Commander in Chief, Season 1 Episode 16: “The Elephant in the Room”

Episode Summary (from Wikipedia):

Mac has an appendix attack and is hospitalized en route to a west coast trip. Prior to the operation, she invoked the 25th amendment. She assumes that Templeton (Speaker of the House) would decline a short term presidency as it would require him to resign as congressman. Then the President pro tempore of the Senate would assume the temporary position. She assumed incorrectly. Her appendix is removed in Omaha, Nebraska, while Templeton takes the oath of the presidency.

Of course Templeton takes the opportunity to grandstand and forces a mandatory end to the crippling airline strike, undoing Mac’s careful negotiations. An actual resolution was looming but is now dashed by Templeton’s cheap trick.

Upon her healthy return to the White House, she calls Templeton into her office and gives him an angry piece of her mind. He’s not the least repentant and she throws him out with a “Get the hell out of my office.”


First of all, WHAT was Templeton’s game here? Just to mess around with White House Staff? Was this really just some sick attempt at political gain? It seems extreme, even for him. Just for 10 hours in the White House? And did he have to be such a DICK about it? And why wasn’t Jim more Vocal about Mac’s progress with the Airline Strike? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Templeton’s response to problems to me was the perfect example of why blatant, unquestioned ideology is not the way to run a country. It takes negotiation, compromise, and a commitment to understand an issue fully and weigh all the options. Templeton didn’t do that, and I guarantee you it’ll bite everyone in the ass within the next couple of episodes.

What did everyone think of Dickie’s concern that since Mac is a woman, they shouldn’t see her on a gurney? There is certainly some truth to it, but should that be at the top of their minds as a concern?

Thoughts? Leave ’em below!


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