Sunday, April 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'Veep' - Selina Gives an Order with Lasting and Shocking Effects for Her Family in 'Super Tuesday'

HBO's Veep - Episode 7.05 "Super Tuesday"

Facing increased scrutiny heading into Super Tuesday, Selina visits Mike to deflect attention from Andrew's legal troubles. Jonah and Amy ramp up their anti-Selina campaign rhetoric. Dan attempts to exploit Richard.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's Veep.

"Super Tuesday" was written by Ted Cohen, Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden and directed by Becky Martin

How far is Selina willing to go in order to become President again? That has been the central question of this final season. It has long been known that the entire ensemble of characters are obsessed with wielding power. They are making the moral decisions about what they are comfortable with to have power in the political arena. This season has seen Selina accept help from the Chinese in order to rig the primary in her favor. She does so with the understanding that that may be the only way for her to become president again. This is something she has wanted for so long. She's not going to let anyone take it away from her again. She is baffled by the size of Jonah's crowds in Florida with his calls to eliminate math in schools and for Selina to show her birth certificate to confirm her true age. Now, the show has been very hit-or-miss with the blatant commentary of just how insane and unreal real-life politics has become in the United States as of late. It has gone all in on showing how these characters could essentially become the same people who currently live and work at the White House. That allows it to feel typical while also seeming a little less original by just putting characters in situations and trusting that the audience has some basic understanding of politics in 2019. But now, the show makes another brutal move forward in order to secure Selina's path back to the presidency. She accepted the help from China. But now, she's facing an investigation into the Meyer Fund which has already entangled Andrew in a host of legal issues. She doesn't want him to turn against her. That could forever ruin her life. It means she is essentially condoning bribery, witness tampering and many other crimes in order to protect herself and her legacy. She starts rumors about Kemi's husband that aren't based on anything. That proves just how powerful lies can become in our current media environment where so many content machines need to be fed every single day. Mike's online show has gotten more polished since it was last seen. Of course, Selina still doesn't know what it means to be streaming live. She just sees it as a friendly place for getting her narrative out into the world. Mike may no longer work for her team but he is very sympathetic and easy to manipulate. Selina and her team use him in so many instances. They see the benefit of continuing this relationship. And yet, the Chinese prove to be some powerful players in all of this as well. They are more than willing to kill to secure Selina's nomination. Sure, that may be all that there are willing to do for her. Selina receives the devastating news that Andrew died in an explosion on his boat while trying to flee the country. That was the only way he saw out of his legal troubles. He didn't want to implicate Selina. She essentially ordered the hit though. It's something that Keith Quinn understood even though she never actually meant it. She is so distraught in the aftermath. She still clearly has a lot of love for Andrew despite how cruel he has treated her throughout their marriage and their divorce. He continually kept hitting her up for money. He shouldn't have been in charge of the finances at the Meyer Fund. But that was a position she continued to be comfortable putting him in. And now, he's dead. That's shocking to her. She sees the presidency as the only way to make up for the fact that the Chinese did this. But election rigging and murder may not even be enough to get her back to the Oval Office. The Chinese may only be offering their help because they see her as the easiest opponent for Montez to defeat. They actually want Montez to get a second term. She has gone unmentioned for so much of this election. But now, Selina will have to take the prospect of losing seriously because no one may genuinely want her to be president again. She would have just lost so much in order to get nothing in the end.

Elsewhere, it continues to be so ridiculous seeing the big reveals happening in Jonah's campaign and Richard being the mayor of a small town in Iowa. Jonah has been so confused all season long on whether his new wife also happens to be his step-sister or half-sister. She's his step-sister because there is no biological connection between them. Their parents just happened to be married for a time and wish to be so again after reconnecting. But this episode reveals that Jonah also has reason to be concerned about his birth certificate. He called for Selina to release hers not knowing that there would be damaging information pertaining to his own. That shows just how hypocritical those calls have been in politics before. There should be an inherent trust in saying who one is if that person will live a life in the public spotlight. But here, Jonah had no clue that Lloyd was actually his father as well. That makes him married to his half-sister. Moreover, his mother and real father are actually second cousins. That could offer some explanation as to how he turned into the person he is today. But it's even more crazy to learn that he probably got his wife pregnant. Amy is along for the ride at this point. She has fully committed herself to the craziness of the Jonah Ryan campaign for President. It's just more insane and brutal than she ever could have imagined. He still presents as a rising star for the nomination though. He may be heading into Super Tuesday with some momentum - especially if he pulls off an upset in Florida. Meanwhile, Richard's own political rise has happened very suddenly and quickly. He was simply appointed mayor of an Iowan town after its previous canine mayor died. It was a job he was more than happy to do even though it meant he could no longer work on both Jonah and Selina's presidential campaigns. And now, he actually has Dan along for the ride as his new chief of staff. Dan mostly just walks into the position with the confidence of knowing that Richard desperately needs the help. Of course, Dan presents as an insider who does things the way that they are usually done in politics. But Richard will not break any rules despite how commonplace they can be in this corrupt institution. Sure, he's not quiet about the attempts for him to be bought off by a company. Plus, he eventually blows the lid on an entire corruption scheme that wraps up so many in the state. At first, it seemed reasonable that he could make a run for State Senate with the seat suddenly being vacant. But now, he is actually offered the job as Lieutenant Governor. He rose through the ranks quickly despite not fully knowing what he was doing. As such, that makes him an important political player as well. With his new power, he could actually make a difference in whether voters should support Jonah or Selina. Or he could quickly be offered some other job that would seem crazy for him to have just a few episodes ago. And yet, it's great that such nice things are happening for Richard when the rest of the characters are showing just how corrupt they are willing to be in this world to get and maintain power.