What a week for DRAMA here on our fair comedy series! We’ve got accidental patricide, a speedy spiral into addiction (and hopefully recovery — keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Beth!), a possible return from the dead/proof of a faked death, and a dashing escape through secret underground tunnels from two equally unappealing places: the Hague, and Catherine and Marjorie’s wedding. And that’s before we get to the part where Selina just hands Tibet — the sole success of her presidency, the one actually decent and valiant thing she’s ever done in her conniving and ruthless career — back over to the Chinese, to do with it and its inhabitants what they will, which is … probably nothing good! Probably some very bad things; Leon has several paragraphs worth of details on that if you’d like to know more. All to be the president of a “democracy.”
As tends to be the case with Selina, things start out seeming like they’re going just fine—great, even. She’s the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize* (*not the actual Nobel Peace Prize), which helps her prove she has more foreign policy experience “than that half-wit Kemi.” (Ben: “I think it’s pronounced ‘half-white.’”) Her daughter is getting married and the wedding planner, Gary, is on top of all the details. Now Selina just needs to meet with President Liu to sweet talk him into supporting her over the incumbent Montez. For this, she has prepared by 1) wearing absolutely fabulous shoes and 2) bringing a plus-one as bait: Minna, whom Liu has been known to eye-fuck at Camp David.
From the moment Minna almost kisses Selina on the lips while saying hello I am DELIGHTED to have her back for a farewell turn in this show. Also back for one last hurrah: Murman, who did not get killed by the Russians and, having escaped that fate, would love to give Selina money to help win her election. Wow, is there anyone out there who doesn’t want to buy America a president?
Selina thinks she’s scored a private meeting with Liu, but when she gets there, Keith Quinn awaits her. Keith knows all about that time Selina droned a wedding. Possibly my favorite line read of the night is Selina’s reaction: “A: That never happened. B: That footage is highly classified.” She bumps into Minna, who has just heard Gary described Catherine and Marjorie’s wedding as “a complete atrocity” and, in a mix-up I’m sure could happen to any of us, accidentally outs herself as a war criminal.
Minna has no choice but to report Selina. So Selina has no choice but to ask for asylum (Gary: “She prefers the word ‘spa’”) at the Finnish embassy. Well, that or she could be extradited to the Hague, and that’s not not appealing, considering the alternative, but ultimately she chooses to bunk, literally, with the woman who called the international police on her in the first place.
At first, this very bad thing seems like it could be a very good thing, as a recently promoted Mike reports that Americans are furious that Selina is being punished for keeping our country safe (by murdering a bunch of innocent people). And Catherine has agreed to get married in Europe, because of the romance factor and not at all because of property laws. Selina rolls into Catherine’s room, wedding ready and looking magnificent — seriously, why do period dramas and kinky dragon shows always win all the costume Emmys? The Veep wardrobe department is killing it this season — which naturally enrages Catherine, who looks extremely beige. Selina pretends to slip into the bathroom to freshen up.
Catherine should immediately note that things are off (when is her mom ever this attentive to her?), but it is only later she discovers that Selina was using this wedding as a diversion to escape THROUGH SECRET TUNNELS and onto a plane secured for her by Merman, who would never bury Selina Meyer alive. On her way to the airport, Selina spots Andrew just milling around on the street (!!!) and she decides she needs to swing by the Nobel joint and pick up her prize. (Kent: “Ma’am, that is the Nobel Prize of bad ideas.” “No, that’s economics.”)
Here Selina corners President Liu and offers him any island he wants, including — she chokes on this a little but does manage to say — Tibet. He agrees. Somehow Selina makes it through her acceptance speech, which includes graphic descriptions of the misery and torture to which the Tibetan people would be subjected were they not free, without vomiting everywhere, and then she bolts, only to discover people are protesting her because her drone strike killed an elephant.
Back in the U.S., Jonah’s anti-vaxxer message is bringing together “Orthodox Jews, uneducated fringe conspiracists, and kombucha-douching private-school moms.” And eventually it even brings together Jonah and his estranged dad! But only after Jonah gets the chicken pox and — whoops! — spreads it all over the place, from one anti-vaxxer hub to the next. Just as things are really improving between father and son (“I love you, too. No homo.”), Jonah’s dad also comes down with the chicken pox — and then he dies. And just when he was about to be a moderating influence on his son’s campaign rhetoric! Now Jonah has pivoted to railing against immigrants, who apparently are responsible for chicken pox.
Compounding this tragedy, Beth has become addicted to the pain meds she started taking after Jonah smashed her nose during a rally. So she’s not pregnant, BUT I maintain that the Inviolable Rules of Television Health and Medicine still hold, because they decree that any time a character is seen taking a pill, even one prescribed to them by a doctor, said character will become addicted to that substance. Glad Beth got in a makeout with Agent Youngblood before she had to head to rehab.
But let’s end with the people who are moving up in the world: Mike is now CBS’s youngest special correspondent, and he has intellectual property, which is shocking to all parties involved. Dan has a girlfriend (Leila, the OB-GYN who performed Amy’s abortion) and, hitched as he is to Richard’s star, his professional life has never been better. Richard spends all of 30 seconds as lieutenant governor before the actual governor, who is a dick, catches Jonah’s disease and comes down with shingles that blind him (!) and also paralyze him (!!). So Richard is now the governor of Iowa and a super delegate. Who do you think he’ll vote for?
A few other things…
• I feel like this is the nicest we’ve ever seen Selina be toward Catherine, which is really saying something. But what is Selina’s way of showing love if not reminding her daughter that U.S. community property laws do not apply in Europe? Think of all the hardship Selina could have avoided with Andrew if Meemaw had looked out for her that way all those years ago!
• Love Selina trying to cover up her admission of war crimes with, “‘Droned a wedding’ is American slang for, ‘I nailed it.’ Like, I droned that wedding, man.”
• Minna can forgive Selina for not voting for her to be the head of the IMF. “You don’t go to prison for not being head of the IMF,” Selina points out. Minna: “Only the prison of unmet potential.” I am SCREAMING.
• Catherine: “I found the perfect dress at the Oslo Medieval Festival.” Gary: “Oooh, I doubt it.”
• Marjorie learned to do a perfect smoky eye from JSAW.
• I love this back and forth between Catherine and Selina: “Do you remember my 13th birthday?” “I most certainly don’t.” “What about my 16th birthday?” “Are we going to go through all the birthdays? I don’t remember any of them.”
• This is small but I highly recommend looking closely at the teleprompter as Selina speeds through Leon’s speech. My favorite part: The exclamation point on “Possibly even killed!”
Insult of the episode
When Minna says, “My last three lovers are complaining that my naughty talk is both incessant and soporific,” Selina suggests letting them choke her. “You think they would rather choke me than listen to me talk?” “I can only speak for myself.”
I’ll also give points to Selina calling the United States “barely a democracy.”
Compliment of the episode
It’s a real strong week for men supporting women! We’ve got Dan after he hits on Amy because he doesn’t recognize her: “Oh Ames, I almost offered to help your career, then bang you, then tell everyone in the office you’re an unstable slut.” (Amy, blushing: “It’s a new dress!”) And Jonah, telling a crowd that Beth is going to rehab, assures them that “when you think about it, [that] makes her even hotter.”
Jonah Shall Henceforth Be Known As
Patient IQ Zero. Thanks, Amy!