Veep Recap: A Quick Banking Task Force


Season 5 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****
Julia Louis Dreyfus as Selina. Photo: Lacey Terrell/HBO

Somehow, Amy is still asleep in Carson City, Nevada. It’s 5 a.m., Amy! Get moving! As we learn in this episode, Selina is “having reservations about the reservations.” It’s one in a fleet of dicey race jokes that Veep has crammed into the first two episodes of this season — just minutes later, she suggests that “a 6-year-old Asian kid” could fix the broken computer in her office, and then her staff debates just how Hispanic Montez is — and it all raises the question: Are these jokes meant to show how brutal Selina can be, or a sign that she’s wearier than ever about the American people, particularly the demographics that don’t support her?

Amy, Dan, Richard, and Jonah are on the ground in Nevada, hustling to make the recount work in their favor. There’s an issue with a comma after the word “fuck” in a write-in ballot that either says “Fuck Selina Meyer” or “Fuck, Selina Meyer,” which suggests that someone in the Veep writers room has been listening very closely to the Hamilton soundtrack and wanted a “with a comma after dearest” moment in here. Also, if you think I’m not aiming for at least one Hamilton reference per recap, you are as mistaken as Jonah was about those brand-new crocodile-skin boots.

Mike is on the “master cleanse” (friendly health PSA: All cleanses are bullshit) which Ben rightfully says “sounds like Nazi domestic policy.”

Meanwhile, Chinese hackers have breached White House employee files. Considering Selina’s issues with emails and hacks, shouldn’t she be more alarmed about this? She is too distracted to care.

Bob Bradley is here, and he is a troubling old fellow who refers to Richard as “Affirmative Action Jackson” and says weird, vulgar-folksy things like, “I’ve got big balls but neither one of them are crystal” and “I can lead a horse to water but I can’t milk it.” What does that mean? No one knows! Bob remembers Ben just well enough to know that his nickname was “Buttfucker.” Lovely guy, this Bob, but Selina is a fan.

Selina was supposed to attend some event to thank volunteers (“For what, this Olympic-size swimming pool of shit that I’m doing the backstroke in right now?”), but she bails, sending her economy czar Tom James in her stead. She bops by his event because she thinks it sounds more interesting — and for once, it turns out that her instincts are correct. She meets Charlie Baird (hey, John Slattery!) who is smarmy, charming, and assures Selina that “Brooks Brothers sews prenups into all our suits,” which honestly is not a bad business idea. Selina’s obvious desire to get in those Brooks Brothers pants leads to the best-crafted joke of the night, wherein she and Ben talk about “putting Charlie on another task force,” wink-wink nudge-nudge.

Ben suggests that right now, in the midst of this recount, is not the best time for a task force. “I just want to have a quick banking task force,” Selina says. “The banks will still be raring to go for a task force when you’re safely re-elected,” he tries, and also, “Ma’am, if you want I can arrange a more discreet banking task force.” Kent, bless his heart, has no idea that this is a euphemism.

So Charlie finds himself back at the White House, worried that Gary doesn’t like him — as Selina puts it, “That’s like saying a cat doesn’t like you, or that table doesn’t like you.” He even gets a very special tour, which includes stops like, “This is the closet where Warren Harding fathered a child with his teenage mistress.” And then, a very sexy pickup line, “Want to see the residence?”

At least Selina is getting some. On the other side of the country, Dan and Amy get thiiiis close to a little banking task force of their own before Dan totally botches it by screwing Amy’s sister, Sophie, whom he mistakenly believes works for CBS. Cannot wait to see how he reacts when he discovers she works at CVS.

And a few other things…

  • Selina: “Maddox is probably going to study the effects of legalized prostitution on his dick.”
  • Richard’s email address is Splet2@splet.net, since Splet1 is his dad. “It’ll be sad to see him go, but it’ll be good to get that handle.”
  • Jonah: “Can Paul McCartney teach Kid Rock how to be a good songwriter? That’s a bad example, because Kid Rock rules.”
  • Taking a shit in the Rose Garden used to be called a “Jimmy Carter.”

Insult of the episode:

This is a small one, but I loved Amy calling Richard a “Paddington Bear-looking fuck.”

Compliment of the episode:

Selina to Charlie: “With another person it would be bragging, but with you it’s something different.”

Jonah shall henceforth be known as:

A seven-foot-seven, goony-looking Lithuanian who is going to drop dead of Marfan syndrome. A+ work, Amy.

Veep Recap: A Quick Banking Task Force