Commander in Chief/First Disaster

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First Disaster
Season 1, Episode 6
Airdate November 1, 2005
Production Number 106
Written by Richard Arthur,
Crystal Nix Hines
Directed by Vincent Misiano
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First... Do No Harm
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Commander in ChiefSeason One
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First Disaster is the sixth episode of the first season of Commander in Chief, and the sixth episode overall.

A hurricane hits Florida and puts it in a dilemma of local or national ecological disaster and Rod's offer of a job adds to the friction of the first family.

Guest Stars: Natasha Henstridge (Jayne Murray), Anthony Azizi (Vince Taylor), Julie Ann Emery (Agent Joan Greer), Kristen Shaw (Norah Woodruff), Rick Dempsey (Himself), Randy Oglesby (Bill Skinner), Jim Palmer (Himself), Terri Hoyos (Governor Maria Nuñez), Donzaleigh Abernathy (Reporter #1), Kim Hawthorne (Agent Powers), Russell Wong, Ned Vaughn (Reporter Charlie), Marc Gomes (Ken Iacampo), Samantha Eggar (Sara Templeton), Matt Barr (Mike Flemming), Shayna Rose (Onlooker #5), Shana Montanez (Onlooker #4), Ren Casey (Onlooker #3), Mike Ratterman (Onlooker #2), Kasan Butcher (Onlooker #1), Richard Alexander Latouche (Elderly Man), Estrella Tamez (Staffer), Anne Rutter (Woman), Angela Martinez (Newscaster), Flynn Beck (Templeton's Aide), Roy Werner (Majority Whip Wilson), Doug Roberts (Weathers), Margaret Laurena Kemp (Denise Landis), Gideon Emery (Jared Lyons), Hira Ambrosino (Laura), J. Kenneth Campbell (The Admiral), Kevin McCorkle (Captain Trenton), Jenna Gavigan (Jenny)


Plot Overview

A Category 3 Hurricane hits Florida, and both Mackenzie Allen and Nathan Templeton team up to provide relief in person. Meeting the Governor, Maria Nuñez, as well as the displaced citizens who've lost their homes, they provide supplies. During this disaster, FEMA notifies the President that the oil tanker Cambria was damaged while off shore and has currently spilled 100,000 gallons of its 50 million gallon capacity in the Atlantic.

Two options are presented: Send the ship further into the Atlantic and sink it, which runs the possibly inevitable risk of the hull eventually breaking down and sending millions of gallons of oil the length of the Atlantic coastline, or bring the ship into harbor and repair the damage, which runs the risk of failing enroute and causing severe and localized damage to Florida. Both Governor Nuñez and Nathan Templeton, who is from Florida, so strongly oppose the risk posed to Florida that they invoke local environmental laws that prevent them from sending the tanker into a Florida harbor. While the President has the support of the EPA and eventual legal precedence of the Clean Water Act, the delay would be so long that the tanker would surely collapse in that time. Crossing party lines by helping the Democratic Governor, Templeton also enlists the aid of the Florida-based environmental group Secure Habitat and they jointly obtain a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the ship's captain from being the tanker to Florida.

Rod advises Mackenzie that the only resolution to this is to provide them with a way to concede while still gaining something in the process. Working from that strategy, Mackenzie calls a conference between Gov. Nuñez and Templeton and provides a plan to circumvent the TRO by having the Cambria commissioned as a US Coast Guard vehicle, which can be docked at a military harbor outside of the jurisdiction of the local environmental laws. However, in the interest of saving face, she instead suggests that they compromise and is willing to give Florida preference by shifting new military bases there, increasing Medicaid funding, supporting Templeton's highway bill. She rejects Templeton's offer to extend indefinitely the ban on oil drilling because of an aim to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Rebecca, wanting to spend some time alone with Mike at a local restaurant, asks Agent Greer to let her be alone. While she and Mike are out back, they are mobbed by autograph seekers causing Rebecca to panic and Greer to quickly get her out of there. Rod calls in Agent Greer and has her transferred off of the prestige Presidential Family detail and replaces her with Agent Powers. It is only clear to Rebecca when talking to Joan as she's leaving the building what a devastating impact this has had on her career.

Kelly unwittingly tells Mackenzie that Rod was considering the job as Baseball Commissioner, which causes a great deal of friction between them that he hadn't even mentioned the possibility to her. In a small fight, he expresses that the ideal they had that he could stay by her side was just a fantasy and would never work. In the end, during a quiet moment watching television with Mackenzie and Amy, Rod says he's taking the job.


  • Nathan Templeton was a medical doctor before joining politics.

Arc Advancement


  • Horace continues to hit on Kelly, although she appears oblivious to him aims.




The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments



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