Political Animals
The Woman Problem

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

Elaine: "I asked you to hold the Bible for me when I was sworn in as Secretary of State!"
Margaret: "And then criticized my dress."
Elaine: "It was a sequined cocktail gown! In the middle of the afternoon!"
Margaret: "Uh, that Bob Mackie designed!"

Elaine starts screaming about her mother stealing her moment, finally -- finally -- hears herself and goes very cold indeed. "You know, this conversation ceased to be relevant as soon as it began." And -- this is a win, note; this is her winning -- Margaret, the old broad that she is, just sashays on out of there. "You stopped me. I was innocently getting a refill."

Getting the last word is what women do. The men make mistakes, they bumble around, they fuck around, and they throw up their hands and confess they never knew what they were doing. And then the women shake their heads, push back from the table, get the last edge in and they think this is power. This has always been the definition and the limit of women's power, for the same reason that you never win against an incumbent; it's a reason bitch is the only word we have.

Susan calls then, with the news. Shaw and Pike, the fig leaf and all the rest. The circus.


In a terrible place! A shack, or the shack adjoining a larger, scarier shack. Somehow Bud is just as excited about the fishing part of this fake fishing trip as he is about righting the wrongs of the past and overcoming Garcetti; perhaps he's just focusing on the ornaments of what he's about to do, which is to cross a bridge back toward a man -- at least one -- whose heart he broke.

T.J.: "Why are all of Dad's friends such ugly cultural stereotypes?"

Jubal's old-time prospector's beard and wild hair belie a fierce intelligence and eloquence, but all is overshadowed by the shotgun in his hand. A Secret Serviceman named Sam draws on him easily and the boys are delightedly agog at the standoff that has suddenly developed.

Bud, to the obvious: "That is a hurtful, slanderous accusation! Now listen up, I didn't come here to fight. I came here to offer you a ride on the Big Ticket."
Jubal: "Too bad, you termed out."
Bud: "Not me, shithead. My ex-wife. But only if you say she can win. All right?"

...And then before you know it, he's not only wrangled an insane pollster survivalist, but gotten them a place to stay for the weekend. He's still amazed enough by himself that he's allowed to be proud when this works, even though it always works. That's secretly part of the charm: It's not just about believing that people will do what you tell them, it's not just believing the lie you're telling. It's about still taking joy, that fillip of gratitude, whenever things work properly.

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Political Animals




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