‘The West Wing’s Most Shocking Death Wasn’t Planned

Aaron Sorkin wove no shortage of jaw-dropping surprises into his four seasons of The West Wing, still the writer’s perennial accomplishment when it comes to American television. There’s the assassination attempt in the Season 1 finale, for one, the three-seasons-long ricochet effect of President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) concealing his multiple sclerosis, the kidnapping of his daughter Zoe (Elisabeth Moss) to close out Sorkin’s run on the show… we could go on. For a series built on the architecture of conversation, where 99% of the plot dramatics are internal yet reflecting the tenuous fate of the American nation, Sorkin adeptly sprinkled The West Wing with narrative minefields.

​ Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing had many plot twists, with the most shocking not even being planned.