The Long Goodbye (Episode 413)
First Aired: Wednesday, 15th January, 2003
Writer: Jon Robin Baitz
Director: Alex Graves



Surprise! Expecting the transcript for The Long Goodbye? Well, unfortunately, we didn't get any Josh and Donna scenes this episode. Heck, we didn't get scenes with most of the cast this episode! But instead of leaving this page a big, white, blank space, I thought I would take the time to sift through my archives and come up with some some quirky facts that would do Donna proud and some interesting figures that would impress even the likes of Josh.




"I'm a fan--I'm a sports fan, I'm a music fan, and I'm a Star Trek fan. All of them. But here's what I don't do: 'Let's list our 10 favourite episodes. Let's list our least favourite episodes. Let's list our favourite galaxies. Let's make a chart to see how often our favourite galaxies appear in our favourite episodes. What Romulan would you most like to see coupled with a Cardassian, and why? Let's spend a weekend talking about Romulans falling in love with Cardassians, and then let's do it again.' (beat) That's not being a fan--that's having a fetish."

-- Josh, Arctic Radar

Well, gee, Josh, rain all over my parade there, why don't you ...





Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: Adding Up The Numbers

A wise man (boy, really) once said, "If you want to convince me of something, show me numbers!" Happy to oblige, Mr. President.

Since the Pilot, there's barely an episode gone by where there hasn't been some sort of Josh and Donna interaction--their weekly doses of wit, wisdom and banter have become a West Wing institution. To wit: a handy-dandy chart detailing how many scenes Josh and Donna have had together per episode, per season.

Season 1: 2 / 4 / 5 / 2 / 1 / 3 / 5 / 3 / 5 / 3 / 3 / 2 / 2 / 5 / 1 / 3 / 2 / 5 / 3 / 4 / 3 / 2 = 68 scenes

Season 2: 0 / 2 / 1 / 1 / 2 / 4 / 3 / 0 / 4 / 3 / 6 / 2 / 6 / 4 / 4 / 1 / 3 / 5 / 4 / 1 / 1 / 1 = 58 scenes

Season 3: 4 / 3 / 1 / 2 / 6 / 2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 3 / 1 / 5 / 3 / 4 / 3 / 1 / 3 / 3 / 1 = 60 scenes

Season 4: 12 / 6 / 2 / 3 / 3 / 0 / 2 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 2 / 4 / 0 / 3 / 2 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 4 / 4 / 1 / 0 / 1 = 66 scenes

Season 5: 7 / 3 / 2 / 4 / 7 / 7 / 4 / 5 / 3 / 3 / 6 / 2 / 3 / 3 / 4 / 4 / 2 / 6 / 0 / 7 / 3 / 2 / 5 = 92 scenes

Season 6: 3 / 0 / 4 / 2 / 5 / 4 / 2 / 5 / 4 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 = 37 scenes

Season 7: 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 1 / 4 / 1 / 0 / 5 / 6 / 0 / 7 / 9 / 9 / 3 / 5 / 0 /0 = 53 scenes

This adds up to a grand total of 434 scenes to date between the two of them since The West Wing debuted. This works out to approximately 62 scenes per season, or, based on a 22 episode season, roughly 2.8 scenes per episode.

Another way of looking at this is that Josh and Donna had approximately 3.1 scenes per episode in Season 1, 2.6 scenes per episode in Season 2, 2.7 scenes per episode in Season 3, 2.9 scenes per episode in Season 4 (It is perhaps interesting to note Season 3 actually had more scenes on average than Season 2, considering Season 3 is widely thought of to be a great disappointment for Josh and Donna fans, due to the introduction of third-party love interests Cliff Calley and Amy Gardner), 4.2 scenes per episode in Season 5 and 1.7 scenes per episode in Season 6. But numbers can be deceiving: Season 7 has just 2.5 scenes per episode, and yet it has more, um, "development" between Josh and Donna than all the others ...

While the quintessential Josh and Donna episode is arguably a three-way tie between The Cold or Election Day (I) and Transition, with 17 People and Gaza running neck-and-neck for second place, the episode with the most scenes between them is 20 Hours In America (I), clocking in with an impressive total of 12. (Note: this does not necessarily translate into the episode with the most onscreen time between them in terms of total minutes. Unfortunately, I don't have any numbers for that, but I would hazard a guess it's either 20 Hours in America (I) or Election Day (I).)

+6 Josh and Donna scenes: 8 episode

6 Josh and Donna scenes: 7 episodes

5 Josh and Donna scenes: 13 episodes

4 Josh and Donna scenes: 22 episodes

3 Josh and Donna scenes: 30 episodes

2 Josh and Donna scenes: 30 episodes

1 Josh and Donna scene: 21 episodes

0 Josh and Donna scenes: 22 episodes


For an explanation of the episodes with no Josh and Donna scenes, see the Gone Quiet section below.




Gone Quiet: When Aaron Sorkin and John Wells Forget To Bring The Josh And Donna

Much as it would be nice to have a guaranteed Josh and Donna story to look forward to every week, The West Wing is an ensemble show -- which is a great thing, as the cast is so incredibly talented and all the members play so well off each other. Still, this on occasion means our beloved dynamic duo gets shifted to the wayside for the sake of the greater good (storyline).

Here are all the episodes where Josh and Donna either don't appear, or appear but don't share exclusive scenes together complete with dialogue (what a waste!).






The Short List: Must-See TV For Josh And Donna Fans

On the other hand, there are certain episodes where significant personal developments occur in the Josh and Donna universe. These are the ones you want to watch over and over again, memorizing every word, every look, every nuance. Bring it on!





A Proportional Response: Or, Scenes Where Others Call Them (mostly Josh!) On Their Feelings

One of the most endearing things about Josh and Donna's relationship is, as Bradley Whitford (Josh) once said, "(They are) two people who are just in their reptilian brain stems mad for each other, but they have no idea." Fortunately for our clueless twosome (and their fans!), there are numerous other characters on the show (including their own (ex) significant others!) who are more astute and more than willing to point out the increasingly obvious ...






Game On: Banter, Misdirection, And When The Subtext Becomes Text

Blurring the lines between the professional and the personal, Josh and Donna's relationship exists in a dimension all by itself. While their storylines impressively cover the gamut from political situations to comic relief, it is their chemistry which makes every scene they share so engaging and captivating--a tantalizing blend of banter, misdirection and subtext, laced with that ever-present dollop of denial.


Banter

Come on, could you seriously picture Leo and Margaret, or Toby and Bonnie having conversations like these?



Misdirection

... is clearly a two-way street. When it comes to each other's love lives, on the surface Josh and Donna seemingly have opposite view points -- he's (mostly) dismissive of hers, she's (mostly) supportive of his. But dig a little deeper, and you'll find it's all just misdirection for how they really feel about each other.



When The Subtext Becomes Text

While Josh and Donna are all about the witty repartee and dizzyingly fast verbal volleys, sometimes what's implied can be more telling than what's actually said. There are lots of scenes that aren't necessarily about Josh and Donna interacting with one another directly, yet still offer some kind of insight into their relationship.





They Shall, From Time To Time: Use Of Each Other's Full Names

Donnatella. Joshua.

In the world of fan fiction, these names seem to crop up endlessly. But on The West Wing, Josh has actually only spoken the word "Donnatella" six times in five seasons (of which, two utterances weren't even in Donna's presence). And, as far as I can surmise, Donna has only uttered "Joshua" four times in front of the cameras.





The Crackpot and This Woman: Nicknames

With the possible exception of the First Couple, no other two characters on The West Wing refer to each other by nicknames as much as Josh and Donna do. What's particularly interesting to note is the increase in cutsey names since Season 4. I'm just sayin' ...





Canon Fodder: Flakey, Endearing And Unique Josh-And-Donna Quirks

In Arctic Radar, Josh mentions some quirky little things about Donna he finds endearing, much to her chagrin--she thinks they make her sound flakey. Yet it is precisely because of this flakiness that he finds her so endearing in the first place. (Us too!) Though to be fair, Josh isn't without his own endearing little quirks that make him so uniquely, well, "him", as Donna is fond of saying.

Here's a collection of all the quirky little things that make Josh and Donna so endearingly and uniquely Josh-and-Donna.



Note: This page is a work in progress. All information is up-to-date as of the current episode, but is subject to change on a weekly basis.


RIP John Spencer 1946 - 2005