Episode 3 of The Politician begins with a flashback one year ago, with Payton about to attend a debate. River comes to see him and gives him words of encouragement. This takes us back to the present where Payton is about to meet with the Harvard admission committee again. He tells them that he’ll be President of the United States one day and it’s up to them if they want Harvard to be known as the university that turned him down.
Meanwhile, Astrid finds out that she’s losing votes on a regular basis. Skye is not happy to be losing and wants to do something drastic; she even jokingly suggests murdering Payton. Andrew goes to see Infinity’s boyfriend Ricardo soon after, relaying all of his suspicions around Infinity and her Grandma. He wants him to protect Infinity at any cost as she’s being used by her grandma and Payton.
Finally, Payton gets the letter he wanted from Harvard. Rushing to tell Alice the good news, he finds her in bed with James. He’s understandably angry but more about James ruining his plans at becoming President of the United States, as he wanted Alice to be his first lady. James replies that it’s been going on for a while and confesses his love for her.
Ricardo meanwhile spends some time with Infinity where they watch a video tape of a trip to Busch Gardens. It’s here we see Infinity getting impatient and angry at the journalist, insulting him.
Meanwhile, the twins are struggling with their newfound poverty. James visits them and asks for their help at taking Payton down, prompting the twins to bring a USB stick with details about Payton’s upcoming campaign initiative to Astrid. They advise her to embarrass him but the next day, as Astrid and Skye give a speech about the said campaign, they get their facts wrong and are put on the spot when James and Payton reveal to everyone that they stole their campaign idea.
Payton later delivers his speech. He talks about a shop not far from school that will be turned into a gun shop. This shop is selling the same kind of gun River used to kill himself. Payton then tells the audience that he bought all the guns and will get them melted to create a sculpture. He also wants to pass a law to increase the distance between gun stores and schools as he doesn’t think 1000 yards is enough, demanding a portion of each gun sale in the country to go towards suicide prevention.
That night, Ricardo visits Astrid to give her a recording that should help her in her election. Mcafee, James and Payton meet to discuss the content of the video: Infinity is seen using an offending gay slur and are asked by the assistant director of the school newspaper for comments before they put it online. As they go to confront Infinity about what was said on the video, they find out it has already been posted. Realizing it was Ricardo, she decides to break up with him.
Payton visits Alice to discuss the latest development. Things aren’t looking good for his campaign but she tells him not to give up and that she will continue to help him as she loves him.
As Astrid celebrates her recent victory, Ricardo breaks into her house and confronts her about releasing the video. He approaches her menacingly before we cut to her father returning for dinner. Seeing the broken glass and the blood from Ricardo on the carpet, he rushes to his daughter’s bedroom but finds it empty.
I mentioned in the last recap that more could have been said about River’s suicide. This episode mentions the gun he used and Payton vowing to deal with gun control and suicide prevention which does add more depth to the show, especially as it touches on some very important ongoing issues in America with gun violence. Especially with the multiple shootings in school around the country. Suicide and mental health are also briefly mentioned but again, I feel that more could have been developed on that subject.
Still, the show ticks along nicely with more drama and reveals as each episode ends with a twist, this time with the disappearance of Astrid. With this latest development and Infinity’s leaked video, things are looking bleak for Payton and big question marks remain over whether he still has any chance at winning this election.