Veep: “Convention” Season 4 Episode 5 Review

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The halfway point of the season is mostly filler, but there are more than enough exciting moments to rev up for what’s to come.

Hugh Laurie may be known to most people as Dr. House, but his background in British comedy makes him a choice addition to the cast of Veep. I’ve been anticipating his arrival ever since the announcement of his casting, and though “Convention” doesn’t give him too much to do, it sets the ball in motion for what’s to come, and what’s to come looks to be incredible.

Laurie plays Tom James, a senator who Selena has asked to join her ticket as VP. This decision, however, only occurs at the end of a longwinded search for a new running mate after Doyle—much to everyone’s satisfaction—steps down. After episodes like “East Wing,” “Data,” and “Tehran,” not everything this week feels as momentous. Still, there are enough key moments that are totally worth tuning in for.

The biggest, of course, is Amy’s meltdown. Anna Chlumsky has done an excellent job at building up to this moment all season, and when it arrives, she totally nails it. What’s so interesting about this scene is that it starts out humorous, but then ends on a surprisingly somber note. Amy lashing out at Karen for being annoyingly non-declarative is hilarious, but then she delivers the gut-punch statement of Selena ruining other women’s chance at becoming president. It’s a powerful moment for sure, as it not only speaks volumes about why Amy’s put up with Selena’s bullsh*t for so long, but it’s also enough to prompt Selena to bring Tom into the room.

Amy’s wave of morality is a refreshing juxtaposition from the cynicism flowing freely throughout the rest of the team. Ben uses Jonah’s molestation to his advantage in order to get Doyle to resign, which is met with a darkly comic “way to work that sexual abuse!” retort from Selena. Luckily, his actions do have a positive outcome as Teddy is hastily let go from his position. It’s nice to see justice being served, though since the VP’s staff is such an old boy’s club, I’m curious to see how Jonah will be treated in the remaining weeks before the election.

Elsewhere, Dan struggles at his new lobbying job after failing to provide any useful contacts for a zucchini company. This plot is perhaps the most problematic, as I’m wondering how long Dan will be able to operate outside of Selena’s orbit before he becomes irrelevant. Additionally, I was confused as to why Jonah seemed intent on helping Dan after joyously shoving him out the door weeks prior. The one thing I still find fascinating about this plot thread is the sleek grey scenery, which is presented in stark contrast to the colorful world Selena lives in. Hopefully the two will be reunited soon.

Veep has been building up quite a number of interesting storylines that it now has to carry through to the end of the season. The data mining scandal feels inches away from being leaked, Dan and Amy—two of Selena’s constants—are now off her team, there’s a romantic history between Selena and Tom, and let’s not forget about whatever mysterious thing Gary did for Selena on Labor Day. It’s a lot to process, but as I said last week, I think this show is more than up to the challenge. It feels as though the pins have just been set up to be knocked down spectacularly. Grade: B+

 

Some Other Notes:

– Seriously guys, how amazing is Anna Chlumksy? I laughed out loud when she called Karen a “blah blah blah blah b*tch” and then felt almost heartbroken during her final moments before leaving. Is it too early to start using the #EmmyForChlumsky hashtag?

– Equally as endearing was Kent’s nod of approval after Selena finally decides to get Tom.

– Speaking of Kent, he seems like an odd choice for a new campaign manager. Why wouldn’t she go with Ericsson? Diedrich Bader was strangely missing from this episode, which makes me nervous about how many cast members Veep currently has in its arsenal.

– Catherine had some small, but memorable moments this week. Her awkward kissing with Jason is priceless.

– The reappearances of Chung, Maddox, and Pierce were fun, but I especially enjoyed Maddox’s sad walk out of Selena’s suite.

– Sue’s “elated face” is everything. A close second is Gary’s face when it looks as though Selena’s about to kiss him.

– Bye Karen. No one will miss you.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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