A Look at Veep- Season 5, Episode 3: “The Eagle”

This is why I didn’t use Twitter.

The Eagle- Charlie and Selina out together

The episode begins with three days until the Nevada convention.  Charlie Baird and Selina arrive together at a fancy event, with Charlie trying to apologize.  Later, Mike briefs the press on the couple’s dinner- slow news day- but the press wants to talk about the relationship.  Mike talks about Selina’s effectiveness on the economy.

The Eagle- Selina needs help tweeting

As the recount commences, people on Wall Street love Charlie and Selina.  Chinese hackers have now hacked the National Security Council’s server.  And the FDA is monitoring a salmonella outbreak.  Selina asks for help on finding tweets about her and Charlie.

The Eagle- White House team talks to Nevada team

Selina talks to the team in Nevada when Kent enters to explain there are missing ballots in Nevada.  No idea of how many and where, though.  Kent might be able to find the vote anomaly if he can find confounding variables.  Basically, he needs time.  So the certification needs to be delayed.  Bob agrees, but he’ll need help setting up an injunction.  Selina selects Richard to go with Bob to this meeting.

She then privately tells Bob that she’s going mad.  She can’t come to Nevada yet, though.  Also, it’s time for the weekly CIA briefing.  Catherine is not allowed to use any of the vulgar parts for her DOC- her documentary.  No one says that.

At Meyer Recount HQ, Amy asks Dan if he had a late night since he never heard back from her.  Amy then spills that Sophie works for CVS, not CBS.  Honestly, how did he get that wrong?  He’s having the worst year ever.

The Eagle- CIA briefing

During the CIA Briefing, the agents tell Selina that they captured the wrong person.  This is Veep, so of course.  As Mike tells Kent about his reservation for a great restaurant, he learns that Selina is tweeting to Charlie Baird.  The President is tweeting.  Not good.  He wants to stop her, but Marjorie won’t let him into the meeting.

The Eagle- Mike tells Selina that she sent out a tweet, not a message

Selina eventually leaves her meeting and learns that her tweet sent was not a direct message, but a tweet.  She pressed the feather button.  Can’t delete that shit, either, because it’s out there.  Naturally, Selina blames Gary, even though that’s not how he showed her.  His punishment is not to do anything.  The Swedish Prime Minister retweeted Selina’s tweet.

Ben asks Selina if she’s sure she did this.  Maybe the White House computers have some issues.  After all, there was a breach earlier that could have concerned those tweets.  In that case, China would be blamed for the messages.  What’s clear is that Selina and Mike have no idea what happened.  It can’t leave the room.  Mike suggests Selina tell the truth.  Yeah, no.

The Eagle- Mike briefs the press on Selina's tweet

Selina is on the fence about blaming another country, but Mike then tells the press that mainland China indeed is responsible for the tweet.  The President is distressed about this cyber security threat.

The Eagle- Selina needs to get aggressive

Kent, meanwhile, makes slow progress on the ballots.  O’Brien makes a statement about Selina’s timid response to an act of aggression.  So now, Selina wants to be tough with targeted sanctions.  Ben wants to focus on Nevada, but hey, Selina is the President.  She knows where to focus.  Also, Catherine is in the background.

The Eagle- Amy finds Bob inside a closet

Amy and Dan are still working late into the night.  Amy tries to rub in the error, but Dan did still have sex with her sister, so there’s that.  Also, Amy hates working under Bob.  She then spots Bob inside a closet.  He’s been working late.

The Eagle- Furlong takes Mike's reservation

At the restaurant, the McClintock reservation has already been taken by Congressman Furlong, as well as Will and his wife, Mary, played by Jill Donnelly.  It’s their anniversary.

At the White House, Selina watches O’Brien’s statement on defending the nation against cyberterrorism.  She calls Bob- at close to 1 am- to say that China did hack the country, but not Selina’s Twitter account.  Selina still doesn’t want to be soft on China because she’d get killed in the House.

Selina needs to lead.  Put on the fireman’s helmet and put out the fire.  Selina wants to call on Congress.  Bob figures that will earn Selina respect.  Bob is popping pills, by the way.

The Eagle- Selina announces sanctions on China

So the next day, Selina announces sanctions on China.  On Air Force One, Amy asks Selina if she’s noticed anything off about Bob.  Selina reminds Amy that she’s important to the campaign and is doing a great job.  Selina wants to trust the eagle.

The Eagle- Whitman meeting

Back in Nevada, Bob, Richard, and Dan- for some reason- meet with Whitman to discuss the certification.  Whitman figure that Bob wants more time.  Bob and Dan head off for a bit, leaving Richard in the room.  In New York, Selina, headed to a gala, talks with Bob about the Whitman meeting.  Selina sends off Gary and tells Bob that they need more time.  But then, all of a sudden, Bob starts losing it.

The Eagle- Gary dines with Charlie Baird

Inside, Gary tells Charlie that Selina might be running late.  So Charlie has Gary join him instead.  He even calls Gary a key member of the Meyer administration.

The Eagle- Jonah has bad news

Selina calls Amy and Ben to talk about Bob when Jonah comes in to say that Bob’s contacts aren’t what everyone thought: one is dead and the other is at the Reno Star, which is not a newspaper, but legal brothel.  So Selina tells Amy that this meeting cannot go forward.  Also, even though Selina told Bob that the hack might not be true, the team will come up with a backup plan.

The Eagle- Missing ballots in Nevada could lead to a court case

So Richard and Dan are stuck at the meeting with Whitman when Dan spots Bob hailing down a taxi.  Selina and Amy soon call Dan, who tells them that the eagle has flown off.  That leaves Richard at the meeting, which soon ends.  If there are any missing ballots, Team Selina will come to court.  So Kent is to get in touch with the Justice Department.  The team needs someone to stall until the ballots are located, but Selina has it covered.

The Eagle- Karen to the rescue

Oh, good God.  It’s Karen.  She does manage to get an extension for the deadline, though, as 10,000 ballots have been discovered, so there’s that.

Back at the dinner, Gary is a hit with the folks at Charlie’s table.  But then Selina finally enters and she sends Gary off.

The Eagle- Kent has more work to do with the missing ballots

Bob finally returns to the White House.  His mind is just about gone.  He doesn’t even remember Ben.  Selina, meanwhile, thanks Richard for helping with this voting scandal matter.  Oh, and China has responded to the sanctions, including a ban on all foreign adoptions by American citizens.  Well, shit.

Oh, boy.  Remember last season when Selina had trouble with her iPad?  And then remember Hillary Clinton going through a similar situation with technology?  Or just that certain politicians and well-known people should just keep away from technology?

While Veep excels as a comedy on its own right, it’s the satire that makes it memorable and timely.  In the world of politics, American politics in particular, the news cycle salivates anytime a politician makes a flub or goof.  Hell, part of the fun with Joe Biden is waiting for him to go off the cuff or make an honest, but funny mistake.

When it comes to technology, if some politician sends out a tweet on Twitter of something they shouldn’t or could have worded better, then that tweet is out there forever.  Now, I don’t use Twitter, nor do I see myself doing so in the future.  Therefore, I can’t speak to not knowing how the site works or getting certain icons mixed up with other ones.

The Eagle- Selina tweets

So when Selina sends a direct tweet instead of a personal message, I can’t say I know the feeling, but I recognize that this is why politicians have teams of millennials handling their social media.  That’s not to say that the President of the United States can’t get on and use social media platforms themselves to get across a message.

The Eagle- Selina tells Gary to do nothing

But that president should not be Selina Meyer.  For Selina to make this kind of goof isn’t out of character and it’s an easy mistake, but it does show that she’s still not up to date on social media or even modern technology.  And she also still doesn’t love her job.  After all, she’s tweeting during a CIA briefing, so a matter of national security isn’t high on her list of priorities.  She’s too invested in this relationship.

The Eagle- Selina realizes she might not be responsible for her tweet

This being Selina, she can’t just own up to her fuck-ups.  No, in what I see as a parody of politicians trying to look tough on foreign policy, she finds a scapegoat in the Chinese of all people.  Granted, there’s precedent for this because of the constant hacks, so it’s not unlikely that the Chinese would target her Twitter, but no.  Selina just doesn’t want to take the fall.

The Eagle- Selina gets touch on China, sort of

So these sanctions are supposed to be her way of acting tough, when she’s really just saving her ass.  But the reverberations end up being even worse when China strikes back, thus denying Mike his chance at adopting a child.  I like how this has been built up over the past three episodes and not just out of nowhere.  We’ve seen Mike’s interest in becoming a father, so we feel the impact when adoption is ripped away from him.

Interview

At least we’re not in a situation similar to Sony pulling The Interview for fear of pissing off North Korea, but with the war of the sanctions, we could be coming pretty damn close.  And like Mike wanting to adopt a child from China, we’ve heard of these Chinese hackers since the season premiere, so I expect to hear even more of that in light of these sanctions.

The Eagle- Bob doesn't know what day it is

Worse than these sanctions are what could come of Bob knowing that China didn’t hack Selina’s phone.  As far as Bob goes, watching his condition deteriorate was fun as he ended up paralyzing the Nevada meeting and slowing the process for Team Selina.  But it’d be asking too much for Team Selina to care about his well-being, so they just lock him away so he can’t blab about the tweet.

The Eagle- Amy spots Bob

Also fun to see was Amy’s increasing frustration at Bob.  It’s almost like she’s getting shut out of Team Selina.  After all, Richard is the one with the recount expertise.  She’s just good at telling Jonah to shut the fuck up, which is easy enough as it is.

The Eagle- Karen returns

But then you get the return of Karen.  My God, if ever Team Selina came up with a bright idea, it’s this one just because of Karen’s inability to give a straight answer to anything.  I’m glad she’s back, if only because she was booted from the team just as soon as she came on last season.

The Eagle- Richard saves the day again

Plus, like last season, leave it to Richard to unintentionally say the right words that get things moving.  But this time, he’s not getting Team Selina into trouble yet, but his knowledge of recounts got the administration their time in court.  For the right reason, this time.

The Eagle- Jonah and Amy rush to give POTUS an update

I’ll be honest, though: I didn’t think the stuff in Nevada was as funny as it was previously, nor did I find it as engaging as the Twitter stuff, even though the recount is the ongoing storyline right now.  It was fun, but Bob’s condition felt a bit like a distraction and sort of slowed down the episode.  Now that’s not a problem because it was funny to watch, but not as funny as the stuff going on in Washington.

That said, “The Eagle” still had plenty of humor and built off of several separate things introduced in the premiere, with Mike’s now botched adoption, Catherine’s DOC, and the continuous hacking by the Chinese.  While the stuff in Nevada wasn’t as strong as the material in Washington, I still enjoyed this episode.

Selina’s relationship with Charlie is going smooth for now, but Baird continues to entice and get on the good side of Gary.  Karen’s return is a welcome one and I can’t wait to see what she will or won’t do for Team Selina this time.

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