The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” discusses… cancel culture and how it has become an integral part of politics.
This recap of Netflix series The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” contain spoilers.
How does The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” open?
Episode 3 opens up with Hadassah retrieving some information regarding Payton and claiming he is not authentic. She tells Dede that this will make them win and that she wants to ruin Payton’s life. The next day, articles claim that Payton hates Native Americans due to a Halloween photo from when he was six. The campaign team suggests that Skye stands on stage with Payton to get passed this because she’s black. Skye agrees but lectures the group about cultural appropriation and says Payton has crossed the line between appreciation and appropriation.
Payton makes a speech and states he made a mistake when he was six to go to Halloween as Geronimo, a noble native chief, a freedom fighter who gave his life against oppression and tyranny — “I should have known better // I will do better”.
I need to raise something.
Alice tells Astrid and Payton that the three-way relationship is not working because Payton is given Astrid more attention — “It’s trending in the wrong direction”. Payton apologizes, stating he will make sure that is not the case moving forward. Alice has some conditions which include watching Gilmour Girls and cuddle time. The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” sees problems in their relationship already.
I knew we would lose
James reveals to the campaign team that they are still 29 points down. Payton tells everyone that he knows he is going to lose and that it hurts but he knew all along — “We were crazy to think we could pull this off // we were noble friends yet again and we believed in something”. Payton says he has changed because he’s still proud of what they have achieved in this campaign and cannot wait for the next one. As he gives this speech to his friends, tears run down his face — episode 3 shows maturity from the character who chose authenticity.
A year of no waste
Andrew has a meal with Infinity Jackson and tells her he loves her. Infinity gives Andrew a life lesson on how to deal with women in the future and states that after rejecting him that this is extremely upsetting — “You, my friend, are cancelled”. Infinity narrates how when she went to Bejing, she decided to devote a year of no waste to see if she could do it and how it transformed her life — “I am just one person doing something that everyone can do”. The narration flits to her speech to an audience and she endorses Payton who joins her on stage.
Infinity tells Payton and Skye that if they want her support to continue, they have to be waste-free. Infinity gives them both a checklist of things they can implement immediately and if they don’t, she will cancel them and her supporters will not vote — “I want full compliance in 24 hours”. The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” shows a changed Infinity but even with the comedy, it demonstrates a useful message about the environment and how we treat the earth.
Hadassah has more information on Payton — it’s a photo of him dressing up again as a Native American. Dede is worried that someone has hacked Payton’s cellphone but Hadassah wants to use this photo to his advantage.
Skye confronts Payton about the waste checklist and she senses that he is not fully compliant and she is furious; she threatens to call Infinity so Payton irritatingly agrees to use cold water — but he cannot do it. Afterward, Dede invites Payton into her office. Hadassah shows him the photo of Payton in his speedos and dressed up again as Geronimo. Payton argues that he is a big fan of Geronimo as he fought all his life and that he’s inspired — he stands by the photo. Payton gets frustrated and says he will upload the photo himself.
Dede says she has no intention of releasing the photo but someone in his team has revealed that Dede has plagiarised a paper on Robert Moses. Dede agrees on a deal with Payton; kill the story of the plagiarism and they will delete the photos. Payton agrees and Dede tells him that he has fought a good campaign. Episode 3 assumes Payton is defeated well and truly.
Tino tells Georgina that he is in love with her and that it’s time for him to move on from his wife who is in a permanent coma and the pollsters agree — “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me”.
How does The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” end?
Andrew tells Payton that his twin brothers sent the photo of him dressed as Geronimo — he also states that the photo is a photo of his phone; it’s not a hacked image. Payton knows it’s from someone within his campaign and he confronts someone. Alice admits it was her because she was feeling jealous and wanted to make sure there were no photos of Payton and Astrid. The campaign team reveals they all knew about the photo and McAfee reveals she leaked it because Payton lied — she felt he wasn’t being honest and she wanted all the skeletons out of the closet. Payton is angry and fires McAfee.
McAfee immediately meets Hadassah and tells her she wants Payton’s campaign to end; she reveals that Andrew is also a mole and she wants to head to Washington with them. Afterward, it’s revealed that Payton planned all this — the photo and firing McAfee so she rejoins Dede’s team — McAfee knows about the plan — “You will confirm to them that our campaign is a dumpster fire just when we have our campaign’s brightest political mind screwing them from the inside”. McAfee is going to find something to take down Dede. The Politician season 2, episode 3, “Cancel Culture” discusses… cancel culture and how it has become an integral part of politics.