Election Day (II) (Episode 717)
First Aired: Sunday, 9th April, 2006
Writers: Eli Attie and John Wells
Director: Christopher Misiano

The Make Up's Really Working, Then
Grand Ballroom, Hotel. Josh and Donna cut through a capacity crowd as Foo Fighters play.

JOSH: (shouting over the noise) What the hell is going on in Ohio?
DONNA: You look terrible.
JOSH: The make up's really working, then.
DONNA: Minnesota's official--and Bruce and Gene need a minute.
JOSH: Who?
DONNA: From the Transition team.
JOSH: Tell them we're going to wait and see if there's a transition first!
DONNA: They said it was important.
(they exit the Ballroom, Foo Fighters still playing, to find two men in suits waiting for Josh at the end of the corridor)
JOSH: Interrupt me after two minutes.
DONNA: If a state is called?
JOSH: Or make something up. Two minutes. (Josh gently guides Donna on her way and approaches the men) Bruce ... Gene ... (shakes their hands) ... how are you?

Leo Was Unconscious
Hotel corridor. Josh, on his mobile to Santos, spots Donna, who has just stepped out of a room in the distance.

JOSH: (to Santos) Hang on. (to Donna; he walks towards her) Hey, what happened to you? Two minutes--120 seconds! I was stuck in there with Dull and Duller, counting beads on my imaginary abacus. (though Donna's back is to the camera this whole time, the expression on her face clearly indicates to Josh that something is wrong) ... Ohio? (the camera now cuts to Donna, looking ashen) ... Texas--we won? We lost? (he grins) Need a good lawyer--what?
DONNA: (looking and sounding very shaken) Leo was unconscious. In his room--Annabeth found him. He wasn't ... he wasn't breathing. They're taking him to the hospital in an ambulance now.
(Josh stares at her in disbelief, absolutely stunned)

He Died, Josh
Texas Methodist Medical Centre. Josh and Donna race down the corridors, desperate for news of Leo.

JOSH: (to Secret Service Agent) Where is he? (The Agent indicates an elevator, which Josh and Donna enter and take what feels like an agonisingly long ride in silence amidst the Muzak, dreading what they will find when the doors open. When they finally do, Josh bolts out with Donna right behind him, running down more corridors and past Secret Service Agents until they Annabeth, sitting alone in the waiting room amid more Secret Service Agents. Josh and Donna slow and walk the last few steps up to her. But before she can speak, they already know.) Hey.
ANNABETH: (crying) He died, Josh.
(Josh stares at her in disbelief for several seconds until Annabeth crashes into him, sobbing. His jaw drops open in shock as he wraps an arm around her and lowers his face to the top of her head, as Donna looks on, stunned, in the background.)

He's In Shock, Like The Rest Of Us
Texas Methodist Medical Centre. Donna approaches a grief-stricken Josh.

DONNA: (somberly) They called Ohio for Vinick ... (Josh sniffles) ... Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota. We picked up Minnesota, Wisconsin.
JOSH: (his voice is broken throughout the entire conversation) Texas?
DONNA: Not yet.
JOSH: Polls are still open out West. Congressman needs to make a statement, calm nervous undecided in California and the Pacific Northwest.
DONNA: Lou's already on it.
JOSH: He needs to make it now--there's not--
DONNA: They know that.
JOSH: Somebody needs to tell the President.
DONNA: I called CJ.
JOSH: Where's Mallory--she was here a couple of seconds--
DONNA: She just went to call her mom.
JOSH: (long beat; the reality of the situation is beginning to sink in) Wow. How is the Congressman--did you talk to Lou or Bram?
DONNA: Yeah, he's in shock, like the rest of us. (gently) Shouldn't we get back to the hotel?
JOSH: So, no Texas yet.
DONNA: Come on, I'll drive.
(Josh allows Donna to guide him down the hall, her hand on the small of his back)

Not a Josh and Donna scene, really, but they are shown walking with Annabeth on their way to the Santos War Room after returning from the hospital, as assorted staffers stare at them.

He Was So Proud Of You, Josh
Hotel corridor. The entire Santos staff, including Santos and Helen themselves, celebrate winning Texas with much cheering, dancing, champagne drinking and an impromptu singalong of "Deep In The Heart of Texas", as Donna looks for the only person missing from the fun.

BRAM: (to Donna) It's all down to California now.
DONNA: Have you seen Josh?
BRAM: Not in a while.
(Donna walks down the corridor, away from the festivities, and gets off the elevator at Leo's floor, where she makes her way to his suite. Secret Service Agents still guard the entrance.)
DONNA: Have you seen Josh Lyman? (the Agent stationed outside Leo's suite gestures inside) Thank you. (Donna enters, to find a devastated Josh leaning against the back of a couch facing the foot of Leo's bed. They silently survey the room, which is still full of Leo, from his watch and glasses on the bedside table to his shoes next to the bed, but also strewn with medical debris from the paramedics.)
JOSH: (red-faced from crying, he sniffles deeply and rubs his nose with the back of his hand) I called housekeeping--I didn't want uh, Mallory ... (sniffles again deeply) ... coming here and finding the paramedic stuff.
DONNA: (beat) We won Texas. (Josh exhales, with a ghost of a smile) California would put us over. (she looks at him closely and speaks very gently) You've done a remarkable thing. Win or lose. An extraordinary thing.
JOSH: I talked him into this--into joining the ticket.
DONNA: Nobody ever talked Leo into anything he didn't want to do. And he'd want you upstairs. Not down here. You belong up there--it's your night. (she moves in towards him and gently touches his shoulder, whispering) He was so proud of you, Josh. (Josh leans over into her chest, overcome with grief, as she rubs his back.)

Every Lawyer We Got, Get Them On Planes To Oregon And Nevada!
Santos War Room. Josh orders all party lawyers to the real war zones.

JOSH: Every lawyer we got, get them on planes to Oregon and Nevada!
(Josh and Donna lock eyes after he announces this, as if he's trying to tell her his head is back in the game again ... just as Leo, undoubtedly, would have wanted.)

Thank You
Santos War Room. A tale of two hugs--Donna and Helen fall into the arms of their respective men after the victory is called. From behind him, Donna places her hands on Josh's shoulders and he reaches up to hold her hands with his own, then turns around to embrace her in a tight hug. As the celebrating continues and the room erupts in cheerful chaos, Josh continues to hold on to Donna as if he's never going to let her go.

SANTOS: (mouthing at Josh, over Helen's head) Thank you.
JOSH: (mouthing at Santos, over Donna's head) You're welcome.

Thanks, Boss
Santos War Room. Josh says goodbye. With Santos's victory speech playing from the televisions, Josh picks up a blue marker and colours in Nevada on the map of America on the whiteboard, then adds the last remaining five electoral votes to the Santos column, for a total of 272. Donna, passing by in the corridor, stops and hangs back in the doorway, watching. Josh walks over to a collage of Santos and Leo photographs on a bulletin board and focuses on a picture of Leo, smiling with his arms raised beside Santos, as wild applause greets the end of Santos's speech in the background.

JOSH: (whispers) Thanks, boss.

RIP John Spencer 1946 - 2005

Many thanks to The West Wing Collection for the wonderful screencaps!