Given her penchant for blithely announcing that she doesn’t remember her various co-stars, it’s hard to say if Gwyneth Paltrow knows that she is on The Politician. But still, that doesn’t stop her from being the best part of the show: Considering the quality of the rest of the second season, Paltrow isn’t only the show’s MVP, but its sole bright spot. As Ben Platt’s character’s gorgeous, charismatic, poreless, and moral-free mother Georgina, Paltrow gets to spend the season running for California governor and hooking up with a hot Texas politician who isn’t not based on Beto O’Rourke, while only occasionally checking in on the show’s turgid central story line. For those who wish avoid spending the time watching all of that, or who just want to enjoy Gwyneth Paltrow doing weird stuff on TV, we’ve summarized everything that Gwyneth gets up to over the course of the show’s second season. It’s not a long journey, but boy is it a wild ride.
Watches the Game of Thrones series finale with her billionaire lover (who hates it)
After The Politician sets up its business in New York, we jump back to Georgina’s life in California, where we discover that she’s gotten really into climate activism and has started dating a famous Hollywood billionaire who isn’t not a parody of Megan Ellison, down to the fact that she really loathes the Game of Thrones finale. Anyway, at one point, Not Megan Ellison suggests to Georgina that she should stop just talking about the climate problems of the world and run for office. A hookah hit later, Gwyneth decides to do it.
Runs for California governor on the platform of suggesting Jake Tapper hug a tree
Gwyneth’s plan to get into politics amounts to running for governor of California while spouting platitudes awfully similar to the actual sentiments of Marianne Williamson. Somehow, this goes over extremely well at a big CNN debate hosted by the actual Jake Tapper (did Gwyneth repeatedly call him Chris Hayes on set? We can only imagine yes), so well that Gwyneth gets even bolder and …
Announces that California should secede from the Union
This is met with applause. But c’mon, that hashtag is way too long to use effectively in tweets. Really should’ve gone with #CalXit.
Considers becoming Fake Beto’s running mate
In the final step of Gwyneth’s whirlwind rise to political prominence, she gets a visit from a folksy senator named Tino from the state of Texas (played by Sam Jaeger) who’s pretty much a skateboard ride away from being Beto O’Rourke. Remember him? The Politician’s political takes just feel so very cutting edge. Anyway, this is supposed to introduce some dramatic tension about whether Tino will choose Gwyneth or Judith Light for his running mate in the upcoming presidential race, but it mostly serves to give Gwyneth some astrology jokes.
No Gwyneth, though the episode is titled “Conscious Unthroupling.” A wild tribute from Politician creator and current Goop husband Brad Falchuck to one of her past relationships? They do all appear to be friends.
Paints this incredible work of art
In order to get people to care about climate change, Gwyneth decides she will depict it as a giant monster creating floods and wildfires as it assaults California. Frankly, I am terrified.
Agrees to date Fake Beto
A political relationship has become an actual relationship. (Also, in case you were wondering: The show wrote off Gwyneth’s husband from the first season by saying that he’d run off with a Hasidic Jewish woman.)
Polls at a 91 percent approval rating, but forgets her staffer’s name
Is described in great detail by Fake Beto to his comatose wife
Confirms rumors about her relationship with Fake Beto
I’m more uncomfortable.
Ends her affair with Fake Beto after his comatose wife wakes up and reveals that she knows about their affair
Good for her, I guess.
Grills Judith Light on the concept of throuples
I worry the concept of throuples is not nearly as interesting as The Politician is convinced that it is.
No Gwyneth but a lot of Robin Weigert, which is something.
Wins the California gubernatorial race, then gives Ben Platt life advice
You learn new things about moral philosophy from Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow every day.
Speaks the truth about her son’s whole thing
I don’t remember what was happening with Payton’s plot at this point either.
Gets stoned and has a bath
Consider lighting a nice candle while you’re at it.
Wraps up her story line via FaceTime
Gwyneth wins 98 percent of the vote for governor, something that The Politician reveals in a FaceTime scene between Gwyneth and Judith Light, who has recently lost her election against Ben Platt. According to Refinery29, the scene was the result of the real-world stay-at-home order. Murphy previously claimed that the show wrapped filming and editing before the pandemic hit in full, so this was likely a reshoot of some kind to advance Gwyneth’s plot. Anyway, as it turns out, she gets bored with the idea of being governor — “Nobody told me you have to move to Sacramento for the job” — and decides to run for president outright, giving up her dream of seceding from the rest of country to instead make the rest of the country more like California. She pitches Judith on becoming her VP, announces that Bette Midler will be her chief of staff and …
Wins the presidency!
We don’t see any more of Gwyneth, but we do get a little time-jump to the end of Ben Platt’s first term as a state senator, where we learn that Judith and Gwyneth’s campaign has worked! But she’s bored again, so Judith has decided to run for president for the next term, and she’s come over to recruit Ben Platt to be her running mate. He’s far too young for the job, but apparently Gwyneth has spent her first 100 days on a “fix the dumb shit in the Constitution” cleanse, so that’s legal now. The Politician season three: President Platt?