Veep Season 5, Episode 10 Recap: The Girls Are All Right

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
For a show in its fifth season, Veep is at its best. The bumbling staff and political white knuckling are great, to be sure, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus elevates Selina into something otherworldly. She’s a complete narcissist, power-hungry, and obsessed with securing a self-serving legacy. But in Louis-Dreyfus’ expert hands, she’s no wimp and she’s never swayed by romance in the personal or political. It’ll be a hard off-season without her.

Ben summarized this episode's conflict simplest last week: “We’re looking down the barrel at a Tom James presidency.” So where does that leave Selina? After 12 (rigorous, humiliating, acne-ridden) months in office, she’ll be bumped back down to the VP position. Or so she thinks. Tom James is a shoo-in to be voted into the Oval Office after the House of Representatives vote, and Selina arrives at his office to negotiate being secretary of state. “Vice President Meyer has a nice familiar ring to it,” James says. Selina scowls.

Selina hasn’t achieved many mantle-worthy accomplishments in her short term. Her team is looking for moves to round out her legacy. Dan suggests a lesbian wedding. “Oh, god. I can’t take that much acoustic guitar,” Selina says, and refocuses the group on freeing Tibet. The Chinese negotiators know that she has one foot out the door and aren’t eager to set terms with someone who's leaving. Selina swallows her pride. “I’ve accepted the position of vice president,” she tells the negotiator quietly. “I’ll be more of a co-president, really.”

Jonah is settling into his congressional office and has assigned Richard Splett the most important task: hiring hot interns. Angry Uncle Jeff sent over résumés of available interns from the Granite State, but Jonah declines: “New Hampshire is just a fancy word for ‘It’s cold outside so I don’t shave my pubes.’” Richard, if you remember, is the most aggressively overlooked genius of the show. Jonah gets his hot interns, but they’re a gaggle of guys named Colt, Brady, and Mason. Richard has found dudes so hot they don’t even need last names. Richard has found the only men in D.C. that look like they’ve walked out of a J.Crew catalog and onto the Hill. Richard found the most right-swiped guys in undergrad. One of them serves Jonah a fresh latte. “Can we please keep him?” Richard asks. Jonah nods.

Selina’s negotiations with the Chinese president are interrupted by the Senate vote. The race is tighter than expected, and Tom James is only eking by. Decades-old grudges against Tom are rearing their heads, and several senators are voting for Senator Laura Montez. The vote ends in a tie that must be broken by the president of the Senate, “what we humans call the vice president,” Amy says. Being veep — the most ineffectual role in D.C. — has never been so powerful. VP Doyle engineered the sneaky tie and casts his vote for Montez. He smugly says her name with the kind of fake Spanish accent that can only come from being white, male, and over age 60. “Your head is so far up Montez’s ass,” Selina tells him during their next conversation, “Next time it’s Alejandro’s birthday, he’s gonna come all over your face!”

In truly the best thing to ever happen this side of Cersei Lannister, Gary is livid! Tony Hale is really a comedian of mythic proportions in this scene (granted, the myth is somewhere between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Golden Girls). Watching Gary blow up at Selina’s staff is like seeing a small child mimic "you know what you did." This is his "sorry." This is his "I was rooting for you." Remember when that Real Housewife threw her prosthetic leg on a table? This is like that, but better: Gary serves his drags with a Leviathan and a Cornell degree in hotel management. “I did my job!” he screams. “I fucking cared!” Gary storms out. Ben says the blowup made the whole year worth it.

With Montez’s arrival imminent, Selina starts to wax poetic about life post-presidency. Richard is the only one around the White House so late, and he becomes her de facto drinking buddy. Selina wakes up the next morning wearing a robe, deeply hung over. “Oh my god,” she whispers. “I hope I didn’t fuck Richard.”

It’s the first time we’ve seen President-elect Laura Montez at length, and Selina curtly cuts her down to size. Montez comments on how “muy caliente” it is in her husband’s Mexican hometown. Selina looks at her quizzically. “Where exactly in Ohio are you from, Laura?” Montez’s posturing continues into her oath of office. Her speech is interrupted by breaking news: Tibet is free, and CNN reports that Montez is responsible for brokering the deal.

Selina, Gary, and “the girls” (shorthand for Marjorie and Catherine) try to take a helicopter home, but like everything else in Selina’s life, it sputters out of the gas. She stares off into to the distance, reckoning with the lost presidency. She can always share the ticket with Kanye in 2020.

Best one-liner, Roger Furlong edition: “Let me give you some advice before you’re yanked out of here like a cheerleader’s unwanted fetus.”

Second best one-liner, Roger Furlong edition (because he’s repulsive but deeply lovable): “Take off those fucking glasses, you look like Clark Kent if they dug up Christopher Reeve’s corpse to play the part.”

In case you forgot that being vice anything is a fate worse than death: “General George Washington could climb out of his grave right now and I would rather eat out his zombified wooden asshole than be his vice fucking anything!” — Selina

Selina, on her pending legacy: “‘The only president to pee sitting down since FDR.’ Is that gonna be my legacy? Is it?”

The most disgusting words ever uttered by a human not killed in tonight’s Game of Thrones episode: “I want you guys to get used to two things: killing it daily on the Hill, and nights rated PG-squirteen.” — Jonah to the hot interns

Hire Richard Splett! As a matchmaker. We the (single) people need him.

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