Political Animals
The Woman Problem

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Future Starts Slow

THE CREDITS ARE

Lovely; the song is an old favorite, "Future Starts Slow," with a great guitar riff that manages to feel a little bit political while also referencing Damages. Another war between women. Another story about bitches. The future starts so slow you could puke for days and it still wouldn't be here yet.

AT DINNER TO ANNOUNCE HERSELF

Elaine's smacking Doug to get off his phone when T.J. arrives, still wary of Margaret but blustering it out, right up front:

"Sorry! I had vendors coming out of my ass. I gotta go back to the club," he says, brattily, daring them to ask. "Mineral water? You're gonna bore me off the wagon!"

He's so brave but it's from such a shitty, secret angle. The best of all the lies they teach you is that you're dirty and everybody else is clean. That there are good twins and bad ones. But that's not the way it works; nobody ever is. Which means that we're all dirty. And if we're all dirty, roughly the same amount, then we're all the same amount of clean.

Elaine and Margaret stare at each other, having each denied him several times and watched his addict ass try to snake around it. There's a part of Elaine that understands why he needs to build something with his own hands -- why he can't be sure he exists, until he has his own legacy. How a life in the Hammond dynasty has turned him into a picture in a magazine, a fetish object. There's a part of them both that's been disappointed enough they're strong enough to deny him, even as they're understanding.

Margaret: "Where'd you get the money, sonny?"
T.J.: "Turns out my celebrity's worth millions, and I'm devastatingly handsome in low lighting..."

True and not true, both at once. Without the capital, without real ownership, he's still just a face; John-John without a George, John-John missing the Bar over and over again. There's so little of him that's permanent, that's a man; the future is coming so slow that it nearly killed him. If I asked you right now who was the older brother, you know what you'd say. It's not that we want our children to fail, exactly. We're just afraid it'll kill us if they do.

Doug: "Mom? Not to rush you, but..."
Elaine: "...Right. Okay. I am considering running for President again..."

Margaret pushes herself back from the table; it's a gesture Elaine knows well. It's one we all know pretty well. It's the sound of T.J.'s life, rushing past. Sometimes with Bud's force, other times with Elaine's grace, but it all sounds the same.

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Political Animals

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