Poor Selina. She’s suffered humiliation after humiliation through the seasons on VEEP, but the sting of her failures has always been undercut by the fact that she’s an awful person. This week, we get a bit of an insight into the childhood that may have shaped such a person. We’ve always known that Selina worshipped her father, but didn’t have the best relationship with her mother. Her mother left her entire fortune to Katherine, leaving Selina with nothing—this episode, we see that Katherine gives her a monthly allowance. But in Selina’s mind, her father could do no wrong.
That is, until Mike begins picking apart details of the seemingly charming stories Selina tells him while the two work on her memoir. Selina describes her father as a charismatic guy who took many business trips, even going to Cuba, always remembering to bring her a snow globe from his various travels. He even bought her a horse, Chicklet, telling her, “Squirrel, you’re an intense little girl and now you finally have a friend.”, which her mom sold. She remembers her dad’s secretary bursting into the house at 2:00 AM on one morning to tell them that he died of a heart attack.
Speaking of heart attacks, the episode opens with Selina in a depression, which is both hilarious and perhaps the most relatable she’s ever been. Amy tells her that post-heart attack depressions are really common, but Selina insists she’s not depressed. She tells her team that she’s just in “thick dark fog and everything disappoints me and nothing works out and what’s the point of anything anyways?” She also “hate every food ever from everywhere.”, prompting Richard to ask her if she’s tried ice cream. Her vulnerable emotional state is probably what leads to her to bond with Mike.
Gary’s reaction to the two of them laughing it up like old pals by the fire is hilarious—the fact that Mike is also shocked that she hasn’t yelled at him in 24 hours is even more so. Mike and Selina’s love fest is ruined when he begins poking holes into her stories about her dad. The two go to her mother’s country estate to meet with her uncle George, who tells her that “on a business trip” was code for sleeping with his secretary Barbara, who bought the snow globes for Selina. Her father sold the horse to get the IRS off his back and died in the middle of having sex in the stables, which her mother converted into a love shack for him so he wouldn’t embarrass her by checking into seedy motels.
Selina begins smashing up the stables, encouraging Mike to join in on taking on his frustrations. She yells about how her father was a cheater, a liar, and a horse thief, while Mike yells about how Selina refuses to pay him. Selina eventually drives her car into the barn, then blames it on Mike. Selina may be crazy, but she’s incredibly vulnerable here as well. She realizes that she essentially married her father—Andrew is also a liar and a cheat and he leans on Katherine for money, but hopefully Katherine has a little bit of awareness about this. After all, she’s been in therapy since she was thirteen—although according to Selina what she really needed was a therapist.
Selina decides that this is the book. It’s a story about “a gifted girl who triumphed over her parent’s toxic marriage to become an American icon.” According to Selina, she had no choice but to go into politics and become extraordinary and a sex symbol. She tells Mike that he’s going to write the book, which causes him to promptly throw up.
There’s also a subplot about Amy and Gary trying to get Selina’s wax figure at the Times Square Madame Tussaud’s in a more advantageous position, at least one that makes it harder for tourists to take pictures pretending that they’re having sex with her, as well as a continuation of the everyone thinks Dan is having sex with his co-anchor Jane subplot—turns out that she’s the one spreading the rumor, as she wants people to see her as “fuckable”. But the funniest subplot this week is Richard agreeing to help Katherine and Marjorie start their family. He’s more than happy to help, but he’s never masturbated before—he calls it shaking the devil’s hand or self-husbanding. Richard has turned into one of the most consistently funny supporting players.
Meanwhile, Jonah sleeps with Sherman Tanz’s daughter Shawnee (Mary Holland), who immediately begins remaking him into an acceptable politician. She gets rid of his most of his suits, switches his ties to bow ties, and tells him to vote no on a bill—directly contradicting Kent and Ben’s advice. Shawnee is way too attractive for Jonah, who lives in his office because D.C. rent is insane and he can’t use campaign funds to pay for housing. He’s such a child that he calls Richard to gossip about his new girl, making sure to tell him it’s only a five minute freeze on their feud. Once again, Jonah has managed to fail upwards while Selina sinks to a new low. It’s a hilarious turn of events.
Season 6, Episode 05 (S06E05)
Veep airs Sundays at 1030PM on HBO
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor