The West Wing (1999–2006)
2 user

Twenty Five 

In the wake of his daughter's kidnapping, Bartlet must make a decision between being a father and being President.


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin | 7 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stockard Channing ... Abbey Bartlet
Dulé Hill ... Charlie Young
Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg
Joshua Malina ... Will Bailey
Janel Moloney ... Donna Moss
Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler
John Spencer ... Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman
Martin Sheen ... President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet
Mary-Louise Parker ... Amy Gardner
John Amos ... Percy Fitzwallace
Taye Diggs ... Secret Service Agent Wesley
Michael O'Neill ... Secret Service Agent Ron Butterfield
Anna Deavere Smith ... Nancy McNally
Clark Gregg ... FBI Special Agent Michael Casper


In the wake of his daughter's kidnapping, Bartlet must make a decision between being a father and being President.

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Release Date:

14 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Leo (John Spencer) says Walken (John Goodman) would have to wait until the midterms to run for Congress again. However, congressional vacancies would have to be filed by a special election, which Walken would be eligible to run for and, given the circumstances of his resignation, would likely win. And given the situation was resolved quickly, it's doubtful an election would have been held that quickly. However, Walken returning to Congress is never addressed again in the series. Further, the potential for a quick resolution to the kidnapping and Walken winning a special election would likely cause the majority to delay filling the Speaker's seat again in case Walken wanted it back. The short-term murkiness of the situation is precisely why letting the Secretary of State handle the early parts of the crisis as acting president would have been more prudent, both practically and politically. See more »


When the Speaker of the House resigns from his office in order to be sworn in as President, Leo tells him he cannot "just go back" but has to be re-elected in two years. This is not true, because the Speaker does not have to be a current member of congress (so the house can just elect citizen Walken to be their speaker). Also because congressman Walken resigned his, congressional district can hold a special election, so he can be back in as little as six months as representative and within two weeks as Speaker. See more »


Donna Moss: Do you know how many faxes we've gotten and do you know how many of them are from your insane groupies? "The Lyman Ho's have chosen this time to let you know via fax, should you be needing any physical comfort during this horrible time..." Read that. Do you like that? Is that what turns you on, you sicky?
Josh Lyman: I didn't write this.
Donna Moss: Yeah, but they must sense it in you.
Josh Lyman: What are the others?
Donna Moss: I just picked them up. It's gonna be more thoughts and prayers, good wishes...
Josh Lyman: That's nice.
Donna Moss: ...and bus station ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Typically West Wing episodes open with a title credit using white lettering on black background. This episode, and the previous episode's ending "created by" credit have black lettering on white background. See more »


West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 4: Feels stuck in a rut and never forces its way to anywhere but settles for the usual tricks to get by on in the meantime
23 April 2013 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

After a very sappy and self-satisfied first season I was happy to see this show settle down somewhat and not be quite so obvious and pleased with itself. The fourth season sees us heading into an election with the President carrying a morally dubious (and illegal) decision with him and I was looking forward to this pressing on the White House while the battle of an election year unfolds. It is strange then that, with these threads on the table going into the season, it actually seems a bit uncertain about what it is doing. The assassination remains in the background of the season and more could have been done with it just in terms of the characters but the bigger surprise for me was the election. Instead of being an impacting event it is pretty much done within a handful of episodes – compare this to the grueling reality of the campaign trail and the constant gameplay we see on the news. I was surprised and disappointed that it was over with so little fuss and so little consequence and I'm not sure why this was the case.

Outside of this we get some nice character-specific episode which are decent despite the show not really being one for strong character development – but at least it gives the cast something else to do apart from hitting their marks as the cameras move around the hallways. The result though is that the season feels fragmented because it doesn't seem to have a consistent stride to it – and at times it sinks back into sappy smugness. Plots and characters don't go anywhere and some characters just seem to not be around anymore with too much real reason – I understand with a big cast that trimming is needed and people may drop out, but the way it is mostly done is rather annoying and made me feel like I was supposed to be fine with it and that the writers took the easy options when they could. The final few episodes are almost hilariously over the top as we get an obvious plot twist towards a season finale – it is all very dramatic and worthy but it feels like a whole new show is happening out of nowhere.

The cast continue to be good but in many ways the writing lets them down this season. The character moments throws some good "out of office" moments to them but mostly they are at work and the lack of a consistent tone and thread limits them by throwing them around a bit. Sheen, Janney, Spencer, Whitford and others remain good but some new cast members struggle to make their mark, with Malina being given too much too soon while Parker tries to do crisply droll but doesn't quite pull it off and never feels like a real person. The parade of guest stars are a distraction rather than a bonus – Slater, Perry and others don't bring much to the show other than their names and faces. Goodman makes a dramatic showing towards the end of the season, hopefully season 5 will make good use of him and not just see him out the door with minimal fuss.

It isn't that the fourth season is bad (it isn't), it is just that it seems inconsequential. The plot threads aren't really made the most use of and it doesn't ever feel like it is going anywhere. This feeling is made all the more obvious by how nuts the final few episodes go as it seeks out a dramatic finish to bring people back for the next season. It will still please those looking for the show to do what it has always done, but it is disappointing that it seems to step backwards here rather than becoming stronger.

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