EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'The West Wing' newbie recap: No, you did NOT just do that to C.J.

Season 1 | Episode 11 | “Lord John Marbury” | Aired Jan 5, 2000

Let’s flash back to January 5, 2000, when we were all super grateful that our computers hadn’t melted down and caused airplanes to plummet from the sky.

Now that the Y2K threat is over, there’s a different type of crisis brewing: The Indian army has invaded Pakistani-held Kashmir territory with 300,000 troops. In a tense military briefing, the president asks the CIA director how they could possibly have missed seeing that many human beings amassing on the Kashmir border. The CIA director admits to dropping the ball. It seems to me that the CIA wasn’t aware that there was any kind of ball and were instead preparing for a swim meet.

The menfolk gather for an Oval Office strategy session on the conflict that breaks up when C.J. sticks her head in, unaware of what they’re discussing.

Josh, meanwhile, has been subpoenaed to give testimony in a deposition for Freedom Watch, the latest of many. “I’m a professional hostile witness,” he laments. Sam encourages Josh to take an attorney with him, but he shrugs it off.

Poor Sam then gets cornered by Mandy, who wants to take on Republican Mike Brace as a consulting client. She asks Sam to talk Josh and Toby into agreeing, flattering him by saying he’s the only senior staff member who wants to actually get things done rather than merely win.

CharlieIn the cute corner of the White House: Zoey asks Charlie if he ever gets a night off and says it’d be cool to go out sometimes. Charlie clarifies, “With me?” Unfortunately, he doesn’t get any nights off, but once she leaves, you can tell he’s intrigued by the offer.

At that day’s press briefing, a reporter asks C.J. about India’s troop movement, and she brushes it off, saying that’s ridiculous, and she was in the Oval Office 10 minutes ago, so if something had happened, she’d know. AWKWARD. OH, SO AWKWARD.

After the briefing, Toby and Leo fill C.J. in on the situation. She very quickly realizes this was what she walked into in the Oval Office, but no one saw fit to fill her in. But she’s an absolute professional about this grievous insult, where in a similar situation, I’d be a yelling, foot-stomping screech beast. (Mandy, in other words.)

Josh’s deposition with Freedom Watch is, surprise surprise, about his non-investigation into Lillienfield’s allegations about White House drug use. Freedom Watch is suing for records of the investigation under FOIA. Josh snaps that he doesn’t particularly want to play ball for this group that’s working to take down President Bartlet and his staff.

At the White House, the Bartlet Bunch is getting a briefing on India’s weapons capabilities. It’s horrifying, even before they get to what the expert promises is the “truly terrifying part.” In light of this, the president wants to bring in an India expert: Lord John Marbury. At this suggestion, Leo looks like he smelled something bad. (Which is funny, because I bet Lord Marbury himself smells fantastic.)

C.J.’s still angry because the press thinks not that she lied to them, but that her colleagues lied to her, which is in fact the case. She says was just starting to earn some credibility with the press corps, and that’s back to square one now. Toby says it’s because she’s seen as too friendly with the press, and they sent her in there blind, because they didn’t trust her to lie to the press.


Yes. Sure. Setting her up for professional humiliation is better than explaining the situation to her, as well as their misgivings about her relationships with the press *coughDannycough,* so she has the opportunity to conduct herself like the professional she is and they hired her to be. Shameful.

Following a not-great first day of depositions, Toby insists that Josh take Sam with him for part two. Good thing, too; the Freedom Watch lawyer starts asking for the names of any alcoholics in the White House. Sam and Josh refuse to answer. And then we get to it: Is Leo McGarry an alcoholic? And has he gotten treatment for Valium addiction? Claypool, the attorney, has Leo’s confidential treatment records and obviously already knows the answers.

At this point, Sam cuts the questioning short before Josh perjures himself, and on the way out, Josh commits some light assault and battery on Claypool. As they leave, Sam tells Claypool he’ll bust him like a piñata, which is my new favorite hilarious threat.

Back at the White House, Charlie bravely (if foolishly) asks the president how he’d feel about he and Zoey going out. The president tells him it’s the absolute worst time in the world to ask. And with that, Bartlet’s off to meet with ambassadors.

The Chinese ambassador says they’ll use whatever force is necessary to stop India. The Pakistani ambassador doesn’t want to hear the president’s suggestions of reasonable solutions. The Indian ambassador is equally entrenched. Thankfully, the president has a secret weapon: Lord John Marbury

MarburyI’ll level with you, Lord Marbury is AMAZING. He Jack Sparrows into the Oval Office, all loose-limbed and probably a little drunk, accuses Leo of being the butler, asks where he can light his cigarette, then tells Leo to call him “your lordship.” Marbury is a fantastic combination of intelligent, confident and condescending. He is my new spirit animal.

Less fun plots: Toby comes in to apologize to C.J., then sits in silence until CJ. snaps, “WELL??” He apologizes and admits that it was his decision to keep her out of the loop. She seems to accept, and forget what I said about Marbury. C.J. is both my hero and my professional role model. She keeps her cool but forcefully speaks up when necessary. We should all have such grace under pressure.

Now, the anti-role model: Mandy wants to know if Sam convinced anyone else to let her work for Mike Brace. He tells her the reactions weren’t good. (Toby’s response is disbelief, and when Sam asked Josh about it, Josh asked, “Is there another Mike Brace?”) Mandy starts to get all Mandy about things, and Sam finally comes down on her: You can work for us or you can work for them, but you can’t do both. She needs to be in it to win for the White House only. Man, I hate rooting against one of the two prominent female characters on this show, and yet…

Leo and President Bartlet are still talking about the Charlie/Zoey issue. Leo gently asks if it’s a racial problem, which the president denies. It’s the age difference, he says. Zoey’s 19, Charlie’s 21, and “a guy learns a lot in those two years.”

Then Bartlet has the same conversation with Charlie: It’s not because he’s black, it’s because he’s a guy. Then he gets serious and asks Charlie if he’s ready for a negative response from the public and kindly tells him, “You know what to do with the mail, right?”

And this week’s episode ends with the Bartlet Bunch (including C.J., thankfully) gathered as Marbury promises to stick around for as long as it takes to avert war, even if it takes months. Leo is not thrilled. Marbury just wants a light for his cigarette.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like