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The West Wing 7 Seasons 2004

Season 5
4.5 out of 5 stars (391) IMDb 8.8/10

Experience the inner workings of the White House in this innovative, multi-award-winning drama series created by Emmy winner Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night). Martin Sheen, as President Bartlet, continues to leads an acclaimed ensemble cast. Entering its fifth season with 24 Emmys, The West Wing begins as the President - and the nation - faces the traumatic kidnapping of his youngest daughter.

Starring:
Stockard Channing, Dulé Hill
Original air date:
May 19, 2004

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Season 5

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1. 7A WF 83429

As the White House reels from the kidnapping of Zoey, the youngest daughter of Democratic U.S. President Josiah Edward Bartlet, the government is temporarily passed from the distraught Bartlet to the Republican party.

CC TV-NR September 24, 2003 43 minutes
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2. The Dogs of War

The international crisis concerning the terrorist abduction of Bartlet's daughter Zoey reaches a critical point as Speaker of the House Glenallen Walken, the acting President, orders the bombardment of Qumari terrorist camps.

CC TV-NR October 1, 2003 43 minutes
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3. Jefferson Lives

Following a harrowing chapter in the nation's history, the White House celebrates the Fourth of July. Bartlet endures the painful process of nominating a candidate for vice president.

CC TV-NR October 8, 2003 44 minutes
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4. Han

A renowned North Korean pianist is greeted at the White House for a solo performance, but the formalities change when the musician slips a message to the President stating that he wants to defect.

CC TV-NR October 22, 2003 43 minutes
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5. Constituency of One

After Josh is hailed as the "101st Senator" in a newspaper profile, he clashes with conservative Senator Carrick, a Democrat from Idaho.

CC TV-NR October 29, 2003 43 minutes
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6. Disaster Relief

Bartlet is preoccupied with a killer tornado in Oklahoma and flies there to lend his support. But his compassion overrules good judgment, and Bartlet stays longer than planned.

CC TV-NR November 5, 2003 43 minutes
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7. Separation of Powers

The President's staff wrangles with new Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley over the pending federal budget. Meanwhile, Toby dispatches former Supreme Court clerk and friend Joe Quincy to check on the condition of stricken Chief Justice Roy Ashland.

CC TV-NR November 12, 2003 44 minutes
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8. Shutdown

A disastrous fiscal crisis looms when the federal government is shut down after the President and the powerful Republican Speaker of the House disagree over an extra two percent in budget reductions that would trim many of Bartlet's key social programs.

CC TV-NR November 19, 2003 43 minutes
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9. Abu El Banat

The festive Christmas spirit at the annual White House tree-lighting celebration is dimmed when the President learns that Christian relief workers have been jailed in Islamic Northern Sudan.

CC TV-NR December 3, 2003 44 minutes
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10. The Stormy Present

When a former President of the United States dies, the two remaining ex- Presidents fly on Air Force One with Bartlet to attend the funeral. Onboard, Bartlet's two historic guests partake in a lively debate about their administrations.

CC TV-NR January 7, 2004 43 minutes
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11. The Benign Prerogative

Toby finishes the State of the Union Address a few weeks early, and a pregnant Joey Lucas polls responses to the speech from everyday people.

CC TV-NR January 14, 2004 43 minutes
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12. Slow News Day

Toby convinces Bartlet to secretly sanction his solo attempt to make history by reforming Social Security, but Toby's efforts to recruit a Republican senator and a Democratic cohort are publicly divulged.

CC TV-NR February 4, 2004 44 minutes
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13. The Warfare of Genghis Khan

When the flash of a secret nuclear detonation is detected over the Indian Ocean, Bartlet calls upon his people to investigate which nation now has the atomic bomb.

CC TV-NR February 11, 2004 43 minutes
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14. An Khe

When five crew members of an airborne Thunderchief are shot down by North Korean jets near the hostile country, President Bartlet dispatches a Navy SEAL team to retrieve them.

CC TV-NR February 18, 2004 44 minutes
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15. Full Disclosure

The Bartlet administration reels from press leaks that former Vice President Hoynes is preparing a tell-all book that will embarrass the President and Leo as Hoynes plans to become a candidate for President of the United States.

CC TV-NR February 25, 2004 43 minutes
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16. Eppur Si Muove

Bartlet becomes furious when a rival conservative congresswoman tries to end funding for a controversial National Institute of Health medical study by exposing the fact that Bartlet's daughter Ellie is working at the institute as a scientist.

CC TV-NR March 3, 2004 43 minutes
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17. The Supremes

When a Republican Supreme Court justice suddenly dies, the Bartlet administration scrambles to find a worthy replacement, and the halls are filled with candidates.

CC TV-NR March 24, 2004 43 minutes
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18. Access

Producing a program on past and present White House press secretaries, a television documentary crew follows C.J. around to film a "typical" day.

CC TV-NR March 31, 2004 43 minutes
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19. Talking Points

On the eve of the President's controversial trade summit meeting in Brussels, Josh is troubled when he learns that Bartlet will reverse his position concerning the loss of American jobs to foreign nations.

CC TV-NR April 21, 2004 44 minutes
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20. No Exit

After attending a formal dinner at another location, Bartlet and his staff return to the White House and experience an emergency quarantine inside the West Wing when the environmental hazard monitor detects a dangerous foreign substance.

CC TV-NR April 28, 2004 44 minutes
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21. Gaza

Donna and Admiral Fitzwallace travel with a few Congressmen to the hotly disputed Gaza Strip on a fact-finding mission, trying to sort through the rival issues between the Palestinians and Israelis.

CC TV-NR May 12, 2004 43 minutes
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22. Memorial Day

In the season finale, after the murders of high-ranking U.S. officials in the explosive Gaza Strip, Bartlet weighs appropriate military action.

CC TV-NR May 19, 2004 44 minutes
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After the great first four seasons, season five of the West Wing is, quite frankly, terrible. Aaron Sorkin, the architect of the four first seasons and creator of the show, was fired mid-story arc by NBC and probably had a hard time watching this season, as many familiar characteristics were stripped away. Donna has suddenly gone from being a bright-eyed optimist to a jaded Washington insider, constantly speaking in a bizarre low voice. Toby is no longer quirky, but simply mean and uninteresting. The assasination of Abdul Sharif, a story arc that had existed for over a season, is ended unceremoniously in a matter of a few minutes, shoved into the end of an episode and never spoken of again. Josh's character, once funny and energetic, is reduced to screaming at the capital building, a scene, intending to be a dramatic, more likely to produce laughter than further unerstanding of his character. Will Bailey, a great replacement for Sam in season four, takes a job with the new vice president, and loses his sharp wit along the way. Despite no longer working for the president, Will is still often at meetings determining presidential policy(?).

And all of a sudden, everyone's having sex. It turns out C.J. and the Vice President were once together, an absolutely absurd story line that is difficult to believe to say the least.Then, C.J. encourages Donna to "broaden her horizons" beyond Josh, and as a result, she sleeps with a guy before getting blown up while on a fact-finding mission to the Gaza strip.(Don't ask... just don't ask.)

The fast-paced dialogue that was a trademark of the show through its first four seasons disappears. Meetings in Leo's office or the Roosevelt Room that were once fast-paced now consist of short, bland dialogue, lacking real meaning.
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We're super "West Wing" fans, but have to admit that Season 5 was missing a lot of the humor of the first 4 seasons. Still, it had some great moments, such as the selection of two judges for the Supreme Court. Aaron Sorkin's brilliant writing was sorely missed during this particular season, but keep watching. During seasons 6 & 7, someone found humor once again. Not as great as the Sorkin years, but still definitely worth watching.
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Format: DVD
I discovered the West Wing late in 2003, just as the first season became available on DVD. As a person who looked upon TV with some disdain (having not really watched any significant amount of television since I was a kid), the show demonstrated to me that TV really could be something worth watching. I eagerly ate up every available episode on Bravo and bought the DVDs as they came out.

Imagine my pain when I learned of the departure of Sorkin and Schlamme. Season 4 ended on a cliffhanger like no other in all of television, on several levels. Here I was, a person who didn't really even like TV, actually mourning the fact that the situation would never see a "proper" resolution as Sorkin would have imagined it.

In fact, my worst fears were true. The first three or so episodes of season 5 are without a doubt the worst episodes of this series ever made. The climax at the end of season 4 is resolved clumsily, in true "deus ex machina" form. It was almost heartbreaking. However, the show did pick up again, though never achieving its former glory, and there are definitely some worthwhile moments in season 5. Season 6 started out terrific, and I really had hopes for the show's future. But I think interest petered out with the transformation of the show into "The Campaign Trail." Alan Alda notwithstanding, I suppose the show's recently announced finality was inevitable all along.

I'll be buying this DVD set, however, and not just for the sake of completeness. West Wing is much like pizza and sex: even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. In fact, it's better than pretty good. It's still just about the best thing on TV, and the smartest.
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Format: DVD
There is definitely a change in the West Wing for Season 5, while Aaron Sorkin and Rob Lowe are very sorely missed, it is still the same incredible cast of characters, for the most part, that continue to make this the best show on television.

Season is 5 is far from the best and nowhere near as good as seaons 2 and 3, but there are still some very worthwhile episodes and even those episodes that fall short of the quality of this show, it is still a pleasure to watch Leo, Josh, CJ, Toby and Jed in the West Wing.

I admit, I briefly debated purchasing season 5, but in the end I

found myself at Target today, it's first day of release, buying the second to last set they had on the shelf. My love of these wonderful characters and the show itself, beat out the disappointment I felt in some of the casting, writing and storyline decisions.

I don't watch much TV, there are very, very few shows that I HAVE to see and none that I enjoy as much as The West Wing. I'm glad I got Season 5 to add to my collection, so when the sad day comes when it is only shown in re-runs, I'll know I can just pop in a DVD to get my fix of the best shown on TV.
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