A Look at Veep- Season 7, Episode 2: “Discovery Weekend”

William Fichtner approves this message.

Discovery Weekend- Felix Wade, played by William Fichtner, addresses the crowd- Veep, HBO

The episode begins in Aspen, Colorado with Team Selina, among other politicians like Senator Furlong, dancing at a square dance, while Amy provides updates on what’s happening with the U.S. Attorney’s grand jury looking into the Meyer Fund. Just remember that for later. But the host of the night is Felix Wade, played by William Fichtner, of whom Selina wants to win his good graces. And cash.

Discovery Weekend- Felix speaks with Selina- Veep, HBO

Later on, Selina just wants her check from Felix, and Dan informs her that the secret to wooing him is to repeat the last two words of the last sentence he said. She tries it when she talks with Felix and it actually works. Selina feels that Felix’s friend looks a bit young and they all figure that Felix is pretty closeted. As Amy goes off to be sick again, Selina sends Gary to get her a drink.

Discovery Weekend- Amy confronted by Gary- Veep, HBO

However, Gary follows Amy into the women’s restroom and overhears her vomiting. She wants him to keep quiet, but by the time she reemerges, Gary is gone.

Discovery Weekend- Mike tells Dan about his promotion to Deputy Senior Editor- Veep, HBO

Mike is also here because what Team Selina gathering would be complete without him? But seriously, he’s now the Deputy Senior Editor at Buzzfeed because his boss got fired…as a result of her sleeping with Dan.

Discovery Weekend- Tom and Selina meet at the square dance- Veep, HBO

Gary tells Selina that Amy is apparently bulimic, but Team Selina is shocked to see that Tom James is also at this square dance. While Selina is quick to gloat that she’s ahead of him in the polls, Tom strolls over and reveals that he’s an old friend of Felix’s. He just wants to spend a weekend in Aspen and make new friends. Nothing more. Of course.

Discovery Weekend- Selina against the idea of an all-female ticket- Veep, HBO

The next morning, Selina learns that Felix now wants to choose between Selina and Tom James. As such, Selina wants them split apart. Dan spots Senator Kemi Talbot, played by Toks Olagundoye, and they figure that this could help them with their situation. Selina considers her a protégé, and while Ben believes that Talbot would be a good running mate, an all-female ticket isn’t what Selina has in mind.

Is America really ready for a First Lady and a…Second Lady? Either way, neither Selina nor Amy seems all that enthused at the idea.

Discovery Weekend- Kemi Talbot, played by Toks Olagundoye, speaks with Selina- Veep, HBO

Anyway, Talbot arrives and speaks with Selina, but the conversation is cut short when Selina spots Tom James heading off.

Discovery Weekend- Selina, Gary, and Amy meet up with Tom- Veep, HBO

She, along with Amy and Gary, manage to intercept Tom, who tells them that the best things happen after hours, but Amy managed to take a picture of Tom’s schedule. Before Selina can somewhat praise Amy, she rushes off to vomit.

Discovery Weekend- Jonah, Richard, and Teddy at the New Hampshire Union Leader- Veep, HBO

At the New Hampshire Union Leader, two writers speak with Jonah, Teddy, and Richard. After Jonah jokes about putting a man on Ellen DeGeneres, one reporter asks about rumors that Jonah made an inappropriate gesture towards a female while in Congress. Teddy brings Jonah aside, and while Jonah denies it, Teddy suggests that Jonah say, if he’s been asked about it, that he’s been chemically castrated.

Discovery Weekend- Dan is told that he looks like he's old- Veep, HBO

Back with Team Selina, Dan is sent to woo Felix away from Tom James, but he fails spectacularly. Two of Felix’s nearby friends insult Dan’s hair, and that’s enough to traumatize him.

Discovery Weekend- Amy tells Selina that she's pregnant- Veep, HBO

Amy, meanwhile, confesses that she’s pregnant, and while Selina initially doesn’t believe it, Amy doesn’t back down. She’s adamant that she is indeed pregnant. With Dan’s child. Somehow, the fact that Amy is pregnant isn’t as big of a deal as the fact that she hooked up with Dan. Either way, they’re both pretty remarkable if you ask me.

Discovery Weekend- Felix invites Selina to join him on a nature walk- Veep, HBO

Felix goes to Selina and asks for her to join him on a nature walk. Oh, and only Selina. Not Gary.

Discovery Weekend- Felix wants Selina to prepare a speech for an event- Veep, HBO

On said walk, Felix admits to Selina that he’s called her a lightweight for years, but it takes a brave person to see their shortcomings, especially in this day and age. It’s refreshing. As Selina does indeed repeat the last two words of Felix’s words, Felix invites Selina to prepare a speech so people can hear what she has to say. It will be delivered at the Marshmallow Roast Talk.

Discovery Weekend- Jonah speaks with one of his accusers- Veep, HBO

So one of Jonah’s accusers, Amanda, played by Saturday Night Live’s Heidi Gardner, is brought before him, and he apologizes, while also asking her to smile more and sign his nondisclosure agreement.

Discovery Weekend- Amanda, played by Heidi Gardner, wants Jonah to sign her NDA- Veep, HBO

However, Amanda brought her own NDA for Jonah so no one knows that they dated. Amanda is in a relationship with a good, normal man. Teddy wants Jonah to sign Amanda’s NDA, but he refuses. He’s adamant that they dated, and now the world will know it.

Discovery Weekend- Tom tells Selina that he still loves her- Veep, HBO

It’s time for the Marshmallow Roast to begin. Tom meets with Selina and congratulates her on getting the speech. Tom even offered to blow him, but then Tom admits that he still loves Selina and that she’s still in his head.

Discovery Weekend- Selina flubs her speech- Veep, HBO

With that in mind, it’s time for Selina to give her speech. She awkwardly stumbles her way through the speech and it’s an absolute trainwreck. So it’s not too far from what a normal Selina Meyer speech would be, really.

Discovery Weekend- Tom imagines a reality where he and Selina are unhappily married- Veep, HBO

Following this, Selina confronts Tom, who now says that he had a heart attack a few months ago. He describes sitting in a hospital bed and talks about the things he wishes that he had said. Then Selina admits that she also had a heart attack and even had a face lift. Tom wonders about an alternate universe where the two are unhappily married and not in politics at all.

Discovery Weekend- Selina and Tom kiss- Veep, HBO

The two kiss at last, but Tom realizes that this is more of his bad timing. Selina thinks that one of them should drop out, but then she promises to kick his ass all over the electoral map. Make that a campaign slogan for 2020, why don’t you? When Tom leaves, Gary emerges, and yes, he heard the entire thing.

Discovery Weekend- Dan and Amy talk about the future- Veep, HBO

Day 3 and Amy speaks with Dan, who is still reeling over Felix’s friends joking about his age. He’s so lost in his thoughts that he doesn’t seem to be hearing Amy going on about her life and the future. Not that he would’ve given her the time of day in the first place.

Discovery Weekend- Selina tells Felix about her plan to disrupt the election- Veep, HBO

Selina assembles with the team, and it turns out that Tom is speaking with Senator Talbot. She goes to Felix and tells him that she has an idea that would disrupt the election. How’s that? She would name her running mate before the convention and the Iowa Caucus. Absolutely unprecedented.

Discovery Weekend- Jonah address a women's tea time gathering- Veep, HBO

Okay, so more of Jonah’s damage control. He speaks to a Women’s Club Tea Time event, but it turns out that Amanda is on television and denies that she never dated Jonah. It was a simple lunch and, in her words, more of a group thing.

Discovery Weekend- Amanda says that Jonah's behavior was completely appropriate- Veep, HBO

More than that, Jonah was absolutely appropriate every step of the way. This is enough to start a hashtag called #NotMe. Just don’t ask for Alyssa Milano to contribute.

Discovery Weekend- Selina introduces Senator Talbot to Felix- Veep, HBO

Selina introduces Talbot to Felix, and he’s on board with the ticket so much that he invites the two of them on a walk. Oh, and Tom isn’t invited.

Discovery Weekend- Amy schedules an abortion- Veep, HBO

Amy goes to Dan’s room, but he’s about to fuck a waitress, so they can’t have a chit-chat. Amy then schedules an appointment with an OB-GYN for an abortion. However, then Amy spots Tom sharing a kiss with his assistant.

Discovery Weekend- Selina learns about Tom's affair- Veep, HBO

Selina celebrates her presumed victory and incoming cash flow, but then Amy enters and informs her that Tom is fucking his Chief of Staff. You know, Other Amy. While Selina is more upset that Tom isn’t fucking her, she’s not exactly focusing on Amy’s discovery. As the team leaves, Selina mentions Felix’s homosexuality in an offhand comment that Mike hears. Turns out he might be the last to know that Felix is gay.

Discovery Weekend- Mike learns that Felix is gay- Veep, HBO

Why does it matter that Mike is learning about this? Well, keep on reading.

Discovery Weekend- Jonah takes questions from the press- Veep, HBO

As Jonah exits the Women’s Group, reporters swarm Jonah about the report, while Teddy learns that Selina has outed Felix. So it looks like Jonah may have a bit of a breather.

Discovery Weekend- Selina confronts Tom about his affair- Veep, HBO

Back at the dinner, Selina goes to Tom, who also read the article that Mike wrote about Selina outing Felix. Selina, though, is focused on the apparent affair, and while Amanda admits that she is indeed the Deputy Chief of Staff, it turns out that Tom isn’t getting any money from Felix, either.

Discovery Weekend- Felix warms up to Senator Talbot- Veep, HBO

Rather, it’s Senator Talbot, who is now running for President. Felix congratulates her as the future of the party while Tom promises to see Selina on the trail. Well, ain’t that a bitch?

Discovery Weekend- Jonah sets up in Iowa- Veep, HBO

Meanwhile, Team Jonah has headed to Iowa to set up shop as the episode comes to a close. Oh, and it turns out that his poll numbers have actually gone up despite the recent #NotMe scandal. How about that?

Not everyone can just run a campaign with money from their pocket. It’s why we have things like Super PACs, after all. But with Veep, this week’s episode is all about courting the favor of one individual, not necessarily for an endorsement, but for their wallet. Felix’s gathering isn’t unlike anything we’ve seen in real life, with politicians attending events to court the favor of those in attendance.

Discovery Weekend- Selina tells Felix that she would pick a running mate early- Veep, HBO

It doesn’t always line up with their views, yes, but at the end of the day, they just want to win. So they suck up their pride, act outside of themselves, and do whatever it takes to secure a win. The same has applied to Veep, but it’s the primary focus here with Selina and Tom both vying to win Felix Wade’s money.

Never say that Selina Meyer is too prideful to act like a completely different person or alter her personality to win someone’s good graces. Hell, name me one politician who isn’t. I’ll wait.

Discovery Weekend- Felix likes Selina's idea- Veep, HBO

Okay, with that settled, briefly on Felix. William Fichtner was a nice addition to the episode and he had a lot of great moments. In hindsight, I sort of wish this character had been added earlier in the series not just so we could get more of Fichtner, but also to learn more about this character. Like Sherman Tanz, Felix feels like one of those all-powerful figures who can make or break a certain race.

Discovery Weekend- Felix on a nature walk with Selina- Veep, HBO

Plus, I do like that odd quirk where he seems to be more into you as a person when you repeat the last few words of the sentence he just said. That’s a very specific sort of character trait that I wouldn’t think could work to win Felix’s favor, but as Selina finds out, it does. Somehow.

Discovery Weekend- Dan tries to talk with Felix- Veep, HBO

Sadly, Felix isn’t in the episode all that much. Or rather, despite this being his event, the focus isn’t on him. It starts out that way and while we do get his scenes with him going on a walk with Selina, the focus slowly shifts to Selina trying to one-up Tom. That’s fine, as it gives Selina greater motivation to get into Felix’s good graces and best Tom. I just wish Felix had more to do.

Discovery Weekend- Tom and Selina realize that Felix picked Senator Talbot- Veep, HBO

As for Selina and Tom, though, their rivalry slowly took center-stage as this truly did end up being a “Discovery Weekend.” So many revelations came out of this episode, some bigger than others. But before getting into Tom and Selina, it’s worth revisiting what Amy said early on in the episode: that the U.S. Attorney’s office is looking into the Meyer Fund.

This builds off something that Marjorie said in the premiere about how there are accounting issues with the Meyer Fund that didn’t resolve clean. Between that and what Amy says tonight, I get the sense that there could be a major revelation about the Fund, as we’ve been hearing about it since last season.

Now I’m not going to say it would be something explosive. I won’t set my expectations high. The sort of people who get their hopes that high are probably still waiting to read the Mueller report for themselves, just to name one example. It could end up being nothing, but the fact that we’ve heard about it twice in two off-hand comments gives me the feeling that the Meyer Fund will have a bigger role in the episodes to come.

Discovery Weekend- Selina and Tom about to kiss- Veep, HBO

Back to Tom and Selina, though. Their back-and-forth is always fun to watch, as is any time we get to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Hugh Laurie play off of one another. Both wanted to win Felix’s good graces without making it seem too obvious to Felix himself.

Discovery Weekend- Tom admits that he still loves Selina- Veep, HBO

With that, we got a big ‘discovery’ of sorts when Tom revealed that he still loved Selina. I put that in quotation marks because I’m of two minds about it. During my first viewing, I thought that Tom was just trying to fuck with Selina in order to make her mess up her speech. But as the episode progressed, it seems that he really does still have feelings for her.

Discovery Weekend- Selina speaks with Tom after bombing her speech- Veep, HBO

So was it an elaborate ruse or does Tom still see a future with Selina? The episode doesn’t give a definitive answer either way, so it’s left to the audience’s interpretation. It’s funny nonetheless to watch the two try to one-up each other when, in the end, both came up short. Plus, it’s interesting to see that Tom James does indeed still feel for Selina and he’s been holding onto these feelings for quite some time.

Even the infidelity is glossed over because of the bigger plot involving Felix, so even though Amy thinks she may have dropped a bombshell, Selina is more upset that Tom was into someone else. Can’t say that I fully blame her.

Discovery Weekend- Kent, Amy, and Ben react to Selina stumbling in her speech- Veep, HBO

Any time it seemed that Amy could have a moment to herself or sudden epiphany, she’s cut off either by her own sickness or, more likely, someone else actually cutting her off. As such, a lot of what she does in the episode is react. That in and of itself isn’t a problem because Anna Chlumsky is great with facial expressions.

Discovery Weekend- Amy doesn't see a resemblance- Veep, HBO

Whether it’s her shock when Gary confronts her in the ladies’ room, Selina’s speech bombing, her attempting to have a heart-to-heart with Dan, or when she finds Tom macking on his Chief of Staff, Amy is great at reacting to what’s happening around her because she has a great ‘Wait, what the fuck’ sort of reaction to it all.

Discovery Weekend- Jonah will tell the world that he dated Amanda- Veep, HBO

Jonah’s storyline was quite interesting. While I didn’t think Veep would have any sort of commentary on the whole #MeToo movement, they did so here in a way that only this show could: put a twist on it with the hashtag #NotMe. Rather than this being about sexual harassment and assault, this is about women saying that Jonah didn’t do anything like that. At all.

Discovery Weekend- Teddy tells Jonah to say that he was chemically castrated- Veep, HBO

Sure, Jonah is…completely out of touch with reality, but he’s a guy who has a reputation to maintain. To whom, I don’t know. Probably himself. Point is he would prefer to be seen as lecherous and perverted, even though that’s not the case. Also, you’d think Jonah would notice when Teddy all but implied that he had not been chemically castrated, but it’s Jonah.

So while neither Selina nor Tom walked away with Felix’s blessing, both must contend with both their feelings and a new challenger in the form of Senator Talbot. This 2020 race keeps on heating up, and I’m not talking about the one in our reality, either. See you next week for another installment of Veep!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s