Secretary of State Elaine Barrish had been first preparing to fight President Paul Garcetti in the Democratic primary, but then was having second thoughts. It all became moot in the finale, and its news that Garcetti was likely dead in a plane crash.
Of course, if it somehow turns out that he survives, then that will make for a different next season than if he's gone. Or, perhaps the show will leave the option hanging, with no body discovered, and thus the chance that Gracetti could come back at some future date.
But assuming he's lost for good, Barrish now has to contend with a now Interim President, on his way to becoming President, the conservative, obnoxious VP Fred Collier. Bud punched him in the face episode before last, and in the finale Barrish had to get the cabinet on board to prevent Collier from getting himself sworn in as President before there was any conclusive evidence that Garcetti was dead. But that seems likely to the upshot soon.
Elaine has to be thinking if only she'd accepted Garcetti's invitation to run with him as VP, she would now be in line to become President. Of course, Collier knows this too - he knows that Garcetti chose him only when Elaine Barrish was not available - and two will clearly be on increasing collision course next season, as Elaine has renewed interest in running for President.
Political Animals is a fine, tempestuous political drama in a year just perfect for that, and I'm looking forward to more.
See also Political Animals: Alternate Hillary History
The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book