Nobel Peace Prize winner Selina Meyer. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
After today, the next episode of Veep will be the last one. Time to see how far Selina’s newfound momentum can take her. This is “Oslo.”
The episode begins at the Nobel Summit Award Reception in Norway, with Selina set to receive an award for freeing Tibet. Leon has worked on Selina’s acceptance speech, but Selina wants him to lay it on thick. Selina feels her Nobel Prize validates her expertise in foreign policy. If only.
Gary reminds Selina of Marjorie and Catherine’s upcoming marriage. Speaking of, they are both at the gathering and there’s a seating issue. Selina wants Catherine to get married in Europe. Without a U.S. marriage issue, property laws don’t apply. Selina will sit wherever she’s placed.
Selina needs to get a meeting with President Lu to wrest him away from Montez, but Ben feels that Lu’s people are Great Wall-ing (ha!) Selina and aren’t anxious to meet with her.
To fix that, Selina brought in good old Minna Häkkinen, whom Lu gained an interest in after Camp David. Just so we know, Minna’s recent lovers have been turned off by her pillow talk, so Selina suggests that the men just choke Minna instead.
Former President Murman Shalikashvil finally makes himself known and tells Selina that the Russians reinstalled him when they invaded Georgia. He updates Selina on his recent doings and proposes giving her money to win an election. Selina makes it known that America doesn’t stand for foreign interference in elections. Right.
So Murman changes gears and says that he wants to buy a home for $114 million. Real estate is a different animal altogether. Either way, the timing isn’t good for Selina, though. Minna then comes over and confirms to Selina that Lou will meet with her in 10 minutes in the West Salon.
However, when Selina later heads to the West Salon, she finds Keith Quinn already there. Quinn informs Selina that she needs to go through him to get to Lu. Selina knows about Lu’s plan to get Montez elected and wants to talk to Lu directly, but Quinn tells Selina that she’ll do what he says or he’ll tell the world that she vaporized a DRA leader’s wedding with hellfire missiles.
Such footage is classified. Or, at least, it was until someone on the team clicked on ‘Asian Girls Bound and Gagged.’ Honestly, that could be anyone.
Back in the States in Harrisburg, PA, Amy tells Jonah that his anti-vaccination message is bringing together a huge contingent of voters. Lloyd, meanwhile, is still trying to get in touch with Jonah, much to his irritation.
He and Beth then address the crowd, with Jonah telling the people that Pennsylvania has the second lowest vaccination rate in the nation. When he’s elected, though, they will be number one. Jonah then heads into the crowd to give some high-fives and hug a baby. A crying baby.
Okay, back overseas. Selina tells Minna that everything is fine with Lu. Mina brings up the wedding, which Selina thinks is about the one she droned, but it’s actually about Catherine’s wedding to Selina’s homosexual doppelganger. Minna’s words, not mine. When Selina says that she droned a few wedding civilians, it’s actually American slang.
At CBS Headquarters in New York, Mike has a meeting with who I’m assuming is the network’s president, played by Thomas Lennon. Since he’s not named, Thomas Lennon tells Mike that many mistakes have been made at CBS. However, he wants to bring on Mike as a special correspondent, so he’ll be in every spot where there’s news. It also doesn’t hurt that Mike will be the youngest correspondent.
So CBS bought the McLinTALK name, but not all of the intellectual property from the old show, such as when the phone rings during interviews. Or Mike’s wife. Thomas Lennon wants Mike to keep that sense of humor, because everything else is going to change.
Minna is aghast that Selina has admitted to being a war criminal, even though past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have been war criminals. With no choice, Minna admits that she has to report Selina who, in turn, tosses a phone out of the car. However, that was Selina’s phone. Minna called Interpol before they even got in the car.
The two arrive at the Finnish Embassy, with Selina pleading to Minna to recant her statement to Interpol. Ben and Kent arrive to inform Selina that the ICC has issued a warrant for Selina’s arrest on the charge of war crimes. Minna proposes that Selina ask for asylum right here at the embassy, as it is her only shot. Selina eventually agrees, but she has to formally request asylum because Minna is pedantic.
When Selina refuses to do so, Minna grants her asylum anyway.
With his steady ascent in politics, Richard, along with Dan, sets up in the Lieutenant Governor’s office in the Capitol Building in Des Moines. Dan wants to help expand Richard’s national profile, so he booked him an interview with Mike. It’s astounding how quickly Mike’s new shot has taken off.
Anyway, the two are confronted by Governor Valentine, played by Michael McKean, who cancelled the interview. Valentine isn’t a fan of Richard’s rapid rise and promises to bury the new Lieutenant Governor in a deep pile of bullshit.
Officers have taken their spots outside the Finnish Embassy. While Mike debuts on CBS, Ben and Kent tells Selina that the White House refuses to aid her, but in public, President Montez has stated that they’re assessing all options. As for how this affects Selina’s shot at the nomination, she wants Ben and Kent to get in touch with the American ambassador to Norway.
As Gary brings in Selina’s mountain of shit- thus eliminating any and all space- Selina tells Minna that she forgives her. However, Minna cannot forgive Selina for killing all of those innocent people. At once, Selina tells Minna to leave, but no dice since they’re sharing a room.
Team Jonah takes up shop at an Embassy Suites in Lexington, Kentucky, but Jonah has suddenly come down with the chicken pox- possibly passed on from Clay. As Amy turns on the news, the four learn that there’s a huge chicken pox outbreak in Pennsylvania. It’s the eighth outbreak in the last week- all in communities with low vaccination rates, but no other apparent connections.
As such, Amy blames Jonah for infecting all of the people who don’t believe in vaccinations.
Lloyd arrives to talk with Jonah, but Jonah hates Lloyd so much that he could walk into a supermarket and shoot everybody. A bit intense, but okay. Lloyd tells Jonah that he loves him and he hopes that Jonah will give him another chance. Jonah quickly accepts and allows Lloyd to be…well, his dad. They hug, and Jonah tells his father that he loves him, but No Homo.
Back at the Finish Embassy, Selina and Minna try to make the best of their situation, with Minna hoping Selina can follow a few embassy staff rules. For example, you write your name on your food. Minna also warns Selina that if she goes to prison, she won’t have Gary to clean up after her. Doubtful.
Then Ben shows Selina some great news: turns out that Americans don’t care about the droning. In fact, the public is on her side and her favorability has shot up. For polling purposes, according to Kent, she’s practically a generic White man. You can’t get any higher than that, but this is fantastic news for Selina.
Catherine, meanwhile, has agreed to Selina’s proposal and wants to get married in Europe. So Selina wants Gary to put something together in the embassy.
At the same time, Selina realizes that a marriage could get her out of this mess just as one got her into this mess in the first place. She then gets on the phone to talk with Mike as he’s live. She thanks the American people and tells him that she won’t apologize for keeping America safe.
Then Mike actually brings up the drone footage on television so Selina can walk the public through it. Mike zeroes in on what appears to be an elephant from the private zoo. When the drone hits, boom goes the elephant. Ben then tells Selina that he may have found them a plane home.
While Richard, Dan, and Governor Valentine pop by Nancy Ryan’s home, Gary helps Catherine get ready for the wedding. Selina strolls in, wearing a very presidential sort of dress, but it’s apparently the best she could do. Catherine rattles off a series of events that Selina does not remember, while Gary goes off to finger some sandwiches.
Selina tells Catherine that she’s proud of her and her decision to get married at the embassy. Selina then goes off to freshen up in a room that, as Gary points out when he returns, is not the bathroom…
While Governor Valentine tries to butter up Jonah for a spot in his hypothetical administration, Jonah admits that if he’s President, he’s going to gut the Department of Agriculture. Lloyd then arrives and it turns out that he also has the chicken pox. Terrific.
Catherine realizes that Selina has used the marriage as a diversion to escape from the Norwegian police. While Marjorie believes they can just get married in the States, Catherine is adamant that they are wed at the embassy because it’s romantic.
So Ben, Kent, and Selina go through a tunnel and run into President Murman, who takes the three to an exit and tells them that his car will take them to the airport. From there, they can board a plane that will take them back to the States. He also tells Selina that his car will take her to the airport for her escape.
On the way, though, Selina wants to pop by the hotel and snag her Nobel Peace Prize. She’s got America on her side, and after a quick distraction when she thinks she spots Andrew on the street, she wants Leon on the phone so he can meet them at the hotel with the speech.
Still at the Ryan home, Dan briefly catches up with Amy, but then Beth enters to get some pills. Turns out she’s been taking them since Jonah accidentally whacked her in the nose at a rally. But the paint went away two days ago, so she’s just been taking the rest of the pills to deal with her feelings. So yeah, Beth isn’t pregnant after all.
Lloyd tells Jonah that he has an opportunity to speak to our better nature and bring the country together, but in order to do that, he has to tone down the angry rhetoric. Jonah, realizing he may have pushed things too far, accepts this proposal. The two then badger Nancy to make pancakes, but then Lloyd immediately passes out. Damn, just as Amy was about to tell Jonah something very important about Beth, too.
Selina finally meets with President Lu to talk business. If she’s President, American will bring in more imports from China. She even promises Lu an island of his choice, but Laura Montez is very loyal to China, so their loyalty is unshakable. Okay, so then Selina offers Tibet back to Lu…after the election. This gets his attention. She’d have to publicly condemn Liu’s actions and then a U.N. resolution, but it’s a deal.
Also, Keith Quinn is here, and he has no problem being Selina’s lapdog.
At the World Summit, Selina arrives and interrupts Minna’s speech, but she’s just in time to collect her Nobel Peace Prize. She tells the crowd that at first, she didn’t want the Prize, as it’s never been important to her to be honored publicly. But she came tonight for the country of Tibet. Imagine a world where Tibet was not free.
She praises Tibet, but the speech is hardly helpful, so she skips ahead and declares that Tibet must be free. Speech over, with Selina firing Leon on the spot. She bids farewell to Minna.
In New Hampshire for Lloyd’s funeral, Amy hopes to score with Dan, but he’s already shagging his new girlfriend, Leila- the same OBGYN who performed Amy’s abortion.
So Lloyd has indeed died from adult chicken pox. Uncle Jeff even shows up to lambast Jonah for killing his own father. As he leaves, he gives Amy his hotel key.
Jonah gives his eulogy, saying that in his brief time with his father, he realizes that his father didn’t deserve him or Nancy. First, he ran out, and then he died. Jonah doesn’t care that his father is dead. Beth, meanwhile, is freaking the fuck out.
Dan then informs Richard that due to Governor Valentine’s coming down with shingles due to Jonah, he went blind with partial paralysis and must step down. As such, this makes Richard the new Governor of Iowa
While Selina returns to America and contemplates Vice Presidential running mates, Kent shows Selina an article about Richard becoming the new Governor of Iowa. Selina’s return isn’t a smooth one, though. There’s a crowd waiting for her- they’re railing against her not for the drone strike, but because she killed elephants.
Someone in the crowd wearing an elephant costume even gives Selina the finger. Now that’s anger.
Jonah speaks to the press and public to tell them that with the Lord’s help, he got through his recent family tragedy. While he’s talked about vaccines and how they kill people, but he then mentions the real killers: diseases. How do diseases get into America? Immigrants. You can’t stop diseases unless the borders are closed. So as far as Jonah is concerned, no one in, and no one out.
Richard and Dan pop by to visit the now former Governor, who rants and raves about how the worst people in politics always succeed. Also, since Richard is a super delegate, he’ll be asked to endorse a candidate at the convention. Richard being Richard, though, wants to endorse them all.
With all of the momentum, it would take an international incident to stop Selina Meyer from returning to the White House. In the penultimate episode of the series, that exact predicament comes to pass. Not that this would ever be an easy ride for Selina and company, but for the most part, she’d been doing pretty well.
Tom James had stepped down, Jonah Ryan’s campaign seemed to be spiraling, and she put Kemi Talbot on the defensive. With everything thrown at Selina, she’s had a counterattack ready or she’s been able to improvise to get herself out of a nasty situation. This time, though, all that momentum she had until now has come to a screeching halt.
It’s interesting when you look back at Meyer’s career. She wanted to be more than just the Vice President. She finally got the Presidency itself and later lost it, but she’s clawed her way back to true political relevance. But her past actions, like any politician may tell you, have a way to haunt you. This is no sound byte or off-the-cuff remark, though. No, we’re talking drone strikes.
Depending on when and who you ask, our opinions tend to vary on the usage of drones. Some see them as advantageous as far as taking care of a target without them being aware until it’s too late. Others, though, especially when innocents are in the line of fire, see them as doing more harm than good. Think about the film Eye in the Sky, for example.
In this instance, Selina’s just going after some targets at a wedding. That by itself isn’t the problem. But when animals are involved, then you’ve got a problem. This very much holds up in the court of public opinion. While people may be horrified when humans are brutalized or killed, their emotions go through the roof when animals are factored into the equation.
We see this play out when the public is, at first, on Selina’s side about her use of drones, but turn on her when they hear about an elephant being a casualty. This is all it takes to halt her momentum and hinder her chance at the White House, but it’s also a nice commentary on how quickly voters tend to change their mind on a dime.
Of course, Selina has bigger problems on her hands when Minna reports her to Interpol. Not out of spite, but genuine concern that Selina has admitted to war crimes. Sally Phillips is always a delight to see on Veep and I’m happy we got to see Minna pop up one more time in this final season. She’s a very fun person to not be around because Selina finds her so grating, even though she’s such a caring friend.
I enjoy every conversation between Selina and Minna, and Mnna proves her worth yet again when she offers Selina asylum after reporting her. Not that a mere phone call would’ve done anything. But Minna’s presence here at all is another sign of Selina using someone or something for her own personal gain. She can’t get to Lu on her own, so Minna is used as the middlewoman to help set up that meeting.
She uses Catherine’s wedding, like Marjorie’s proposal last time, as a diversion from the authorities so she can slip out and escape. She even tries to one-up Keith Quinn before he revealed that the drone footage would be revealed. Yes, Selina Meyer is not above going…well, above and beyond to use people to advance her objectives. At this point in the race, she really has no choice.
After all, she’s been on an upswing and is being rewarded for her efforts with Tibet. Receiving that Nobel Peace Prize, in her mind, validates all the ‘good’ work she’s done, even though that unravels in her deal with Lu. It shows how far Selina is willing to go to wrest power away from Montez, but also secure the presidency that she so desperately craves and, in her mind, deserves.
At the end of the day, it seems like, despite the public backlash, Selina has the Chinese on her side. She’s looking ahead to the convention and picking a running mate, but it’s anyone’s guess how far she’ll actually get.
As Selina falls, though, others will rise. Richard’s rapid ascension up the ladder is very interesting to watch. If anyone deserves recognition, it’s him because while he’s not a politician in the slightest, he’s a genuinely good person. Despite working for both Jonah and Selina, their influence has not rubbed off on him. Even Dan working with him hasn’t changed Richard.
Now that he’s the Governor and could play a key role at the convention, I’m now thinking that Richard could be a wild card in this race. Could he wind up as a running mate or, hell, the eventual President himself? I have no idea, but I’ve learned to expect many curveballs when it comes to this show.
Briefly on another quick rise, but Mike’s quick ascension in the media world has also been a fun watch. The man worked for Buzzfeed and read off of menus, started a podcast with a green screen, and now he’s already an anchor for CBS. All things considered, it’s nice that Mike is making his way back into a prominent spot in the media world.
In a way, he never really left because he was still close with Team Selina and was one of the first reporters ready with a question for her. Despite his setbacks, he’s persevered. Good for him. Though I did get a laugh out of him reading the descriptions on the news scripts in addition to what he was supposed to say.
Then there’s Jonah, who goes through quite a lot in the span of one episode. He comes down with the chicken pox, speaks on vaccinations, bonds with and loses his father, and has to endure more heckling from Uncle Jeff. Also, Beth is in rehab. It’s a lot take in for one episode, but it works for me because we’ve set up Lloyd and Beth’s relationships with Jonah early on and have had a bit of time to know them.
Admittedly, sure, Lloyd reconciling with his son and then dying scenes later is a bit fast. I don’t think he needed to die, but hey, we got a fun, if not cruel, eulogy out of Jonah for it.
Plus, everything around Jonah provided plenty of comedy as well, like Beth popping pills, Uncle Jeff’s very welcome return, Governor Valentine’s sudden paralysis, and Amy being shot down by Dan yet again.
With the series finale upon us next week, where does this all end? I maintain that Veep could’ve ended with “Inauguration” two seasons ago, but Selina’s rise back to prominence has hit a wall. How does she recover from this and who will ultimately occupy the Oval Office? Who the hell really knows?
We’ll see how this trainwreck of an election comes to a close with the series finale of Veep. See you next week.