With all of the momentum, it would take an international incident to stop Selina Meyer from returning to the White House. In the penultimate episode of the series, that exact predicament comes to pass. Not that this would ever be an easy ride for Selina and company, but for the most part, she’d been doing pretty well.
Tom James had stepped down, Jonah Ryan’s campaign seemed to be spiraling, and she put Kemi Talbot on the defensive. With everything thrown at Selina, she’s had a counterattack ready or she’s been able to improvise to get herself out of a nasty situation. This time, though, all that momentum she had until now has come to a screeching halt.
It’s interesting when you look back at Meyer’s career. She wanted to be more than just the Vice President. She finally got the Presidency itself and later lost it, but she’s clawed her way back to true political relevance. But her past actions, like any politician may tell you, have a way to haunt you. This is no sound byte or off-the-cuff remark, though. No, we’re talking drone strikes.
Depending on when and who you ask, our opinions tend to vary on the usage of drones. Some see them as advantageous as far as taking care of a target without them being aware until it’s too late. Others, though, especially when innocents are in the line of fire, see them as doing more harm than good. Think about the film Eye in the Sky, for example.
In this instance, Selina’s just going after some targets at a wedding. That by itself isn’t the problem. But when animals are involved, then you’ve got a problem. This very much holds up in the court of public opinion. While people may be horrified when humans are brutalized or killed, their emotions go through the roof when animals are factored into the equation.
We see this play out when the public is, at first, on Selina’s side about her use of drones, but turn on her when they hear about an elephant being a casualty. This is all it takes to halt her momentum and hinder her chance at the White House, but it’s also a nice commentary on how quickly voters tend to change their mind on a dime.
Of course, Selina has bigger problems on her hands when Minna reports her to Interpol. Not out of spite, but genuine concern that Selina has admitted to war crimes. Sally Phillips is always a delight to see on Veep and I’m happy we got to see Minna pop up one more time in this final season. She’s a very fun person to not be around because Selina finds her so grating, even though she’s such a caring friend.
I enjoy every conversation between Selina and Minna, and Mnna proves her worth yet again when she offers Selina asylum after reporting her. Not that a mere phone call would’ve done anything. But Minna’s presence here at all is another sign of Selina using someone or something for her own personal gain. She can’t get to Lu on her own, so Minna is used as the middlewoman to help set up that meeting.
She uses Catherine’s wedding, like Marjorie’s proposal last time, as a diversion from the authorities so she can slip out and escape. She even tries to one-up Keith Quinn before he revealed that the drone footage would be revealed. Yes, Selina Meyer is not above going…well, above and beyond to use people to advance her objectives. At this point in the race, she really has no choice.
After all, she’s been on an upswing and is being rewarded for her efforts with Tibet. Receiving that Nobel Peace Prize, in her mind, validates all the ‘good’ work she’s done, even though that unravels in her deal with Lu. It shows how far Selina is willing to go to wrest power away from Montez, but also secure the presidency that she so desperately craves and, in her mind, deserves.
At the end of the day, it seems like, despite the public backlash, Selina has the Chinese on her side. She’s looking ahead to the convention and picking a running mate, but it’s anyone’s guess how far she’ll actually get.
As Selina falls, though, others will rise. Richard’s rapid ascension up the ladder is very interesting to watch. If anyone deserves recognition, it’s him because while he’s not a politician in the slightest, he’s a genuinely good person. Despite working for both Jonah and Selina, their influence has not rubbed off on him. Even Dan working with him hasn’t changed Richard.
Now that he’s the Governor and could play a key role at the convention, I’m now thinking that Richard could be a wild card in this race. Could he wind up as a running mate or, hell, the eventual President himself? I have no idea, but I’ve learned to expect many curveballs when it comes to this show.
Briefly on another quick rise, but Mike’s quick ascension in the media world has also been a fun watch. The man worked for Buzzfeed and read off of menus, started a podcast with a green screen, and now he’s already an anchor for CBS. All things considered, it’s nice that Mike is making his way back into a prominent spot in the media world.
In a way, he never really left because he was still close with Team Selina and was one of the first reporters ready with a question for her. Despite his setbacks, he’s persevered. Good for him. Though I did get a laugh out of him reading the descriptions on the news scripts in addition to what he was supposed to say.
Then there’s Jonah, who goes through quite a lot in the span of one episode. He comes down with the chicken pox, speaks on vaccinations, bonds with and loses his father, and has to endure more heckling from Uncle Jeff. Also, Beth is in rehab. It’s a lot take in for one episode, but it works for me because we’ve set up Lloyd and Beth’s relationships with Jonah early on and have had a bit of time to know them.
Admittedly, sure, Lloyd reconciling with his son and then dying scenes later is a bit fast. I don’t think he needed to die, but hey, we got a fun, if not cruel, eulogy out of Jonah for it.
Plus, everything around Jonah provided plenty of comedy as well, like Beth popping pills, Uncle Jeff’s very welcome return, Governor Valentine’s sudden paralysis, and Amy being shot down by Dan yet again.
With the series finale upon us next week, where does this all end? I maintain that Veepcould’ve ended with “Inauguration” two seasons ago, but Selina’s rise back to prominence has hit a wall. How does she recover from this and who will ultimately occupy the Oval Office? Who the hell really knows?
We’ll see how this trainwreck of an election comes to a close with the series finale of Veep. See you next week.