Review: The West Wing – Series Finale

Show: The West Wing (NBC)
Episode: Tomorrow – Series Finale (Season 7)
Originally Aired: Sunday, May 14th 2006
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars

Quick Synopsis: Bartlett administration out, Santos in, show done.

Long Synopsis: Santos and his staff is preparing for Inauguration Day while the Bartlett people are preparing to leave. Along the way we find out that C.J. is heading back to LA with Danny waiting for her there. Charlie is off to law school. Will is off to run for office in Oregon. Toby gets pardoned. Santos takes office. Bartlett leaves and opens a gift from Leo’s daughter on the plane ride home. It is the framed napkin Leo wrote on that started the whole thing. Bartlett sets and looks out the plane window and when asked what he is thinking about he replies, “Tomorrow.”

Review: This was a solid send off for the once great show. Yet this season of The West Wing I thought it had a resurgence of sorts. Not as good as seven years ago but good in its own right. The main difference was the pacing. After watching the first episode and the last episode back to back last night that was the main difference.

Granted this was the last show and was to be more solemn and referential but that was the difference with the last few seasons. It was the pacing of an episode. The first episode and the ones that followed with Aaron Sorkin at the helm really moved. One conversation blended in with the next as the characters seemed to be constantly moving.

There were some nice moments that paralleled the first episode. President Bartlett getting around with a cane, then because of riding a bike into a tree and now because of MS. Leo’s daughter visiting the White House. The scene with Josh now Santos’s chief of staff, Sam and new staff members standing in the Oval Office with new President Santos put against the scene in the first episode, where Josh almost gets fired, of Josh with Sam and the rest of the President Bartlett’s staff. The scene in the fist episode where Donna is working from a small cubicle to her being shown her beautiful big office now as the First Lady’s chief of staff. These and others scenes were done very well. Showing the growth and change these characters have gone through over the last seven seasons.

It is kind of sad to see this show go but it may be fun watching Sorkin’s new show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which will have some The West Wing alumni in its cast, namely Bradley Whitford and Timothy Busfield.

What did you think of the series finale of The West Wing?

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Jason the TVaholic
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