Veep has never shied away from its real-life parallels and counterparts, but with this week’s “South Carolina,” the final season hits home a lot of similarities between what’s happening in Selina’s world and how these events mirror our own.
Now that isn’t to say that Veep has never done that before. Nor am I saying that the decisions made by characters here would not be made if not for real-life parallels. But the similarities are very noticeable and out in the open. However, what’s most surprising- and a bit damning- is where this episode has taken Selina as far as her potential journey back to the White House.
As luck would have it, the “Man up” remark at the debate is still working in her favor and she has momentum on her side. I’d have expected her to hit a brick wall by episode’s end, but no, she ends up with not one, but two victories. It would be easy and quite presumptuous to think that this could end with Selina back in the Oval Office, but right now, the odds do appear to be in her favor.
Selina isn’t one to look down on corrupt or questionable practices to further her aspirations. That or trying to bump out the competition. Kemi Talbot is her greatest obstacle, but obviously she won’t be dropping out anytime soon. She and Tom James are often on a similar wavelength, so perhaps she could talk him into dropping out. That or just taking another opportunity to sleep with him.
That tactic doesn’t completely work in her favor, though. Tom James suspends his campaign, but he doesn’t endorse her. So he’s still a wild card in this presidential race because his name carries a lot of influence. He wouldn’t have been introduced as Selina’s potential running mate if he was just some nobody.
But because Mike once again proved himself useful because of his connections, Selina scored another victory thanks to the Chinese. They aren’t the Russians, but as Ben warned Selina, she had every reason to not trust them. $25 million out of nowhere and power cut in the Black communities result in Selina winning the South Carolina primary.
While some may find it questionable that Selina is in favor of the Chinese secretly helping her campaign, this isn’t exactly out of character for her. We’ve known for years that Selina isn’t what you’d call a good person, and at this point, what option is there for her but to accept this sort of foreign assistance? Provided this doesn’t come back to bite her in the ass like the Meyer Fund, this could be the support that Selina needs to win.
Like the county fair, this episode showed the lengths that Selina will sink to in order to expand her base. It’s hard to tell just who would vote for this person. But in this case, she needs the Black vote, which is what brings her to Richards. We don’t spend much time here, but we understand the gist of it: Selina needs to broaden her voter base and hopes a local superstar like Richards can help.
It’s also a great reason for us to see Keegan-Michael Key. Wish he’d been in the episode more because he’s fun as hell, but if this is the only time we see him, his appearance was well-utilized.
On the other side, you have Jonah, who looks like he may also be on the verge of dropping out. Or so it seems. While I’ve speculated before that Jonah could stumble his way into the Oval Office, one thing I’ve noticed is his endurance. He comes in sixth place and considers dropping out, but doubling down on his anger at society and his own team catapults him into a third place finish in South Carolina.
Though he’s still not the frontrunner. Sherman Tanz’s reveal that this was never about Jonah winning shows that this is more about party influence. I find that interesting because again, going to real-life politics, many delegates and followers often believe that winning delegates is more important than winning primaries.
That’s a much longer conversation, but I have heard many on occasion say that their objective is to win as many delegates as possible during the selection process, never mind winning the primary. While I don’t see how that could provide Jonah with a come-from-behind victory, I won’t rule it out as of yet. After all, he still has some level of support if he could go from sixth place in New Hampshire to third in South Carolina.
If this leads to some sort of commotion on the convention floor, though, I would find that hilarious.
Sticking with real-life parallels for a moment…come on. Do we really need to talk about Amy having the Kellyanne Conway look? Whether intentional or by accident, the look is representative of how Amy is digging deep and going along with Jonah’s approach. It’s destructive and should automatically cause his campaign to implode, but it hasn’t. At least not yet.
It’s an interesting direction to take Amy’s character in at this point. Since she’s not with Selina’s campaign anymore and she’s already had the abortion, I’m curious where the character can even go between now and the series finale.
Still a lot of great character moments peppered throughout the episode. Marjorie taking over as Gary, Richard already succeeding as Mayor, and Andrew Daly coming into his own as Keith Quinn helped the episode shine more than it already was. But as we look forward, I’m curious how more the characters will shift.
After all, Dan is officially off the campaign, Gary is still working the faith-based initiative, Amy is all in for Jonah, Mike and Wendy are adopting another child, and Selina Meyer has a nice new check from the Chinese in her pocket. Who will ultimately win the White House? We’ll find out as we continue onward to the series finale.