The West Wing/Hartsfield's Landing

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Hartsfield's Landing
Season 3, Episode 14
Airdate February 27, 2002
Production Number 227215
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Vincent Misiano
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Hartsfield's Landing is the fourteenth episode of the third season of The West Wing, and the fifty-eighth episode overall.

Starring: Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborn), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Janel Moloney (Donna Moss), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler), John Spencer (Leo McGarry), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman)

And Martin Sheen (President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet)

Guest Starring: Anna Deavere Smith (Nancy McNally), James Hong (David, Chinese Ambassador), NiCole Robinson (Margaret Hooper), James Keane (Registrar), Gregalan Williams (Robbie Mosley), Thomas Kopache (Bob Slatterly), Dennis Cockrum (Military Officer)

Co-Starring: William Duffy (Larry), Peter James Smith (Ed), Melissa Fitzgerald (Carol), Kris Murphy (Katie), Timothy Davis-Reed (Mark), Mindy Seeger (Chris), Charles Noland (Steve), Lionel D. Carson (Security Guard), Rick Cramer (Officer), Matthew Yang King (Staffer), Jeff Mooring (Phil), Dan Sachoff (Reporter), Teddy Lane, Jr. (Agent), J.P. Hubbell (Agent), Jack Choy (Civilian)


Plot Overview

- President Bartlet deals with a situation between China and Taiwan

- Early voting in one of New Hampshire counties.

- Toby and President get to talk about coming elections. Especially after their tremulous verbal combat a week ago.

- C.J and charlie having some office time fun.


Arc Advancement


China-Taiwan Issue

President Bartlet returns from India's trip and while he lands in IAD Airport, he chats a bit with media reporters and talks about the game 'Chess'. Leo, from his office calls C.J and tells her to get the President to the office ASAP as there is a situation developing in China. Next, President discusses the situation with Leo and analyses the situation. They realize that one wrong step could lead them sending hundreds of thousands of troops to South-East Asia and this could be as bad as Vietnam. Later, in SIT room, President discusses the situation with Nancy and Fitzwallace and the Chiefs and Nancy briefs where Taiwan stands and US response strategy.

C.J briefs the situation to reporters and denies any factors that they might or might not know that this provoking the Chinese war games and focuses on early voting in Hartsfield which consistently picks the right President every time. Meanwhile, she notices Charlie in the hall way and asks for a copy of President's private schedule for which Charlie responds by asking her to come in and sign the copy out.

Josh gets off the phone with 'Flenders' daughter and tells Donna to call 'The Flenders' to find out why are they not voting for the President in Hartfield county. (They are from that county). Donna steps off the office to call from a cellphone or public phone as she cannot use whitehouse phones to intimidate voters. President brings in a few chess boards from India trip given by its Prime Minister and gifts Sam and Toby one each. He then asks them to play a game with him. One set up at Sam's office. And the other with Toby in Oval office. Bartlet gets into conversation with Sam and asks him who does he lean towards between India and China. Sams responds by saying India for its democratic values and English speaking abilities. Thay also talk a bit about the China -Taiwan situation and this keeps Sam thinking about how it is going to be called.

Meanwhile, Toby steps in to oval office and finds out Bartlet arranged a chess game. They get to talk a bit but before that Toby apologizes to Mr.President on him crossing the line in their last talk. As they get into the game Bartlet says their topic for today is Re-Election. Soon into the discussion, Toby bluntly makes a remark about Mr. President's father which does not go well with President. Meanwhile, Leo and Nancy sits down with Chinese Ambassador and talks about the situation. Some heated talk among them. Later Leo drops into oval office to pick Mr. President and briefs him about their strategy with Nancy on their side. Nancy gets her order from President and leaves the office. Leo talks to President about what is going on and President explains about how Toby is coming back at him for he being a fluffy uncle. Leo makes his remark about it and indicates not to take Toby's comments personal.

President resumes his game with Toby when Toby tells President about how this election is going to be.

After a couple of pranks between C.J and Charlie, finally they get straightened by Leo. And President drops into Sams office and kind of explains how the shots are called over the situation. Sam goes on to guess how it is concluded and is amazed by the intelligence of the call. Mr. President makes an inspiring statement about Sam's future.


President and Toby were not at the best of the terms when it gets to how the president should make himself look for public during election campaign. They had a verbal fallout a week ago. This had a significant effect on President. A week later, President calls it a truce and attempts to talk to Toby, especially about their strategy about re-election.

Some of the things that Toby says aren't gonna be liked by President. Nevertheless, Toby makes sure the point gets across.

Sam's ability to look at things gets refined and shows a great potential for a bigger role in Bartlet's office.

Josh and Donna fights a little but significant war but lets it go at the end with a couple of points that leaves audience thinking.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments

TOBY: Then make this election about smart, and not... Make it about engaged, and not. Qualified, and not. Make it about a heavyweight. You’re a heavyweight.