A Look at Veep- Season 6, Episode 4: “Justice”

Supreme Court Justice Selina Meyer?  Hey, as unpredictable as things are on Veep, it could happen.  Maybe.

The episode begins with Team Selina, Amy included now, at the funeral for Justice Tenny. Amy informs Selina about a potential spot for her library in Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but it needs a down payment of $5 million.  Selina also has an upcoming meeting with Sherman Tanz at 2 pm.

She tells the press that Justice Tenny was a friend to many, especially corporations, who he happened to consider people.  That doesn’t sound familiar At. All.  When the press asks Selina if she has any idea who President Montez may pick for the now open seat, Mike stirs the pot by saying that there’s no validity to the rumor that the president is being considered.

Why does Mike say this?  Because he just denies everything.  But luckily, the media has the cue needed to make a story out of this.

Over at CBS, the only news station covering anything, it turns out that Dan and Jane now have great chemistry, but when the coverage ends, Jane requests that Stevie get a shot of her beaver.  Once Jane heads off, though, Dan tells Stevie that he wants to be Jane to take him seriously.  Yeah, let’s see how that goes.  Also, Dan’s getting a fair bit of bronzer on his face.  Keep that in mind for later.

At the Hay Adams Hotel, Mike’s attempt to get Selina to start on her memoir is cut short by the arrival of Sherman Tanz, played by Jonathan Hadary.  As Gary works on both Sherman and Selina’s backs, Selina tells Sherman that she needs $5 million for the library. Tall task, but Sherman may be able to make that work.

But he has a dilemma of his own, as he knows that the prison system is about to drop below 135 percent occupancy because President  Montez wants to end privatization and for-profit prisons.  As such, Sherman needs someone on the Hill to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Selina is certain that she could find such a person.  She then tells Amy to get in touch with Ed McPherson on the Judiciary Committee because he’s building a pool.  I mean, she called for Richard, but Amy came instead.

But then the team sees that CNN is reporting a list of potential nominees for the open seat, and Selina is one of those nominees.  Good job, Mike.  Selina’s back isn’t doing so well, by the way, and when Amy suggests that she visit the doctor because it might be menopause, Selina lashes out at Amy’s sexist-beyond-sexist reaction.  She’s just tired is all.

Good old Dr. Abernathy checks on Selina while Richard informs her that no one on the Finance Committee agreed to help with Tanz’s prison request.  CNN, meanwhile, is doing a panel on how picking Selina for the open seat would be a super left field decision.  Super left field is a thing.

Abernathy then informs Selina that her issue may be myocardial ischemia: a lack of oxygen to the heart muscle caused by a partial arterial blockage.  In short, she might have had a small heart attack.  This causes Gary to faint.  But at the very least, Selina isn’t menopausal, and that makes her ecstatic.

At the doctor’s office, Marjorie suggests that she and Catherine try direct sexual intercourse with the sperm donor, and Dan is all too willing at the possibility of a three some.  The doctor arrives and delivers the news that Dan’s sperm is normal, but his motility is low, meaning it may be impossible for him to conceive.  Seriously, is Dan the winner of the season so far?  Because he’s getting nothing but good news.

Anyway, Dan heads off just as Marjorie and Catherine learn that Selina might have had a heart attack.  At first, Catherine laughs.  Time to go to Washington.  Maybe.

At George Washington Hospital, Gary is in a hospital bed with Selina at his side, though the doctors want Selina to take it easy.  Selina tries as best she can to console a delirious Gary, who wants Selina to come to his birthday party.  He’s turning 40, didn’t you know?

The head of cardiology, Ron Addis, played by Ivar Brogger, arrives for Selina’s own operation.  Selina tells Amy to inform anyone who asks where she is, tell them she’s in a closed-door meeting.  If anyone, even Catherine and Marjorie, asks why she’s at the hospital, it’s because of Gary’s heart attack.  Richard informs Selina that Tanz called, and if Selina doesn’t give him a name soon, Tanz walks.

Well, there’s always Jonah.  When Richard calls him, Jonah thinks that Richard has come to grovel, but he’s not.  Then, because she can, Amy also calls Jonah and implores him to stay on the line with her instead of Richard.  She tells him that he’ll be meeting with Tanz, but when Jonah asks for their input, Ben and Kent advise him against associating with him. At the same time, they believe that disaster can only elevate Jonah.  I agree.

Dan calls Richard to see if there’s truth to Selina being on McPherson’s call sheet, but Richard just says that Selina is in a closed-door meeting.  As such, Dan tells the CBS team that his bonaifde source has confirmed that Selina is being considered for the open Supreme Court seat.  Although Jane could lead with this, she suggests that Dan run with it instead since it’s his story.

As Gary gets a visit from Selina, Marjorie, and Catherine, Richard turns on the television and the team sees that President Montez is telling the press that she’s considering reaching across the aisle in regards to the open seat.  At the same time, it turns out that Senator Barbara Hallowes from the Judiciary committee wants to set a meeting to pre-vet, indicating that Selina is indeed on the short list.

Catherine asks Gary if there’s someone who can take care of him, and he responds that he may be able to get support from his roommates.  In Hoboken.  Yeah, that won’t do, so Catherine informs her mother that Gary is going to stay with them instead.

After Selina’s meeting with Hallowes, played by Kate Burton, ends, Richard informs her that Tanz has called, but Selina is on a high and focused on the open seat, so she doesn’t even need the library.  Mike thinks this would be great for the book, but Selina figures that if she’s going to be on the Supreme Court, she may not even need to finish the book. Well, guess she doesn’t have to pay Mike after all.

In the meantime, the Judiciary Committee needs everything that Selina has written on abortion.  As she instructs Gary on where he should carry some law review boxes, he soon collapses from exhaustion.

At Jonah’s office, it turns out that he’s late for his appointment with Tanz.  He’s a day behind for Daylight Saving Time- not Savings, as Kent corrects him.  Jonah finds Tanz waiting for him in his office, and Sherman is no fan of having to wait.  As such, he does leave a check for a hefty one cent donation for Jonah.  You know, to be a dick.  He didn’t even sign the damn check.

That evening, Selina brings a dinner of chicken and pasta to a bedridden Gary.  Which might be one of the nicest things she’s ever done for Gary.  Ever.

The next day, Dan sweet talks and sweet feeds Jane, who liked his piece on Rwanda.  Stevie and the others think that Dan is having sex with Jane, and I can’t say I blame them. However, Dan hasn’t slept with a woman over 30 since he was 14, and that’s just because he needed the grade.

Also, Selina awakens with Gary’s arm around her.

At the Maple Syrup Lobby room, Jonah is now two hours late.  Ben informs him to talk to the media, and Jonah does, but it’s a profane laden rant that’s captured by many members of the press.  Who else but Jonah?

Selina’s not doing so great, either, as it turns out that President Montez did not select her for the open seat.  The phone call she gets is from Candi Caruso instead.  No, Montes went with former President Hughes for the seat.  Of course.  Selina gets in touch with Sherman and tells him that she’s secured a spot for the library, but Sherman informs her that he can’t provide the $5 million instead.  Also, he’s all in on Jonah Ryan.

While a glowing Dan gives his coverage on Rwanda, Jonah arrives at his office and finds it filled with staffers, economists, and scientists, courtesy of Tanz.  And they’ve written him a piece of legislation.

The episode comes to a close as Jonah, on the House floor, Jonah rails against Daylight Saving Time and how it leads to increased accidents.  And his bill will be a call for less government from the clocks to the privately built for-profit prisons to the very watches on everyone’s wrists.  With that, he yields the floor.

Selina Meyer has had her fair share of downfalls trip-ups in her political career, but one thing you can say for sure is that the mere idea of something great coming her way turns her from a terrible person to a…well, less-terrible and somewhat tolerable person.

So while it’s business as usual for Selina Meyer, still focusing on securing funds and a location for her library, her post-presidency life gets a huge spike upward because of a goof on Mike’s part.  All the press asked was if she had an idea who Montez would pick, not if she herself was being considered.  But because Mike said there’s no truth to the rumor that didn’t exist, the press ran with that narrative.

You know how it goes with the press.  All someone has to do is say something, even an unsubstantiated rumor, and over time, it will gain traction and snowball into a greater story, especially if the person at the center of this news denies any truth to it.  Were this a scandal, it would be disastrous for Selina.

But it’s not.  Indeed, the notion of Selina Meyer becoming a Supreme Court justice feels like the stars have finally aligned in her favor.  It’s like when Selina learned that she would become President.  For a moment, any bullshit in her life went away and she was on a major high.  And while there were some bumps during and immediately after Selina’s inauguration, Selina gets to ride this wave for some time.

And why wouldn’t she?  Her book has made next to no progress, because of her lack of commitment.  She’s not getting the huge donations for her library that she would like.  So even if it’s just the possibility of her joining the Court, where no one can vote her out of office, she’s so confident that she’s got it in the bag that she may as well run with it and soak up the mere chance that she’s being considered.

It’s a very lucrative, life-changing opportunity, even though there’s no evidence that Selina would be any better a Supreme Court Justice than she was a temporary President.  But sure, she’s on a short list for the Court?  To hell with the memoir and to hell with the library. Who needs those things when you’re about to dish out verdicts and be known as a Supreme Court Justice until someone dragged out Selina’s corpse?

Like her not being menopausal, it’s as if Selina’s secured a major win and it’s fascinating to watch her demeanor change.  Rather than be snarky, sarcastic, and take pot shots at just about everyone, she…well, she still acts like that, but there’s a glimmer of hope in her eyes at the thought of this lifetime appointment.  Sure, all of this blows up in her face when Montez picks the still unseen Hughes, but at least there was some promise.

Furthermore, this episode explored the strange relationship between Gary and Selina.  As he ranted in “East Wing,” Gary has broken his back, let himself be humiliated, and did something on Labor Day that he and Selina have apparently sworn to never speak of again.  He’s loyal to the end and would probably even give his life for this woman who takes him for granted.

So the mere idea that Selina might have had a heart attack, which ends up giving him an attack instead.  That’s how symbiotic this relationship is- the thought of something bad happening to her leads to something happening to him.

Worse than that, it’s as if life goes on for Selina, as she still runs Gary ragged.  It leads to some great physical comedy from Tony Hale, but also further proves just how much Selina relies on Gary.  He can be there for Selina in ways that no one else on the team can, but at the expense of his body.  So once he collapses…what, is Selina turning to someone like Amy or Richard to handle her daily needs?

Nope.  Still Gary, if possible.  But hey, we do see a somewhat softer side of Selina when she brings him a half-assed dinner and remains with him in bed.  Leads to one hell of an awkward morning, though.  And Selina went as far as we would expect her to- no way would she have someone else prepare dinner for Gary.  And if she dropped everything to care for him 24/7, it would be unlike anything we’ve seen from her in the past.

In that regard, she can at least wing it by with a somewhat decent attempt at preparing a meal for Gary.  Selina is a terrible person, sure, but even she can soften even a bit for Gary’s sake.  And Catherine would’ve stepped in anyway if Selina didn’t.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to have Amy back in the fold, even if she’s not doing much different than she did before working for Buddy.  At the very least, giving updates to Selina is more engaging than helping get Buddy elected Governor, but am I wrong or does it look like Amy is trying to usurp Richard’s position?  After all, she’s been out of the fold for so long, giving Richard an opportunity to grow his position.

Now that Amy is back, though, she’d probably like to go back to the way things were, but that’s difficult since she’s not the same level of go-to person as she was before.  And even Selina seems tired of how much Amy she talks.  But hey, she’s at least doing more here than in Nevada.  That’s gotta count for something.

Meanwhile, I am convinced that Dan is the certified winner of the season so far.  In addition to elevating his status at CBS, he now knows that he’s not in danger of impregnating a woman- something I imagine would make other guys like salivate at the mere thought.  This being Veep, I have to wonder if Dan is going to hit a brick wall at some point, but at the moment, he’s on a steady upswing.  Good for him.

And Jonah’s misadventures in Congress never cease to make me laugh.  Same goes with Ben and Kent enduring his ineptitude to no end.  But despite that, he winds up, somehow, in Sherman Tanz’s good graces and receives staffers from him.  And even though this should have derailed Jonah, it’s just helped him.  Just imagine what this could mean for his political future, however long it lasts.

“Justice” presented a ray of hope for Selina before reality set in as her post-presidency life chugs onward without a permanent seat on the Supreme Court.  We saw shades of a softer side as she sort of cared for Gary.  It’s a welcome return to have Amy back in the fold, even though she has to compete with Richard for responsibilities.

But the lesson of this episode is to stop letting Mike deny things.  Or better yet, have him stop talking altogether.

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