The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 3

Gail the Goldfish has already seen a lot during the first two seasons of The West Wing, and season 3 only gets more exciting! Gail gets active in the re-election campaign, launches a protest for women’s rights, meets some diseased livestock, and has a close encounter of the Charlie kind!

Here it is, a list of Gail sightings from season 3.

If you think that you can identify one of the mystery props, please do comment and if you can convince me, I will happily give you full credit for the spot!


Season 3, Episode 01

No Gail. She is still in shock over the tragedy that occurred at the World Trade Center.

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 9.18.47 PM

Season 3, Episode 2

  • Prop: Curious. Appears to be some sort of pagoda-like structure, but it isn’t clear how this ties into the plot.
  • Gravel: Dark green and white
  • Nod to Plot: Could it be a nod to Haiti? Somehow? I don’t think so. Maybe it is a pagoda and it is Gail’s way of telling CJ she needs more zen in her life right now!

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 9.52.22 PM.png

Season 3, Episode 3

  • Prop: Complete mystery. A shark? We never get very close to Gail. I blame Blabbish.
  • Gravel: Dark green
  • Nod to Plot: If it is maybe a toy shark, it would be because that’s what CJ needs coming after the Bartlet administration.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 10.jpg

Season 3, Episode 4

  • Prop: A whiteboard on an easel. It appears that Gail is helping out Sam, tracking the House votes.
  • Gravel: White
  • Nod to Plot: President Bartlet wants to veto a repeal of the Estate Tax, but House shenanigans threaten a veto override.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 10.56.17 AM.png

Season 3, Episode 5

  • Prop: A whole bunch of American flags planted in the gravel
  • Gravel: Green and white
  • Nod to Plot: ‘Merica!

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 11.25.54 AM.png

Season 3, Episode 6

  • Prop: A “Bartlet for America” campaign button!
  • Gravel: Royal blue
  • Nod to Plot: The reelection race is heating up, and the question hangs in the air: Why does anyone want to be President?

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 11.33.22 AM.png

Season 3, Episode 7

  • Prop: A turkey!
  • Gravel: Green
  • Nod to Plot: It’s Thanksgiving! (Gail stands with the visitors in the lobby)

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 11.53.53 AM.png

Season 3, Episode 8

  • Prop: A big ol’ cow
  • Gravel: Green
  • Nod to Plot: Oh no! It’s Mad Cow Disease, and the Bartlet Administration debates how to handle public knowledge of it.


Season 3, Episode 9

No Gail. She’s off drinking egg nog and photocopying her fins to pass around at the Christmas party.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 12.06.29 PM.png

Season 3, Episode 10

  • Prop: What looks like a piece of paper on a little stand with some writing?
  • Gravel: Deep red
  • Nod to Plot: Could it be a page from the tell-all book that has Sam in a tizzy? Could it be a “Bartlet for America” napkin? Could it be 1709 map of the Holy Land that can’t be displayed in the White House? If only Toby would keep his newspaper lower, we might know for sure.


Season 3, Episode 11

No Gail. She thinks this is a terrible episode, too, and hides behind Carol.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 12.34.59 PM

Season 3, Episode 12

  • Prop: It’s a little model of a schoolhouse and a yellow pencil flagpole next to it.
  • Gravel: Dark green (they must have bought that color in bulk this season)
  • Nod to Plot: It’s a tribute to C.J.’s dad and his work as a teacher.


Season 3, Episode 13

No Gail. Out of respect for the grieving widow.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 1.19.14 PM.png

Season 3, Episode 14

  • Prop: None visible
  • Gravel: Red and black
  • Nod to Plot: Gail is living on the bookcase at the side of the room to keep her safe while Charlie makes C.J. his bitch.


Season 3, Episode 15

No Gail. She’s mingling at Abigail’s birthday party.


Season 3, Episode 16

No Gail. Again. 


Season 3, Episode 17

No Gail. Again! This is getting ridiculous. If Gail got hurt when C.J.’s desk collapsed, Charlie’s gonna have a lot more to worry about than paying taxes!

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 1.52.37 PM

Season 3, Episode 18

  • Prop: 1 or 2 Venus symbols (1 I think, and the curve of the bowl is creating an illusion)
  • Gravel: Multi-colored
  • Nod to Plot: Gail is showing solidarity for C.J. and her outrage over the girls who burned in the school. Women must stand (and swim) together!

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 2.21.30 PM.png

Season 3, Episode 19 AND Episode 20

  • Prop: What looks like a little fashion doll wearing a white (or light pink) dress
  • Gravel: Transluscent
  • Nod to Plot: Gail is ready for her junior prom!


Season 3, Episode 21

No Gail. We will just have to wait to see her next season!

A single season of Gail’s adventures is never enough, of course. Be sure to check out her other adventures in…

Season 1
Season 2
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6

Now it’s on to the second Bartlet Administration!


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