A Look at Veep- Season 6, Episode 9: “A Woman First”

Hot off the presses is Selina Meyer’s new book, which is apparently ready.  Is it? And even if it is, does that mean her problems are over?  Let’s take a look.

The episode begins on a rainy day as Selina, Gary, and Al Jaffar arrive at Catherine’s Brownstone.  Marjorie reports that Catherine is on bed rest due to stitches on her incompetent cervix, but Selina is more concerned about the state of her couch.  Of course.

Then Amy and Mike arrive with advanced copies of Selina’s book, which is littered with typos.  Thanks, Amy.  To promote the book Selina is set to appear on The Tonight Show and The Today Show, though Selina doesn’t think anything on The Tonight Show could be fun.  The team then compares how early or late they’re mentioned in the book.  Richard is just in the dedication.

Jonah, who also received a copy of Selina’s book, has been relocated to a new, cramped, and awful office.  Shawnee informs Jonah that his role in the shutdown has affected him in the polls, and Sherman announces that he’s pulling financial support for Jonah. However, Shawnee insists that she’ll stay with Jonah, even at the risk of being cut off from Sherman. Even still, she has her trust.  And the wedding will be moved up.

Over at CBS, turns out that today is now Dan’s last day, as he’ll be moving to online content while Jane will go back to covering the news with Brie.  And to add salt in the wound, Dan doesn’t even get goodbye cake.

While Selina watches demolition work of Mee-Maw’s home, Marjorie leaves and asks Selina to take care of Catherine.  Good luck with that.  Also, bad news: The Washington Post is doing an exposé on Selina’s term thanks to Leon West.  To Selina, this is a gangbang on a pinball machine.  Gonan guess that Selina wasn’t a fan of The Accused.

She learns about the colossal screw-up, which she attributes to both Mike and Amy, even though Mike’s diary isn’t sourced.  Even still, she tells Amy to call her lawyer because they’re gonna need help to take care of Leon.  And I suppose because she’s not focusing, she accidentally drinks the tea meant for Catherine, so she pukes.

Over at the House of Representatives gym, Jonah tries to start his own basketball league, even though the Libertonians already have one.  Still, Jonah wants a game and picks Congressman Graves first.  Not because he’s Black, but because he’s Phil LaMarr.  But Furlong enters and tells Jonah and Kent to leave.  The two end up playing HORSE, but after Kent makes his first shot, Jonah fires him.  Fair enough.

And since Selina cancelled, The Tonight Show thinks she chickened out, but since she’s doing damage control, she agrees to reschedule.  Selina then learns that Leon, who recently arrived for his meeting, apparently has a thing for Amy since she’s all over his diary.  As such, Selina wants Amy to flirt with Leon.

But look at Amy’s flirtatious face.  Fucking look at it.  I don’t think she could flirt if she wanted to.

When Leon arrives, Selina demands the room and tells Leon to retract every word, even though the story is of public interest.  Selina threatens to sue for defamation and invasion of privacy, but Leon knows that the Post can weather her.  With everyone gone, Selina asks what Leon wants.  He’s content with a Pulitzer for this story. Selina offers up Amy, even from behind, but Leon shoots that down.  I can’t say I blame him.

The next day, at the Tonight Show studio, things go from bad to worse as Amy arrives to tell Selina that the press is reporting on the drone assassination, the Georgian election, and that Selina knew about the medical data breach.  This is a jail-worthy offense for Selina.

In enters Bethany, played by Leah Huebner, to update Selina on the taping, but the team leaves under the bullshit excuse that Catherine is about to give birth.

That evening, while Selina watches Bill Ericsson discuss the recent revelations, Marjorie enters to discuss the foundation: it’s been a challenging year for the Meyer Fund when Selina learns that the fund also fights childhood obesity.  And she’s seen that the problems both physical and psychological.  As Marjorie talks on and on, Selina calls Al Jafar and asks him to pick her up in 10 minutes.

Indeed, the two meet up and Selina tells him that she’s considering leaving the country.  Al Jaffar agrees because hey, there’s not much left for Selina in the States.

At Clancy’s, Amy meets up with Ben and Dan for a drink.  Ben is ready to plead guilty and spend some time in prison, but Dan is too focused on finding another job.  Amy, meanwhile, just wants another drink.

So Selina spent the night with Al Jaffar and sees on CBS that there are new revelations: Selina Meyer, not Laura Montez, was responsible for the Chinese negotiations.

Immediately, Selina sees this as the best news ever as she arrives at the office, and it’s great that, for once, no one is talking about her in a negative light.  But then the team turns on CBS as Leon tells Jane that the news on the Tibetan deal was a fluke.  It gets better- Selina gets a call from Yale University.  It’s Jim and turns out that Yale is interested in the Presidential Library.

Another night at the bar and now Kent joins Ben and Dan.  They realize this good news about Selina could be an opportunity for them.  If they decide to work together, though, they agree that Mike can’t be involved.  But Dan wants to stick to broadcasting and tells the two that he’s starting a new gig tomorrow.

Jonah wakes up at the hospital and learns that his circumcision was a success.  But then Uncle Jeff comes in, displeased with Jonah’s role in the shutdown.  And he certainly give a damn about Shawnee or who her father is.  As of now, Jonah is down three points to his challenger, so Jeff is pulling Jonah off the ballot and replacing him with Jonah’s cousin.

Then Shawnee suddenly decides to slow things down with their relationship.  As in, yes, she’s dumping him.  It’s hilarious to Uncle Jeff at least.  When Jonah tries to masturbate, it doesn’t work.

That night on The Tonight Show, book reviews are coming in and Selina heads off for the taping, but then Richard tells Selina that there’s some Catherine’s currently bleeding in an ambulance.  Richard goes off to be with Catherine while Selina heads onto the main stage and meets the Tonight Show host, who is not Jimmy Fallon, but Adam Scott. Maybe he’s a guest host.

Dan, meanwhile, takes a taxi cab home and sees himself on the CBS news app.  Since he can’t turn it off, he leaves the taxi and calls Ben to tell him that he’s in for the plan.

Selina tells Adam Scott that her first cancellation was due to her not exercising good judgment- that’s a great zinger, Mike, for sure- but now she’s ready to talk about Tibet. No chance, though, as Adam Scott brings out some kids to read scathing reviews of Selina’s book.

What is there to say about Selina Meyer other than that she’s not a very good politician. Or a good person in general.  So much of her political and personal life are marred by failure and scandals, and every bright spot she finds is overshadowed by several blunders, whether through her own incompetence or that of her team.  And her post-presidency life hasn’t been much better as she’s tried to carve out a legacy.

So it’s a refreshing and ominous change of pace for her to, all of a sudden, fail upward. For her to get an upswing usually means disaster is around the corner, but for now, the news outlets aren’t tearing Selina apart, but praising her.  And sure, it’s for a grand total of one accomplishment, but it’s more positive press than she’s received since…maybe ever.

Quite a surprise for Mike’s blunder and Leon’s refusal to retract ended up working in Selina’s favor.  That almost never happens, and like Selina learning that she would become President, all of her cynicism fade away in light of some good press.  The same people who ridiculed Selina are now singing her praises for something she actually did accomplish.  Plus, this steals some thunder away from President Montez.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean that things are sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows for Selina, but as fun as it is to watch the team flounder, it also feels great when, for all of their fuck-ups, they get an actual win, even if it’s temporary.  For all we know, this could blow up in a spectacular fashion or something bad could come up that takes away the positive press on Tibet.

After all, the book is in pretty rough shape and based on the reviews those kids read, the press don’t look to be fans of it, either.  But for now, the book is at least ready, Selina’s getting credit for something she did do, and now Yale is interested in her Presidential Library.  And it’s nice that this change of pace doesn’t change Selina’s demeanor in the slightest.

She’s still chewing out Mike and Amy for their fuck-ups, is so out of time that she thinks Johnny Carson is the current host of The Tonight Show, and she completely neglects Catherine being in pain and overlooks her incompetent cervix.  Trust Selina Meyer to remain as vain as possible, even in the face of victory.  Some shows would have a huge shift for the character, but not Selina.  Same as always, which is why we love her.

Most of the team isn’t doing so badly, either.  Or rather, they’re able to turn a negative into a positive.  Well, not Mike and Amy, anyway, but Dan, Kent, and Ben getting fired and deciding to work together could be the best thing that’s happened to them since Meyer left office.  And it’d be a step above working for Jonah or Dan getting a downgrade at CBS.

And on the other side of the spectrum, Jonah’s rising star and progress have come to a screeching halt as Shawnee has broken off the relationship, Uncle Jeff is soon to replace him, and he’s taken a hit in the polls.  I don’t see this as the end of Jonah’s life in politics. For one, he’s the one pest that won’t go away.  Plus, hey, the 2013 shutdown in the U.S. was a big moment for Ted Cruz, and he got re-elected after that, so Jonah should be fine.

Plus, I’m all for Uncle Jeff returning just to ream out Jonah some more.

With the season finale upon us in a week, we’re in an interesting moment in Selina’s post-presidency life.  Despite the missteps, she’s now gaining some legitimacy and the press is on her side for once, but this being Veep, I don’t expect that honeymoon to last long.

With Dan, Ben, and Kent set to join forces, the upcoming library, Catherine’s baby on the way, and Jonah’s fall from graces, change is coming as we approach the Season Six finale.

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