Sunday, September 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Politician' - Payton Is Forced to Face Several Ugly Truths in 'The Assassination of Payton Hobart: Part Two'

Netflix's The Politician - Episode 1.07 "The Assassination of Payton Hobart: Part Two"

Payton faces his darkest hour and the fight of his life as transgressions are revealed, backs stabbed and confessions made.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's The Politician.

"The Assassination of Payton Hobart: Part Two" was written by Ian Brennan & Brad Falchuk and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton

This episode certainly feels very climatic. It issues punishments to the characters who most deserve it while also sending several more off to new ventures in the pursuit of their own personal happiness. It opens with Payton fighting for his actual life. It appears as if Ricardo's insane plan to kill him is actually working. It's not until that he confesses to Infinity and she runs to the hospital that the doctors have any clue what they are doing. That's ridiculous and outrageous. It shows that Infinity is willing to fight for Payton. But she has to fight for so much more as well. She has to battle these horrifying influences who have long sought out to control her. Payton presents as that as well. But he also freed her from the grip her grandmother had on her. No one dies here either. Dusty and Ricardo feel that impulse after it's clear that they will be arrested by the police for attempted murder. Dusty plans on spending the rest of her life in jail. She is content with that so long as she can at least damage Payton on the way down. That appears to be the consolation prize for anyone who loses to him. Astrid took away his victory because she didn't think she could win. And now, Dusty's confession means he has to resign as student body president. Everyone is full of vitriol towards him now. He has just been released from the hospital but he is fighting for his political future. That has meant so much to him. It shouldn't be the only thing of value in his life though. He is going to lose trusted friends as a result of all of this. James knew that researching the truth about Infinity's cancer would eventually blow back and damage Payton. He wanted to protect the candidate he was truly inspired by. But now, Payton is out of office and may have lost this friendship with James for good. He may still have Alice by his side. And yet, he doesn't feel inspirational to anyone. He continues to insist that he wants to be a good person by doing good actions. He believes he would have made a difference at the school. He doesn't fight back in order to preserve his political reputation and confront the accusations that now shape public opinion. There is simply no containing this story. There is no way to spin it. He may eventually recover from this scandal. Right now though, it seems like he is losing everything. His father arrives at the hospital to tell Georgina that she will be cut off because she broke their promise. She didn't even have to run off with Brigitte in order for the truth to be exposed. That is still the happy ending awaiting her. It provides her a chance at a better and more fulfilled life. She deserves that. Payton is happy and willing to give that to her. He is still upset and angry at his father for his actions. He cares more about how this affects his mother than himself though. That is selfless. He too will no longer be able to count on his father's support. He will no longer be going to Harvard. All of his future plans may implode here. Georgina sees that as a good thing because it's symbolic of what life actually is. Payton could never plan every single aspect of his life. He has to be open to crushing defeats and the lessons learned along the way. He was surprised by just how moved and vulnerable he was with River. That connection may be gone but the qualities it brought out of Payton should continue to motivate him in the future. That's what he should be striving for in life. He has to allow himself to feel his emotions. He does so saying goodbye to his mother. That is brutal. It can be freeing. The show just has to follow through with that. That moment is earned. And yet, it also takes place in the same hour where Skye is also arrested for attempted murder and Astrid runs away to New York once more after calling the FBI on her father. All of this can prove that no secret stays buried forever. The legal consequences will always catch up to you. And yet, it feels like the show just culling its supporting ensemble in artificial ways just to focus on what's important in the future. The effort is too transparent here and that does bog the proceedings down quite a bit.