#1 The Ticket
#2 The Mommy Problem
#3 Message of the Week
#4 Mr. Frost
#5 Here Today
#6 The Al Smith Dinner
#7 Live Debate
#9 The Wedding
#10 Running Mates
#11 Internal Displacement
#12 Duck and Cover
#13 The Cold
#14 Two Weeks Out
#15 Welcome to Wherever You Are
#16 Election Day
#17 Election Day II
#20 Institutional Memory
We see, three years in the future, the dedication of the Bartlet presidential library. However, four days after the Democratic convention, the Santos campaign is encouraged by a poll showing the congressman only nine points down. Josh is caught off guard when political commentators are critical of Leo as a running mate for Matt Santos, and Santos is worried about Leo's negatives. White House counsel Oliver Babish questions C.J. sharply about the NASA leak. Donna approaches Josh for a job.
Santos hires a new tough-as nails media consultant named Louise (Janeane Garofalo) who goes by the name Lou. Santos hires her at Josh's request, even though she and Josh are hardly friends. The campaign could use a jolt, having taken, as Lou puts it, "body blow after blody blow" from Vinick and the press in the days following the convention. As a Grand Jury is convened to investigate the military shuttle leak from the White House, the campaign's focus changes to national security. Vinick deftly handles the issue while Santos remains quiet, bound by his party loyalty to align himself with the Bartlet administration.
It's three weeks into the presidential campaign and the Vinick camp is playing hardball. As the episode opens, Santos is on a roll, thanks to the good timing of his mandatory military-reserve training (he looks fairly commanding in his uniform). To counter it, Vinick decides to box in the Latino Santos by focusing on immigration issues. And it works, despite a grilling by Chris Matthews (who appears as himself) on Hardball. But then Vinick finds himself cornered by a religious-right group demanding a say on judicial appointments. An eager NSA agent briefs Vinick about an assassination which Vinick shrugs off.
As Margaret testifies before a Senate committee on the NASA leak (and as many other staffers receive subpoenas), a Palestinian leader backed by the U.S. is assassinated, and Bartlet is determined to attend the funeral, despite security concerns. Meanwhile, Santos gives a flip answer to a reporter's question about intelligent design, and the resulting firestorm bothers Josh a lot more than it bothers either Lou (Janeane Garofalo) or Santos.
Babish (Oliver Platt) questions Toby until Toby realizes he should probably retain counsel. Josh realizes that everyone involved in the Santos campaign is young and inexperienced, forcing him to make some tough decisions. CIA conspiracy theorist Charles Frost gets a dressing down from Kate about his "ambush" of C.J.; and Bartlet and Abbey meet Ellie's fiancé, a research scientist Bartlet calls "fruit-fly guy."
Donna joins the Santos campaign---hired by Lou Thornton, not Josh---in an episode dominated by abortion politics. An attack ad on Santos by a pro-life group puts Vinick in a bind: the furious Santos wants Vinick to repudiate it or "the gloves are off." But the pro-choice Vinick will offend the GOP's right wing if he does. Meanwhile, Will takes Toby's old job, and runs into a buzz saw over the NASA leak in press briefings. Lou: Janeane Garofalo. Sheila: Patricia Richardson. Bruno: Ron Silver.
Presidential candidates Matt Santos and Arnold Vinick square off in a campaign debate. Forrest Sawyer is the moderator.
This episode was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Multi-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series or Special (Edward J. Greene, Audio Mixer, Andrew Strauber, EFX Mixer).
After getting a slight political boost from the presidential debate, Santos (Jimmy Smits) courts controversy when he makes the difficult decision to visit the tense Los Angeles community where an African-American boy was shot by a Latino police officer. C.J. must manage a crisis between China and Kazakhstan. Ellie continues to make preparations for her wedding. Lou: Janeane Garofalo.
Bartlet must try to rectify a disintegrating situation between China and Russia over oil while his daughter gets married in the White House. Josh struggles with dwindling campaign funds and the necessary ad buys.
As the staff anxiously prepares Leo for the vice-presidential debate, word gets out to the press and Internet bloggers that his debating skills are weak and that he's unfocused. When Leo struggles through debate practice, Josh and Lou get extremely nervous. Meanwhile, Santos gets a brief respite from the campaign trail to see his family, and he and his wife learn to cope with new security barriers around their house.
CJ is in the thick of negotiating a deal so that Russia and China don't go to war over Kasakhstan when some potentially embarassing information about a Bartlet surfaces. Meanwhile, Josh pressures the White House to let Santos announce a scientific research lab in Texas, much to the Administration's chagrin.
Bartlet must face the possibility of an exploding nuclear reactor in California. In the midst of this emergency exists the presidential campaign and the candidates find themselves struggling to find a good strategy to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Kate (Mary McCormack) keeps an eye on the impending battle between Russia and China over Kazakhstan.
After the near disaster at the San Andreo nuclear plant, the polls come back with surprising results for the candidates. Meanwhile, Bartlet is forced to consider putting US troops on the ground to keep peace in Central Asia. Josh and Donna share an awkward moment.
The candidates are feeling the burden of the campaign trail as it gets down to the end. An interesting and unexpected twist gives Vinick (Alan Alda) an opportunity to damage the Santos (Jimmy Smits) campaign.
The Attorney General pressures Toby to reveal his source on the shuttle leak. Meanwhile, Santos is on a dizzying tour of the country.
The night before Election Day makes for interesting bedfellows. Josh stresses over returns. Meanwhile, CJ is faced with her future job offers. Anabeth (Kristin Chenoweth) makes a startling discovery.
As the polls close and results are tallied, emotions are running high. Santos and Josh are faced with the loss of their Vice Presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Vinick disagrees with his campaign team.
This episode was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Mimi Leder, Director).
Bartlet and his current staff as well as those from the past, come together for Leo's funeral. Santos is faced with the loss of his running mate.
Eyebrows are raised when the President-elect places a call to the president of China and offers a different position than that of Bartlet. Meanwhile, Josh picks his deputy chief of staff.
As Bartlet's administration prepares to transition in the Santos administration, CJ is faced with what to do with her future. Will is also in a position of uncertainty about what is to come.
After seven seasons of the Award-winning drama series, the Bartlet Administration prepares to leave the White House and The West Wing. While Santos and his winning camp are nervously gearing up for the presidential inauguration, current President Bartlet, CJ and the others fondly look back as they prepare to leave the White House forever. Guest star Rob Lowe guest-stars as Sam Seaborn.