Commander in Chief/Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express

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Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express
Season 1, Episode 8
Airdate November 15, 2005
Production Number 108
Written by Dee Johnson,
Joel Fields,
Alison Cross
Story: Steven Bochco
Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
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Commander in ChiefSeason One
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Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express is the eighth episode of the first season of Commander in Chief, and the eighth episode overall.

Vince Taylor's private issues make him a political pawn between Mackenzie and Templeton.

Guest Stars: Anthony Azizi (Vince Taylor), Scott Atkinson (Reporter Steve), Michael Trevino (Kevin), Angus Sutherland (Young Nathan Templeton), William Rogers (News Pundit), Alex Paez (Carlos), Carmen Nicole (Reporter Jill), Natasha Henstridge (Jayne Murray), John Hemphill (Agent in Pool), Samantha Eggar (Sara Templeton), Pamela Dunlap (Gilda Rockwell), Andi Chapman (Mrs. Burke), Matt Barr (Mike Fleming)


Plot Overview

Vince Taylor's random drug screen test comes back negative, but his HIV positive status quickly becomes an issue. Having told nobody but Jim Gardner, both it and his gay lifestyle were omitted from his security vetting. Jim urges him to tell the President about it but respects his need for privacy, although he has to unofficially fill in the Secret Service about it.

Nathan Templeton's Chief of Staff finds out about Vince while researching all of Mackenzie's staff, primarily because of a restraining order issued by his parents against a boyfriend when he was young. Jayne passes this information to Jim who informs Mackenzie of the incoming political outing. Concerned about the impact it will have on the administration as well as lacking trust in him, Mackenzie accepts his offer of resignation.

Kelly has some friends of the family visiting who bring with them a videotape of an old 8mm film depicting Nathan Templeton making racist segregationist speech several decades ago. The Dubidoux family are not politically involved, but in exchange for helping their daughter get into Brown University with Mackenzie's help, they agree to remain quiet about the tape.

At the urging of Jim, who considers Vince a valuable team member and that his resignation only provides Templeton with confirmation of his information, Mackenzie asks Vince to stay on her staff. She has a private meeting with Templeton, telling him they know of his intentions and showing him an excerpt of the tape. Angered, he agrees to not expose Vince and that, although unwilling to be considered an ally, would be indebted to her for not bringing up the tape. Vince later comes out publicly and his status and orientation become discussion included in the first of a recurring weekly press conferences Mackenzie will give.

Rod, having abandoned the offer as Baseball Commissioner, is officially entitled Director of Political Strategy. Considering it steps into Jim's territory, there is considerable friction between the two of them.

Horace's school troubles compound as he is found plagarizing a test. Additionally, he nearly starts a fight with his friend Mike who is bragging about having sex with Rebecca.


  • Although Templeton's tape shows him saying, "They're trying to make segregation a dirty word. But segregation is the word of God. If the Lord Almighty wanted colored people to mix with whites, live with whites, to marry whites, he wouldn't have placed them on separate continents", Templeton does say that he was a young Southern Democrat saying whatever he had to to court votes. Mackenzie also doesn't believe it represents him.

Arc Advancement


  • Knowing that Jayne Murray had told Gardner about their intentions to leak Vince's status, Templeton has fired her as his Chief of Staff.




The Show

  • This episode has a new intro and is also the first episode produced with Stephen Bochco at the helm.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments



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