Will (Jeff Daniels) wakes up at 2am and gets a fax with Utah Republican Primary exit polling data and gets an idea. The Tea Party started as a grassroots response to troubled times and have been coopted just as the hippies were in the 60’s and 70’s with one distinction: the hippies never ran for office (not until the 90’s). “The hippies weren’t Democrats,” says Charlie (Sam Waterston). “The Tea Party aren’t Republicans,” says Will. This sets off a six month preoccupation with the Tea Party, they’re stupidity, hypocrisy, and extremism (in montage form). It’s delightful to watch.
Meanwhile (as far as the show is concerned), Charlie is stuck in a meeting recounting these events to some unclear purpose. When that purpose comes out, the season is set for conflict and it’s a little darker than you might imagine.
Then there’s the ongoing love triangle—more L-shaped—between Don (Thomas Sadoski), Maggie (Alison Pill), and Jim (John Gallagher Jr.). Will goes on dates that seem to get Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) pretty riled up. Don’t worry, there will be balance.
This episode might be the best yet. It put away the prep-be witty-do the show formula and went with a central theme. That theme—showing how dumb the Tea Party is– appeals to a certain kind of someone. Me. And HBO subscribers.
Opening credits still haven’t been changed. Sometimes I think they’re ignoring me.