Murphy’s “The Politician” has returned
for a second season! The first season was pretty wild and the
trailer for the new season showed us that even more drama was in
store. The ambitious and political-driven high schoolers are now
young adults living in New York taking on a new campaign. Season 2
picks up right exactly where we left off in the final episode of
Season 1. Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) and his
friends pursue the candidacy of New York State Senate against Dede
Standish (Judith Light).
Like many, I
binge-watched the entire season in a day and now prepared an
episode-by-episode breakdown for you! Get ready for more scandals,
a bigger goal, and, of course, Ben Platt’s vocals.
Let’s get into it! [*cue “Chicago” bySufjan Stevens*]
Season 2, Episode 1: “New York
State of Mind”
With a brief
recap of where we left off last season, Payton had reassembled his
high school crew for a new campaign. The first episode starts off
with the team’s discussion over Payton’s stance a month
ahead of the election. Which is no surprise when Dede has had a
strong supporting base after running unopposed for years. So much
is unfolded during this episode to set the entire season up.
politics seems to run in the family after a surprising twist
revealing that Georgina Hobart (Gwyneth Paltrow)
was running for Governor in California. Payton was not so happy
about it after seeing his mother’s impact on his campaign.
Georgina shuts Payton down and encourages him to find something he
is passionate about to make his campaign more authentic. So, his
take was the fight for climate change. His high school running mate
and current environmental activist, Infinity (Zoey
Deutch), returns to present Payton to her supporters.
frustrated Astrid (Lucy Boynton) is proposed an
offer by Hadassah Gold (Bette Midler) to be mole
for Dede’s campaign. Andrew (Ryan J. Haddad)
marked his return and commitment to help Payton by being his spy.
As both campaigns have a mole, now we await to see how long they
last before getting caught. For her first task, Astrid reveals the
throuple to Hadassah and she begins to spiral. As her job intends,
Hadassah confronts Dede about it.
don’t recall, River (David Corenswet), after
his death, served as Payton’s conscience in Season 1. He
makes an appearance when Payton seeks help to find his true self.
As River tells Payton that he’s just a voice in his head, I
begin to question, could this be the closure he needed? Sadly, this
is the most River we get this season. We know that Payton is driven
by his ambition, so he starts the rivalry by exposing any dirt he
has on Dede. Meanwhile, Dede may have another worry coming her way
as Senator Tino McCutcheon offers Georgina the Vice President
Season 2, Episode 2: “Conscious
discussion about throuples is far from over; it actually plays an
ongoing part in the season. Fans of the show have even started a
drinking game for the times the word is used — even Ben Platt
shared it with his own twist! As of right now, we know that Dede
Standish is in a throuple, and Astrid shared some information about
Payton’s involvement in a throuple. Which was not actually a
throuple, it was an unsuccessful threesome.
suggests a solution to avoid a scandal: confirming a relationship
with William (1/3 of the throuple). This plan seems to take a turn
when Hadassah and William begin to have an intimate conversation
about their past. It was such a sweet moment, as Hadassah’s
devotion to her career has limited her to having a relationship.
Having relationship troubles herself, McAfee (Laura
Dreyfuss) snaps and pursues a date night. As all first
dates, she had an awkward night with her Tinder date.
the throuple storyline, Alice (Julia Schlaepfer)
and Payton invite Astrid into their relationship, primarily to keep
her on their side (quite cold!). AND just like that the first
“mole” is down. Meanwhile, Hadassah and William go the
extra mile and later on confess the actions to Dede and Marcus.
That leaves Dede out of a throuple right after she made a formal
announcement about her involvement in the relationship. Now what
happens next for Dede? How will she handle this turn?
Season 2, Episode 3: “Cancel
the title of this episode, I was looking forward to seeing how they
tackle the subject of “cancel culture”.
a hold of controversial images of Payton provided by an anonymous
sender. As the images get published by the local media, Payton
begins to see the consequences of appropriating Native American
culture. Alice suggests that Skye (Rahne Jones)
should stand by Payton’s side as he addresses his actions.
Skye agrees to do so, but she starts a conversation to make the
team understand why cultural appropriation is wrong.
“There’s a thin line between appreciation and
appropriation,” said Skye (YES QUEEN, MAKE SURE THEY GRASP
THE CONCEPT!). Unfortunately, Payton commits the same act; even if
it was for a plan, he knew better to not do it again. (Come on, we
were all rooting for you!)
In the first
episode, we learned that Infinity became a climate activist. If
you’re still wondering how that happened, that gets explained
in this episode. Basically, she had a realization during her book
tour and decided to change her lifestyle. Going completely
zero-waste, Infinity challenges Payton and Skye to go zero waste
within 24 hours if they want her to continue supporting their
campaign. An example of practicing what you preach. Infinity has
learned to stop taking any BS and stand up for herself. She even
calls Andrew out on his obsessive behavior, which was way too
Season 2, Episode 4: “Hail
weren’t shocking enough, hold on because there are way too
many twists in this episode. It’s even a game-changer. First
off, it turns out that McAfee returned to work for Dede’s
campaign to update Payton on any dirt she could find on the NY
State Senator. And, of course, it worked. Through “Operation
Spicy Lube” and hiding in Hadassah’s closet, McAfee
discovered that Hadassah and William have gotten together. A
shocker to them, even though we the viewers found out earlier.
Eventually, Payton confronts Hadassah and threatens to break the
story if Dede doesn’t drop out of the race. Being the
headstrong person that she is, Hadassah takes no threat and
challenges Payton to do it.
(Theo Germaine) lashed out after finding out about
McAfee’s latest role and involvement in the campaign. During
the argument, William makes an unexpected visit. [*gasp!*] William exposes information about Marcus that was even unknown to
Dede. After all, the Hadassah and William situation was not the
“Hail Mary” Payton was seeking, it was actually the
Marcus story — a story they had scheduled to share with a
The news that
Mary, Senator McCutcheon’s wife (or now ex-wife), had
awakened from her coma broke out. Mary holds a press conference
where she reveals her husband’s betrayal and his affair with
Georgina Hobart. Georgina speaks out on the affair and confirmed
the end of the relationship. Tino still plans on running as
President with Dede as his VP, although there is a chance he
won’t win after the situation.
the episode, we find out that Alice is pregnant. The moment seen in
the trailer arrives, and Astrid reveals her pregnancy as well.
Offering her financial support, Astrid walks out of the
conversation due to the lack of compassion. She did so rightfully;
her child deserves a father as well! To end the wild episode, James
goes behind the team’s back to break the Marcus story.
Season 2, Episode 5: “The
Just like in
Season 1, there is an episode solely dedicated to the voters’
perspectives on Election Day. For this, I say that Ryan Murphy is a
genius. This episode was centered on the importance of the young
voter turnout and how the older generations should take into
account the issues the next generations will have to deal with
A mother and
daughter argue over their preferred candidate. After dropping an
“OK Boomer” on her mother, Jayne Mueller leaves to work
as a volunteer for Payton’s campaign. When Jayne enters the
building, Payton is seen arguing with James for exposing the Dede
story to a reporter. Not being able to handle such betrayal, Payton
fires James in front of the entire team (yikes!). Further pressure
is placed when the news reports a huge voter turnout. McAfee is
directed to assemble a team, including Jayne, to prepare for an
event at Madison Square Park. Meanwhile, the mother, Andi Mueller,
serves as an election judge. When Dede and Hadassah show up to the
polling place, the press follows to question the candidate on the
new scandal. Shortly after, Payton and Alice arrive to the same
site, where they reveal the pregnancy when questioned about the
By the time
the candidates cast their vote, both Andi and Jayne have had
interactions with their preferred candidate. Senator Standish is
quite confident about winning the campaign; her team is seen
finishing up the setup for the victory party. Meanwhile, Payton
takes a cold shower in front of his supporters at a park to
demonstrate his commitment. Andi, after hearing Dede’s views
on the youth and seeing Payton’s act, she re-evaluates her
choice. It’s a touching moment when the mother reveals to her
daughter that she voted for Payton. That single action showed that
she listened to her daughter and took into account that they are
the future. Together, they tune in to watch the election results.
And then comes the cliffhanger as the reporter is cut off right as
he announces the winner. Who could it be? Did Payton manage to win
this election? Ahh! Quickly tuning into the next episode…!
Season 2, Episode 6: “What’s
in the Box?”
multiple recounts, it turns out there was a tie! WHAT?! Initially,
Dede was leading the election by 23 votes, but the inaccurate
initial counting triggered a recount. So, now what? Their options
are another Election Day or flipping a coin. It sounds pretty
crazy, until they begin to mention the duels that were done to end
a tie in previous elections. Eventually, Payton and Dede decide on
breaking the tie through a traditional game of
this episode entertaining is the determination from both sides to
discover a way to win the game. Ricardo (Benjamin
Barrett), Infinity’s ex and the guy who attempted to
murder Payton last season, makes a brief reappearance. Payton,
McAfee, and Alice visit Ricardo in prison to ask for techniques.
Meanwhile, Hadassah resorts to a research paper. With different
sources, they ultimately get the same theory. Switching between the
two discussions makes this scene outstanding.
there’s more to just the game in this episode! Infinity
reveals a stolen ballot-box, which she plotted under
“Operation Steal our Planet from the Boomers Who are Trying
to Kill It”. Now that you think about it, there are way too
many operations in this season. Anyway, this jeopardized the
campaign and left Payton with a huge dilemma: reveal the location
of the box or destroy it. At the same time, Alice deals with a
dilemma of her own that leads her to leave Payton. Georgina visits
her son and, through her words of wisdom, Payton makes a decision
about the ballot box. Honestly, who wouldn’t gain motivation
when you have Gwyneth Paltrow giving you advice in a soothing tone?
With Alice’s departure, Payton regains the ambition he had
since high school in becoming President of the U.S. But, of course,
before he can get there, he needs to win that game of Roshambo.
Season 2, Episode 7: “Election
episode is here! Time to find out who takes the State Senate
candidacy. Both candidates take up final preparation for the
Rock-Paper-Scissors battle. But first, we are taken to a farm —
quite random, until you see Astrid and Alice. After pondering,
Astrid made the decision to have an abortion and Alice stands by
her side through it. Meanwhile, Alice decided to get back together
with Payton and continue her education (btw, McAfee was the only
one from the crew to have finished college).
Now back to
the election… Dede concedes to her opponent. Yep, Payton is
now State Senator! What a plot twist! But wait, there’s more.
Before Payton officially accepts his title as State Senator, it is
revealed that Payton would have actually won the election if the
stolen ballot box was turned in (WOW!). Meanwhile, Georgina, now
Governor of California, makes the decision to run for President and
invites Dede to be her VP. Let me mention that this scene was
actually filmed during quarantine. They worked it into the show as
a video call and honestly it fit in perfectly! So, ultimately, both
Dede and Payton got what they sought.
Like in the first season, there is
a time jump. Here we learn that Payton is about to win his
re-election, McAfee is engaged, Alice and Payton are married and
have their first child, aaaand [*drum roll*] Georgina was
elected President. Beyond being rivals at first, Dede and Payton
have found their peace. Dede even offers Payton a slot as Vice
President for her Presidency campaign. If you missed River (I, of
course, did), he makes a brief reappearance toward the end of the
was quite the handful and now leaves us wondering on what will
happen next. Will Payton accept Dede’s offer? What happened
to Astrid? Who will Dede run against? Will we even get a Season 3?
Time will only tell!
Season 2 of
“The Politician” is now streaming on Netflix!