The Politician season 1 finale recap: Vienna

Photo: Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow / The Politician.. Courtesy Netflix
Photo: Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow / The Politician.. Courtesy Netflix /

If you thought the story of The Politician ends with season 1, you would be mistaken.

The Politician had a very up and down first season, but I think the season finale more than makes up for it. In fact, I did not see this sort of ending coming to fruition and I was pleasantly surprised. When the season 1 finale kicks off, there’s a time jump to a few years when Payton is living in New York City as a student at NYU. He’s performing in a bar, and dedicates his song to Skye and Infinity who are in town paying him a visit.

I know, I know, you’re thinking the same thing I was–how the heck did we end up here? Well, Skye didn’t go to prison for trying to poison Payton, and after going through the motions, ended up going to Vassar for college. And as we come to learn, James is Payton’s roommate.

The mood changes a little bit when the scene changes to the two actresses I waited to see all season–Bette Midler and Judith Light. Light plays a NY State Senate Majority Leader and Midler her Chief of Staff. They’re in the middle of an election but a Democratic senator is eager to have Light’s character, Dede be his running partner.

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The one thing Dede brags often about is that no one is ever able to find dirt on her–like ever. In fact, it’s how she’s been as successful as she has.

Of course, this obviously means she does have something she’s hiding, and that secret would be that she’s in a throuple. A very successful one, might I add.

As the episode continues, we catch up with McAfee who is working as a staffer on Dede’s campaign, but it’s not the most glamorous job one could have. Meanwhile, Payton seems like a hot mess. He goes home drunk every night and on top of that, he’s been invited to Alice’s wedding.

Something happens and it prompts Payton to try and get Alice back in his life. You won’t be surprised to hear that the plan doesn’t go as well as Payton would have liked. But wait, don’t worry, The Politician won’t leave you down in the dumps like that at the end of its first season!


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In fact, when Payton gets back to his dorm, he’s greeted by McAfee and James. McAfee has a plan she’d like Payton to follow–to primary. Yes, that means another election! But after everything Payton went through with the last one, this is one thing he refuses to get back into.

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His friends won’t give up that easily, though. They all rally together after years apart to convince him. And when I say all, I mean everyone–Skye, Astrid, Alice! Knowing what they do about Dede’s throuple secret, Payton is finally convinced to run, and the season ends on a very exciting note, as a result.

Payton is running for state senate! Oh, snaps! Season 2 can’t come soon enough.

What did you think of The Politician season 1 finale? Share your comments below!