Veep Recap: The Vulgar Parts

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer. Photo: HBO
Episode Title
The Eagle
Editor’s Rating

So, Selina and Charlie are dating. Did you see that coming? I don't think Selina did! When you get caught in the act of a fling while trying to maintain your precarious grip on the nuclear codes, you don't have one-night stands — you have dashing, socially acceptable boyfriends.

Charlie and Selina are the talk of Twitter. People are "gushing" about these two … or, at least, Gary has carefully filtered out the negative tweets and is only showing Selina the good stuff. Whatever it takes.

Are you wondering what happened to those Chinese hackers? They have breached yet another level of national security. Selina's response: "Why don't we give the Chinese their own logins and passwords? Save everybody a lot of time." Selina's presidential style is best be summed up as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Besides, she has other things to think about, like Nevada. Kent informs Selina, in borderline incomprehensible statistic-speak, that there are missing ballots in Nevada. And what if they're Selina ballots? WHAT IF.

Now for the line that sums up Veep in its entirety: Selina tells Catherine not to "use any of the vulgar parts" for her documentary. Catherine's reply: "But that's, like, all of it." 

Selina, high off the good news and barely paying attention to whatever is happening during this CIA briefing, is tweeting. Oh nooooooo. Also, it turns out the CIA accidentally captured a local schoolteacher who is definitely not a terrorist? Their bad! Will have to find out if the CIA has a "no backsies" policy re: incidents like this one. Selina thinks she is privately messaging Charlie, but of course, she is tweeting publicly. The whole world sees her insults about O'Brien — what, did you think she would be sexting? C'mon now — and, although the Swedish prime minister retweets it with an "Lol," it's time for damage control.

Ben remembers that there's been this breach. A breach from China. Ever hear of it? "Oh my God," he says, a terribly brilliant idea dawning on him. "Maybe you had nothing to do with this." I strongly dislike this strategy. Mike suggests just telling the truth. But because that idea came from Mike, it doesn't get much traction. "Can I really blame another country for something they didn't do?" Selina asks. "It's been the cornerstone of American foreign policy since the Spanish Civil War," Ben assures her. 

So we cut to Mike telling the press about the hack that originated in mainland China. "The president was horrified by the latest violation of cybersecurity," Mike says. But that's not enough; Selina needs to look strong. Targeted-sanctions strong. Bob — who, well, is not well — encourages Selina. "Does a bear piss in the shower?" I don't know, Bob! I'm worried about you!

Selina can't tell that anything is off there, so she goes ahead with these unilateral sanctions. Amy, the Cassandra of Veep, knows something is wrong with Bob, but Selina ignores her. 

Bob knows that there wasn't a Chinese hack. Bob doesn't know what year it is. Bob thinks Jews cause hurricanes. Somehow, through magic, Bob does not reveal this information to anyone before he gets to the White House, where he inquires about the soup of the day. 

Selina and Charlie have a date at a fundraising-dinner-gala thing at the American Museum of Natural History, where Charlie treats Gary better than anyone has ever treated Gary. Selina's normalizing game is as off-point as ever: "Look at that! That's sort of a gray-blue dress. Isn't that something!" 

This episode sees some Selina's crisis-aversion techniques actually succeed, at least for now. Karen, a woman so insufferable she almost single-handedly caused Amy's breakdown, is back, stalling until the missing ballots can be recovered. Bob is named cybersecurity czar and given a basement office where there's no cell service. 

Oh, but China isn't super-thrilled about the sanctions and responds in kind, "banning all foreign adoptions by American citizens," Mike says, the heartache and horror washing over his face, "and a bunch of other stuff." I love the way we get these glimpses of everyone's outside-the-office lives without having to actually spend any time outside the office.

And a Few Other Things …

  • Amy, to Dan, as he discovers his CBS/CVS mix-up: "You sold your dick for bulk iced tea and off-brand cough syrup."
  • As Kent describes the district-by-district regression analysis he'll need to do, Selina cuts him off with, "Are we paying you by the word?"
  • Anyone want to come up with the best explanations for what Bob's fake folksy expressions could really mean? "We have a classic thumb-in-the-apple-pie situation."
  • Of course that is what Richard's voicemail sounds like.
  • I wonder if Congressman Furlong will have a bigger role to play as the season goes on, or if he's just going to sporadically pop up and be a dick as needed.
  • How perfect is the callback to the Meyer Postal Commission re: the 10,000 uncounted mail-in ballots being discovered at the house of a U.S. postal worker?
  • "Can I get a picture with you for my blog, 'Let's Talk About Splett'?"

Insult of the Episode:

It's a tie, and they're both Selina's. She responds to Kent's idea of calling on the United Nations to deal with the China debacle: "What, have them help us park in front of a fire hydrant?" And, as she cuts off Gary's story about the queen of England, Selina tells Charlie, "She's a cunt. You didn't hear it from me."

Compliment of the Episode:

Charlie, to Gary, while waiting for Selina to join him at the dinner: "Gary is a key member of the Meyer administration." Honestly, that is not just the compliment of the episode. That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to Gary in his entire life.

Jonah Shall Henceforth Be Known As:

The source of the moment when everyone tells him to shut the fuck up at the exact same time. It was so beautiful, I almost teared up. I am tearing up now, just thinking about it.