“The Dogchurian Candidate” riffs on small-town elections, with an All-American canine suddenly emerging as the ideal candidate for Greenpoint Mayor.
This recap of Bless the Harts season 2, episode 12, “The Dogchurian Candidate”, contains spoilers.
As with last week’s episode, “The Dogchurian Candidate” was a coherent little slice of animated storytelling that actually felt like it had something to say about small-town elections and politics in general, even if it turned the silliness up to eleven in order to make the point. Either way, it was a fun outing, and this second season really seems to be finding its footing lately.
The catalyst for these shenanigans in Bless the Harts season 2, episode 12 is long-time Greenpoint Mayor Webb (Jon Hamm) being faced with the prospect of losing his position. Webb’s a useless, pathetic mommy’s-boy, but he’s the only person interested in filing paperwork and balancing budgets, so he usually runs unopposed. If he wasn’t mayor he’d probably spend all day hanging around The Last Supper, and Jenny can’t have that, so when she accepts the offer of being his campaign manager it feels like a means to an end.
Of course, it doesn’t quite work like that, since Betty thinks that Webb has a personal vendetta against her and decides to become the campaign manager of a candidate who can oppose him — a dog in a cowboy hat called Root Beer, who the town immediately take to. Violet and David even handle the campaign’s social media efforts, and the pooch becomes a runaway success.
Wayne doesn’t like this, since he naively and charmingly believes that every election candidate should run unopposed since a two-party system creates division and conflict, neither of which he’s fond of. Violet tries to tell him that he’s inadvertently endorsing fascism here, but it falls on deaf ears. Bless Wayne! Even when he attempts to dig up dirt on Root Beer, he quickly realizes he’s a hero and wants to endorse him.
Bless the Harts season 2, episode 12 creates a major division between Jenny and Betty, especially when Jenny starts to play dirty and sabotage Root Beer’s campaign. The dog still wins a narrow vote and Betty immediately implements a load of bonkers policies, including no more elections, but she doesn’t want to honor all the bribes she took from people and is eventually receptive to Jenny’s idea of burying the hatchet after the latter kidnaps Root Beer and all of Greenpoint descends into lawless chaos.
Where else to turn, then, than back towards Webb, who agrees to be Root Beer’s deputy. All’s well that ends well, just so long as things stay more or less the same. Told you there was a point.