The West Wing: Evidence of Things Not Seen

TV Show Information
Rating: Excellent
Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Season: 4
Episode: 20
Main Performers: Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney
Studio/Network: NBC
Air Date: April 23, 2003
TV Rating: TV-14

Just as with most episodes of The West Wing, many things are happening simultaneously: A spy drone went down in Russia and the president has to try to ask for it back without telling the Russian leader they were taking pictures. The entire episode revolves around Leo and the staff trying to convince the president he can lie to the the Russian president about the situation. President Bartlett takes their advice, but makes no progress until he tells the truth to his Russian counterpart. Josh interviews a Republican lawyer to take Ainsley Hayes' place in the legal counsel office of the White House. Donna has a crush on the lawyer and Josh continues to subversively disagree with Donna dating other men. Charlie refuses to stop pursuing Zoe Bartlett, even though she's dating a French prince.

As usual, the show is fast-paced and packed with action and relationship drama. The episode Evidence of Things Not Seen doesn't include too much overt drama, except with Charlie and Zoe. This episode highlights the high turnover rate in characters as Ainsley Hayes and Joey Lucas (and so many other characters) pop in and out; the writers attempt to create a stable cast so that they don't have to keep explaining why characters are missing. The poker game serves to help the president's new secretary bond with the staff, but again, the greatest weakness of the show is the high turnover rate of the secondary characters, and it's hard to invest in the new characters until after a few episodes.

*Contains mild language.