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The West Wing: Season 05 ()

The administration of President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is still technically in charge of the United States as The West Wing enters its fifth season (and its first without the services of longtime producer Aaron Sorkin), but Bartlet himself is no longer commander in chief -- at least, not at the moment. To avoid conflict-of-interest charges after his daughter Zoey is kidnapped by Qumari terrorists, Bartlet had relinquished power to the next person in the chain of command. And since there is no vice president, that person is Speaker of the House Glenallen Walken (John Goodman) -- a powerful and rather cantankerous Republican! At Walken's orders, Qumar is bombed in retaliation for Zoey's abduction, prompting Bartlet's staff to seek out a new, less reactionary vice president as soon as possible. Once Zoey is safely home, Jed lobbies for the approval of his new vice president, Robert Russell (Gary Cole), but it won't be easy. Meanwhile, the first lady's new chief of staff, Amy Gardner (Mary-Louise Parker), ruffles many West Wing feathers with her damn-the-torpedoes attitude toward her job, with Presidential Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (John Spencer) particularly perturbed. Other major developments include the defection of a powerful Democrat to the Republicans, for which Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) must take the heat; another volatile hostage situation, this one in the Sudan; a move to legalize assisted suicide in Oregon; an even bigger move in both houses to abolish Social Security; the ramifications of the chief justice's serious and debilitating illness; Bartlet's outrage upon discovering that nuclear testing in the Indian Ocean has been given the go-ahead by someone in his administration; and a concerted effort by Press Secretary C.J. (Allison Janney) to counteract the intentions of Bartlet's troublesome former VP, John Hoynes (Tim Matheson), to run for president by slandering the entire Bartlet administration. The season ends as Bartlet girds up to tackle the (hopefully) last major crisis in his administration -- a possible all-out war between Israel and Palestine; and Josh's fiery assistant, Donna (Janel Moloney), faces critical injuries after her convoy is attacked by terrorists while she is on a fact-finding mission in Palestine. Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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