We don’t know exactly what is in the Families First bill Selina has been championing all season, but we do know something perhaps even more important than its substance: It is unpopular. The press has taken to calling it the “Mommy Meyer” bill, despite Mike’s efforts to control the narrative; the people, contrary to Selina’s belief, doubt that it could be effective.
We’ve had the great pleasure of seeing Gary, Amy, and Dan lose their minds and/or their jobs because of the absurdity that is working for Selina, and this week it’s Mike’s turn. Poor Mike, who, as his dear wife Wendy points out, doesn’t have the cheekbones for depression, is failing at his job. Sure, he’s got a thoughts-and-prayers template for whenever a mass shooting goes down, but mostly his foolish mistakes get turned into GIFs and he finds himself chucked under the bus whenever Selina is the one making a foolish mistake. And he is getting crucified on the Families First bill, “just like that Jesus guy.”
Selina is riding high after a killer debate performance against Buddy Garrity, who I guess is making a post–Friday Night Lights career out of playing hilarious, fake politicians in debates (remember his turn on Parks and Rec?). He informs Selina that he is from real America, “with real trees and real cars.” Selina: “Uhh, what would fake cars be?” BURN. She can’t stop watching her winning game time (“Should we keep watching me?”) even when Sue announces that an ex-Marine shot and killed four people in Pittsburgh.
Perhaps as karma for being so cavalier about a shooter who attacked other people, Selina finds herself in a lockdown situation because a shooter has entered the White House. An intruder! Gary: “Shouldn’t there be a panic room or something?” Sue: “Gary, every room you’re in is a panic room.”
Mike ducks at the podium, a “Genie in a Bottle”-dance-like maneuver that, of course, becomes a GIF at his expense.
Usually the most notable humor of Veep is in the whip-smart dialogue, that brilliant, rapid-fire profanity that never stops flying. But I love the physical comedy of Selina, our pocket-size POTUS, surrounded by towering Secret Service agents, standing in a circle facing out with her at the center, like the way you’d cover for a friend at Girl Scout camp if she needed to change into her bathing suit in public.
The intruder wanted “to kill Tom James and that bitch,” a notion Selina finds particularly offensive: “He comes here to kill me and he doesn’t even know my name?”
Jonah and Richard are setting up for the Tom James town hall event — what genius put these two together? Thank you, whoever you are — testing the microphone and complimenting themselves on how great they are, so you know the whole thing is going to fall apart. At first Tom James is nailing it “like Streisand hitting a high C,” Richard says, but then Tom makes the oh-no-he-didn’t call of referring to the Pittsburgh shooter as “a victim.”
Do something! Do anything! How about dropping a bunch of balloons? Oh, there are no balloons, that’s just a brainstorming thing. But thanks for mentioning it, Richard.
Tom manages to save it with one of those smooth, “I brought a prepared apology, but I’m going to fold it up and speak from the heart” tricks, and Jonah and Richard are so starstruck as a result that, oops! They clue Tom into the data breech. (“It’s really not as bad as it sounds,” Jonah assures Tom later. “Those kids have been dead for a while.”)
Back at the White House, Selina is having a get-together with the women she knew in her lawyering days, and she makes the classic mistake of thinking she should re-create the past instead of generously sharing her very cool present. So the women eat pizza and ice cream instead of the deconstructed appetizers or whatever Gary had in mind, and they are very unimpressed. The not-at-all lovely reunion is spoiled when a copycat intruder breaks in and Selina has to hide behind her Secret Service circle again. They scoop her up like a little girl throwing a tantrum! So good.
Meanwhile, Dan and Amy are lobbying it up with the American Concrete Foundation, this weird circus-convention-orgy-thing where pretty poli-sci majors swap their normal clothes for too-tight tops to lure in potential clients. As Dan puts it, they’re “sale bait.” As Amy clarifies, “independent, well-educated young women like you who also happen to be very hot to lure congressmen into the room in a way that is deeply feminist.”
I don’t know how long Amy can last as a lobbyist, but I think Dan has found his true calling.
And a few other things:
Selina: “I actually think I should have a gun.”
Gary’s retelling of his reaction to the intruder, where he conveniently leaves out how he squealed, “Shit got real, shit just got real,” and instead reports, “I was like, face-to-face with him and I was like, Back OFF, don’t mess with this!”
“People probably try to kill me most days, sweetie. You just have to shut it out.” —Selina, to Catherine
Why is the big pharma guy at the concrete event? “Concrete brings buildings, buildings bring sex workers, and sex workers bring STDs!”
“How could anybody not love him? He’s like your dad, except nice.” Oh, Jonah.
Sue shushing the Secret Service. Sue for president.
Insult of the episode:
Ben, in response to Tom’s screw-up at the town hall: “Calamity James! And that’s just off the top of my head.”
Compliment of the episode:
Jonah to Tom, after his heartfelt-sounding apology: “Sir, awesome and amazing had a baby and it grew up to be you.”
First runner-up, Richard to Tom: “It’s like words are your second language.”
Jonah shall henceforth be known as:
As far as I could tell, he was just referred to as a moron this episode, or some variation on that theme. Did I miss a good Jonah nickname? Let me know!