Air date: 5/14/2006
A logical conclusion isn't always the most interesting choice. After two terms of Josiah Bartlett's (Martin Sheen) presidency, it was time to pass the torch to Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). Though this made sense as a cap to the show's seven season run, the finale lacks momentum as a result of the transfer-of-power plot. The swearing in of one president and the exodus of another lacks dramatic tension, especially when they come from the same party. The West Wing team clearly understands this, and attempts to compensate with a swelling score and lingering on important items in hopes creating an elegiac tone. Instead, the finalé comes off as stale and plodding, with the grace of a "best of" clip show without the reward of "best of" clips.