Commander in Chief/First Dance

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First Dance
Season 1, Episode 4
Airdate October 18, 2005
Production Number 104
Written by Allison Adler,
Steve Cohen
Directed by Vincent Misiano
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Commander in ChiefSeason One
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First Dance is the fourth episode of the first season of Commander in Chief, and the fourth episode overall.

With her first summit in only a few short days, Templeton takes a handful of the cabinet away from Allen. Faced with the resignations, Allen stays strong and completes the summit.

Guest Stars: Natasha Henstridge (Jayne Murray), Kristen Shaw (Norah Woodruff), Anthony Azizi (Vince Taylor), Eyal Podell (Eli), Ilia Volok (President Kharkov), Mary Page Keller (Grace Bridges), D. T. Matias (Reporter #2), Brion Rose (Butler Sam), Matt Barr (Mike Flemming), Stan Kelly (Roman Wolfe), Ned Vaughn (Reporter Charlie), Jenna Gavigan (Jenny), Ravil Isyanov (Russian Aide), Sandra Hess (Patya Kharkova), Kate Jennings Grant (Reporter Samantha), Jason Wiles (Alex Williams)


Plot Overview

A political summit with Russian President Dmitri Kharkov presents the first official social function of the Allen presidency. The agenda and agreements of the summit were solidified while Bridges was still alive, so both the members of the cabinet and the Russian delegation urge her to not deviate from the original. However, Mackenzie is keenly interested in the civil liberties being infringed on several journalists currently in prison.

On the eve of the Summit, both the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of the Interior resign in lieu of positions on Nathan Templeton's forthcoming Presidential cabinet. When confronted on it, Nathan offers Jim Gardner a Vice Presidency if he will resign as well.

Accompanying the visiting Russian President is his wife, whom Rod spends a good deal of time with as well as preparing for a State dinner. When Rod expresses some reservations as to the nature of his new role, Mrs. Kharkova suggests that his role is far less constrained as it may seem. To illustrate this point, Mrs. Kharkova brokers a negotiation between President Kharkov and Mackenzie while the two are at odds.

Horace is made aware of interest from the opposite sex given that he is now part of the Presidential family and Rebecca plays her parents off of each other to skip the State Dinner to spend time with her new boyfriend. Realizing this, Horace tasks Amy to hang out with them, ruining Rebecca's night.

At the State Dinner, Mackenzie and Kharkov mend fences and follow through with the deal to gain the release of imprisoned Russian journalists in exchange for the US's help in getting Russia into the World Trade Organization. Jim turns down the offer of the vice presidency and suggests that Nathan's decision to not take President Bridge's offer for the VP position before he was ill drove him to that decision. Had he accepted the offer, Templeton would be President. But turning it down left the job in Allen's lap and he feels a duty to help her succeed.


  • It appears that Nathan's wife has some kind of extended illness.
  • Mackenzie and Russian President Kharkov dance during the summit, bringing up panic among the staff concerning precedence and protocol.
  • Grace Bridges indicates that she's ready to move out of the White House.
  • Horace starts subtly hitting on Kelly.
  • Mackenzie has a biography of John Tyler given to Nathan Templeton as a symbol. Tyler was a Harrison's Vice President and took the Presidency on his death. In response to his policies, the Whig party disowned him, his Cabinet resigned, and the first Impeachment proceedings were begun. However, the Tyler Presidency gathered strength from its policies despite the political hurdles.

Arc Advancement


  • Nathan has the goal of poaching as much of Bridges' old cabinet to populate his own cabinet after he wins the next presidency.




The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Rod: Mrs. Kharkova, before this you were a well respected attorney. Tell me the truth, don't you feel that this job is a little limiting?
    Mrs. Kharkova: That's only the job if that's what you make of the job.


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