Political Animals Round Table: Lost Boys
Political Animals delved into what caused TJ's suicide attempt and the repercussions that still haunt him on "Lost Boys."
Our Round Table panelists Leigh Raines, Chandel Charles, Christine Orlando, Lindsey Kempton and Carla Day are here to analyze TJ and his family's reactions to his club opening that stem from his past. Pull up a figurative chair and gather around!
What did you think about TJ's back story and why he tried to kill himself?
Lindsey: It was fine, but not a plot that really jumped out at me. Maybe it was the way they handled it in flashbacks that made it feel more diluted than it could have been.
Christine: I liked it. It gave TJ a really naive quality in that he truly believed the Senator would come out of the closet and leave his wife for him. It explains why he held on to his sobriety for a few months but hasn't been able to accomplish that since. If he's doing it for someone else, it will never stick.
Carla: I appreciated that his suicide attempt was from a broken heart, rather than something to do with his growing up in the White House. Though, his relationship was forced to end due to politics. His story is tragic. More and more, I believe that he does just need to catch a break and have someone believe in him.
Chandel: It seemed pretty textbook to me once it was revealed, although it seems fitting that it was so dramatic and complicated. The fact he was in love with a married and closeted Senator from Ohio was an interesting twist.
Leigh: I was surprised by it and really interested in it. I felt like we really got to know TJ this week and my heart went out to him the more we learned. This kid keeps trying to start over and can't catch a break. The longest time he got sober was incidentally right before he got hurt the most in his life.
Susan and Georgia partnership: Will Susan try to back out of the deal? Or, will Georgia prove herself worthy of the byline?
Lindsey: Both. I think Susan will, at some point, try to back out but in the end Georgia will prove herself.
Christine: It's a match made in Hell but it just might work. It's Georgia's chance to prove herself but they'll both do whatever it takes to have that byline.
Carla: She better try to get out of the deal or it would be disappointing. But, most likely I see Georgia proving herself and them becoming friends at least professionally.
Chandel: I don't think Georgia has proved in any way that she has the maturity and skill to truly share the byline with Susan. If she does prove worthy, it will be at the last second. A nice twist might be that Susan decides she really likes being friends with Elaine and allows Georgia to take full credit. That feels like a BIG stretch though!
Leigh: I don't trust Georgia as far as I can throw her. Susan was right to want to reject that deal, but ultimately knew she had no choice. I see things getting turned around in a way that Susan will have to beg Georgia for a favor later on.
Should TJ's family have ditched out on his club opening at the last minute like they did?
Lindsey: Elaine and others often mention that they've supported many of TJ's projects in the past, but we've never seen them do that (except for Doug lending TJ the money). We only see them tear him down, even if they say it's in an attempt to "help" him. With no knowledge of TJ's past endeavors and how much his family actually helped him, it's hard to say whose in the right here, but I think his family should have gone to the nightclub opening. It can be really hard to know when to support a friend or family member who has issues like TJ's, so I understand why they keep conflating the nightclub with his bad behavior, but to me, as a viewer, it looks like something he's earnestly trying to do.
Christine: Unless they honestly thought he was high that night, yes they should have been there. TJ feels like everyone expects him to fail so he believes it as well. Even if only one of them had shown up, it could have made the difference.
Carla: Absolutely not. That was the worst thing his family could have done. If Bud didn't support TJ's club, then he should have made that clear well before the opening and not showed up at the dinner either. And, Elaine. Wow. I can't believe how judgmental was and that she didn't even let TJ explain.
Chandel: I think it was wrong for them to back out at the last minute. All those in support should have gone and all those opposed could have stayed home. It's really simple.
Leigh: No they shouldn't have. They are trying to teach him reliability, responsibility, and support yet their actions speaking so much louder than words. That would have been an ego blow to anyone whose family bailed on something really important to them.
Should they feel guilty about abandoning TJ on his important day leading to his overdose?
Lindsey: I think there's a direct correlation between their choosing not to attend the opening and TJ overdosing, but I don't think you could go so far as to say they made him do it. But they'll still feel guilty whether or not they should.
Christine: Will they? Of course. Should they? They should have supported him that night but no one else is responsible for TJ's drug use but TJ.
Carla: Yes. Are they entirely responsible? No. But, they let him down on the biggest day of his life. He had turned himself around and they let him down. They abandoned him and without reason.
Chandel: I'm undecided. I think they wanted to prove a point that it was not okay to invite his married ex to the opening. Then again, he really had built something wonderful and successful, so he should have gotten their support in that endeavor. TJ always has the power to choose not to relapse. I'm starting to think that he does it to get attention.
Leigh: TJ has a drug problem either way, but they certainly didn't help the situation by all screwing him over right before his big night.
Will TJ's overdose change Elaine's political plans?
Lindsey: I'm not sure. I guess it all depends on what happens in the aftermath of the overdose. It will probably cause Elaine to push her official announcement back, but overall I think her march for the Presidency is on.
Christine: She may want to pull back on the announcement but can she? She set the wheels in motion when she told Garcetti. I think she's started down a path she can't turn back from without destroying her political career.
Carla: It's probably too late for that. Maybe a short delay. But, it will definitely change how Elaine has to approach her campaign.
Chandel: It will not impact her decision to run, just maybe how she chooses to conduct her campaign.
Leigh: This is a tough one to answer. How could it not? Her son almost died. Then again this show is called Political Animals and without Elaine running for President, that would change the fabric of the whole plot.