For as much as The West Wing was pegged as a liberal fantasy during its first five seasons, the real fairy tale arrived in season six with Senator Arnold Vinick: Socially Liberal Republican. As Bartlet recedes in power during the final seasons, the main focus snaps almost entirely to Josh as he runs the Santos campaign. Arrogant, blustery and often tragically funny in the early seasons where more often than not he is undone by hubris , Josh sharpens into a more serious, still manic flag-holder for sharp-elbowed Democratic ideals; his pragmatic evolution is basically the same one the show undergoes after Sorkin leaves.
His will-they-won't-they with Donna became an irritatingly dominant storyline, but in those early seasons, it was hard not to drink up their mansplainy sessions together. Signature Episode: Season two's "Noel," which, through a painful therapy session, charts Josh's intensely suppressed PTSD following his brush with death in season one's assassination attempt.
It's Whitford's finest work on the show and a beautifully-done look at his arrogance and bluster brushing up against his darkest insecurities. Five episodes is probably the right number for Lord John, British diplomat and advisor about matters of state. Yes, he was pretty sexual-harrassy.
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But so good-natured about it! Lionel Tribbey was the first, and maybe the best, of many White House Counsels who would come down the pike, brandishing a cricket bat and unfurling furious monologue after furious monologue as he's forced to add a Republican Ainsley Hayes to his staff.
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John Laroquette is hilarious; it's kinda too bad he wasn't around for the MS storyline later on in the season. My gosh, was John Hoynes a bastard sometimes. But he was a bastard who made for some great storylines. The degree to which Vice President Hoynes was or was not antagonistic to the Bartlet White House was unpredictable and ever-changing; his arguments with Leo, C.
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He was the best kind of complicating factor in the West Wing universe. His resignation in disgrace over a sex scandal was a necessary plot development to get us to the Walken presidency at the end of season four, but it was always too bad a good character like Hoynes had to go.
Agent Ron Butterfield of the Secret Service was never the most expressive character. By his very nature as the head of the Presidential Detail, he had to play things fairly close to vest. But it was when he let that veneer drop that we really fell for him. The whole two-parter is great for Butterfield, especially while taking care of the president after he gets shot. Butterfield manages to be both strong and comforting.
Hired to replace Sam Seaborn, Malina was hobbled from the start by the high bar he had to clear, and he didn't get a ton of time to mix with the other White House staffers before he jumped ship to the Bob Russell office, and later campaign. There, he becoming a semi-antagonist for the fifth and sixth seasons, as he tried to position a man we knew was going to lose towards the Presidency. Bailey got cute again in the last season as one of the few staffers left to rattle around in the White House while the campaign rages, but he never really recovered from the whole side-switching debacle. Signature Episode: "Election Night," his second, in season four.
He was so damn charming, dancing in the rain and running a Congressional campaign for a dead man! She was C.
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Anyway, of all the assistants, Carol probably had the highest-percentage competence-to-drama ratio. Nothing rattled her. She could banter with C. She had tremendous shoes to fill, taking over the advisory role from Nancy McNally, but McCormack defied the odds and charmed us. By the end of the series, she was just as much a part of the main cast as those who had been there from the start. It was built up to be more than it is, but her work in the episode is lovely.
One of the best late-season additions to the show, Lou was the Santos campaign's communications director in the seventh season and had an even sharper tongue than the sharpest Bartlet advisors. When imagining an eighth season for the show, Garofalo's cold-as-ice badass probably would have been the new Toby of the cast, and it's too bad we never got to see it. Still, she's a vital foil to Josh in that seventh season as the team carries Santos over the finish line. Signature Episode: "The Mommy Problem," in which she comes aboard the Santos campaign to address his lack of definition in the mind of the American populace.
Immediately, you realize she was what was missing from the team in the sixth season. Maybe he's not quite as electrifying as Tribbey, but Babish is real important in the second season as the MS scandal starts to blow up in Bartlet's face. Even more so than Toby, he could challenge the President, and practically talk down to him, in a way most staffers would be too cowed to do; his abrasive no-bull approach was one size fits all, which was just what the President needed to weather his cover-up. Like so many Sorkin characters, he's introduced like he's going to be around forever, but quickly vanishes.
But he made a real impact in those first episodes. Signature Episode: Season two's "Bad Moon Rising," where he smashes the tape recorder with the judge's gavel. Sorkin knew how to write an introduction. Debbie was always going to be an odd fit into the West Wing universe. How could she not be, replacing sweet old Mrs.
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Credit to Lily Tomlin and the writers for giving Debbie her own unique, but no less special relationship with the President. Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang only appeared once, but what an appearance it was. She stole our hearts with a complex, smartly delivered monologue about her approach to a case. She was brilliant, and Close made her so much more. Every moment Close is on screen — including and especially her awe before being named as the nominee to become Chief Justice — is pure magic. Her flirty banter with Leo is great, but never makes her seem slight or unformidable.
Here's that rare Sorkin recurring character who actually comes back, and for good reason. Silver's deadpan tough-guy opportunism served the show well in the third season as Bartlet ran for re-election and needed an outsider to keep his message in line. Then, after Silver made a very public political switch and became a prominent George W.
Bush supporter, the show brought him back to serve as Arnold Vinick's campaign director, one of the smartest moves it made in season seven. Throughout, Gianelli was a model pragmatist, who knew that the big-minded idealism of anyone he worked for could trip them up in an effort to get votes. Signature Episode: Season three's "Gone Quiet," where tries to shake Sam out of an idealistic stupor.
We're both right, we're both wrong," he barks. She's always Zoey's chum, a bit of a big sister figure and a fearless soldier who would dive in front of gunfire for her.
Toscano's arc ends at the assassination of the season one finale, but every subsequent Secret Service character felt like it was building off of her. There were so many of them! They all kind of did the same thing! Her story during the election ends rather heartbreakingly Signature Episode She sacrifices herself for the right reasons — namely, that she believes Vinick needs to pull right to win — which makes his eventual loss without her all the harder.
Roberto Mendoza Edward James Olmos : the hardheaded but brilliant judge the team fights to get confirmed to the Supreme Court in season one.
Spoiler: They succeed. Danny Concannon Timothy Busfield : C. Nice enough guy, if perhaps a little bland. Ginger Kim Webster : the communications aide who was quite affected after Bartlet was shot. A consistent presence on The West Wing , and an enjoyable one. Hugely likable, and quite cute to boot. Bonnie Devika Parikh : a communications aide who left the show early into its fifth season.
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Eventually has children with Toby, is generally wonderful if one-note throughout the series. Notable for supporting the decriminalization of marijuana long before it was cool. Rock on, Millie. Bernard Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut. Among his awards was the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. Santos attended the University of Texas College of Pharmacy from , graduating and becoming a practicing pharmacist for years in Austin.
He became vice-president and later director of the Capital Area Pharmaceutical Association, and vice-president and later president of the Hancock Shopping Center Merchants Association.
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In Santos became a federal employee, named Public Health Advisor at the regional Office of Economic Opportunity, where he had primary responsibility for setting up alcoholism and drug addiction programs funded by OEO, as well as community health programs. He also worked for the Health Care Financing Administration inside the Department of Health Education and Welfare later the Department of Health and Human Services as a nursing home and hospital surveyor and pharmacy consultant, ensuring a high quality of care in Medicare and Medicaid providers.
He also set up health clinics in rural areas. He retired in June of with over 30 years of service as a Federal employee. He was interested in genealogy, tracing the Garza family back to the early Spanish explorers in Mexico and South Texas. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated Tuesday, August 21, at am with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall. He was a talented musician who played several instruments including folk and electric guitars, banjo, ukulele, drums, electronic keyboards, the organ and harmonica.