Artist’s Rendering of Donald John Trump’s Image of Himself

“Trump” — Season 1, Episode 4 Recap “Super Bowel”

The president issues an executive order titled the “Patriot Act,” decreeing that New England emerge victorious in Super Bowl LI, while Kellyanne Conway converts all network television into QVC.

Following an extended President’s Day break, Trump is back with some of its hardest hitting material yet. In the dark of the pre-dawn hours, Vladimir Putin sits shirtless on a laminated couch admiring the New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX championship ring that Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft gave him as a “gift.” Glancing up at his domestic state of the art wall of black and white cathode ray tubes, he frowns and motions for the telephone. “Xello, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn,” Putin chuckles as he polishes the ring against his bare chest, “At ease. I know is not time for hourly update. Put President Bannon on phone.” Flynn passes the handset to Time Magazine’s 2017 Sexiest Man Alive before setting off to join The Donald in the former Home Alone 2 star’s continuing search for the light switches in the White House. “Stefan,” Putin says nonchalantly, “I think I would like second ring.”

With only 8 minutes and 24 seconds remaining in the final quarter, Trump issues an executive order titled the “Patriot Act,” decreeing that the Patriots emerge victorious in Super Bowl LI. The next morning, White House spokesman Melissa McCarthy is sent out to quell the resulting public uproar, noting that Trump’s actions were in line with former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s directives requiring the Buffalo Bills to lose 4 consecutive Super Bowls from 1991 to 1994.

A quick scene change takes us to the outside of Beltway hotspot Ultrabar for an early ladies’ night with gal pals Kellyanne Conway, Melania, and Ivanka. Kellyanne kicks off the fun by hawking purses from the Ivanka Trump winter collection at her makeshift pop-up fashion store while Melania, through a tip jar, tries to recover some of the profits that she had lost when the Daily Mail had robbed her of the chance to monetize her “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . . to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which [Melania] is one of the most photographed women in the world.”

As the fake news media start to take notice, Ivanka tries to allay their fears of any conflicts of interest. “I have stepped down as head of my fashion line, so there can’t be any such conflicts when I act as an advisor to the president,” she says solemnly. “For example, I wasn’t at all conflicted when Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe complimented me on the incredibly comfortable Itezra Suede Ankle Tie Mid Block Heel Sandals — available only at Bloomingdale’s — that I had slipped on during my father’s first meeting with the Japanese leader.”

With a representative from the Office of Government Ethics looking on, Kellyanne chimes in, “It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it. I fully — I’m going to just, I’m going to give a free commercial here: go buy it today, everybody.” The ethics officer warns Kellyanne, giving her an explanation regarding the standards of conduct for federal employees that prohibit using official positions to promote commercial products. But Kellyanne refuses to back down. Later, Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell praises Kellyanne Conway’s brave stance against the partisan corruption of the ethics office: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Then, raising his fist in solidarity: “You go, girl.”

Having come under fire recently for its complete lack of diversity in casting, the creative team behind Trump introduces us to new series villain Kim Jong-Un, played by Tilda Swinton, fresh off her triumph as the Celtic Tibetan “Ancient One” in Marvel’s Dr. Strange, after the role was turned down by Scarlet Johansson (to star as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell) and Matt Damon (who was busy saving China in The Great Wall and lecturing African-American filmmakers on diversity). The inscrutable Kim strokes his Fu Manchu and test fires a perilously yellow missile into Japanese territorial waters, potentially setting up a showdown with the similarly inscrutable American ally. Trump and Abe roll up their sleeves and gird themselves for a late night of national security strategizing in the situation room of the al fresco dining patio at Mar-a-Lago. Kim isn’t finished however, and finishes the week by having his older brother Kim Jong-Nam assassinated in Malaysia, thereby eliminating one of the strongest claims to the Iron Throne. As the credits roll, we say farewell to the elder Kim in a heartfelt montage sequence, accompanied by a sad K-Pop ballad, in which we see him lose favor with his father and earn permanent exile when he fails in his attempt to enter Japan with a Dominican Republic passport on his way to Tokyo Disneyland.

First published on February 23, 2017.