Political Animals Round Table: "16 Hours"

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Political Animals is quickly coming to the end of its limited series run, as "16 Hours," finally gave us a glimpse behind the characters' walls and into what makes them truly tick.

In this edition of our weekly Round Table, Political Animals fanatics, Leigh Raines, Chandel Charles, Christine Orlando, Lindsey Kempton and Nick McHatton broke down the fifth installment. Join in and share your thoughts before the stunning conclusion this coming Sunday.


What moment stood out for you from "16 Hours?"
Leigh: It wasn't a moment so much as a theme. I felt like everyone was finally honest with themselves. Bud and Elaine realized they weren't model parents. Anne was forced to confront her eating disorder. Douglas admitted he wasn't sure he should be getting married and Susan copped to a lot of her mistakes in life.

Christine: Wow! There were so many but my favorite was Susan and Doug on the plane. I thought they'd tease at a hook up but not actually go there. I'm really happy they did.

Chandel: Bud talking to TJ in the hospital. It humanized him quite a bit, and it meant a lot to see him being a father to one of his sons. I know we've only got one episode left, but I hope we get to see a little bit more of that.

Nick: A lot stood out for me since it was such a dense episode (but aren't they all?); however, for all the political calculus that goes on every week, in the end, it's the family dynamics that always speak to me the most, and Bud finally showing some love and compassion, rather than philander, for TJ, and his family, was the best moment of the episode. For all of their faults, the family rallies around one another no matter what. It's a theme of all Berlanti shows, and it's one of the reasons why I end up loving his shows.

Lindsey: When Bud goes to bat for TJ with Garcetti and Collier. It's time someone took a more offensive stance when protecting the family rather than just constantly being on the defensive. 

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Should Susan have compromised her integrity to write the lies about TJ for the sub scoop? 
Leigh: Let's not pretend Susan hasn't compromised her integrity before. Sleeping with your editor/boss after he cheated on you with your younger coworker? Selling out and blackmailing people for scoop?

Christine: Ideally, no but this is the real world and she wants the bigger story. The exclusive on the Chinese sub is a huge story and there's a price to be paid for it. Susan made her choice.

Chandel: I think she's always been on the path to compromising her journalistic integrity, but I definitely think it was a cheap shot to pick TJ as the individual she lied about. Then again, who is there to check her honesty but herself?

Nick: I don't think it's that black and white because Susan's integrity has found the shades of gray in her relationship with the Hammonds. TJ's current problems were more of a gossip story than a story that had any real political value, and in Susan eyes she was basically printing a press release given to her by the Hammonds in exchange for a real, career changing, political piece about the submarine.

Lindsey: I think her decision makes things more interesting, so I'm not sure if she "should" have but I'm glad she did!

What do you think about Doug and Susan hooking up?
Leigh: Well obviously it wasn't the smartest idea and there will be fallout but damnnnn it was hot. Super jealous of Susan right now.

Christine: I didn't think they'd go there but I loved it. It was fun and sexy and makes for the possibility of some really great consequences for the two of them.

Chandel: It was bound to happen. You could almost see it coming. If nothing else, it proves that Susan has lost her objectivity to some extent. It certainly won't do well for Doug's engagement to Anne. Can't wait for that one to come out.

Nick: The writing has been on the wall for me since the very beginning of the series, so I can't say I was shocked to see it play out. It's a great character development for Doug, as no matter how hard he tries to differentiate himself from his father in the end none of us are incredibly different from our parents; plus, something feels off with Doug and Anne, and I hope that is explored if another "limited series event" is granted.

Lindsey: Seems like Doug has more of his father in him than he's willing to admit.

President Garcetti and Elaine have worked well together, while VP Collier has been out of step with Garcetti. Will Elaine give up the idea of running against Garcetti and instead run as his VP instead? Which do you prefer?
Leigh: I think Elaine would be great as a VP with Garcetti but it isn't her dream. So does she go for the dream? Or give it up for what is probably the easier option. Collier is the pits.

Christine: No. She has more power as Secretary of State. VP just feels like a place filler spot. If she decides to take a back seat and waits to run until the following campaign, I don't see her having any problem taking on Collier for the top spot in the primary. In the real world I'd say she should wait until Garcetti's second term but for a TV show, what fun would that be?

Chandel: I think that Elaine would excel as VP but truly has her heart set on being President. For that reason, I think she should continue on that road.

Nick: I don't see Elaine giving up her bid for running again. She likes Garcetti, but I believe she can do more good with an administration under her own direction.

Lindsey: Hmm, interesting question. I think if Collier runs with Garcetti then Garcetti will fall prey to his bad advice and he'll be easier for Elaine to beat. That being said, I still think Elaine should run for President. I think she would be a better Commander In Chief than Garcetti.

Which, if any, shocked you the most and why: Bud and Elaine questioning their life choices? Margaret and Anne getting high? Or, Bud punching Vice President Collier?
Leigh: Margaret and Anne blazing, for sure. I always knew Grandma Barrish was a naughty one.

Christine: None of it really shocked me but I loved it all. It was great that Bud and Elaine could look back and see their mistakes as parents. Margaret and Anne were a hoot and I was thrilled to see Bud throw that punch. Collier definitely deserved it.

Chandel: Margaret and Anne getting high. It was a little unexpected and kind of interesting at the same time. I suppose if we were to learn anything about Anne it had to happen since she is so uptight. But I was a little surprised they chose to go that route, especially with Doug's nana.

Nick: Bud punching Collier. We've known he loves his family, but for him to finally go to bat for them in a very physical way sealed the deal for me, and, because of it, really upped the likability of his character.
Lindsey: None of these shocked me, but I enjoyed Margaret and Anne getting high the most. I agree with Chandel, Anne needs more to her character so maybe some adventure will get her to loosen up and we'll learn more about her.
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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.