Political Animals
Second Time Around

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Tippi Blevins: B- | Grade It Now!
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Second Time Around

Globe offices. Susan Berg gets ready for trip and asks her assistant to pass along a message to her editor/ex-boyfriend. "Tell him I just turned in a story no one else has. Tell him I'm on assignment but the destination is embargoed. Tell him I already moved our stuff out of our apartment and tell him he's a lying, cheating piece of shit." The assistant balks, so Susan tells him to put it in quotes. "You're just reporting the news." She needs to hire a less squeamish assistant. I, for one, love calling people lying pieces of shit! Cue the rocking credits with "Future Starts Slow" by The Kills, which is kind of an odd choice, even if it is a pretty great song.

At some point after his self-defenestration, Thomas called his brother. Doug pulls up by the curb where Thomas is sitting, soaked by the rain and missing his shoes. Doug exhibits the weariness of one who's done this -- or something like this -- many, many times. He promises not to give their mother all the dirty details. This is the first time they mention being twins. Doug is three minutes younger and seems three decades older. Even his sweet reminder to his brother to put on his seatbelt seems almost parental.

Bud boards the plane and finds Elaine waiting for him. "Hey, shugah, look at us! Just like ol' times!" He drops down into the seat next to her. "I'm here to brief you, Bud, and that's all," she says. "Well, go ahead, you're the boss," he says as if he's humoring her instead of speaking the truth. Elaine goes over the particulars of his mission, but Bud's barely listening. He interrupts to tell her he's broken up with his starlet girlfriend. He's under the impression that he and his ex-wife are "reconnecting," an idea that Elaine greets with dismay. Elaine tries to get back to the matter at hand, but Bud is aghast to see Susan boarding the plane. Elaine explains she's covering the trip as part of her feature. "She won a Pulitzer for hating our guts!" Bud protests. "Turns out she doesn't hate us," Elaine says. "Just you." As she gets up to go, Susan rushes over to thank her again for the opportunity. In just those few seconds, Bud has gotten up out of his seat and is already holding court with the rest of the plane's passengers and crew.

Elaine's flashback picks up where she left off. "I did not have sex with Sarah Latham!" Bud swears. "And that is the God's honest truth!" Although it depends on what your definition of "is" is. He promises up and down that he's not lying. Elaine would dearly love to believe it's true, and so she does.

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Political Animals

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