Political Animals
Second Time Around

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Tippi Blevins: B- | Grade It Now!
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Second Time Around

1997. Elaine gets ready to talk to the press in support of her husband. Bud talks her out of it by admitting Sarah Latham's accusations are true. She breaks down crying. She's devastated. And yet, all I can think about is her truly horrible blouse.

Istanbul (Not Constantinople). The plan touches down and Bud tells Susan to cover her hair and follow him. Without telling her the plan ahead of time, he brings her into the hangar to meet President Hakam. He takes one look at the wheelchair-bound man and says, "I hope you feel better than you look, because you look like shit." What a skilled negotiator. He introduces Susan as Garcetti's "special envoy." Susan hides her surprise well. As they sit down to talk, Bud pretends like he's got nothing to offer in exchange for the journalists. He tells Hakam he's "bat-shit crazy" for capturing them in the first place. How does this guy ever get anything he wants? Hakam remains firm, so Bud goes over to chat with the "special envoy" and hammers out a totally fake deal. He goes back to Hakam and says he'll get his visit from Garcetti as he wanted. Unfortunately, it will be at Hakam's funeral. Bud promises to tell the world that it was Hakam's dying wish to bring America to the peace table. It sounds like a shitty deal to me, but Hakam is nearly in tears from gratitude.

Doug and Anne are in the middle of trying to get it on when once again, the stress of their engagement intrudes. Just as soon as Doug reassures her that everything will be fine, the next crisis shows up in the form of Thomas at their door. He's drunk and/or high and looking for a place to crash. He confesses to his brother about stealing a check from their grandmother. "You know what the best part is? My business partners wouldn't even take it! They said it was fine if I didn't have the whole nut, all they really needed was my name." He laughs and cries because he's kind of their Paris Hilton. "How did I even become this person?" Doug offers him the money on the condition Thomas cleans up his act. Thomas hugs his brother and agrees to the terms. Surely this will come back to haunt the both of them.

Back on the plane in Istanbul, everyone celebrates with champagne. Bud wastes no time in hitting on one of the freed hostages because he is a truly awful human being. Susan is feeling pretty frisky, too. When Gary tries to interview her about the negotiations, she pulls him into the bathroom for some very cramped sex.

Margaret has come up with an excuse to make her song choice fit, which is that it's Doug and Anne's second attempt at an engagement party. I love Margaret, but that is lame, lame, lame. She also confronts Thomas. "Where's my check, you little shit? Did you forge my name and cash it?" Ashamed, he gives back the check. He tries to explain, but she already understands. The trumpet player she so loved was Thomas's grandfather. He had no idea his grandfather was a musician until now. Grandpa was an addict, too. He got beat up by some dealers who knocked out all his front teeth and split his lip in two places. So long, embouchure. Washed up, he was found dead five years later in a motel. "So you don't have to tell me your story, honey. I know your story. I know how it ends." Thomas looks shaken.

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Political Animals

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