Worst episodes of the best TV shows
When '24,' 'Battlestar Galactica' 'ER,' 'Buffy,' and other series slipped up
"The West Wing"
Episode: "The Long Goodbye" (Season 4, episode 13)
AKA: "The One Aaron Sorkin Didn't Write"
Okay, so there are actually three seasons Sorkin didn't write, and there are definitely problems in those John Wells-run years (particularly the first one). But those are essentially a spin-off under the same name, especially once Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits are introduced as the candidates to succeed President Bartlet. "The Long Goodbye," on the other hand, was made during the Sorkin years, and is the only episode of his tenure he wasn't involved with, leaving the writing to playwright Jon Robin Baitz (who would go on to create "Brothers & Sisters.") "The Long Goodbye" is designed to stand out from the series, as it deals with CJ's trip home to Dayton to care for her senile father. As much as some of the Wells episodes (especially early on) felt like a zombie version of "The West Wing," none felt quite so sluggish, gooey and completely lacking in the voice of the show as this one. Baitz is a talent, but when you have one man with a very distinctive writing style involved in 88 out of 89 episodes over four seasons, the one episode done without him is going to feel very, very wrong.