping. Let me see.

President in China. Six days.

Day one, trade, WTOs,
partridge, pear tree.

- Stellar.
- Should I tease the North Korea stuff?

No. We don't want it to be obvious
everything was a lead-up to North Korea.

So I'm making this
put-out-the-garbage week.

- Take out the trash.
- I'm sorry?

News we hope nobody hears? Take out
the trash, not put out the garbage.

- Okay.
- I'm just saying, it has a name.

- Josh Lyman's office.
- Anything else?

- Slow day.
- Hang on.

C.J.? You've got Josh and Annabeth.

In about four minutes, the wires
are gonna report the president's... the midst of a pronounced MS
episode and doesn't have use of his legs.

We're ditching sightseeing,
we're staying three days, not six...

...but the substantive portions
of the summit will continue.

- They will?
- We're playing it by ear. Got a pen?

- Yeah.
- State, Treasury, Hutchinson...

...the VP, Berryhill knows. But I
don't know about the ambassador.

We'll call. Is he okay?

His condition in no way affects
his ability to...

- We got it. This is me asking.
- I don't know.

His arms are working.
They weren't an hour ago... maybe he's up doing the polka
five minutes from now. Otherwise...

- ...I don't know. I gotta...
- Go.

Your office, five minutes.

Josh Lyman for the secretary, please.
Right away.

Mr. Secretary. Happy holidays
to you too, sir.

I'm gonna need you to take me
off the speakerphone, if that's okay.

The president's had an MS episode
on the plane. He's not able to walk.

- I can't do this.
- Read the statement...

- ...and introduce the medical office.
- They don't know anything.

- Heard from Dr. Strangelove?
- Strenlowe.

- He's busy.
- They've only got one doctor?

Surgeon general's there too.
She's also busy.

- You didn't brief?
- Fifteen minutes.

- VP'd like to make the statement.
- She's got it.

- No, not really.
- The president can't walk.

Resist the temptation
to treat this like an opportunity.

He's the highest-ranking man
in the building...

...which means getting his face out
is responsible.

And he doesn't need permission.

- Good morning.
- Sir.

Mr. Vice President.

I was playing tennis.
Couldn't believe my ears.

We were just discussing
your statement.

I'll just get the ball rolling,
and then you can jump in.


Cancel the military greeting,
the welcome ceremony tomorrow.

The first lady's flight lands before ours,
so we'll see her when we touch down.

She's gonna be cranky.
I think she should ride with you.

The Chinese have agreed to
clear their press out.

- Not much for freedom of the press.
- We ought to do the same.

They've already seen him.

But the no-photo rule...

...does not apply to the tarmac.
We let them stay...

...there's a shot of the wheelchair lift
lowering the president on every cover.

Press clears before
the president disembarks.

Pool spray first thing in the morning.

We should think about
skipping the banquet.

- I don't know.
- She likes the food.

It's important that they can impress us.
The banquet in particular.

- She does like food.
- Send the first lady?

I can sit through a meal.
I've been doing that in a chair for years.

You have to pace yourself.
Fatigue is a real issue.

- Let the Tibet conversation go, cut to...
- No.

- They're not gonna budge.
- We talk about Tibet... they can be implacable.

We talk about Taiwan so they can hold
against the capitalist, imperialist foe... that when we get to
North Korea...

...and they agree
to do our dirty work...

...they won't have lost
face at every other step.

Cancel the banquet,
cancel whatever you like.

But we do not skip one step
of my negotiation with President Lian.

Let's see if we can't push
North Korea up.

- Maybe Thursday instead of Friday?
- I'll talk to Protocol.

Ladies and gentlemen,
we've begun our initial descent.


- You can use C.J.'s office.
- I don't need an office.

The doctors say the paralysis is
temporary, but I think they're lying.

They can't lie about his condition.
That would be a crime...

...and one we've committed before.

Sight for sore eyes.

Could've had lunch,
you needed to see me so bad.

She's about to brief. Or, the
vice president is, I should say.

Hang on. Hang on. I know.
I know this is a shock to everyone.

I was playing tennis when I heard.
I couldn't believe my ears.

But I spoke to the president myself...

...and he was perfectly clear.
This summit will proceed as planned.

He is physically encumbered,
but as far as we can tell right now...

- As far as we can tell?
- ...this, in no way, affects him mentally.

Has there been a cognitive evaluation?

We're going to have a detailed statement
from the physicians in a moment.

I'm not a doctor, I'm not going
to talk about it.

What I can tell you is that
I plan to meet...

...with members of the Cabinet
later today to see if there's any way...

...that we can provide
the president with support... he continues to do the work
of this country.

- Lord almighty.
- Pull Will out of there.

- Once he's back in Washington, we'II....
- Margaret.

I'll need five minutes on the phone
with every member of the Cabinet.

- Cabinet meeting?
- A conversation with senior members.

The president doesn't need
the Cabinet swooping in.

Wanna step into your office?

The president is still running the show.
Russell can stop...

...with the insinuations
to the contrary.

There will be no Cabinet meeting.

It's been announced.
You don't think it would be awkward?

You know what? Watch yourself.
You and your candidate.

- You done?
- No.

Free advice for the campaign trail.

Stop with the mentions
of his tennis game.

Doesn't make him look young.

Makes him look like a dilettante who
can't settle down with a thick book.

- Wheels-down in Beijing in a minute.
- A Cabinet meeting.

You think the talk about tennis
makes him look flaky?

No. I think it makes him
look young and vigorous.

- Where is he?
- Sorry, in the back, ma'am.

There's a problem with the
hydraulic lift.

- Could be another half-hour.
- We've been here forever.

Do they have a Jetway or something?

Don't hold your breath.

- Pretty snazzy with the language.
- Not really. Second-grade vocabulary.

- "Hydraulic lift" is second-grade?
- It is in China.

Did you run the SSEP?

Yes, it shows severe conduction delay.

We're at 85 percent loss
of nerve function in the lower limbs.

- Spinal cord lesion?
- It's our best guess.

Still working on it.

- How long have they kept you here?
- They've never used their elevator.

- A forklift will do.
- You could lie down. We're not moving.

I don't wanna lie down.
I want off this plane.

- Where's Dr. Strenlowe?
- He's on the phone.

I called the hospital, and we'll do
an MRI as soon as we get settled.

An MRI's not gonna tell us
anything new.

Maybe. Maybe not.

- Tell me your name one more time.
- Curtis, sir.

Okay. How much can
you bench-press, Curtis?

Quite a bit, sir.

- How about we stage a prison break.
- Absolutely.

Lift with your legs, son, not your back.

Could be vomiting.
Some people get seizures.

- Mr. President.
- Jed?

Jed, what are you doing?

- You okay?
- Yes, sir.

Take your time. No need to rush.

Am I going too fast?

No, no, I'm just saying, you drop me,
that'll follow you the rest of your life.

Yes, sir.

If you keep this up,
your arms are gonna fall off.

I hope somebody brings the damn chair.

I hope so too, sir.

- You sure you're okay?
- I'm fine.

I don't wanna work you
into another bypass.

I'm happy to help.

- We gonna get a photo?
- Soon.

Good, because we've got claims
he's in a coma...

...and we flew him there so they could
do a wax mockup like of Chairman Mao.

How are the markets looking?

We took a hit. Dow's down 470.

We should get the treasury secretary on
camera with an "I'm okay, you're okay. "

- Dig up something to announce.
- Something with the president at work.

Anything that make him look active,
and not....


Talk to the agencies and the policy
shops. We need some activity.

- It was trash week.
- Not anymore. We need executive orders.

The president just called from Beijing
to talk about big weapons systems.

All right.

Think you could check in
at the Pentagon, keep an eye...

- ...on this Cabinet meeting?
- No problem.

See Vinick announce his run
for presidency?

- Just sound bites.
- I'll get a tape.

- You can join me in my despair.
- I'll take a look.

Someone from NASA. He needs to
speak to whoever's in charge...

...and I have no idea who that is.

Maybe keep the philosophical
questions to yourself.

I got it.

- You missed us, didn't you?
- Like a hangnail.

- Thanks for waiting. Josh Lyman.
- Walter Sprout.

The administrator isn't here.

- Apparently not.
- We should wait.

- Who's the administrator?
- Edward Kelwick.

- And he administers what?

- NASA administrator.
- You're from NASA.

Program manager for near-Earth object
observation. Walter Sprout.

I'm sure he's coming.

Well, I'm going in four minutes,
so we should plug on.

Could I get some water?

- Water?
- Sure.

I'm sorry. I just... I've been...

...sweating quite a lot, and I think
that it's gotten me dehydrated and....

- Okay, you need to take it easy.
- There's an object...

...coming toward the Earth.

- From the sky?
- An asteroid.


There are a lot of asteroids in the sky,
from my limited understanding.

- Thousands.
- Well, I'm thinking you should...

...write up a memo, drop it off...

The LINEAR observatory in New Mexico
recorded images yesterday...

...that were analyzed by
the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge.

Their data were posted on the NEO
Confirmation Page to be verified... astronomers across the globe,
myself included.

Now, our calculations
could be wrong...

...but if not, they indicate that
an object following that trajectory...

...would strike the Earth
in approximately 48 hours.


- And this asteroid is...?
- Big.

- How...?
- Big.

Margaret, I need
the NASA administrator and Leo.

I loved a man once. I never told him.


Vice Premier Liu and Chairman Xian
will be in the third and fourth seats.

Premier Z yang will be right here
next to President Lian.

Thank him for allowing us to enjoy
his magnificent space.

You wanna remind me again?

It's a big deal.
We're supposed to approach them.

- On our knees.
- Well, since you mention it....

The memory's not gone.

It's next, maybe, but not yet.

Allowing us to enjoy
his magnificent space.

I'm gonna hit her.

- If you need a break at any time...
- I'm fine.

...I don't know, tug on your earlobe.
We'll make something up.

I desperately hope you're not serious.

It's a three-hour meeting.
I'm gonna want a break.

You should tug on your ear,
and this one'll make something up.

It's better to avoid saying
you need rest.

You should move away from me
as quickly as possible.

- Yes, sir.
- You ready?

Go ahead.

It is a great honor for myself
and for the People's Republic of China...

- welcome the president.
- Thank you.

On behalf of the American people,
it is an honor to be here.

I would like to thank you for allowing
us to enjoy your magnificent space.

I thought we had technology that
detects rocks hurtling toward our planet.

The Spaceguard System.

Expensive, if memory serves.

Spaceguard only detects
objects over 1 kilometer wide.

Anything large enough
to take out humans.

- This is considerably smaller.
- It's 400 meters.

- Considerably smaller.
- Twice the size of the Astrodome.

Gives new meaning to
"duck and cover. "

A collision is improbable,
but we felt we should alert you.

- Where would it hit?
- In the Northern Hemisphere.

- Can't get any more specific?
- Nope.

- What kind of damage?
- You'll wish you lived in Antarctica.

We're waiting for another look. It's
in our daylight 80 percent of the time.

Japan's tracking it, and we may get a
glimpse in Maui, but they've had clouds.

So we may be hit
with a hunk of intergalactic rock...

...we don't know when or where...

...and no information coming
because it's cloudy?

Welcome to my world.

As long as both China
and the United States...

...keep an eye on the larger picture...

...maintain a long-term perspective
and abide by the principles... the three Sino-U.S.
Joint Communiqu?s...

...our relationship will continue
to grow and thrive.

- Does he look out of it to you?
- What?

The president.

- Ours?
- He's squirming.

Well, he's probably bored.

Lian refuses to move past affirming his
commitment between our two countries.

He's not listening.

Where's C.J.?

...through operations of economic trade,
energy and science and in technology.

- I think he's having trouble.
- He looks fine.

- He's been flapping a lot with the arms.
- Is he talking?

Yeah, but Lian's been on a roll
for a while.

That. There, with the arm.
Do you see that?

That is a little....

Oh, my God.
He's tugging on his earlobe.

- We gotta get him out.
- What?

We're gonna pull the plug.

- What can I say?
- Nothing. That...

Just go.

...between our two countries...

- the key to steady development of...
- This is not good.

- I have explained to President Bartlet...
- Pardon me.

Please forgive me, President Lian.

President Bartlet has an
urgent call from Washington.

We'll need to take a break
for just a few moments.

Of course, no trouble at all.

Clear the hall.

- You okay?
- Yeah, I just gotta take a minute.

- The plan was flawed.
- It was.

The recipient of the sign
stays in the room.

- Yes.
- I almost pulled my ear off.

- I had to take a call from Leo.
- Thought he didn't work for us.

These things change.
We should get back to him.

- Bound to be better news than here.
- Oh, you'd be amazed.

So will it kill us like the dinosaurs?

- It won't hit us.
- But if it does.

Then, likelihood is, it hits an ocean,
starts a tsunami...

...and, you know, surf's up...

- Illinois.
- Announceable achievements.

Preliminary diplomatic relations
established with Myanmar.

- That's a violent military dictatorship.
- Yes, but maybe we talk them out of it.

Forward motion on the ERISA reform.

- Supposed to pass two months ago.
- We didn't...

...but we're moving in that direction.

We got press worried the president's
no longer fit to keep his job...

...and you're giving me this?

There's the asteroid coming.
You could announce that.

- Can we do this now?
- What?

The conversation we were supposed
to have, let's have it now.

- Can't.
- I thought it wasn't hitting.

- Might.
- There's nothing to do.

There isn't. Doesn't mean the situation's
not to be monitored. Tomorrow. Lunch.


I just needed a break.

I was gonna fall
out of that chair.

- That's the fatigue.
- I got a noose around my waist.

- Anything I can get you, sir?
- No, thanks.

- Doctor's on his way up.
- Don't want him.

- I don't care, frankly.
- I just need to close my eyes.

- He has to take a look.
- He'll tell me to lie down.

Mission accomplished.
It's the jet lag.

- Jet lag.
- I have two doctors here.

Clearly, you don't know what to do.

It's not jet lag. Strenlowe, Milly and I told
you the fatigue could be overwhelming...

...and you should take it easy.
You elected not to do that.

Leo tells me there's an asteroid
coming to hit the Earth.

Maybe we should sit quietly
for a few moments and ponder that.


NASA's got a clear shot in Maui.

It should tell us more.

The president's having trouble getting
through meetings. They pulled him out.

He sat on a plane for 20 hours.
He'll bounce.

- I just looked at the tape.
- Vinick's announcement?

Makes you wanna cry, doesn't it?

It's a tough primary for him.
I wouldn't tear my shirt yet.

- Russell offered me campaign manager.
- Really?

I turned him down. Hoynes asked too.

Popular. You change
your cologne or something?

- Think Hoynes can win?
- With Baker out...

...Russell's got a huge
financial advantage.

Sitting VP is gonna raise
a lot more money...

...and he's in a position
to offer a lot more favors.

Hoynes is a guy without a job.

That said, Hoynes is much more
experienced in the job Russell holds.

He was elected senator of a huge and
complicated, usually Republican, state...

...and Russell got elected representative
of a district the size of my thumb.

Hoynes is smarter than Russell.

- He'll kick his ass in the debates.
- And has more foreign-policy experience.

It could happen.

But you gotta wanna work for him,
and you gotta want him to win.

You want that?

I wanna get Jed Bartlet a third term.

- Yeah.
- What happened to the good old days...

...when a couple hacks with cigars chose
the nominee in a smoke-filled backroom?

They didn't do so bad, did they?

- Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower.
- We need a backroom.

Well, we've just about
outlawed smoking...

...and at this point, I'm not allowed
to even look at a cigar.

But we're it.

You and me.

This is the backroom.

- Anything?
- He's still asleep.

We asked for a 15-minute break.
He's been asleep for four hours.

Okay, we split up tomorrow
so he can take more breaks.

Maybe he's only in the first hour.

I'm not sure he'll make it in a chair.
Lying down is not as physically taxing.

He can't nap through this.

I'm not saying he sleeps
20 hours a day...

...but he'll be much more productive if
he's not having to hold his body upright.

He is the brains in the operation.

So staff meets, he's the man
behind the curtain.

They'll drag their heels
if he's not there.

We'll be talking about shrimp exports
for three days!

We make it clear we're
running all decisions back to him.

He's gotta show his face,
or the entire world's gonna go ballistic.

They'll think he's worse.

- They'll be right.
- He could do a 15-minute hello.

- A photo op.
- Oh, he's gonna love that.

He's up.

Why not the first even half-hour
of each meeting?

- One meeting in the morning, certainly.
- One?

We're the ones with the hard agenda.
Any excuse to run...

The meetings can continue
after I leave.

You leave after 30 minutes,
Lian will break...

...when you go so we know
he doesn't like to negotiate with us.

- We lose half the day.
- Are you benching me?

You told me the only way
North Korea honors...

...a nonproliferation agreement
is if China agrees to be enforcer.

Conducting inspections,
imposing sanctions if need be.

You told me the most tangible threat
to the next generations of Americans... a nuclear North Korea, and then
you told me this was our shot.

Never quote me to me.

Call Kelwick at NASA,
see if they got a read overnight.

How many spots are there in the bunker?

- What bunker?
- The president's.

I mean, there's space for
a bunch of people, right?

- You throwing a party?
- If the asteroid hits...

...and the president, the first lady
and senior staff are in China...

...don't you think we ought to sort out
who takes their spots?

Are you on the
National Security Council?

Did I miss that?

Clearly, you should go.

- That's one.
- In the name of all that is holy.

You might want me there to help out,
is all I'm saying.

Season's greetings.

Margaret's booking rooms
for the Apocalypse.

I gotta get a flashlight.

- Pick your dream candidate yet?
- I don't know how this works.

You pick the smartest, most capable...

...most honorable individual you can
think of and you have a conversation.


...before the New Hampshire
filing deadline.

I can't pick up and leave
to go run a campaign...

...for some dark horse
I pulled out of a cornfield.

I did.

Come on, who's on the wish list?

I don't know.
There's this one guy.

No, it's a stupid idea.

There are no stupid ideas.

Well, there are.
I don't know why people say that.

But give it a whirl.

The president can't move his legs.

NASA's wondering if the next ice age
starts on Tuesday. I gotta...

...stay here, finish what I started.

It doesn't finish, Josh.
It keeps going.

Our current policy... designed to ensure stability
as we transition...

...towards a capitalist
economic model.


But it's driving our manufacturers
out of the market.

I will consult with the finance minister.

- We can talk about this in the afternoon.
- No.

I'm sorry.

We need to move on this afternoon.

We need to discuss other items
on the agenda this afternoon.

The finance minister
has discussed this...

...with the International Monetary Fund
in Washington.

I cannot make a decision before
I speak with the finance minister.

- You briefing?
- I don't brief.

- I read prepared statements.
- Well, the pressroom's...

Doing laps. Not ready to go in yet.

The president just signed for the
federal infrastructure investments.

- In China?
- While juggling a rickshaw and pagoda.

Great. This is good.

- You okay?
- Press just got wind of the asteroid.

It's bad enough with just
the paralyzed president.

- Briefing on the asteroid?
- I don't brief. But if I did...

- comment.
- What are you gonna do?

I'm gonna read the president's order on
protection of infrastructure investments.

Hopefully they've calmed down.

- Okay, you missed it again.
- I'm just... I'm gonna take another lap.

Four hundred meters, so if it hits here
in the Pacific, we've got a tsunami.

Takes out 70, maybe 80 percent
of California and the Pacific Northwest.

Yeah, come on in.

Hitting dry land, obliterating a city,
is frankly the optimal scenario.

- At least the damage is contained.
- This is cheery.

They got a good look at it from
Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking in Maui.

They've determined it's either bigger
and farther away or smaller and closer.

- Helpful.
- How's it going with Lian?

- He's dragging his heels.
- On exchange rates?

Says they're not ready to float the yuan,
but he'll talk with the finance minister.

- Did you bring up Shang?
- The former president?

We talked about this years ago.

He said it would take two years
to make the transition.

They'll say it took longer.

Bring up Shang because
he's a more powerful figure.

Probably still is. Lian is threatened
by the very notion of Shang.

You get leverage
just by using his name.

- We'll bring it up.
- You can't go back on exchange rates.

You gotta move on. North Korea's
gonna get swept off the table.

There's a lot of American jobs
on the line.

Job loss is gonna seem like cake
in the face of nuclear chess.

You can't let them walk all over you.

The real nightmare scenario is here.
The great forest of the North.

- Russia?
-4.3 million square miles of dense forest.

The asteroid hits here...

...a shower of burning rock
rains down on those woods...

...starts a fire that burns...

...until it shrouds the hemisphere
in a blanket of soot and ash...

...that blocks out the sun for weeks.

Impact winter, they call it.

Mr. Vice President.

- Merry Christmas, sir.
- Leo.

I heard you were visiting.

Helping out for a couple of days.

- On your way to the Cabinet Room?
- Get some folks, see if we can't pitch in.

Mind if I join you?

Sure. That'd be great.

- Did you put in Kyle?
- Who's Kyle?

From NIH.
With the blond and the cowlick.

Kyle's there, Dan Rosten's there.

Can I get the Approps guidelines?


Oh, my gosh. The VP.

- What you got?
- Nothing.

- You seen Leo?
- He'll be back in 10.

- Bunker? Let me see that.
- Hey!

Forgot the vice president.
Some Dan's there, but no VP.

I just put him in.

- What?
- Bunker spots in case of annihilation.

Somebody needs to repopulate.

- Who's Dan?
- The UPS guy. Wears the shorts.

You're going for beefcake?

That's how you wanna
regenerate the people?

- Sure, he'll kill you an elk for dinner.
- Assuming we have elk.

- You gonna put an elk in?
- Somebody's gotta invent the telephone.

A couple of thinkers, maybe.

How you doing, Will?

- Think you could?
- What?

- Reinvent the telephone?
- No.

- Me neither.
- I need you.

- See? Put me on the list.
- We're having our conversation.

Is it irresponsible for me
to leave this administration...

- ...before the end of the term?
- About me, not you.

- I gotta get to the OEOB.
- Talk to me.

- You have to.
- Very demanding today.

You and Leo, who thinks I should
wander in search of the next president.

I quit.


- No, you don't. Walk with me.
- Look at my face. I'm not kidding.

- Donna.
- There'll be a temp here tomorrow.

- I canceled. It was crappy of me.
- This is what we were gonna talk about.

- Tomorrow?
- About my job, though working for you... an honor, I'm ready for more...

- ...and I've started looking...
- Slow down.

We'll talk. Absolutely. You're right.
Tomorrow. Lunch. You and me.

She quits.

Ted Barrow said they made progress
in the Taiwan conversations today.

Are you happy
with where they landed?

I talked to Liz.

She and Doug are gonna bring
the kids for Christmas.

They said they may even persuade
Zoey to make an appearance.

They had other plans.

I'm not dying.
There's no need to rush to the bedside.

Did you talk to Lian
about the AIDS clinics?



- What the hell are you doing?
- Brushing.

Oh, you're gonna crack your head.

- I'm fine.
- Please. You're not stable.

- Leave it alone.
- This chair is not locking.

- For God's sake...
- Jed! Michael! Michael!

Jed, you okay?

- Up here, sir.
- I am fine. Get out. That's an order.

- Jed, please.
- Go.

It's okay, it's okay.


- So now will you let me...?
- Don't touch me.

What the hell am I doing here?

- Apparently you like the tile.
- Abigail, I swear to God....

Wasted time.

No, it's not.

Maybe you're not gonna
skin the whole cat...

- ...but you'll make headway.
- Is that so?

- You'll get your North Korea talks.
- Are you out of your mind?

Lian's walking all over my staff.

I'm in one meeting a day.

All they did was feed me tea made with
Tienchin ginseng and deer-horn glue.

You see, it's the thing
for the nerve damage.

But that meant I had to piss
every 12 minutes...

...which is more of an ordeal
than it was when I was able to stand.

The new kid, Curtis, and I
are becoming very close.

- Whatever it takes.
- Didn't have time to get to the...

...AIDS clinics. I was trying to make
headway on the exchange rates.

Lian just sits there and smiles and
goes on and on about the ginseng...

...and my circulation.

This is their dream come true,
me stuck in that damn wheelchair!

- Tell your staff to bring it up tomorrow.
- I tried that. Do you hear?

Decisions are made in the room.
I am not in the room!

I can't do the job, Abbey.
Do you understand? I can't do it.

I cannot do the job.

Look at me!

Look at me!

A few shots signing the agreement,
a handshake with Lian.

It's the White House photographer,
so we can shoot chest up if you'd like.

You can get a cardboard cutout.
They have those, don't they?

Mr. President, it's not all we hoped for,
but we're laying groundwork.

The secretary of state'll come back,
take a stab at the North Korea talks.

We'll knock this off as quick as we can,
then we're back on the plane.

The asteroid has entered our daylight.

No getting another look.

Now we just wait for loud noises.

Let's go take some pictures.

I'm sorry we weren't able to
arrange a one-on-one meeting.

We had many fruitful conversations
with your advisors.

Yes, yes.

Now just the two presidents, please.

If you could all step aside. Thank you.

I wonder if it would be possible
to say hello... former President Shang
before we left the country.

I met with him on a number
of occasions, as you know...

...and our talks were
always exceptionally fruitful.

It would be nice to sit together again.

Just two old men.

You speak pretty good English,
don't you?

You got enough?
It's just a handshake you need?

- C.J., they're going.
- Who?


Budgets from everyone
but Transportation.

They said you knew why.

- You ever work on a campaign?
- No.

- How about the next one?
- The presidential?

- Maybe. I don't know.
- Josh.

Assuming we get something from

...C.J.'s gonna want copies so she can
look at them before she talks to OMB.

Ladies and gentlemen.

The asteroid has passed us.
The world is not ending today.

"Asteroid ASO0267...

...traveling at a speed
of 22,356 miles per hour...

...missed the Earth's atmosphere
by 73,400 miles...

...and is now receding
toward the sun. "

How long can he sit up?

- Doctor said maybe 30 minutes.
- What are we at now?


He wanted to know how much uranium
the South Koreans enriched on that test.

- Because?
- I don't know.

He asked for the numbers,
then he kicked me back out.

Ms. Cregg, the president would
like the translators back in there.


...would you go back in, please?


Leo? The president's in a room with Lian.
They won't let anybody in there.

They're talking about God knows what.
The surgeon general predicted...

...he'd flop over dead
if he kept at it this long.

I was gonna tell you the world's
not ending. Maybe it is.

- The asteroid passed.
- It passed. We live to fight another day.

- Wasn't wheels-up a half-hour ago?
- That was the idea.

- Hi.
- Can I help you?

- Where's Donna?
- Who's Donna?

You're sitting in her chair.

- The blond girl?
- Yeah.

I'm Marla Whorisky. I'm covering this
desk for a few days. Need something?

I'm Josh Lyman. What do you...?

You're a temp. She'll be back
in a few days, you said?

She got a new job, I think. I've got
her cell if you wanna give her a call.

You have to pull him.
This is not a good idea.

If he's having trouble, he'll say so.

- It's been an hour and 40 minutes.
- I know.

I mean, there's a cost
at this stage in his disease.

The president's made his choice. He'll
come out when he wants to come out.

- Here they come.
- Finally.

Check that carefully. Their translator's
spelling ain't what he thinks it is.

- It's about time.
- He's a talker.

- What the hell is it?
- It's a seating arrangement.

The North Korea talks.

Donna quit.

- Donna Moss.
- She's gone.

- You piss her off?
- I don't know.

- She has a new job.
- Good for her.

See, I tried to tell you this.
People move on.

Marla, I need a plane reservation
quickly. I need to go to Houston.


- Yes.
- Hang on. Hang on. Let me get a pen.

- Put me on the next flight to Houston.
- All right.

- I could kiss you on your married mouth.
- Watch yourself.

You give in on satellites?

- Yes, but on a five-year plan.
- Buys us time on nonmilitary uses.

You've got potential, sir. You ought
to think about running for office.

I want Leo. Have you seen my cell?

I gave it to somebody.

I want to tell Leo this son of a gun
just lassoed us a North Korea summit.

- The man is a force of nature.
- I want a tape.

Curtis, the only member
of the administration... witness the negotiation for what
may be the summit of the century.

Did he not sneak on a tape recorder?

- I don't think he did.
- A wasted opportunity.

They're planning a ticker-tape parade
out there.

You sweat right through your clothes.

Better get you out of this chair.
Come on, Curtis, give me a hand.

I need... I need a minute.


April. Two days of talks in Beijing
with North Korea, South Korea...

- Japan.
- Japan.

China's agreed to get aggressive with
North Korea if the inspections fall apart.

We had none of this.
We were bailing on the whole idea.

Leo, let me call you back.

That's your angel.
You broke the wings off the angel.

Put that angel down. Put it down.

Put that angel down right now.
Put it down!


- How you doing?
- You lost?

Could be.

Come on in.

I'm sorry to bug you at home, but there
wasn't time to wait for you to get back.

- I'm there next week.
- I'm on a bit of a deadline.

- It's a filing deadline.
- Oh, Josh, Josh, Josh.

- Matt?
- It's a little crazy, I know.

I'm not running for Congress again.
Now, you came a long way.

- I'm sorry about that. But it's just...
- I'm not talking about Congress.

Matt, where's the box for the tinsel,
honey? Have you seen it anywhere?