Veep (S07E01) “Iowa”

A lot has happened since the Season Six finale of Veep almost two years ago. What once felt like biting satire feels all too familiar with our ever changing political atmosphere. No matter where you lean on the political spectrum, Veep isn’t about taking sides as much as it is about simply taking potshots. When you’re six seasons in and going into your seventh and final, you might think the formula would grow stale.

iowa selina and gary with catherine and marjorie - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

That’s not the case here at all with Veep, as the series returns from its brief hiatus and hits the ground running strong. What I’ve enjoyed about Veep is that, within its half-hour runtime, it manages to balance so many characters across different locations, deliver rapid-fire jokes and insults, and be a satisfying watch from start to finish, like any great program on FX.

iowa selina tells gary not to use anything she just told him - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

We get the biting satire that’s helped make the series what it is and it continues in spades here with Selina deciding that she wants to be President. Again. Like anything else on Veep, the odds are never in Selina’s favor, not helped at all by her fuck-up of a team. But at this point, in the final season, what does she have to lose? Literally.

She’s already spent an entire season not being the President when she lost the election. Selina has clawed her way from, well, not necessarily irrelevance, but damn near isolation as she fought to keep herself relevant and rebuild her political empire. Now that she’s got a bit of goodwill built up from last season, she’s ready to make another play for the White House.

iowa selina can use the recent shooting to her advantage - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

As with most occasions on Veep, they blow up in her face, but Selina doesn’t walk away with scars. She manages to work a tragedy in her favor and it’s a good way for Veep to comment on the abundance of mass shootings and how commonplace they’ve become. Admittedly, South Park beat them to the punch, and did so more frequently from week to week, but Veep manages to make it feel fresh.

iowa selina offers thoughts and prayers after the recent shooting - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

That’s both an accomplishment on the show’s part, but also a tragic look at reality and how shootings really have become commonplace. It’s all about thoughts, prayers, the typical sort of talk you get from political or well-known public figures. People want actions and change, not talking points and empty platitudes. Yet Selina is perfectly fine with Leon using that as her statement for the first shooting.

iowa selina declares her candidacy for president - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

The odds are preferable if it’s a White guy instead of a Muslim, and she manages to use the momentum of the latest and deadliest shooting to catapult her Presidential campaign. Not to mention she uses Mr. Spooner’s words to help show how she will work hard for the common man and woman. Never mind that she doesn’t even want to be a President for all Americans and can’t even accept blame for past mistakes.

iowa selina took a dump on the glass ceiling - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

But that leads into the ongoing question of the premiere: why does Selina want to be President? What are her actual goals and political aspirations besides just wanting the title? At this point in her career, being a joke of a Vice President and President, she feels that she’s owed this, despite her rampant distaste of the American people. Again, right now, she has nothing left to lose.

iowa selina amy and dan react to the news - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

If she’s going to go all out, she may as well do so in a blaze of glory and hopefully not peter out by the time we get to the series finale. Perhaps she can look to the Lord for mindfulness, as she puts it, but I’m glad that Selina Meyer hasn’t skipped a beat since we last saw her. She may have been out of the spotlight, but that hasn’t changed her one bit. At least, it hasn’t made her a better person.

iowa praise the rational equivalent of jesus - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

No, this is the same angry politician that we’ve come to love and if there’s one thing Veep does well, it’s give her and everyone else some great lines. From Kent praising the rational equivalent of Jesus to Selina referring to Marjorie as “Blue is the Most Annoying Color,” which I didn’t catch on my first viewing, Veep fired on all cylinders this week.

iowa dan wants amy to go public at some point - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

Not just limited to Selina, either. It’s nice to get some follow-up on Dan and Amy and I’m genuinely interested to see just where the hell life takes these two. Dan would still rather spread his seed around while he still has the chance, while Amy can’t seem to make up her mind on whether she wants to keep the baby. Or rather, she wants to keep it, but would prefer to keep Dan at a distance.

iowa amys autopsy of selinas past campaigns - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

That’s perfectly fine and well within her right, but Selina isn’t about to give her time off to deal with pregnancy. Hell, Selina doesn’t even seem to notice or care that Dan and Amy might actually be an item.

iowa mike has a menu - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

Mike working for Buzzfeed is a good way to keep him in the journalism world, but also close to Selina’s inner circle. He’s at every press event so far and I wouldn’t be surprised, with his rare good ideas, if he slowly worked his way back into Selina’s good graces. Whatever good graces she has. That said, Mike accidentally reading from a menu might have given me the biggest laugh in this episode.

I could drag Mike across the coals for working at a bottom feeding site like Buzzfeed, but hey, the man’s gotta eat.

iowa jonah speaks with his step father - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

Then there’s Jonah who must have the same luck as Selina to remain in politics as long as he has. I still have to wonder if the endgame for Veep is he becomes President, but until then, I enjoyed the utter shock on Bill and Teddy’s faces when they realized that yes, Jonah is in a relationship with his step-sister. The CBS interview did not help at all, but as Ben and Kent revealed, Jonah taps into something. Other than his step-sister.

iowa bill teddy and richard on jonahs campaign - Veep (S07E01) "Iowa"

Oh, and Richard working for both Jonah and Selina’s campaigns? Not unlikely for such a nice guy like him. Catherine’s right, yes, he can’t keep playing both sides, but I welcome the opportunity to see him in both camps if it means we get more comedy from Sam Richardson.

So Veep has returned and Team Selina is, in typical fashion, stumbling out of the gate. We wouldn’t have it any other way as we return for the final season. This will no doubt be one hell of a presidential race with Selina, Buddy Calhoun, Jonah, and Tom James in the race, just to name a few. How much better will this be than Selina’s last attempts?

Probably not great, but hey, we’re just along for the ride. Welcome back to Veep.