The West Wing: Seasons 8-10

June 18, 2014 at 9:49 am

In 2006, The West Wing ended after seven seasons. In 2013, Mark Oshiro and I began watching all seven seasons. I finished first, and in order to remain ahead of him, I imagined three new seasons with a very loose grasp on continuity and a very high focus on crossovers and crackaliciousness. I do not own the rights to any of these characters or these worlds, and all of this is in the spirit of fun. And really, really hating Ryan Pierce.


Season 8

Season 8, Episode 3: Oh man, it’s so good, you guys, they did a timejump and Zoey is President and she’s outlawed cilantro and it’s amazing.

Season 8, Episode 5: Why is Ryan Pierce Vice President of America I am quitting this show.

Season 8, Episode 6: I never thought sending someone out for grilled cheese could be so riveting. But, hey, Congressman Charles needs her Gouda.

Season 8, Episode 6: I haven’t had time to watch a new episode because I’ve been flabbergasted by yet another West Wing plotline coming to life! I thought that whole Mallard Monarchy scandal in episode 4 was a weird story but man.

Season 8, Episode 6: Wow, it turns out Ryan Pierce literally died in a fire and Vice President Ryan Pierce is a Life Model Decoy? I didn’t expect that from this show. His scene with Special Agent Casper was very touching.

Season 8, Episode 7: This episode took place on Air Force Fun, the President’s new cruise ship. I liked how it ended with the leader of the free world going down a waterslide.

Season 8, Episode 8: It’s weird that they’re revisiting this shutdown story except it’s a McDonald’s.

Season 8, Episode 9: You Won’t Believe How This Christmas Episode Emotionally Destroyed Me with Five Little Words.


Season 8, Episode 11: Everyone is sick and miserable! It’s pretty hilarious for Josh to come in and take care of them because he doesn’t know how to do anything, but at least he manages to pass an important healthcare bill at the same time.

Season 8, Episode 12: I don’t think the President has staved off World War III permanently. I’m betting this comes back in the finale. Also the puppies running all through the White House; I hope they come back too.

Season 8, Episode 13: Zoey Bartlet and that wholesome-but-not-too-wholesome farmer’s daughter got Golden Globes! How does that even work, they’re not even actors. This was a bizarre episode.

Season 8, Episode 14: Didn’t Toby already save Social Security? We have to do it again? That was an episode. At least there was a giraffe.

Season 8, Episode 15. Holy crap! The West Wing gets transported to the Redverse, where Alt!CJ has been President for the last 8 years. And then, whoa, what a cliffhanger.

Season 8, Episode 16: Years after anyone stopped pretending to care about him, Ben is revealed to be a time traveler from 1873! What are the odds that no one will mention this ever again?

Season 8, Episode 17: Why does the President have to get involved with a pop star who finds himself in jail? Sad to see The West Wing resort to this sort of ripped-from-the-headlines plot.

Season 8, Episode 18. It’s cool that they made another out-of-the-box episode, but did they have to model it after The Bachelor?

Season 8, Episode 19: Another week, another military coup in Africa, plus a weird promotion for The Fault in Our Stars 2: Star Wars.

Season 8, Episode 20: The ramp-up to the season finale begins as militant cilantro haters hold the White House hostage!

Season 8, Episode 21: The militant cilantro haters have the President at gunpoint SIGN THE BILL GET RID OF ALL CILANTRO IT IS NOT WORTH YOUR LIFE.

Season 8, Episode 22: Zoey didn’t sign the bill. She didn’t sign the bill. Ugh, cilantro lives. I would quit the show but I need to find out whether Josh survives that hippopotamus attack.


Season 9

Season 9, Episode 1: Idris Elba as new Chief of Staff Stacker Bellicose? I HIGHLY APPROVE. The Robert’s Rules of Order joke was priceless.

Season 9, Episode 2: Having the new Chief of Staff spend his second day hunting vampires is a weird form of hazing. We’ll probably never see the vampires again anyway. Because Stacker killed them all. Dirty leeches.

Season 9, Episode 3: Did you know that the White House is actually a secret Jaeger called Ameribot the Beautiful? Now you know.

Season 9, Episode 4: OH MY GOD IT TURNS OUT LEO MCGARRY IS A TIME LORD. Anthony Stewart Head is brilliant as Leo, and of course he brought along Margaret, whose line about his mismatched scarf killed me. Also, how the fuck could she forge Stacker’s signature already?? That woman, I swear. I think Stacker needed some good ol’ Leo wisdom, especially after his harrowing first few weeks on the job. Perfect final shot, but how can you go wrong putting the camera on Idris Elba? Well done, guest writers TheRaqSays and elphaba_cee!

Season 9, Episode 5: Refocusing the series around Stacker Bellicose is a wise move because Idris Elba. And he’s hired Charlie back as his Deputy Chief of Staff! This is amazing! Charlie represents his human, compassionate side, which he suppresses in order to track down a serial killer terrorizing the White House admins—past and present. So glad he got to Donna in time, and I never expected the killer to be a woman! Fantastic performance by Ruth Wilson.

Season 9, Episode 6: I can’t believe they made an episode about Stacker Bellicose playing Solitaire so compelling! It helped that everyone was so into it that the news that Mandy had been mauled to death by a panda was totally ignored.

Season 9, Episode 7: Stacker Bellicose defends the West Wing from an invasion of velociraptors from another dimension? I don’t know what this show has become but I love it. (The subplot with Charlie quietly shepherding a bill to decrease the price of postage stamps was, surprisingly, just as exciting.)

Season 9, Episode 8: Stacker Bellicose is caught in a time loop where the White House keeps blowing up! I can’t believe it took him five timelines to think to call Josh, who came in and argued with time itself to stop the temporal shenanigans. Meanwhile: Zoey with a chainsaw, everyone.

Season 9, Episode 9: I repeat: Zoey with a chainsaw. It’s like they knew how much I loved that one scene with the Time Wasps in the last episode and decided to give her a whole episode to mow down a zombie horde. President Bartlet is making her stance on undead Americans abundantly clear: fuck ’em.

Season 9, Episode 10: A quieter episode, following the surprise two-parter. The focus shifts off Stacker for a while as we follow Zoey from morning to night in almost excruciating details. Did we need to know what her favorite sandwich condiment is? How did she even manage to sneak away to that deli? Was there a deleted scene? She returned through a secret underground tunnel, but the conveyer belt only went in one direction. Maybe it will be explored later.

Season 9, Episode 11: In this special crossover with Veronica Mars, Zoey calls Veronica to investigate the murder of a Republican Congressman. The first half hour is just jokes about nobody caring about the murder of a Republican Congressman, which made it even more mindblowing when the episode ended with Veronica’s discovery that he had not been murdered at all. WHY WOULD HE FAKE HIS DEATH? Cliffhanger!!!

Season 9, Episode 12: Well played, Republican Congressman Sam Westing! What a brilliant way to see who your real allies are and who’s just been clamoring for you to vacate your seat. I loved that Veronica got to do her parlor-room speech in the Oval Office—Zoey couldn’t hide her smile at how awesome it was—and I LOVED THE SURPRISE APPEARANCE BY WALLACE. Nice way to summon her back to Neptune but still leave things open for future crossovers. I saw that look you gave Wallace, Stacker. I expect a trademark West Wing basketball scene sooner or later.

Season 9, Episode 13: It’s back to business as usual in the West Wing, as Stacker tries to intimidate the Republicans into passing a tax reform bill. But Idris Elba has a beautiful spin on “menacing,” hiding his true motives underneath a politic, “get the job done” exterior. I was never quite sure whether he was going to pull a stake on Senator Pike, long-rumored to be a vampire. And now confirmed. But Pike knows Stacker knows, and Stacker knows Pike knows he knows. That tax reform bill is ending up on Zoey’s desk, or else.

Season 9, Episode 14: The Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan turns out not only be an actual wizard but also the most powerful necromancer in the world! Raising Fred Phelps to lead his zombie army, he marches on the White House, but, luckily, Stacker Bellicose has Willow Rosenberg on speed-dial for just such an occasion (I hope they put the unaired episode “20 Hours in Sunnydale” on the DVD). Willow defeats the zombie army and legalizes gay marriage nationwide! What an episode, you guys.

Season 9, Episode 15: An unexpected tornado threatens the White House, but it’s a tornado…full of sharks? A sharknado, if you will? Time for Stacker Bellicose to strap himself into Ameribot the Beautiful once again. I love the continuity on this show!

Season 9, Episode 16: I am so glad they brought Margaret back for the body-swap episode. Idris Elba as Margaret is basically the greatest thing that has ever happened, next to Babymetal.

Season 9, Episode 17: I appreciate that Aaron Sorkin came back to write the episode about the death of Lemon Lyman, a true Internet institution that may have poked fun at Josh but truly loved him, deep down. I also loved the guest spots by David T. Cole, Tara Ariano, and Sarah Bunting as this year’s crackpots for Big Block of Cheese Day.

Season 9, Episode 18: This was a weird episode. They managed to pass, like, seven controversial bills with no pushback at all, Stacker Bellicose didn’t fight any weird monsters, and for some reason they brought back the old W.G. Snuffy Walden score instead of using the awesome Bear McCreary score. Is this some kind of joke?

Season 9, Episode 19: I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS EPISODE FOR AGES. Finally, Special Agent Casper is revealed to actually be Agent Coulson, thanks to the even more amazing reveal that Chief of Staff Stacker Bellicose is a former Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Calling in Winter Soldier to take care of a Republican opposing a crucial transportation bill may sound a little drastic, but a surprise appearance by Deathlok proves it wasn’t completely out of line. CYBERNETIC LIMB BATTLE EXTRAVAGANZA.

Season 9, Episode 20: Chiwetel Ejiofor guest stars as The Operative, a mysterious “fixer” brought in to get a nationwide high speed rail initiative through both the House and Senate. I loved that he never gave his actual name, leading to the best exchange in the episode, when Charlie calls him “Mr. Operative” and he responds, “Please, Mr. Operative is my father. Call me The.”

Season 9, Episode 21: Uh, you guys? Stacker can’t be dead, right? This is a fake-out or something. FUCKING VAMPIRE REPUBLICANS.

Season 9, Episode 22: Well, that was unexpected. A surreal, dreamlike exploration of Stacker Bellicose’s deepest fears and regrets—his destruction of the Washington Monument during his second Jaeger battle, the true and utter power of the Klan necromancer, the unnamed vampire who killed his sister—with the other characters playing various roles in his subconscious struggle to cling to life. By the end of the episode, we’re not even sure whether he dies or not, gaaaaah! This would have been incredibly fucking stressful, but, thankfully, any time things got too intense, a bespectacled bald man would appear and offer Stacker the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.


Season 10

Season 10, Episode 1: STACKER BELLICOSE LIVES! And now he has a bionic arm for some reason, leading to the expected “bionic arm of the law” jokes, even though the Chief of Staff is not required to have a law degree, nor does he, in fact, lay down any sort of law. Having both Sylvester Stallone and Karl Urban guest star as twin brothers in a convoluted attempt to get them to simultaneously say, “I am the law,” was a stroke of genius.

Season 10, Episode 2: Stacker Bellicose is nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize! In an unprecedented turn of events, he and four women are up for this prestigious honor, with none of the usual white men making the Nobel shortlist. Stacker’s made some incredible contributions to the field in the last few years, but so have those women (the caliber of those guest stars makes me think they won’t be recurring characters, sadly). Yet none of them ever protected San Antonio from Mechagodzilla, did they. Did they? Stacker keeps the peace. Good thing he’ll be there in London for the ceremony in case the Slitheen attack.

Season 10, Episode 3: In this bold departure from traditional storytelling, The West Wing presents a backwards episode, which has certainly never been done before ever. Why is Stacker Bellicose making out with a mermaid? How was a critical clean-air bill passed despite vehement Republican objections? Who did let that ostrich out? These questions and more were all answered by the end! Or the beginning.

Season 10, Episode 4: Someone is picking off Democrats and Republicans alike! What do they all have in common? Opposition to a bold new measure to legalize cannibalism, which seems to have sprouted from a bold new measure to legalize cannabis. No one but Stacker believes that the Chesapeake Ripper is back and likely a member of the Cabinet, and by the end of the episode, he still can’t prove it. We end on a strange note, with a joke about how it’s a good thing the Congressmen were organ donors.

Season 10, Episode 5: A virulent strand of vampirically modified tularemia gets into the White House, and everything’s on lockdown! Stacker crawls through air vents in order to find a machine gun so he can protect his loyal staffers. But are they all loyal? One of them is a traitor! A Republican! A vampire! To be clear, Ryan Pierce is all of those things individually; they are not dependent on each other. In any case, it gave me great satisfaction to see Stacker gun him down, even though I can’t quite remember whether he’s already died horribly on this show. Ah well, this is the kind of continuity error I can easily forgive.

Season 10, Episode 6: An episode focused on the secret underground society of Cthulhu-worshipping administrative assistants? AWESOME. I knew they had to be harnessing the powers of the Elder Gods to keep up with everything with such startling efficiency. I can’t believe they got the national language of the United States of America to be R’lyehian.

Season 10, Episode 7: Stacker Bellicose goes to Paris! Wouldn’t you know it, the Eiffel Tower is also a Jaeger, and he has to engage in some diplomatic relations, if you know what I mean. I know you do. He couldn’t bring Ameribot the Beautiful with him because the White House wouldn’t fit in his carry-on luggage, but you know what does? A rocket launcher.

Season 10, Episode 8: Back from his Parisian adventure, Stacker Bellicose settles down for a nice, relaxing day in the West Wing. Hardly! The White House is immediately assaulted by militant anti-France terrorists who decry that they “can still smell the stink of macaroon on him.” To which Stacker replies, “Your mother is a hamster, and your father smells of elderberries!” In fact, the terrorists are all brothers and sisters, so this insult cuts right to the core of all of them, and they leave politely. Aw, nuts. Stacker had a cow ready to drop on them and everything.

Season 10, Episode 9: Someone canceled Stacker’s favorite show, and he will not stand for it! “I’m the goddamn Chief of Staff of the goddamn United States of America,” he says in a stirring speech to the President, “and I demand six seasons and a holovid!” At first, President Bartlet is unmoved, but he continues, “Today, we are uncanceling The Apocalypse!” Zoey mobilizes Democrats and Republicans alike to ratify a constitutional amendment that forbids the cancellation of all of Stacker Bellicose’s favorite shows, in perpetuity, whatever that means. In an unrelated subplot, one of the admins becomes a plant person. It’s weird.

Season 10, Episode 10: OH MY GOD YES RETURN OF TIME LORD LEO MCGARRY. Anthony Stewart Head once again captures the essence of Leo as he helps Stacker defeat the titular Silurian in the Cabinet. And he leaves him a cryptic message on a napkin: “Bellicose for America.” I know we’re not getting to the next election cycle in this final season, but has Leo seen the future??

Season 10, Episode 11: “You’ve never read Harry Potter?!?!” The episode begins with a bang, as Stacker Bellicose’s deepest, darkest secret is revealed. The cold open sees him ordering the entire series on Amazon and choosing the new Amazon Drones option. You can tell by the ominous music that this won’t go well, and wouldn’t you know it, right in the middle of yet another climate change debate, the Amazon Drones arrive and begin firing on the White House. Mostly they shoot missiles, but they also launch flaming copies of Twilight. It’s a bit repetitive for a while, but it’s all worth it for Stacker pulling out a bazooka and bellowing, “RETURN TO SENDER.”

Season 10, Episode 12: When velociraptor assassins from the planet Vransk descend upon the White House, Stacker must skillfully evade his pursuers using only his wits, his wiles, and his WisCon program book. It turns out he has an overdue library book. “I’ve never even been to Vransk!” he cries, at which point the assassins realize their contract is for a different Stacker Bellicose and beam away. Stacker uses the opportunity to make sure that assassination is illegal no matter what race the assassin is. We don’t see the outcome of the vote, but I assume the bill passes. (In a parallel plot, Zoey issues a Presidential Pardon for a man about to be executed over an overdue library book.)

Season 10, Episode 13: The White House hosts a private screening of David Fincher’s latest film, a fictionalized account of a presidential campaign titled Santos V Vinick: Dawn of Justice written by…Ronna! That’s awesome! I didn’t think we’d ever see her again; who knew she had screenwriting chops? It’s especially cool to get Stacker’s perspective as someone who had followed the campaign as an aspiring politician versus Ronna’s perspective as someone who knows for a fact what happened and what didn’t happen (it was a giant chicken, not a giant taco!). And you could see him imagining his own possible future in light of Leo’s cryptic comment. He was taking notes! (Zoey wasn’t, because she was busy staving off World War IV. Like she does.)

Season 10, Episode 14: Chief of Staff Stacker Bellicose receives a letter…from himself! From…President Stacker Bellicose? Is this a letter FROM THE FUTURE? What the hell does this drawing of a white tulip mean? He doesn’t know, but he’s even more convinced that Time Lord Leo was right, so he quietly begins assembling a future campaign staff. Or, well, he would, but they’re all too busy dealing with the crackpots on Big Block of Cheese Day. Man, whoever wrote that line about people who believe in global warming being “unpatriotic racists” should be fired. That shit was unreal; no one would ever say that.

Season 10, Episode 15: Sweet land of liberty! Stacker’s administrative assistant is revealed to be a half-witch vampire princess, which he considers an “exotic problem,” so he calls in The Middleman. He brings along his latest Middleman trainee…Charlie?! I don’t even remember where Charlie is in continuity right now but if anyone can break it, it’s The Middleman. That’s right, Charlie’s now a Middleman, roll with it. The Middleman and Charlie determine that vampire princesses are vulnerable to fire and cake, and witches are vulnerable to water, so they figure that a half-doused baked Alaska—set on fire—will do the trick. IT DOES NOT because baked Alaska sounds delicious, and I want some now, and the monster just eats it. But then Charlie pulls out a Phased Polaron Cannon and zaps her into the world without shrimp. Why he didn’t do that in the first place, I don’t know, but plot’s gotta plot.

Season 10, Episode 16: Fresh off the upheaval of the last episode, Stacker declares war on vampires (figuratively, as he knows he can’t get vampire Republicans to vote on a formal declaration). “Vampires are a scourge on this country!” yells Stacker to a packed House. “Not all vampires!” says Congressman Lugosi right before Stacker crossbows a stake into his heart.

Season 10, Episode 17: STACKER BELLICOSE IS DEAD. At least, that is what he wants everyone to think. He calls up Willow to conjure him up a fake corpse in order to suss out the mole in the administration. Once he’s out of the picture, the mole gets reckless and reveals himself to be…RYAN PIERCE! Who, I think, has already died twice, but that fucker won’t stay dead. This time Stacker incinerates him with the flamethrower he keeps in the bathroom.

Season 10, Episode 18: A clip show? Now? At this point in the series? Wow, that’s laz—oh, but the “clips” are actually new material, wait, Community already did tha—oh, the “clips” are actually scenes from Game of Thrones with the actors digitally edited in, okay, that’s new. Hold up, I need to listen to Idris Elba say “Khaleesi” six hundred times now.

Season 10, Episode 19: The ramp-up to the series finale begins as Stacker is transported to the future where, as Leo hinted, he is the President of the United States of—well, it’s not America anymore, it’s Jamerica, whose etymology doesn’t really make any sense but it makes the future sound ~*different*~ so I’ll go with it. Blah blah apocalypse, pandas are extinct, entire ecosystem collapsed, only you can stop it, and so on. It appears that at some point the KKK Grand Wizard necromancer dude gained an inconceivable amount of power and raised the entire dead population of Idaho. Teaming up with the unnamed vampire who killed Stacker’s sister, he mounted an immense assault on the White House, and the resulting battle with Ameribot the Beautiful destroyed the Washington Monument. Yes, yes, all of this was foreshadowed in the last season finale, and we should have seen it coming. When Stacker returns, whom should he find waiting for him but Time Lord Leo…along with Josh, Donna, CJ, Sam, Toby, Will, Jed, Abbey, Kate, Matt, Helen, and Mandy! Okay, not Mandy. But everyone else is back!!! LET’S GO SAVE THE FUTURE.

Season 10, Episode 20: I can’t believe there are only two episodes left! Zoey declares martial law in the state of Idaho, and Stacker takes his team to eliminate the KKK necromancer before he raises his army, but the unnamed vampire who killed his sister hijacks Air Force One and forces them to crash at an abandoned air base in Michigan. The scenes between him and Stacker were fucking electric; Idris Elba practically burned a hole in him with his eyes. It strained credulity a bit that they couldn’t stop one vampire, and then HE FUCKING KILLED SAM and I couldn’t deal with anything anymore. Now they’re stranded in Michigan with the most powerful vampire on the planet while the most powerful necromancer on the planet gets ready to destroy the world. (I think they could have cut that budget meeting back at the White House; it was a weird tonal shift.)

Season 10, Episode 21: CJ SAVES THE DAY! Of course CJ saves the day. She gets on the horn—that is not a euphemism for making phone calls, she actually discovers an ancient Viking horn with paranormal communication powers—and summons fucking giant eagles to carry Our Heroes to Idaho to take on the Klan necromancer. The battle scene is amazing (way to go, Neil Marshall), and who knew Bartlet had learned to shoot fireballs? There’s a really emotional scene where Josh has to kill Zombie Sam, but it’s undercut by a hilarious pratfall, which does save him from being decapitated, so. In the end, the necromancer is defeated by a werepanda who completely mauls him and then reveals herself to be…MANDY. Oh shit. Oooooooh shit. We thought we knew who the Big Bad was but WE WERE WRONG.

Season 10, Episode 22: It all comes down to this. Stacker leads the OG against Mandy the Werepanda in an epic battle that, surprisingly, takes up a small portion of the episode, which rushes to tie everything up and give everyone closure. Stacker steps on the fallen werepanda and delivers an inspirational speech, CJ and Danny’s kid pops up out of nowhere to behead a Graboid that almost eats him during said speech, Leo opens up a wormhole to show everyone the non-apocalyptic future they have preserved (HOVERCARS YOU GUYS THEY DO HAVE HOVERCARS IN THE FUTURE), Zoey passes bills for universal healthcare and gun control and at least seven other pipe dreams, and then we flashforward to the Inauguration of Stacker Bellicose, allowing Idris Elba another opportunity to deliver an inspirational speech. I’ll miss you, The West Wing! You…you got kinda weird in these last three seasons, but I dug it.


A Mostly Comprehensive List of References/Fandoms:

Duck Dynasty (8.4)
Marvel comics (8.6)
Upworthy (8.9)
The Golden Globes (8.13)
Fringe (8.15, 10.14)
The Bachelor (8.18)
The Fault in Our Stars (8.19)
The Wire (9.1)
Ultraviolet (9.2)
Pacific Rim (9.1, 9.3, 9.15, 9.22, 10.7, 10.9, 10.19)
Doctor Who (9.4, 10.2, 10.10, 10.19)
Luther (9.5)
The X-Files (9.8)
American Horror Story: Coven (9.8, 9.9)
Veronica Mars (9.11, 9.12)
The Westing Game (9.12)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (9.13, 9.14, 9.22, 10.15)
Sharknado (9.15)
Television Without Pity (9.17)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (9.19)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (9.19)
Serenity (9.20)
Scandal (9.20)
Judge Dredd (10.1)
The Hugo Awards (10.2)
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (10.2)
Hannibal (10.4)
Die Hard (10.5)
Cthulhu mythos (10.6)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (10.8)
Community (10.9, 10.18)
A story Ellen Klages told at the Nebula Awards Weekend (10.12)
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (10.13)
Pat Sajak’s Twitter (10.14)
Almost to Die For (10.15)
The Middleman (10.15)
Men’s Rights Activists (10.16)
Game of Thrones (10.18, 10.21)
The Lord of the Rings (10.22)
Tremors (10.22)

Thanks to nanceoir for converting this whimsical lark into an ebook! Download as EPUB or MOBI and feast your eyes on this beautiful cover!


The West Wing Seasons 8-10 cover