Political Animals Round Table: "Second Time Around"

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Political Animals stepped up the political manipulations in "Second Time Around."

And, in response, Round Table panelists Lindsey Kempton, Leigh Raines, Chandel Charles, Christine Orlando and Carla Day are here to examine the characters' actions and motivations, while also predicting in what direction they might head.


Political Animals is such a quote-worthy show. What was your favorite?
Christine: When Doug said, "Are we having sex or am I parallel parking?" I don't think any further comment is necessary.

Lindsey: I don't remember the exact wording, but it was when Elaine confronted Bud after he had told her that he had cheated on her. She said that he needed to tell her something that was true and would be true 50 years from now, and he responded, "You should leave me. I'll cheat again. And, I'll lie again and I'll break your heart again."

Leigh: Christine that quote had me cracking up. Everything Doug has said in bed so far has been a winner. My choice this week would be about Bud: "He's one sex scandal away from Dancing with the Stars!" I could totally see Bud on Dancing with the Stars, couldn't you?

Chandel: When Elaine said, "I'm sick to death of the bullshit and the egos and the men. I am sick of the men. ... I could puke for days. I'm running for president." The way it was delivered was genius!

Carla: You have picked my favorites, so I'll go with another favorite from TJ's grandmother. I never expected her to lay it on him like she did here, "Where's my check, you little shit? Did you forge my name and cash it? For how much?"

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Is Elaine in control of her emotions and political position or is she heading into the Bud trap as Doug worried?
Christine: I think she's in control of her political strategy but not her emotions when it comes to Bud.  She's been in love with the guy for about three decades.  No matter what he's done, he'll always get under her skin. 

Lindsey: It's hard to tell at this point. I think she knows what she's doing politically, but she's being fueled almost entirely by her emotions, and not just for Bud but also her frustration at the political process and men in general. It could lead her to make some rash decisions, but I don't think she has yet.

Leigh: Elaine is in control of her political strategy but not her emotions. With Bud it's always going to be complicated, but she will also never completely get rid of him. They need each other in this toxic way.

Chandel: I think Elaine is just making a strong showing in a world where that's what's required on a constant basis. She had every right to be angry with the VP over leaking the Oman negotiations were taking place. She needed to stand her ground.

Carla: Elaine is frustrated with politics and Bud. She is headed in a perhaps reckless direction, but it is a planned recklessness. Go big or go home, right?

Will TJ continue to use drugs and head for ruin? Or did his grandmother's words and Doug's support turn things around for him?
Christine: I hate to say it but once an addict, always an addict and TJ isn't really showing any signs of pulling himself together.  Despite grandma's tough love, the stress on TJ will only get worse once his mother starts her campaign for President. I'm afraid TJ is headed towards disaster.

Lindsey: It's only the second episode! Way too soon for his character to turn around. Maybe in the second "limited series event" of Political Animals (if there is one).

Leigh: TJ will probably have more relapses, but I think for now Doug and Nana's words will keep him in check.

Chandel: I think he'll continue to spiral until something happens that whips him into sobriety. It will have to be something drastic - I'm just not sure what. I don't know much about addiction, but in order to change, you have to want to.

Carla: The typical path would be for TJ to screw up again and head towards rock bottom. I hope that this was just a minor detour on his path to recovery. He hasn't been using again for long, so I'm hopeful that his grandmother and brother have knocked some sense into him.

Do you think Doug outed his mother's presidential plans simply to try and save his family? Or is there more to it?
Christine: Doug was angry and I don't know if it's because his entire life has been shaped by his parents or if it's something else.  Either way, that kind of disloyalty won't be easy to get past.

Lindsey: I think it was. The continued ruin of your brother and the potential ruin of your mother are pretty good motives for his actions. That said, I don't think it's going to work out well, but that's just more fun for us!

Leigh: I think Doug is feeling out of control and seeing a different side of things than we are. I believe he was honest in his reasoning for outing his mother's future campaign.

Chandel: I think that he really wants that the family come first for once. His life continues to get put on hold because of the political ambitions of  his parents. If he does have something else in mind, that would make for a nice twist!

Carla: Not sure. I was hoping that Doug's leak was part of Elaine's plan. If not, Doug made a big mistake in betraying his mother's trust.

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

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Political Animals Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Doug: Put on your seat belt.
TJ: Okay.

You're on my list. Famous guys I can cheat with, you're my number two.

TJ's fling