Monday, August 6, 2012

Political Animals: Thanks, Sebastian Stan!

I'm such a sucker.

Sebastian Stan shirtless as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan 
Last night, we got THE T.J. flashback. Not only was it super angsty in the past, but his present got damn angsty too. There was a sordid affair, a brutal breakup, a suicide attempt, an overdose, and general unhappiness that ran throughout. It freakin' ruled.

Sebastian Stan shirtless as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
The T.J. story began with the reveal that he was having an affair with married, first term republican congressman Sean Reeves. Their opening moment together was nice. Sean told T.J. that he'd loved him at first sight. And T.J. was visibly touched by the comment. (Sebastian Stan vulnerable face!) But obviously things don't stay hunky-dory for long.

Sebastian Stan shirtless as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
Also - there was shirtless Sebastian Stan playing a piano. So that was nice too.

Sebastian Stan shirtless as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
We jump forward to the present where T.J. has joined forces with the WORST sober-coach of all time. This cat Gunner really made the wrong decision by taking T.J. under his wing. But more on that later. T.J. talks about how bad he was at coping with being the first son. Like everyone else, T.J. always compares himself to Doug. He knows that Doug handled things better. T.J. was the one that couldn't take the isolation, turning to illegal substances to help himself out.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
Now, the opening of his club is fast approaching. And as it turns out, all T.J. wants is for Sean Reeves to show up. He wants to prove to Sean that he's okay; that things have settled down. He wants to reconnect.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
But Sean doesn't show up. And T.J. doesn't take it well.

One of the best things about T.J. is how unlike Prince Jack he actually ended up being. Which basically means Sebastian Stan is awesome. T.J. is not self reliant. He's not independent. He's not okay being alone and taking care of himself. It's sad and it's screwed up. But he gets pretty far on charisma. People - mostly his family - always want to look after him. Hell, I want to look after him. And that's entirely thanks to Sebastian Stan. All those things are the complete opposite of Prince Jack. In fact, I think T.J. and Prince Jack would be kind of perfect for each other. Someone should write that fan fiction.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
When Sean doesn't show up to the club opening, we flash back to their last night together. The democrats have threatened to out Sean and T.J. is trying to convince him everything will be all right. But Sean doesn't believe him. Or, more to the point, he just doesn't want it. He doesn't want to give up his career, his wife, and the life he's always led. He wants to stay in the closet. His fear and his anger - it causes him to lash out at poor T.J.

And he guts him like a fish.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
He calls T.J. disgusting. He tells him he cares nothing for him - that T.J. was essentially a distraction that now needs to be tossed aside. None of it's true, but T.J. can only hear so much before it breaks through his very thin skin.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
In present day, Sean's absence has jacked him up again and T.J. reacts in much the same way. Except this time, he drags poor Gunner down with him. What was with that, man? Gunner sucks. And got screwed big time.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
T.J. doesn't just fall off his own waggon, he yanks Gunner down off his. The two get high and party hard.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
In one of the more well crafted moments of Political Animals, T.J's drug binge is intercut with his flashbacky suicide attempt.

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
As Elaine rushes in to save T.J. from the carbon monoxide, Bud rushes into save T.J. from an overdose (After sweeping by poor Gunner. Who will never shake the moniker of "poor Gunner")

Sebastian Stan as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
The episode ends with T.J. in a pretty bad state.

Sebastian Stan overdoses as T.J. Hammond on USA Political Animals TJ Hammond Sebastian Stan
The angst was high in this one. And therefore I was the most interested I've been since the pilot episode. Once again, it has been demonstrated that shows increase in quality when they increase in Sebastian Stan. So USA: Lets keep the T.J. levels high please and thank you. I'll be watching!

3 comments:

  1. I've enjoyed your posts on PA very much. I've read several (including this one) out loud to my mother. Well done! And Mom wants me to tell you that she agrees with you completely on the Bud/Hinds problem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! Sebastian Stan is just TOO brilliant at being angsty. I think at this point - I'll watch anything he's in :) I can't wait for next week's PA!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the helpful info. When I learned about getting a sober escort it changed my life.

    ReplyDelete