Thursday, November 21, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Politician (Season Finale)

The Politician: Season 1, Episode 8 “Vienna” (B+)

Well, this was quite the finale. I had accidentally read something about a time jump and tried to forget it, and fortunately I think I had until I sat down to start this episode and wasn’t too surprised to see “three years later” opening the hour. It makes sense that Payton would end up at a school like NYU, which he probably considered a serious step down from Ivy options like Harvard, though I was a bit puzzled that his friends in from out of town were Infinity and Skye, who now are pals too after only sharing the distinction of being Payton’s running mate at different points. It felt strange to me that, when everyone came together to convince Payton to run, Infinity was nowhere to be found. I would have thought she’d be a crucial part of the team, especially if Skye was there. I had no idea why we were meeting the Texas senator played by Sam Jaeger from “Parenthood,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Why Women Kill,” and I was also surprised to recognize Judith Light from “Transparent” as State Senator Dede Standish and Bette Midler of all people as her chief of staff Hadassah Gold. I thought the focus might be shifting to a different campaign altogether, but I love the twist that Payton is going to run against her when she’s actually being groomed to be vice president, separating her from a real-life person like Joe Crowley who didn’t have such grand ambitions. Astrid knowing that Dede is part of a thruple with Joe Morton from “God Friended Me” and “Scandal” and Teddy Sears from “The Flash” and “Masters of Sex” suggests it might be a dirty campaign, but I’m all in for what’s sure to be a totally entertaining second season. Even if the last two episodes I saw were a bit over the top, this has been a real blast. I won’t soon get the incredible music and fantastic ensemble out of my head, and I hope this show will fare well with awards groups.

Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Ben Platt as Payton

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