What could possibly stand between Selina Meyer and the presidency? Her numbers are up. The death threats are rolling in — although they could stand to be a little more flattering, so Leon’s going to draft a dozen that don’t say anything about her “shriveled old face.” I’d say it’s smooth sailing but I feel like it’s a little too soon for boat jokes, just … considering.
A federal grand jury is getting ready to indict Andrew, who in turn is ready to make a deal with prosecutors, which is all well and good for him but is very bad for Selina, who cannot run for office from prison. As the Andrew news grows, Selina’s unfavorables rise, and Selina needs to bring in a lawyer. She meets with Karen, that “human Mobius strip” who sparked Amy’s epic blowup all those episodes ago. Karen, as usual, is extremely not helpful; she’s already Andrew’s attorney. Selina dismisses her with a “Well, this has been a dry fuck on a sandy beach,” only to learn from Leon that “WaPo” is working on a story about possible foreign election interference. “First of all, call it ‘the Washington Post’ like a non-asshole,” Selina says, correctly, before dismissing him, too.
Alone with Kent and Ben, Selina laments the sorry state of her campaign, saying, “This is like having two different senators with their hands up my skirt, which actually happened to me once during a Supreme Court confirmation.” This is where Selina reveals that Keith Quinn, the accidental hire, is the in-house Chinese asset, and where I reveal that I didn’t totally pick that up last week. But if I understood how election tampering worked, I would have been ninth-grade class president.
To diffuse the Andrew situation, Selina books a spot on Mike’s BuzzFeed show — look at how those production values have already improved! — to point out that “people are saying” it’s really Kemi’s husband with a reputation for tax evasion. “It’s getting so you can’t believe anything the media says about anyone’s husband,” she concludes.
As for the whole China/Quinn/welp ordeal, step one is to just spend that $25 million as fast as possible. Gary has no idea how to do that but he is on it. Keith Quinn hits Selina up with more news and another request: Kemi voters have somehow got it in their heads that if they vote in the primaries, they’ll be audited by the IRS. Selina does not want to know how he did that. “Oh, Facebook will walk you through it step by step,” Keith says. (Seriously though, why are we all still on Facebook? If we all left it would be fine, right? Can we all just quit on the count of three and be done with it?) In exchange, the Chinese would like Selina — who freed Tibet, remember? — to disavow this dissident poet who was arrested for … umm … “well, they’ll figure it out after they shoot him.” Selina refuses, and it is here she gets a friendly reminder (all “friendly reminders” are hate crimes: discuss) that Andrew has done some business with the Chinese as well. All her problems are connected! Wow, isn’t the universe wild?
Selina summons Andrew to Catherine’s brownstone, where he admits that his grimy financial dealings with the Meyer fund, which have Selina’s name all over them, are connected to the Chinese and to Keith Quinn, who Andrew knows as “Luther.” They scramble to find a fall guy. Gary? Selina doesn’t think so: “I don’t think people are gonna buy that a guy who calls vaginas ‘crinkum-crankums’ is gonna be able to pull off some sort of multi-million dollar fraud.” They try to entrap Marjorie, who is too smart for that nonsense, but not too smart to want to marry into this family.
Andrew decides the best move is to board the Labor Day, which did not actually sink, and head to Israel by way of Cuba. All he needs is some “walking around money.” Selina thinks she passes this information along to Keith, but he has a very different understanding of “take care of it” than Selina does, and Andrew’s boat mysteriously EXPLODES! I knew this season was getting more extreme to keep up with the batshittery that is reality, but I was not expecting accidental murder. Clearly Selina wasn’t either.
She collects herself just in time to swipe a piece of paper from Keith, but the message on it is in Mandarin. So Selina and her team swing by Mike’s place to get his adopted daughter to translate it for them, and here Selina learns what the Chinese endgame is: A Selina nomination, but a Montez victory.
So, how are things going with one of Selina’s opponents? Jonah is killing it in Florida, Amy reports, “especially with melanoma-loving swamp fuckers, storm-ravaged climate deniers, and deadbeat dads. And deadbeat moms.” Amy has a fundraiser idea built around Jonah’s upcoming 38th birthday, which prompts Jonah to encourage the masses to ask Selina, who has been lying about her age forever, how old she really is. “WHEN ARE YOU FROM?”
As soon as this birth certificate stuff came up, you knew it was only a matter of time before we discovered there was an additional layer of incest to the whole stepwife marriage, right? Were you surprised that Jonah’s “step” dad was also his real dad and that he’d married his half-sister? That twist was not super-twisty, but for what it’s worth, Jonah is shocked. Beth is vomiting. Regular readers know that according to The Inviolable Rules of Television Health and Medicine, this means someone is pregnant with a baby whose parents are half-siblings and whose grandparents are second cousins.
But let’s end this recap on a positive note, shall we? Fired by Selina, Dan runs to Richard and appoints himself chief of staff. His efforts to get Richard to accept money from Sidney Purcell, that K Street douche who now runs ConAgChem Family Farms, seem at first to backfire: Richard is too earnest to believe that those pesticides don’t cause cancer, and also to keep the whole meeting to himself. He accidentally outs Sidney to the press, bringing down a battery of Iowa politicians in the process. Now he’s the lieutenant governor, because of course he is. Wonder what puppy will replace him in the mayor’s office.
A few other things…
• I hope Amy gets to hook up with Agent Youngblood.
• Missed you, Furlong: “Have a good weepy slide down the shower wall this evening, Amy.”
• Did a real spit-take when Richard told Dan he couldn’t have sex with Willa, and then later when Willa was back in play that she is “DTF, diverticulitis.”
• Jonah on vaccines: “Why go to the doctor and get a shot for something you don’t even have?”
• Gary calls Selina’s stretch marks her “wisdom stripes”
• Of course Dan hits on a woman at a bar by just saying, “You look familiar. Have we… [makes vaguely sexual hand gestures]?”
• Amy, after shuddering while describing how crazy she assumes this “What age are you” press is making Selina: “Is that what a real orgasm feels like?” Jonah: “Ugh, do women have those?” Beth: “That’s what I’ve been telling you!”
• Selina, when Andrew brings up Israel: “I can’t have people thinking I’m Jewish. I’m right in the middle of a primary!”
• The woman Selina invented for a speech 1) is real, 2) got deported, and 3) is back for a photo op. Wow, so happy to see you, Rosa! Oh wait, that’s Rosa’s mom. Sister. Whatever.
• Kent: “It’s basically a two-woman race to see who is less offensive to the American people.” Selina: “That’s the best explanation of democracy I’ve ever heard.”
Insult of the episode
I love that Selina called Oklahoma “a former Indian concentration camp.”
Compliment of the episode
As a diversion tactic from all the Andrew news, Kent suggests mining an idea from the Goebbels playbook: “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.” Selina’s reply: “Steal from the best.”
Jonah Shall Henceforth Be Known As