The entire “Political Animals” Hammond family is involved with Elaine (Sigourney Weaver) and her campaign for president, but her latest race is going to look a lot different than it did when she ran last. The July 29 episode, “The Woman Problem,” delved more into the family dynamics, especially between that of Bud (Ciaran Hinds) and Douglas (James Wolk), while Elaine finds a formidable opponent in President Garcetti (Adrian Passdar).
Two years prior, Elaine lost the election, and Douglas blamed his dad, Bud, for making some crass on-air statements. But is he really to blame? Elaine was seen as cut throat and enormously ambitious — and many women voters didn’t like that she stuck by Bud.
But in the present time on “Political Animals,” there’s a new story to tell. Elaine’s mentor and first-ever openly gay Supreme Court justice, Diane Nash (Vanessa Redgrave), is considering retirement, and the president knows how to use that to his advantage: offer Elaine the position on the court. If she takes it, she’s out of the running for president. If she turns it down, he’ll realize that she’s running for President.
Thanks to Susan Berg (Carla Gugino), Elaine learns all about this plot so she has time to formulate what she’ll do. But Susan has a plan all her own that Elaine doesn’t quite know; by giving this intel to Elaine, Susan thinks she’ll be admitted to the inner circle and she’ll be the one to break the story about Elaine running for president. Yet, even the best laid plans can backfire.
But first things first on “Political Animals” “The Woman Problem.” Elaine needs to know if she even stands a chance to win, so she sends Bud, Douglas, and T.J. (Sebastian Stan) to a pollster to see what he thinks. After all, no one has run against an incumbent and won.
Some of the pollster’s news is good, but not entirely. And as the fishing trip and expedition unfolds, Douglas remembers how his dad brushed him off every time that he tried to wrangle him in the first election. He even thinks Bud blew it on purpose — which isn’t far from the truth. Turns out that Elaine did horribly in the debates, and her numbers were fast slipping. Bud threw himself on the tracks and took the heat for her losing, all so she’d have a chance to run again one day.
But this year, Bud won’t be involved at all. The election will come down to just three states — Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia — but the voters only like Elaine without Bud, because otherwise she looks weak.
So Elaine is most definitely running with her son Doug as quarterback, and she asks her mentor Diane to stick it out for two more years until she’s elected. But she’s not about to give the story to Susan, who has returned to her boss/lover Alex and slept with him again.
But what Elaine doesn’t know is that Douglas and Susan have been meeting. Susan promises not to run the story about Elaine running, but she vows to detail every step of the story when the announcement is made. “I own you now,” Susan says, and this story is just starting to heat up.
The mini-series “Political Animals” has just three episodes left, and it airs on USA Network on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Want more TV news? Check Elizabeth out on Facebook. To receive email updates, be sure to subscribe. Have a question or a scoop about USA Network programs? Email Elizabeth here.