Credit: The West Wing: NBC Universal Photo

Er, I mean, Bobby Simone. That is, Matt Santos, a.k.a. Jimmy Smits (at right), is The West Wing‘s new fake president! Kudos to Alan Alda, though, whose tough-as-nails performance imbued Republican Senator Arnold Vinick (at left) with enough integrity and wherewithal to be a worthy successor to the godlike Democratic President Jed Bartlet (center), who we’re all heartbroken to see go.

Of course, the new beginnings of Fake Election Day were tempered by the news that Vice President-elect Leo McGarry (John Spencer) had had another heart attack and passed away. It looks like next week’s episode will give McGarry — and class-act Spencer — a proper send-off, reuniting us in the process with some of our favorite West Wing alumni. Rob Lowe’s Sam Seaborn and Anna Deavere Smith’s Nancy McNally are confirmed. But how many more surprises can The West Wing jam into its final five episodes?

addCredit(“The West Wing: NBC Universal Photo”)