Netflix’s ‘The Politician’ Season 1 Episode 3 Recap: ‘October Surprise’

If you thought that Episode 2, “The Harrington Commode,” had a lot going on, just wait until you watch the next one. The Politician Episode 3, “October Surprise,” shows just how far everyone is willing to go for this campaign — and there are quite a few mentions of killing others.

Ben Platt in Netflix's "The Politician"
Ben Platt in Netflix’s “The Politician” | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Once again, Ryan Murphy‘s fantastical, over-the-top world of drama pokes fun at our current political climate, with quotes like, “The world will never be finished with entitled white men. That’s why we feel so entitled.” Here’s a brief recap of the episode.

Harvard or bust

In a flashback, Payton is preparing for a debate competition, and River comes by to wish him good luck. He helps him with a breathing exercise, which Payton employs in the future when he meets with the Harvard admissions people who, in the previous episode, offered to take him off the waitlist — as long as his family donates enough money for a new department.

But Payton won’t stand for this. He goes back to them and says he won’t give in to their demands, he’ll go to one of the other prestigious schools and give them his now billions of dollars. Days later, he receives an acceptance.

A betrayal revealed

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Have you ever even been to a polo match?

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Excited that he got into Harvard, Payton goes to tell Alice. He then discovers that she and James are hooking up, and it’s been going on since before they “broke up.” And what’s more, they’re in love. Payton doesn’t care about this, just that he’s able to keep up appearances — which includes having Alice by his side all the way.

James then shows loyalty to Payton by using the twins to trick Astrid and Skye into making themselves look bad. Alice agrees to come back to the campaign after Payton reveals to her that he’s “obsessed” with River.

The competition heats up

Astrid and Skye discover that despite their lead, the current trends show them losing ground and, ultimately, the race. Skye proposes that they assassinate Payton — seriously — and explains why this race is historic for her. But Astrid is still too traumatized by River’s death to think about it.

We meet her father, Theo (Dylan McDermott), who encourages her to be ruthless in the campaign. She tries to do so, with the information given to her by the twins. Then, someone comes to her with a new proposition.

The scandalous tape

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' . 2019. Crayon on loose leaf.

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Ricardo, Infinity’s boyfriend, works as a janitor at an arcade. Andrew comes to him and tells him what he knows about the situation. Ricardo steals a tape from Infinity’s house that shows her revealing she doesn’t know anything about her own condition and makes Dusty look very bad. He gives it to Astrid, in hopes that it will hurt Payton, who he believes is using Infinity.

The real scandal turns out to be that Infinity uses “an offensive gay slur” (she calls a reporter a “butt munch”) in the tape. When she finds out what he did, Infinity breaks up with Ricardo. Furious, he goes to Astrid, who tells him, “I have money.” Then her father and mother (January Jones), come home to discover that she’s (apparently) been abducted.