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Steven Culp on "The West Wing - Third-Day Story"



Detailed summary:

The Senior Staff arrives back at the White House after the car trip from Camp David. They are still discussing strategies on how the President should present the peace plan. Toby is on the phone trying to get in touch with Leo.

Margaret comes out of her office to tell Josh and Toby that the Republican Leadership is waiting - they had a meeting with Leo, but she can't find him anywhere. Josh and Toby take the meeting, which was scheduled to talk about a tax cut - but Josh and Toby try to push back as the peace plan is the major news story of the moment. Speaker Haffley tells them it is not going to go over so easy.

Charlie is on the phone outside the Oval Office, he hangs up and goes to tell the President that Signal is still trying to locale Leo. The President is energized getting ready to call foreign leaders to shore up support for the plan. Josh and Toby arrive to tell the President about the Republican's desire for a tax cut before they vote on the peacekeeping plan. Charlie returns to the Oval Office to tell those present that Leo has been found in the woods near Camp David after suffering a massive heart attack.

The President and First Lady are hurrying to the motorcade to go to Bethesda Medical Center to see Leo. Abbey is telling them about the prognosis given what has happened. Abbey tells the staff to stay at the White House and the President gives them some direction on how to proceed while he is at the hospital.

Inside the White House, the Senior Staff squabble over how to proceed in the absence of Leo. Toby tells them they can run things through him. Josh points out that he is the Deputy Chief of Staff. C.J. tells them both to be quiet and pushes them into a direction. Toby and Josh tell her about the Republican Leadership's desire for 60 votes on a tax cut before they agree to vote on peacekeeping.

C.J. returns to her office and tells Carol to talk to the countries currently on the Security Council and get their support - it will make a Security Council Resolution easier. Moments later, both Toby and then Josh tell C.J. the same thing.

At the hospital, Leo's doctor is telling the President, First Lady, and Charlie about Leo's condition. Abbey is reviewing Leo's chart and asking questions about what they plan to do. Later, the President and First Lady are still waiting - Abbey tells him that there was nothing he did to Leo - except the President tells Abbey that he fired Leo the night before. In the operating room, the team of doctors is working on Leo.

Josh tells C.J. he is stepping out for a little while but to keep working on the Security Council members. He is going to meet Donna's plane, which is coming in today. He grabs a donut and C.J. tells him to drop it and, if he stays away from junk food for a week - she will cook him dinner.

Toby goes into a meeting with Congressman Borden to get his support to vote for the tax cut. The Congressman agrees but only if there is no cap on the number of children. In the Roosevelt Room, Josh is meeting with two Congressmen who will also support the tax cut - but only if they cap the number of eligible children.

C.J. and Carol are talking about what's next - C.J. asks Carol to keep her updated on the latest issues. They walk past the Roosevelt Room, where C.J. sees Josh with a brownie - he puts it down. C.J. takes a few steps then goes back and Josh has picked up another brownie - he puts it down. C.J. walks in and takes the plate of brownies out of the room.

Toby comes to see the President, Charlie tells him that the President is in with Will - but he will get him in shortly. Toby talks with Charlie - who has finished his coursework at Georgetown, with the exception of a swim test.

C.J. is in her office talking with some reporters, including Greg Brock. She answers their questions and then two of them leave, leaving Greg in the office with C.J. He asks her if the new White House Chief of Staff is going to be Toby or Josh? C.J. yells at him that this is a non-story right now, Greg points out that it is very much a big story, given how important a role Leo played in the White House.

In the Oval Office - the President is finishing up a call with another world leader. He tells Debbie that he will make the rest of the calls from Bethesda. Josh comes in from Leo's office to see if the President needs anything. He tells Josh to just get a vote on the peacekeeping - Josh points out the problem with the tax cut vote - but the President is focused on the peacekeeping vote. The President leaves to head back to the hospital.

In Toby's office, C.J. and Will are there when Toby comes in. Toby asks Will about his meeting with the President - the President asked Will to help out. Josh comes in and they talk about how to get the unanimous vote in the Security Council back on track. Toby and Josh talk about the specifics of their meetings with the Congressmen and they realize they both agreed to two different things.

At the hospital, the Senior Staff arrive to sit with the President, while they await word on Leo - who is still in surgery. Toby speaks to the President and tells him that he should name an interim Chief of Staff - which the President is reluctant to do. Abbey comes out and tells the President the doctors have finished the bypass - but Leo's heart will not work without the machines - they need to have a conversation with Mallory about options if they cannot get Leo's hear to beat on its own.

Josh wheels Donna back in to the White House, where she is greeted by several people, including C.J. Elsewhere, Toby meets with the Speaker in his office to try and get the Speaker to vote on peacekeeping before the tax cut. The Speaker's phone rings and it's Josh. The Speaker puts Josh on speakerphone and Josh and Toby realize they made the mistake of trying to end run to the Speaker without telling each other.

Josh comes out of his office to tell Donna that he needs to see Toby when he returns from the Hill. After coming out of his office to talk to Donna a third time, he runs into a steward with a plate full of donuts. C.J. is greeted by Greg Brock, who again pushes her about who the new White House Chief of Staff is. Josh comes in with the plate and drops it on C.J.'s desk, telling her that she is not going to win.

On Capitol Hill, Toby has another meeting with Congresswoman Link, who pitches to Toby that their should be an American Monarch, to do all of the ceremonial things that consume the President's time - Toby laughs but she is serious.

At the White House, Josh goes into a meeting with Congressman Benoit - whose idea is it to pass a law banning marriage. He comes out of his office to talk to Donna about Benoit's idea, when a pizza delivery man comes up with pizzas for Josh (from C.J.).

At the hospital - the President is on the phone and when he gets off, Debbie tells him that Charlie is on his way with more call sheets. Abbey tells her (and the President) that Charlie should stay at the White House. Bartlet starts to protest and Abbey tells him that this is not his fault and there is no reason for him to stay right now - that he should go back to the White House. The two of them talk about Leo - the President wants him to stay on - Abbey points out that he will kill himself for the President and that the President can't let him do that.

C.J. comes to her office and Carol tells her that Leo's heart is beating on its own. C.J. goes in to a briefing in a happier mood with that news. Donna tells Josh the news about Leo - he walks over and gets out a gift for her. She opens it - it is one of the pens used in the peace accord signing. Josh looks up to the TV and sees the Treasury Secretary on TV.

He turns up the volume and the Secretary is expressing her displeasure over the tax cut and the peacekeeping costs - Josh realizes they didn't tell the Secretary before requesting the tax implications analysis. Toby comes to see Josh, with the same realization. C.J. walks up to the two of them and chides them both for dropping the ball on this. She walks off and Toby and Josh speak - Toby tells Josh that he tried to convince the President to tap Josh as interim Chief of Staff. Josh is surprised, he thought that Toby wanted the job.

In C.J.'s office, she questions Will on his meeting with the President the previous day. She asks him point blank if the President offered him the Chief of Staff job. Will tells her the President was asking about NATO's role in peacekeeping - to which C.J. realizes that all of the NATO nations have come out in support of the peacekeeping role and they can put out a press release to that effect, which may bring the Security Council members on board.

Josh and Toby are summoned to the Oval Office to talk to an angry President Bartlet. The two of them have fumbled the ball several times over the course of the day and they better pick it up and fix everything. Charlie comes to see Donna and she asks him about his finishing at Georgetown. Charlie confides in her that he is procrastinating because he promised the President that when he finished, he would stop working for the President.

At the hospital, the President comes into Leo's room, who awakens. The President tells Leo that he is not fired - but Leo tells him that the President needs to hire a new Chief of Staff. Leo has but one name.

The President returns to the waiting room and thanks the Senior Staff for all their work at Camp David and helping with the post game. He then tells them to go and spend a few minutes with his outgoing Chief of Staff. As they file out, the President calls C.J. back and asks her to do something for him - "jump off a cliff." (c)

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