Veep Recap: Misery Marathon


Special Relationship
Season 3 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating 4 stars


Special Relationship
Season 3 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: HBO

Welcome to London, Madam Vice-President and her overstuffed, overwhelmed entourage! Dan hopes this will be an opportunity to “run some reverse My Fair Lady shit” and make Selina, she of the “who doesn’t have a horse as a kid?” fame, “seem like a regular person.” Good luck, Dan. Sounds like a job that could give a guy a heart attack.

Things are falling to pieces all over the place. By the end of the episode, pretty much everyone and everything but Amy are as broken as the queen’s china: Ray is fired, Dan is fired and hospitalized, Jonah’s getting stood up on a date with a woman who doesn’t exist, the first lady tried to commit suicide, Selina is ripped apart by the British (and presumably international) press, and Gary accidentally reveals that Dan hired Ray to be Selina’s “sex slave.” Only Amy emerges victorious, as Selina’s new campaign manager. Oh, and Mike gets to take a nap. So there’s that.

Mike’s “100 Years Since the Great War” speech sounds kind of good, if a little heavy on the alliteration and insincere-sounding from someone like Selina, whose speeches are usually a preposterous pile of political platitudes (ahh, sorry, guys, just been listening to Mike a little too much tonight). He is “nailing pathos to the freaking wall here.”

Speaking of getting nailed: Selina and Ray are still going at it, which means Ray is in tow for all of Selina’s important engagements. Maybe I’m just missing something here, but why does Ray’s status as Selina’s fuck-buddy-in-chief mean that he gets invited to all these events with intelligent humans? Why can’t they just keep him in a hotel room somewhere while Selina goes about official business? Alas, he’s out among the intellectuals, and watching Ray attempt to make conversation with them is “like watching a goat try to use an ATM,” says Ben.

Sometimes I wish that all these foreign dignitaries Selina meets weren’t jerks to her. But then we wouldn’t get this very snarky, Nordic-looking gentleman who is the deputy prime minister, who calls Selina out on her whole “we don’t spy, we just collect data” hypocrisy. Poor Gary, forced to weigh in: “I think it’s very nuanced, and there’s a lot of different sides to a lot of different topics out there.” Gary, Selina needs lipstick right now. Go on. You’re free.

Selina is no better at normalizing in the U.K. than she is in the U.S., and Dan’s carefully orchestrated trip to the pub goes right off the tube rails. She hates beer, she can’t understand what the Brits are chanting at her through their accents (Amy: “They’re laughing at her like a toddler that they taught to swear”), and she has zero comprehension of the culture. The Celsius system confuses her, and don’t even get her started on the outlets: “The plugs here are bigger than the things they power.”

You guys — you good, good guys — can we just take a moment, now that Ray is no longer part of Team Selina, for some of Ray’s greatest hits? Here’s a man so dedicated to self-improvement that he tries to learn a new word every day. “I love words very ardently.” He calls Britain “The Kingdom of Hats.” The last two lines of his “normified” version of Selina’s speech do get to stay in, maybe by accident. (“Here’s to the good guys.”) Ray is so dumb, he does not even realized he is being fired until, like, four different people tell him he’s fired. Even then, he tries to hitch a ride home on Air Force Two. Do we think he and Amy ever hooked up? Oh my God, do you think that’s why Amy suddenly saw to it that Ray got humiliated and fired, so she wouldn’t have to deal with him lurking around and telling everyone about their tryst? Share your conspiracy theories in the comments.

I so enjoyed seeing Amy flex some mean, political muscle; watching her wreck Ray and Dan at the same time was like watching that scene in The Lion King when Simba roars like an adult lion for the first time. I always knew you had it in you, Amy! From her British accent (according to Mike, it “makes me feel inadequate and horny. It’s the dream!”) to her inspired maneuver of leaking the Ray intel to Jonah, Amy outschemed everyone in sight. She keeps her poker face straight through to the end, letting Jonah believe that his mystery woman will meet him for a date and not contradicting Dan when he tells her in the hospital, “You’re like an actual friend.”

As with all great schemes, there was an element of luck to Amy’s success: Even she could not have predicted the gold mine that is Ray’s old blog posts — his treatii, treatises, whichever you prefer — about how fat people brought it on themselves by being evil in previous lives. “Obese children are possessed by the devil as a punishment for past sins.” (Turns out Selina isn’t exactly supportive of all sizes, either: “Fat people don’t even vote … there’s no food in the voting booth.”) As Jonah points out, the anti-obesity credo will not go over well back in the States: “You know how upsetting that’s going to be to fat people? That’s all we have in America.”

The stress of this PR disaster is too much for Dan, who has been chugging Red Bull like Selina was supposed to chug beer. He has a panic attack, or maybe a heart attack, hang on, Amy’s looking up his symptoms. She can feel his hands, but that’s not really how that works. Amy eventually abandons Dan for her new job, but Jonah sticks around just to drive him insane and read fake charts: “Abnormally high douche readings, that makes sense.”

How hard am I shipping Kent and Sue’s relationship? I love how they’ve found a way to build this dynamic almost entirely through 30-second snippets of conversation. I even love the way they fight. “You have put me in a hideous situation, remotely, I might add, so from now on, remotely is how we will interact.”

And a few other things

  • Prince Charles: “That 65-year-old fucking intern.”
  • The names of Ray’s books include: 60 Day Shred, Get a Bod Like God, My Name Is Ray; You’re Okay, and The Greater Glory in 12 Days.
  • “I can imagine Harry Potter getting loaded in here!” Also, ahem, Mister Deputy Prime Minister, by the end of the seventh book, Harry is a grown man who is totally old enough to throw back a drink besides butterbeer. If you’re going to be such a stickler, do the reading.
  • Mike: “Siri, how many horses died in the first World War?”
  • The deputy prime minister, on Selina’s hat: “It’s like she stuck her head in a swan and it exploded.”
  • “I Googled ‘internet archive,’ yeah, and I found it there.” —Jonah
  • Mike pretending to be fluent in German.
  • Amy is a stone-cold killer. “Selina just fired you, Dan. Take as long as you need. Take longer.”
  • Jonah’s reaction to Dan’s accusation that he is in the hospital to molest coma patients: “Is that a thing? Maybe I’ll go do that now.”
  • Selina: “I need to be driven to the airport at Diana speed. Just more carefully though, please”

Compliment of the episode
Gary to Selina: “You’re going to look so stunning at the war ceremony, ma’am! Those guys are gonna wish they weren’t dead.”

Insults of the episode

  • “Dan’s a fucking terrible campaign manager.” —Oscar Wilde, probably
  • “You wouldn’t get it. Your jacket is fluorescent.” —Jonah

Jonah shall henceforth be known as
“Double-o-Bond, Jonah Fuck-off,” h/t Amy

Veep Recap: Misery Marathon