Veep: “Justice” Season 6 Episode 4 Review

A quieter episode of Veep focuses on the ever-fascinating relationship between Gary and Selina.

Season 4’s terrific “East Wing” proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Selina would be nowhere without Gary. It’s a fact that both of them know at their core, and it’s what helps strengthen the comedy of his obsessive relationship with her (and, in turn, her surface-level disregard for him). Part of the show’s humor derives from the thoroughly unhealthy cycle of Selina ordering Gary around, and him carrying out her every command.

Yet, as “Justice” quickly re-asserts, she needs him just as much as he needs her. Selina is not what you would call a nurturing person, but after both she and Gary suffer a joint heart attack—his coming on as a reaction to hers—she’s by his side in the hospital. Yes, it’s mainly to drink his water and ask him what her phone password is, but she’s still by his side. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is wonderful here, as her strained attempts at comfort are juxtaposed with her genuine looks of concern.

The most pivotal moment, of course, arrives after Selina over-works Gary to the point where he passes out a second time. She later comes to take care of him, giving him what looks like the most horrible home cooked meal ever (it’s revealed to be a leftover chicken sandwich that she cut up and put into a pasta). This is, in a nutshell, Veep‘s version of heartwarming, and it’s a hoot.

Even more captivating is what follows, as Selina ends up falling asleep in Gary’s bed. The next morning he awakes and is delighted to put his arm around her as she rests, finally experiencing the closeness he’s always wanted. Eventually she wakes up and almost immediately slithers away, wanting to pretend the whole thing never happened. The entire scene is played straight, with no musical cues or sight gags to indicate that we’re supposed to be laughing. Veep is no stranger to genuine human moments—just look at last season’s spectacular “Mother”—even if they’re tinged with a bit melancholy. I don’t think Selina will ever admit how much she needs Gary, but again her actions spoke louder than her words. All throughout the night, she wasn’t able to leave his side.

All of this is fascinating, as “Justice” seems to point towards an endgame for Selina, though it’s not one that she probably wants for herself. After weeks of her trying to figure out what her legacy is going to be—first the Meyer fund, then the library, then foreign dignitary work—this week’s episode sets up what could be her biggest break yet: Supreme Court Justice. It seems almost too good to be true, which is why when Selina starts bailing on previous obligations like securing more funds for her library, or writing her memoir with Mike, you know things are going to go south. They do, and it’s hilarious. Selina hasn’t found a way to make her mark yet, but it’s becoming ever apparent that her future could involve just being alone with Gary, which is something she clearly needs to process.

Elsewhere, Amy is back working for Team Meyer and Ana Chlumsky is immediately more enjoyable arguing with Sam Richardson than she was in anything she did in Nevada. Dan’s sperm donor plot with Catherine and Marjorie ends surprisingly quickly, but I’m cautiously optimistic that he’ll remain relevant throughout the rest of the season. As a talking head on CBS This Morning, he’s actually quite good, and the running joke of his ever-deepening fake tan is hysterical. Jonah, meanwhile, has a running joke about Daylight Savings Saving Time that is essentially dead on arrival. His respective calls with Richard and Amy, however, are gold.

In many ways Veep is still defining this new territory that Selina’s in. Yet, if these last two episodes are any indication, it’s going to be a very exciting journey. Any chance the show gets to explore Selina and Gary’s relationship is always a win in my book. It’s difficult to predict where this season 6 is headed, but it’s certainly on the right path. Grade: A-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • Clea DuVall’s deadpan delivery is always spot-on, and her “I’m the top” comment to Dan was no exception.
  • Speaking of that scene, Catherine’s unexpected giggling at her mother having a heart attack felt very earned, in a very cynical, morose way. So, in typical Veep fashion.
  • Tony Hale is stellar throughout the entire episode, both in his earnestness with Selina, and in his humorous, physical moments.

 

By Mike Papirmeister

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *