political animals 'Political Animals' recap: Future Starts SlowElaine starts putting out feelers ahead of her next campaign. She doesn’t want to run again unless the numbers show that she has a chance. To that end, Bud takes their sons with him to visit a backwoods pollster named Jubal. Doug is still staunchly against his mother running, but fulfills his role as the dutiful son. He has flashbacks to his mother’s first campaign — specifically to the times his father kept screwing things up by talking about vaginas and penises on TV. He remembers his father blaming him for the lost votes. In the present day, he finally has a mini explosion. Much to Doug’s surprise, Bud acknowledges his faults. That’s when Jubal fesses up and says Bud made an ass out of himself during the campaign on purpose. The polls were not in Elaine’s favor. If Bud took the blame, then it would leave Elaine unscathed to run again in the future. It’s supposed to be noble, I guess, but it comes across like patronizing bull****. Jubal’s preliminary numbers show Elaine in good standing — as long as she doesn’t have Bud with her.

Doug suddenly feels much more enthusiastic about the campaign. He calls Susan and asks her to drop the story he leaked to her at the end of the last episode. She tells him she wasn’t planning on running it anyway, but tells him she owns him now. He’s going to be her inside source for all the campaign nitty-gritty.

Even without going to print, though, rumors of Elaine’s aspirations abound. Garcetti decides that the best way to eliminate her as a threat is to offer her a seat on the Supreme Court. To do that, he pressures the current Justice — an old law school mentor to Elaine — to leave the position. Susan hears about this and runs to Elaine with the story. On the surface, it looks like a gesture of friendship, but it’s part of Susan’s plan to work her way into Elaine’s inner circle. Elaine talks to her mentor about it and gets her to stay on the bench. This is all Garcetti needs to confirm that Elaine is, indeed, planning to run against him. His solution? Send her on a bunch of “low level” diplomacy missions, like dealing with Siberian tigers. She’ll probably come back with a pack of Siberian tigers, trained to do her bidding. — Tippi Blevins

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