Commander in Chief is an American political drama television series that focused on the fictional administration and family of Mackenzie Allen (portrayed by Geena Davis), the first female President of the United States, who ascends to the post from the Vice Presidency after the death of the sitting President from a sudden cerebral aneurysm.
At the White House, President Allen names her husband Rod as strategic planning advisor to assist her in transitioning her administration from reactionary to visionary. Gardner protests saying that strategic planning should be the purview of the chief of staff but the President explains to him that as the chief aide to an Independent President, he has a far greater workload in coalition building from issue to issue to fully focus on the big picture.
Using the information provided by lobbyists in the pharmaceutical industry, Speaker Templeton learns that Vince Taylor is HIV-positive and plans to exploit this information to embarrass the president. The speaker’s aide, Jane, warns Jim of this as she believes it is taking matters too far. In the meantime, friends of Kelly’s from Florida provide her with a 1965 speech of Templeton’s making strong statements in favour of segregation. The President at first refuses to use the tape against Templeton. When Jim tells Allen about Vince’s condition and private life, she confronts him. Vince accidentally offers her his resignation, and as a result, she fires him for not trusting her to tell her about this in the first place. Jim tells her that firing Vince was a bad idea and warns her about what else Templeton will do to her in the future, but the President at first refuses to have Vince hired again, as she cannot work with someone she can not trust. However, when she learns of Templetons plan to embarrass Vince and the President herself, she shows him the tape and warns him against embarrassing her or her staff. The Speaker fires Jane for having revealed his plan to Jim while the President hires Vince to work again.
Meanwhile, Rebecca’s boyfriend turns out to have only been interested in sex and tells her that she can give him a call if she is interested in doing the same but in the meantime things are off.
Finally, Horace gets into a confrontation with Rebecca’s former boyfriend as he is spreading rumours that he did, in fact, have sex with Becca. When Rod confronts Horace about getting an F and plagiarising an essay, Horace responds, “What’s worse a cheater or a slut?”, letting his father know of what has happened to her daughter. Rebecca assures her parents that the rumours are false. Allen hears about the rumours and politely confronts her daughter in a suspicious, but not in a mild physical way, and reveals she was not a virgin herself when she got married. Rebecca is keeping her secret that she nearly did have sex with him. Her mother suggests talking to his parents. Becca refuses immediately. The President offers her to have him arrested under the Patriot Act and ship him off to prison in Syria. Becca knows her mother is joking, so she agrees.
The episode ends as the President reveals that she will be holding weekly news conferences and, with Vince at her side, reveals that he is HIV-positive and tells the American people that victims of the disease can be very productive members of society.
Starting with this episode Steven Bochco takes over as executive producer after replacing Rod Lurie.
Commander in Chief Series
You can find a full index and overview of Commander in Chief here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 15 November 2005.
- Running Time: 42 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: TV-PG.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.