Political Animals Review: Xie Xie

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It was only "16 Hours," but lives were changed forever in that time on Political Animals this week.

Let's start with the potentially game changing political move. I predict that Elaine will not run against President Garcetti in the next primary. Instead, she will be his running mate. Why?

All season (limited as it may be), Garcetti has sided with Elaine instead of Vice President Collier. These 16 hours may have clinched the decision for the president. Garcetti made it clear he wished Elaine had agreed to be his Vice President.

Elaine and the Chinese

In the last election, Elaine wouldn't have helped his ticket. But that's changed. The polls show she could win, so that should translate to helping, not hurting, Garcetti in his bid for re-election.

Garcetti asked Elaine to help him write the speech to the nation, not the Vice President. And Collier was not at all happy about that. Add in Bud busting Collier for blackmailing Reeves and it could be a done deal.

As much as I originally wanted Elaine to run for President, I don't any more. She and Garcetti work well together when they are on the same side. And, as she said, he would be unbeatable if he was able to successfully save the Chinese. Besides, they would be a formidable pair and could do great things for the nation. A primary fight between the two would do more harm than good.

Elaine has a new problem on her hands, though, and it isn't TJ. Instead the trouble is coming from Doug. What the heck was he thinking sleeping with Susan?!? I was disappointed that the story went there; it was the predictable outcome and I hoped the show would take a unique turn instead of the expected.

Susan is such a hypocrite. She's gotten all over Bud for sleeping around and Elaine for staying with him, but she isn't any better. She jumped back into bed with her ex-boyfriend and boss... then with a fellow reporter... and now with an engaged man. And Doug is no better than his father. This is not going to end well for either of them.

While Susan's decision to print Elaine's lies about TJ were ethically questionable, in the big picture it was the right thing for her to do. Her exclusive on the submarine story made it worthwhile, but her future access to Elaine was even more important. Unfortunately, her drunken romp with Doug put that all at risk.

Despite my ranting, in the end, Doug and Susan make a much more compelling couple than Doug and Anne. The latter is boring and seems to be together more because they don't know how to get out of it than because they passionately love each other. He proposed while they were on ecstasy for goodness' sake! Besides, a powerful politician and a reporter married would make a much more engaging story.

Margaret and Anne's time together put on spotlight on Anne's unhappiness. When Margaret talked about her second husband, Anne seemed to relate. So, maybe presumed coming break-up will be more sweet than bitter. Perhaps, Anne and Doug will come out of it happier.

Unfortunately, there is only one episode left in the Political Animals limited series and no word yet on a renewal for another season. Do you think Elaine will run against Garcetti? Or will she partner up with him instead? What will be the ramifications for Doug and Susan sleeping together? And will TJ get the help he needs? Those are only a few of the questions that still need to be answered.

What do you want to see in the last hour?

Odds and Ends

  • Bud and Elaine may not be perfect parents, but they do care deeply about their sons. Elaine's regrets were heartbreaking to hear. It's too bad that Bud couldn't be so honest and supportive to TJ when he was awake and before he overdosed.
  • Bud's attack on Vice President Collier -- wow. I may just end up liking Bud. (Check out the Political Animals quotes.)
  • Margaret and Anne getting high was hilarious. Anne definitely needed to loosen up a bit.
  • Margaret was the best person to call Anne out on her bulimia. Will Anne get help? I'm guessing the Doug and Susan situation will interfere with that.
  • Susan's flashbacks combined with her conversations with Doug about her coverage of the Hammonds did not reflect positively on her. As my opinion on Bud has improved, the reverse has happened with Susan. Does she have any boundaries she won't cross?
  • Xie xie means thank you in Chinese.


Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Political Animals is a great show with wonderful acting and writing. A terrific cast that shines. I can see it having Emmy written all over it. So hopefully there will be another season not to far away...


I have to agree w/Blu's comments about Susan because I think this episode was meant to show her hypocrisy & weak character. Up to now, she's been on her high horse about being taken seriously as a "journalist." It's been fine because she hasn't done much to counter that image. We've assumed that she's had to fight to be recognized for her talent. But, the flashbacks tell a completely different story. She was exactly like the young blogger, trading on cheap sensationalism to get ahead, not caring about truth or facts and perfectly willing to write filthy - in tone and word usage. It even made her editor sick to read it. And, what a lapse of judgement - sleeping w/her subject's son/campaign manager! Now, story quality won't matter one bit because her objectivity is so thoroughly compromised....CONT'D


I knew the Susan and Doug thing was coming the moment they started working together. They do make a more appropriate couple more compatible. I have lost a ton of respect for Susan and her hypocrisy. She cries about being this super feminist but spends most of her time tearing other women down which contradicts everything she claims to stand for. Bud is a lousy husband and a lousy father but he's loyal in the basic of ways, comes through in the clutch, and gets things done. I love Margaret and her getting Anne high was hilarious and perfect. From calling Anne out to everything else. I hope this show gets renewed.


Another great episode. Was laughing when Ann and Gran were high, but I don't think they would have created a good environment for a recovering T.J. The previews show that he may not stay home. As much as I love T.J.'s relationship with his Grandma, leaving could prove to be good for him. He's had his heart broken, but I think that if he could find someone to open up to/grieve with, he might get better.


It was surprisingly not terrible. Significant plot advancement (by PA's standards). Doug/Susan's sex was not hot.


Did you notice at the end they called next week the SEASON finale instead of SERIES finale? I'm wondering if negotiations are ongoing to make this a regular series. Too much is going on for it to just abruptly end. Maybe I'm reading too much into it........ I wasn't hard to see where Doug and Susan were going....kinda disappointed it went that way. I'm not so sure Elaine will give up her bid for the White House. Loved it when Bud socked it to Collier.....Loved it with Gran and Anne although could have done without the promotion of smoking dope.....

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Political Animals Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

But, as a mother, I would do anything to help my son.


Little shit's never gonna learn.