Still going strong despite the depature of head writer / creator Aaaron Sorkin
Struggling with the departure of writer/creator Aaron Sorkin, Season Five of The West Wing stands as one of the shows weaker years. A formulaic structure belies the new writers attempt to give every character equal weighting (which Sorkin never bothered to do) and the shows trademark snappy exchanges, while present, have lost a little vim.
This remains superbly entertaining TV, but is best viewed as a transitional bridge between the chaotic genius of the early years and the more structured, narratively superior Season Six. Stand-out moments include the Presidents dramatic walkout in Shutdown and that explosion in Gaza.