05x15 - Pencils Down

[Mid-tempo music playing]

Man: "The Liberty Report" with Sally Langston.

Two gifts have arrived, addressed to you, Lovers of Liberty.

The first gift... Hollis Doyle.

The Texas truth-teller is throwing his hat into the ring.

To which I say... yee-haw! Saddle up, little doggie.

The second gift?

Well, yours truly has agreed to host the first Republican debate... a duty I take very seriously, for debates mean setting aside petty infighting between the candidates and putting the lofty concerns of the voters and the republic above all.

Olivia: Come on.

You really think it's okay for your network to allow Hollis Doyle's super PAC to advertise during the debate?

We haven't decided on super PACs.

Hollis: The Supreme Court calls that free speech, Livvie.

You may as well say, "This debate sponsored by Hollis Doyle Industries."

Fine by me. I can afford it.

Are you sure you don't want your lawyer to represent you in these negotiations, Mr. Doyle?

Ain't nobody speaks better for Hollis Doyle than Hollis Doyle.

Mnh-mnh. No siree Bob.

Okay, fine.

BNC will ban all candidates' super PACs from running ads.

Now, let's discuss podiums.

We want clear, Lucite.

Oh, no way.

My candidate's vertically challenged.

She needs a box to stand on.

And risk losing that shorty vote?

She can't use a box if the podium is clear.

That's all people would talk about.

I'd kill for some of that shorty vote.

The purpose of this whole endeavor is for the voters to get a good, clear look at all the candidates.

Oh, please. This is all about showing off Mellie's legs.

Not at all.

[Scoffs]

Solid podium, 6-inch box. Moving on.

Whatever candidate is ahead in the BNC poll released 24 hours ahead of the debate is declared the front-runner and gets the podium at center stage.

Your poll?

You have a problem with our polling?

Your samples are tiny. Your questions are vague.

Frankly, your polling sucks.

She is right.

It isn't reliable enough to determine a front-runner.

The stakes of who's at the center podium are too high.

We stand by our poll. This point is not negotiable.

We want a red light indicating when time is up... a light and a buzzer.

[Laughs]

Y'all think some little toy buzzer's gonna keep the truth from tumbling from these jaws?

I say, good luck and Godspeed.

No light. No buzzer.

Then no Mellie.

Next issue... opening statements.

Did you hear me?

I'm pulling my candidate.

Whoa! That's some sore losin' right there.

It's no secret that Sally and Hollis are friends.

If there's no buzzer, no blinking light, she'll let him run wild, fill all the air time.

I'm sorry... no light, no buzzer.

Then this debate is biased before it begins.

We're out.

Olivia, don't. [Chuckles]

Elizabeth: Save it, Richard. She's just posturing.

I'm pulling Mellie, and auctioning off a one-hour exclusive interview with her to your competition.

And whichever network gives me the most favorable terms gets to air that interview live... go head-to-head with your debate and spend the hour slamming BNC's blatant bias while sucking half your ratings.

Good luck explaining that to your advertisers.

Ms. Pope...

How'd it go?

Just wait.

I don't...

Why are you smiling?

Just wait.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Okay, Olivia. Lights and buzzers.

Of my choosing.

Fine.

Good.

Now, about those podiums.

Susan: What you're suggesting, Mr. Doyle... that's not an immigration policy, it's institutionalized racism.

Now, hold on a minute.

If we close our borders...

Do you have any idea how much of our economy depends on the ideas and contributions of non-citizens?

The best young minds in the world, they come here, they enroll in our universities, and once they graduate, they stay.

And we want them to stay.

They become our engineers, our doctors, our scientists.

Immigration isn't a curse, Mr. Doyle.

It's the key to staying competitive.

How was that?

Elizabeth: Good.

Excellent, actually.

She's knocking it out of the park.

Climate change, immigration, reproductive rights.

You're trying to psych me out.

I'm trying to recruit you.

Susan is the real deal, Liv... smart, passionate.

Relatable?

You say that so longingly.

Is Mellie...

Being Mellie?

Yes.

I can't... I won't...

I guarantee you there is no one on this planet as stubborn and as arrogant and as big a pain in the ass as Mellie Grant.

And yet, somehow, I think she'd make a great president.

Is that crazy?

Yes. Yes, it is, Liv.

Speaking of wannabe presidents, you've heard the rumors?

I have.

Well? Is it true?

I don't know.

If anyone knew, it'd be you. Aren't you curious?

I'm looking into it.

So, are you running for President?

How'd you hear?

You should announce.

I'm announcing in the morning.

Before I do, I wanted to check in with you about Meridian Terrace About Meridian Terrace.

Don't worry about it.

It's just, once I announce, my enemies will dig deeper than ever before.

Edison, don't worry about it.

You vouched for me on national television.

I owe you.

Thank you, Liv.

Mm-hmm.

Edison?

You'll be a great candidate.

Thanks.

I figure it's about time we had our first black president.

Mm.

It's about time we had our first woman president.

[Both chuckle]

Good luck in the election.

You, too.

[Camera shutter clicking]

David: Help me.

Oh! David! What the hell?

I'm sorry. I needed someone to talk to, and you're the only one I can talk to about this.

"This" as in the two women you're still seeing?

It's an addiction.

David, I don't have time.

With one woman... the good woman... the s*x is good, intimate.

Stop talking.

But with the other woman... the nasty woman... the s*x is...

Well, it's still good, but it's nasty.

Not listening.

The things she does, Abby... the vile, awful things... the biting...

Okay. This is harassment!

It's starting to affect my work.

I'm zoning out all the time.

I'm forgetting important details.

How is the Attorney General of the United States supposed to do his job when he's in some weird, dirty s*x trance?

You stop seeing her.

Which her?

I don't care.

I need your help. Help me choose.

Get out!

Rosen.

In here... now.

[Door opens]

David.

Oh. Hi, Susan.

Sit.

I asked David to join us this morning because there's something we need to discuss.

Okay.

People have started asking questions about your personal life.

They're speculating in an effort to relate to you, identify with you.

They're wondering if you've found someone special.

Okay...

I think it's time we tell the world that you have.

The two of you need to come out as a public couple... after the debate, on-stage.

When the families come up to hug their candidates, David needs to come up and hug you, Susan.

[Stammers] Elizabeth.

That is... That is a lot to ask of a person.

Elizabeth: David, do you have a problem going up on-stage after the debate?

David, you don't need to answer that.

I'll do it.

After the debates, I'll come up on-stage with you... For you.

I'll do it, Susan. I want to do it.

I choose to do it.

Okay, then.

I'll let the press know it's happening.

[Camera shutter clicking]

Cyrus: Name of the game is messaging.

We're not just selling Frankie Vargas.

We're offering a product. We're offering belief.

We're offering a chance for something better.

Connect with Frankie, believe in Frankie.

And you get... better.

Now, we have the message.

Next question is, how do we communicate it to the people?

Alex: Excuse me.

I like that logo. It's nice, polished.

But, come November, we're not counting the people who like our artwork or our slogan.

We're counting votes.

Yes. I'll get to that.

And we know how to turn out votes, don't we, my Frankie Friends?

[Applause]

All right, to turn out votes, we've got to take it to the streets, right?

Win them one by one... just like we did in Pittsburgh in 2010.

Don't forget Scranton.

How could I, [Chuckling] Emily?

How could any of us, right?

It was 10 below, sleet in our faces, getting those buses of elderly and disabled folks to their polling places.

Yeah!

See, we got to take that spirit...

[Cheers and applause]

...and multiply it.

All right? Share our commitment.

Share the love we have for Frankie Vargas with the good people of Iowa.

[Cheers and applause]

And New Hampshire!

[Cheers grow louder]

And every single state!

Until it's 10 below again, sleet in our faces.

But this time?

This time, we're in Washington, D.C.

[Cheers and applause]

On the steps of the Capitol, watching my brother sworn in as the next President of the United States.

[Cheers and applause]

[Laughs]

Hey. Alex Vargas. And you are?

Frankie: He's my brother.

Cyrus: Yes, I know that.

So, what's the problem?

The problem, Governor, is that I'm running your campaign for president, and if your brother doesn't respect that, or worse, thinks he's in charge... [chuckles]

He knows you're in charge.

Yes, but I'm not sure he likes it.

He's my brother.

You really have a problem with my brother?

No.

Good.

Glad we're on the same page.

[Camera shutter clicking]

I just don't like her.

Smug... that's the word.

Smug and arrogant.

And I hated the way she said...

Divisive. It's such an inside-the-Beltway term.

You know what I mean?

That hair... makes me miss my soaps.

I liked her book, but when she starts talking...

Yeah. She might be okay if she didn't talk.

She seems, I don't know, like, too smart or something.

"Too smart"?

Well, don't take it literally.

Their feedback all made the same point.

Mellie: The point being they're idiots.

We can't base a national strategy off them.

They're not as stupid as you think.

Maybe they sense your... disdain.

Shut up.

Mellie.

My ideas are good.

I am addressing the issues they say are important to them.

That's true, but you come off as aloof, out-of-touch.

I'm neither of those things.

How much does a gallon of gas cost... national average?

$2.02.

That's right.

Of course it's right.

I can give you the average price in every state if you like... regular or diesel.

I can also tell you that if we keep the gas tax at the absurdly low rate of 18 cents a gallon, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money by the middle of next year.

And right there... that's the problem.

What?

You're a know-it-all, Mellie.

So?

So, the people in that room are the same people who are gonna be watching the debate, who are gonna go to the polls, who are gonna be electing our next President.

And they aren't gonna vote for you if they get the feeling that you think you're smarter than everybody else.

I am fighting their fight, Liv.

I'm just fighting it as a Rhodes Scholar.

They are benefiting from how smart I am.

And now I'm supposed to... dumb it down?

[Sighs]

Mellie Grant... woman of the people.

[Knock on door]

Fine.

[Door closes]

I'm letting other people's security cameras do the work for us.

Any anomalies?

He heads to work at 7:00, eats most of his lunches there, goes to the White House, sometimes Langley.

Then, around 7:30 or 8:00, he's back in his car and either joining your father for a late dinner or heading home to blondie.

He's using her for something. I just can't figure out what.

I can keep tracking him like this, if you want.

It's perfectly untraceable... that's the good news.

The bad news is...

It's not enough.

Mnh-mnh.

[Sighs]

Plan "B"?

Plan "B."

[Camera shutter clicking]

Vanessa: So, the main point of the article is that women need to stop apologizing for well, basically, just giving our opinions.

Woman: Vanessa Moss?

Yes?

Uh, we went to college together at Smith.

Jacqueline Horton.

Nice to meet you, Jacqueline.

[Chuckles]

Wow, I can't believe you recognized me.

God, are you kidding?

You were the star of the English department.

Your poetry was legendary.

That seems like a lifetime ago.

I can't remember the last time I wrote something.

Well, besides a briefing.

Oh, my God... that ring.

[Gasps] Your guy did good.

Yeah. Jake's pretty amazing.

So, tell me everything.

Where and when, deejay or band, casual or black tie?

Oh. Um, we haven't really nailed down all the details yet.

Oh, if you want, I have tons of wedding books I could give you.

[Gasps] Oh, and my photographer was a dream.

He even made my mother-in-law look like an angel.

Really?

Mm-hmm.

[Chuckles] I would love that.

That is so sweet of you, Jacqueline.

Are you kidding? It's my pleasure.

So, what does your schedule look like for the rest of the week?

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Door opens]

Susan.

Hey.

Just wanted to thank you for clearing the President's schedule.

Oh, it was nothing.

What you should really thank me for is convincing him not to do Hollis' accent.

I heard him practicing in the Oval.

It was dreadful.

[Both chuckle]

Is this...

Does this belong to...

Oh, it's David Rosen's.

He stops by, complains about the difficulties of juggling his women.

At first I thought he was trying to make me jealous...

I'm sorry. "Women"?

Yeah. He's got a couple of them, apparently... super annoying.

A couple of women?

I've gotten pretty good at tuning him out.

Anyway, thanks.

I'm afraid he'll be back all too soon to get this.

Elizabeth: Madam Vice President?

[Sighs]

Madam Vi... Susan! Hey.

I'm sorry.

Uh, what was the question again?

[Sighs] Committing troops.

Right. Well, the situation in Kashfar...

Bandar.

Bandar, right. [Chuckles]

I always get those two women confused.

"Women"?

What?

[Sighs]

You said, "I always get those two women confused."

Oh.

[Laughing] I meant countries.

["Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire playing]

♪ Dance ♪

[Camera shutters clicking]

Debate prep is for ninnies.

Only thing ol' Hollis needs is eight hours of sleep and a good, hearty breakfast.

♪ Boogie Wonderland ♪

[Chuckles]

Mr. Doyle has decided that he doesn't want to pay taxes.

That's why he sets up his companies overseas.

Olivia: Lose the bitch face.

[Clears throat]

Mr. Doyle has decided he doesn't...

Still bitch face.

I'm smiling.

Yeah. Like you're better than everybody else.

[Sighs]

♪ Stares you in the face ♪
♪ And says, "Baby, uh, uh, it don't work" ♪

[Gunshots]

♪ You don't care ♪
♪ You dance and shake the hurt ♪

[Gunfire]

♪ Boogie wonderland ♪

[Chuckles]

I don't know what you want.

I want Filibuster Mellie. Where's that Mellie?

That's who America loves.

That's who they want to vote for.

The Mellie who takes off her shoes and eats a protein bar.

I had been on my feet all day.

I was tired and hungry, and I had to pee.

I was practically feral.

You were human.

[Scoffs]

Also, you need to watch your arms.

I'm using less arms.

Use a little less than that.

[Sighs]

♪ When I start to dance in Boogie Wonderland ♪
♪ Dance ♪

[Camera shutter clicking]

♪ I find romance ♪

[Chuckles]

Come on.

Come on, don't be shy.

Mmm-mmm-mmm.

♪ The love ♪

Mmm.

Smoky.

Senator Grant has missed 127 votes since being in office.

[Scoffs] That's 24%.

35%.

24 is the number of EPA sanctions leveled against Doyle Energy last year.

Let's start again.

Did you break Susan?

Because your girlfriend is in a death spiral.

Just fix it, okay?

"Pencils down."

We all remember those dreaded words from school.

When you heard them, it meant you were out of time.

That's a feeling our Republican presidential hopefuls can relate to.

With only two days left before their first debate, they're cramming like crazy in preparation for the most important test of their lives... a test, my dear Lovers of Liberty, that you will be grading.

Oh, and it will be tough one.

How do I know?

Because I'm writing it.

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Footsteps approach]

Wedding books?

Something you want to tell me?

They're for Vanessa.

I told her I got married last month.

We're meeting for drinks later so I can share my extensive bridal knowledge.

Good. The more you get to know her, the better our chances are of finding out what her value is to Jake.

Alex: Olivia Pope.

Can I help you?

Alejandro Vargas.

Hm.

How can I help you, Mr. Vargas?

Alex. I'm sure you're pretty busy...

I am pretty busy.

No doubt.

Alex: I'm helping my brother, Frankie, with his campaign.

I'm not here to talk about him.

I'm here to help you with Senator Grant.

I think I can handle that on my own.

Thanks, though.

Well, this is dirt on Susan Ross.

Ah.

That look in your eye is priceless.

You got to love politics.

Let me guess.

You scratch my back, I scratch yours?

You give me that envelope if I give you dirt on Edison Davis?

I love your shop.

Did you and Cyrus cook that up?

I'm not your adversary.

We trade dirt, I win the Democratic primary, you win the Republican, then we become adversaries.

Hmm. Sorry, Mr. Vargas. I don't play dirty.

Uh, should you change your mind...

I just air dropped you my contact info.

[Cellphone beeps]

Huck: Alex Vargas... 42, single, has run every one of his older brother's campaigns and won them all.

Impressive. How does he do it?

Well...

[Camera shutter clicking]

By any means necessary.

They just win... dirt, intimidation, connections.

Alex is wildly loyal to his brother.

He cold-cocked a councilman in city hall when he called Frankie "Amigo" in an interview.

[Sighs]

I've been going over this Mellie stuff we shot.

I know she's working hard at it, but...

She's still no woman of the people?

I think we need to do another focus group.

We don't have time.

Hollis is stealing all the news cycles.

We've got to get Mellie out in public before the debate, or all Sally's questions are gonna be about why she's hiding from the electorate.

The Gettysburger test?

The Gettysburger test.

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Foxy's "Get Off" plays]

Welcome to Gettysbur...

Thank you.

Oh, my God.

[Mellie chuckles]

Hi, there.

Hello. Hi.

Oh, oh. Hi, sir.

Oh!

[Chuckles]

[Exhales]

Oh, you can go on up front, ma'am.

Oh, heavens, no.

I can wait my turn like everybody else.

[Chuckles]

Mellie: A hat? Really?

Really. We're beating Hollis at his own game, Mellie... offering up the picture-perfect image of a down-home, relatable, approachable candidate people will want to vote for.

You go in there, you stand in line, and you place your order.

I'm thinking a Double Lincoln with Cheese.

Double Lincoln with Cheese, please.

And don't forget about the Little Round Topper.

Nice.

After that, you find a booth on the east side of the restaurant by the windows... that's the best spot for the cameras.

What if all the booths are taken?

Even better.

You join whoever's sitting there.

You keep the conversation light, and you enjoy the hell out of your meal.

Just make sure you finish the entire thing.

You skipped breakfast, right?

Senator, when's the last time you ate at a Gettysburger?

Oh, I must admit, it's been a little while.

[Chuckles]

Are you enjoying your Freedom Fries as much as I am, Billy?

So you've been to a Gettysburger before, then?

What kind of American would I be if I hadn't, Jim?

Which location?

What?

Which location have you been to?

Ooh.

Federal Triangle, usually.

Or 21st and Q. You know the one?

It's in the shopping mall there on the third floor.

You have to really look for that one, though.

It's right next to the carousel.

Karen and I used to stop in every Sunday.

It's the one closest to our church.

Uh, I'm sorry, you said you used to stop in every Sunday?

Like clockwork... right after services.

But... Gettysburger's closed on Sundays.

In honor of the first major battle of the Civil War... happened on a Sunday.

I thought everybody knew that.

[Camera shutters clicking]


It's Burgergate!

Oh, come on. She was mistaken.

She was lying!

That woman hasn't ever stepped foot in a Gettysburger, and she knows it.

Out of all the things to lie about, Hank, why would she lie about eating a burger?

Because she knows she's got to soften her image, Brooke.

Mellie Grant's an ice queen.

Susan Ross is going to stomp her.

Susan Ross is far too classy a lady to make hay over this non-scandal. Hollis Doyle, on the other hand... Susan Ross, Hollis Doyle, what...

[Television turns off]

I'm ruined.

It's over. I can't come back from this.

How can I come back from this?

What are we gonna do?

You shouldn't have lied, Mellie!

Nobody told you to lie.

I was trying to improvise, be folksy... woman of the people!

That's what you wanted me to do!

[Sighs]

So, what now?

I don't know.

I'm thinking.

This entire mess is your fault.

I did your ridiculous, little Gettysburger plan, and it blew up in my face.

Hollis is gonna go to town on this.

Stop thinking and start doing!

Fix it, Olivia!

[Indistinct conversations]

Big news.

Cyrus.

I have a source. Two sources.

What's going on?

Edison Davis... He's running.

Well, he's going to.

His advance team is scouting a location for him to announce... could be soon as today.

We know. Alex heard last night.

Oh. Well...

We need to adjust our strategy, get oppo research on this.

Alex is on it.

Alex is on it?

Does Alex specialize in oppo research, too?

[Laughs]

[Chuckles] He's got some good ideas.

Huh.

[Pounds on desk]

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Knock at door]

Hey. You all right?

I heard debate prep was a bit of a bust today.

Are you cheating on me?

Of course not. Why are you asking that?

You're sure?

You can tell me the truth.

I can take it.

I'm not cheating on you. That's the truth.

So why did I hear a rumor that you've been seeing two women?

I'm a public figure. You know how it is.

People say all sorts of things about you that aren't true.

All those late nights at the office and last-minute work obligations...

Are just that... late nights at the office and work obligations.

I don't want to be with anyone else.

It's you... only you.

Besides, I barely had enough game to seduce you.

I'm not smooth enough to have an affair.

Right?

Do you still want me to come up on-stage?

If there are rumors out there, I'd understand...

No. Of course I want you up there.

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Liquid pouring]

Thank you.

I must say, your, um... Your voice-mail surprised me.

There was a note of helplessness... a daughter who needs her daddy to make her boo-boo go away.

You gonna tell me what's going on?

I got a visit yesterday from Frankie Vargas's brother.

Mm-hmm.

He offered me dirt on Susan Ross if I gave him dirt on Edison.

I didn't think I needed it, so I sent him packing.

And then?

And then my candidate announced to the world in the middle of a Gettysburger that she was a big phony, so now, instead of being neck-and-neck with Susan, we're polling a distant third behind her and Hollis.

I should take the dirt, shouldn't I?

[Sighs]

Of course I should.

It's stupid I'm even asking.

I mean, let's be honest, I could've invited a friend over and sought their opinion, but instead I asked you.

[Chuckles]

I brought you here because I've already decided to do it, and I want you to give me permission.

So, go ahead.

Give me your speech about power and how the only person I need to be loyal to is myself.

Tell me that friendship is a hindrance to greatness and that I should do whatever has to be done to get my candidate elected.

Say those [Chuckling] things, please.

Tell me what I need to hear so that I can stop wasting time and get back to work.

Let me ask you something.

Back during the impeachment hearings, when the public was asking for your head... who came to your rescue and sang your praises on national television?

Edison.

Whose engagement ring did you return because he was the head of the Senate Intel Committee and your father felt threatened by him?

This isn't the speech I was asking for.

This man has been nothing but nice to you.

[Sighs] I get that, but I...

But what?

You've played dirty before? Poisoned a few arrows?

Of course you have.

But that was always at the expense of someone you loathed.

You were Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

This would be different.

This would be hurting someone you respect, someone who is innocent, someone who has never done anything to harm you.

You'd no longer be Robin Hood, Olivia, you'd be...

You.

The reason Mellie Grant imploded today is because you were trying to make her something she wasn't.

I'd hate to see you make the same mistake with yourself.

Finally, after running into him again, he asked me out, and here we are.

Wow. That happened so fast?

Yeah. I don't know if I believe in fate, but if it wasn't fate, it was pretty darn close.

Oh, God. I envy that.

It's so romantic to just know after only a few months.

Oh!

I can tell you, he definitely knows all my secrets.

That's the one drawback to marrying the head of the NSA.

Those guys dig pretty deep, huh?

Oh, yeah.

I had to submit all my tax records, bank statements... what else?

Laptops and stuff?

Sure.

They did a full background check.

[Chuckles]

Okay, now, that is not romantic.

No, not at all. But it's his job.

Neither of us really had a choice.

Mm-hmm.

He really cares about America.

Yeah.

Man: [Over television] Then I guess it's Susan Ross', 'cause Mellie...

[Television turns off]

What'd you find on Edison Davis?

Nothing. He's clean as a whistle.

That's impossible!

The man's from Florida, for God's sake!

That's 65,000 square miles of corruption.

Nobody escapes that.

He has.

Well, he's not our main concern, but keep looking.

We have to cover our bases.

Do you need to get home?

No.

Not yet.

Hey, what about Alex Vargas?

What have you found on him?

Still working on it.

Put your coat back on.

What?

Put your coat back on, and don't come back to me until you have something on Alex Vargas.

Alex Vargas is a hiccup. You've dealt with far worse.

He's not just somebody who wants my job.

He's family... blood. Blood's different.

Blood gets rewarded for the simple fact that they're blood.

Trust me.

I'm one brotherly heart-to-heart away from being demoted to Frankie Vargas' body man.

[Door opens, closes]

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Door opens]

Pants.

What?

[Door closes]

Remove your pants, David.

I was about to come see you.

Well, now you're gonna come over to that couch, and I'm gonna sit on top of you.

And I'm gonna move up and down until your eyes roll back in your head.

Is this because Susan's been doing better in the debate prep since I talked to her?

Yep. Whatever you said to her worked like a charm.

She's back on her game big-time.

This is your reward.

Now, I can either pull your pants down for you, or you can do it yourself.

But they need to come off.

I can't do it.

Well, it's really easy, but, fine, I'll do it.

I mean I can't do this.

Do what?

This thing... us.

I can't do us.

[Sighs] Don't play hard to get, David.

It might be a turn-on for you, but it's not for me.

Now, heels or no heels?

I mean it, Liz. We're done.

You're serious?

You are dumping me?

Yes.

[Sighs]

You're sure about that?

Yes?

No.

That's not how this works.

No.

I'm in love with Susan Ross.

She's a muppet!

Elizabeth...

Not even one of the main ones.

Liz...

She'd be way in the back.

They'd only let her play tambourine in their little muppet band.

Enough!

Do not talk about Susan like that anymore.

I was nice to you. I liked you.

I wasn't sleeping with anyone else this entire time.

Look...

I'm sorry.

[Scoffs]

Enjoy the minor leagues.

[Door opens]

They're using her for her bank accounts.

Vanessa... She mentioned something about Jake asking for all of her bank-account numbers, which I thought was weird, because I was pretty sure the NSA doesn't require financial information in their standard spouse-registration form.

So I double-checked, and I was right.

Quinn, Slow down.

Really?

Yeah.

You sure?

Because you usually don't want me to...

Okay.

So, uh, someone accessed all of Vanessa's accounts and cloned their reverse promontory points, which allowed them to funnel money through incremental proxy withdrawals, and then...

Sorry. You were right.

Get to the point.

Jake's using Vanessa's money to fund a super PAC.

A super PAC?

Do you know which candidate it's for?

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Door opens, footsteps approach]

Olivia.

Twice in one week.

I should run for President more often.

I need to talk to you about my father.

Eli? Okay, I'm listening.

You only know him as the man who fell from grace at the Smithsonian, but he's actually much more powerful than that and much more dangerous.

How so?

I think he's secretly funding your super PAC, which means that, at some point, he's going to ask you for a favor.

And, trust me, you do not want to do any favors for that man.

Or what? He'll do me terrible harm?

He's already reached out to you, hasn't he?

When a man of his stature, his accomplishments, tells you that he can make you the next president, that's hard to turn down.

Do you know what he's about?

The things he's done?

You forget that I'm the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Olivia.

Edison, you don't want him anywhere near you.

You know many things, Olivia.

But here's something that you may not know.

The Senate is a gilded cage... a place of great comfort and wonderful perks, where you think that you're making a difference, but you're not.

It's just you and 99 others grimly reminding yourselves every day that the only way out of this, the only way to make your mark, is to be President.

You're getting into bed with a monster.

Correction... I'm getting into bed with a monster's father.

Anyway, thanks so much for coming by.

Hollis Doyle taking the lead in the latest polls, securing the center podium for tomorrow's debate.

I'd say this is quite a surprising turn of events.

You know, Brooke, I'm gonna go on the record and say that I am not surprised.

Come on.

[Camera shutter clicking]

Fitz: You're still here?

Oh, Mr. President. Hello.

You should go home, Susan... get a good night's rest.

I don't think I'd be able to sleep tonight if I tried, sir.

You know, I'm sorry about today.

You don't need to be sorry about anything.

No, I do. I was off my game.

I disappointed you. I could tell.

Because I was dealing with a silly, little personal issue.

But I'm back now. I am all good.

Glad to hear it.

So, go ahead.

Ask me something. Anything.

National security, minimum wage, gun reform.

You got questions? I got answers.

[Chuckling] All right.

Let's see...

Vice President Ross, as president, how would you work to solve our nation's looming federal deficit?

Susan?

Why did you cheat on your wife?

What?

Do you know why you cheated?

On someone you supposedly loved.

Why do you ask?

I'm sorry for asking. It's just...

Is this a part of your debate prep?

Actually, yes, Mr. President.

Why I cheated?

Why does anyone cheat?

Oh. I'm the expert now?

Well, you're pretty good at it.

[Chuckles]

[Scoffs] I don't want to be one of those stupid women who believes whatever a guy says just because her self-esteem can't handle the truth.

But part of me... I believe him.

I believe he really loves me, so...

[Sighs]

People cheat for different reasons.

So I can't tell you exactly why people cheat.

But I can tell you this...

If you feel like he's cheating, then he probably is.

[Sighs]

[Exhales sharply]

[Inhales deeply]

The figures speak for themselves.

When unemployment drops, our deficit drops.

The key to reducing our national debt isn't about some shortsighted strategy cooked up by Senator Grant, or a useless, little Band-Aid slapped on by Mr. Doyle.

It's about putting people to work, plain and simple.

As your President, that's exactly what I'll do.

Good night, Mr. President.

I should probably get some sleep.

[Camera shutter clicking]

I'm trying to tell you about a potentially fundamental human-rights case, and all you can say is...

You're so beautiful, I can hardly hear the words coming out of your mouth.

[Cellphone beeps]

Work?

Can't say.

[Sighs]

Sorry to interrupt.

I doubt that.

What's up, Liv? What do you want?

[Bettye LaVette's "Round Midnight" playing]

[Lock clicks]

♪ It begins to tell ♪
♪ Round midnight ♪

Vanessa's right outside.

♪ Round midnight ♪

Does she know how you're using her brokerage accounts to launder dirty money into Edison's super PAC?

♪ I do pretty well ♪

I didn't think so.

I don't know what you think you know...

You know exactly what I know.

But you love her, right? That's what you told me.

[Unzips]

You want normal.

You're choosing normal.

And me? I'm just a twisted sociopath who takes whatever she wants, no matter who gets bulldozed along the way.

♪ Oh, it gets so bad ♪

That doesn't feel at all like the truth right now.

Does it?

You are the one I like to ride, but nobody will ever ride you like I do.

[Sighs]

[Chuckles]

You tell my father that whatever game this is...

[Breathes shakily]

I... will... win.

♪ Stand those memories ♪

[Door unlocks]

♪ When my love is through with you ♪

[Camera shutter clicking]

[Indistinct conversations]

Mrs. Langston, we're 15 minutes away...

Go away!

Where are my questions on national security?

Hello?

Hello? Hello?

This is live TV.

Get me my questions!

[Door opens]

Oh, there you are.

What do you think of this tie?

I wanted it to match your outfit.

You're smoking. You smoke?

I quit... the minute I found out I was pregnant with Casey.

Obviously, I didn't want to hurt her.

I also didn't want to die of lung cancer before meeting my grandchildren.

Well, I tell Casey every day to never, ever even try it... not once.

That every single cigarette robs seven minutes from your life.

That all it takes is one cute boy to offer you a Virginia Slim in the bleachers after the homecoming game and... pouf.

You have emphysema.

That's good advice, so why aren't you taking it?

Because I'm dumping my boyfriend.

What?

[Scoffs]

Come on, David.

Do I have to say it out loud?

Are you gonna make me ask you again?

For what it's worth, it's over.

I didn't want to lie anymore.

I didn't want to cheat anymore.

The thought of losing you, it made me sick to my stomach, so I ended it.

I'm yours, Susan.

I love you. I love only you.

Liz already told the press you'll be joining me on-stage afterwards.

You still need to do that.

["I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" by The Temptations playing]

♪ Woo-oo-oo-ooh ♪

Where have you been?

It's been 24 hours of Burgergate, Liv.

Mellie, be still. Take a breath How the hell was I supposed to know that place is some sort of disgusting, greasy national treasure?

What if Sally asks me...

Mellie.

It's too late to make a plan or employ some strategy.

So you just go out there and do your best, and leave the rest to me.

Okay?

Mellie, trust me.

I've got this. Everything is going to be fine.

♪ I'm gonna shower you with love and affection ♪
♪ Look out, it's coming in your direction ♪
♪ And I'm, I'm gonna ♪

Good evening.

And welcome to the first Republican presidential debate.

[Applause]

Before I invite the candidates onto the stage, I'd like to go over some of the ground rules.

♪ Oh, yes, I will ♪

Have you seen David?

He needs to be in makeup if he's going out on-stage at the end...

I broke up with David.

You what?

I already told the press that he would be our on-stage.

He was cheating on me.

So...

With...?

I don't know who!

I... I'm sorry.

Who cares who?

I... I didn't mean to... It's just a shock, is all.

♪ I'm gonna say ♪
♪ "I'm gonna get ya, I'm gonna get ya" ♪

[Sobs]

♪ I'm gonna make you love me ♪

David Rosen is such an ass.

[Sobs]

♪ Yes, I will ♪

[Voice breaking] Oh.

Sometimes you can seem really mean, but you care, don't you?

Oh!

[Sniffles, sobs]

♪ You know I will ♪
♪ Yes, I will ♪

Sally: Each candidate will get one minute to answer questions and 30 seconds for follow-ups and rebuttals.

I'll give candidates time to respond if they've been singled out and criticized by another candidate.

♪ I'll even do wrong for you ♪

[Clears throat]

[Huskily] Somebody get me some water.

Sally: You'll hear this sound...

[Buzzer]

...and see this light when a candidate's time has expired.

And if they ignore those signals, you'll hear my roar at full volume.

[Laughter]

♪ And I'm, I'm gonna make you love me ♪
♪ Whoa ♪

Thanks for meeting me.

Here.

[Camera shutter clicking]

Alex: I hope what you're giving me on Edison is as good as what I'm giving you on Susan.

Go ahead and open it.

♪ Oh, yes, I will ♪

Meridian Terrace?

The name of a rehab facility in West Virginia.

Senator Davis spent a month there in 2009, kicking an addiction to pain killers.

How do you know this?

I sent him there, and then I made it disappear.

You're welcome, Alex.

And now, without further ado, let's welcome our candidates to the stage.

[Applause]

♪ And every night, every day ♪
♪ I'm gonna say ♪

Senator Mellie Grant.

[Applause]

♪ I'm gonna make you love me ♪

Mr. Hollis Doyle.

[Applause]

♪ Yes, I will ♪
♪ And I'm gonna make you ♪

And Vice President Susan Ross.

[Applause]

♪ You know I will ♪

[Susan chuckles]

♪ And every night, every day ♪
♪ I'm gonna say ♪
♪ "I'm gonna get ya, I'm gonna get ya ♪
♪ Look out, boy, 'cause I'm gonna get ya" ♪
♪ I'm gonna make you love me ♪
♪ Ooh, yes, I will ♪
♪ Yes, I will ♪

[Applause]

All right, candidates. Let's begin.

♪ Ooh, yes, I will ♪

[Camera shutter clicking]