What did it cost you, Selina Meyer? Because I hope that they remember you.
All good things must come to an end. Here is one such thing as seven seasons of political blunders, mishaps, and misadventures with Selina Meyer and Friends reaches its conclusion. Welcome to the series finale of Veep, with the aptly titled episode: “Veep.”
The episode begins with the roll call at the 2020 convention in Charlotte. Furlong announces the candidates and how many votes they each received from the delegates. However, no candidate has secured a majority of delegates, so right there there is, in fact, nominee.
Team Selina watches this all unfold with a deadlocked convention. Talbot made a comeback, and it turns out that Furlong wants all of the candidates gathered. Catherine hates Charlotte as a location due to North Carolina’s bathroom bill, but Selina is more focused on getting more delegates. Plus, there’s always the Chinese.
At the Spectrum Center that evening, Team Selina arrives as Selina contemplates her Vice Presidential running mate. When the candidates have all assembled, Jonah tries to argue the math, saying that his total is different from the official numbers.
Kemi Talbot arrives, with Leon now working with her, and she wonders if Selina tried to steal South Carolina. Selina figures that if you can’t steal South Carolina, then you don’t deserve to be President. This brokered convention is a laughingstock, and if there’s no decision, that means four years of Laura Montez. So the candidates need to make sure that there’s a majority lined up behind one pick.
When the meeting ends, though, Furlong brings Selina aside and asks her to suggest making Kemi Talbot her running mate, but Selina feels that she doesn’t need Talbot.
Later, Amy catches up with Selina, who immediately shoots down the idea of Jonah being a part of her administration. She then heads off to use the restroom. This’ll be relevant in a few seconds. Ben also shoots down Amy’s offer, but he’s glad to see her. Nice chat, guys.
When Selina exits the bathroom- the Men’s room, even- she gets applause for apparently breaking the transgender bathroom law.
The next day, Richard and Dan meet with some delegates…well, a delegate from Wisconsin who has arrived with a woman from Ukraine.
Kemi has been kicking up some dirt on the Meyer Fund, with Selina figuring that this is because of Leon. Selina again shoots down having Kemi as her running mate. Catherine and Marjorie are proud of Selina for apparently standing up for the transgender community. It’s even being covered on the news.
Anyway, Day three arrives as Team Selina gathers in the sky box. With a mysterious package found at the airport, flights will no doubt be held up there. Keith Quinn brings in Selina’s potential running mate, Governor De Vito, who wanted Selina to review his nominating speech. Selina wouldn’t change a word with it. In fact, she’ll use part of his speech in her speech.
However, when the Governor leaves, Selina tells Ben that she now wants to offer Buddy Calhoun the Vice Presidential slot. Why? His delegate count and the good chance that he’ll probably carry the Bible Belt states. However, there’s a rumor that Buddy is flirting with endorsing Kemi Talbot.
Indeed, on the news, Buddy discusses the bathroom law, his stance against gay marriage, and how he’ll be backing Kemi Talbot. Still, Selina refuses to offer anything to Kemi. Instead, she wants to meet with Amy. Brookheimer.
Jonah meets up with Richard and Dan just before Richard is interviewed by Mike, who calls Richard the future of the party. Mike brings up the rumor about Talbot offering Richard a spot in her potential administration. When the interview is over, Dan tells Richard that Us Weekly wants to interview him.
Amy meets with Selina, where she hears Selina’s proposal for Jonah’s delegates to back Selina on the second ballot. If Jonah agrees, he could be offered a position…at the Environmental Protection Agency. This, according to Ben, is where Jonah could do the least amount of damage.
But Amy finds this hilarious. Why? The suspect at the JFK bombing was a high school mathematics teacher whose Facebook page was riddled with radical Islam teachings. This means Jonah was right, and this means Amy is the campaign manager of the next President. If Selina wants to talk, maybe Amy will throw her a bone.
Indeed, Jonah holds a speech and tells Talbot and Selina that he told them so. Plus, he spills about Beth getting out of rehab. Jonah loves America, but it’s time to face facts: this country is falling apart because of people different than Jonah.
Somehow it works, as Jonah now gets the delegates to secure Florida. Amy then breaks that they were denounced by the ACLU. Uncle Jeff even arrives to, surprisingly, congratulate Jonah and tell him that New Hampshire’s 27 delegates are now belong to him! He then gets on the phone to ‘sweet talk’ Vermont.
Indeed, Jonah’s message catches on with the second ballot, as Ben informs Selina that the Texas delegation captain are going to back Jonah. Texas was Selina’s firewall, so she absolutely needs that state. So Ben goes off to make sure Selina maintains Texas.
Kemi, meanwhile, sits down on CNN to ask that the FBI reopen the investigation into the Meyer Fund. Selina realizes that she was right to not offer the Veep spot to Talbot. Kent proposes that Selina be Kemi’s Veep. Yeah, hell no to that, as far as Selina is concerned. Then Keith informs Selina that they’ve lost New Mexico.
While Ben makes his way up the stairs, Dan informs Richard that after the convention, Laura Montez will probably be President again. But after that, it’s Richard’s time to rise. They can’t call it ‘Splett Time’ unless they want to be sued by Richard’s uncle’s podcast.
So now Selina has to float questions about the Meyer Fund. Ben returns, out of breath, and he collapses.
The bad news continues. Keith brings Selina to look out onto the convention floor, where it turns out that Tom James has un-suspended his campaign. Maybe there’s no nominee yet because the candidate are all saying the same thing. He’s back in the race. Also, Mike again reads from the wrong card.
This catches fire and it’s possible that Tom James will clinch the nomination. Tom meets with Selina as the two watch over Ben. Selina figures that Tom is here to gloat, but he’s not. He tells Selina that her punishment is that she has no political future. Selina figures that many people love her, but the country won’t forget the door that she pushed open- backwards, and in heels.
Now it’s Selina’s turn to plead. She says that when she and Tom aren’t the worst team, they’re the best team. Tom then heads off, but not before getting one more chance to gloat.
Ben finally awakens and asks for a drink. He sees the news of Tom James jumping back into the race, but he then reflects on his life. He could have some more heart attacks, but this is his last rodeo. Selina tears up, saying that she needs Ben at her side, but Ben tells Selina that she knows what to do.
Selina, horrified at what must happen, accepts.Ben then asks Selina to not tell his wife and kids, but she never met them, so that’s not a problem.
Gary and Kent meet up with Selina, who tells them that Tom is making a move on New York. Selina won’t let this be taken from her, so she goes to Mchelle. She says that Tom will never see her as more than a quick bang. She reams her out, saying that she’s probably not a smart woman. Meanwhile, Tom comes out and reports that he has New York in the bag.
The next morning, Selina meets with the congressman from the Montana delegation, but Tom storms in just as Michelle accuses him of sexual harassment. Selina figures that Tom’s charm wears out, but instead, she won’t cheer him on when she takes the stage. Back to the Montana congressman.
With the momentum, Selina tries to get Buddy Calhoun on her side. He’s not really into helping her, as he’s not into homosexuality. Selina offers him the position of Secretary of Education, but Buddy is uneasy about the Meyer Fund. Selina then proposes to kill gay marriage altogether in exchange for his support. That is enough to get him on her side.
However, they’re still over 600 votes short. In enters Amy, and Selina, after accepting what she’s about to say, concedes that she will offer Jonah the Vice Presidential slot. That gets under Kent’s skin and he refuses to work for an administration with Jonah Ryan as the Vice President.
But Amy isn’t on board with this either. Selina then remembers that Amy is a terrible campaign manager, but Vice President is like being defanged and neutered. Selina of all people would know. Besides, Selina knows that she won’t die. Both Kent and Amy advise Selina against this, but Selina is adamant that Jonah will be the Vice President.
At the Palmetto Hotel, Jonah meets with Selina and learns of the Vice Presidential offer. Surprisingly, though, Jonah shoots her down. He’s adamant that he’ll either be President or nothing. In fact, if he’s not nominated, he’ll run as a third party candidate to siphon away votes from Selina.
When both Selina and Uncle Jeff team up on Jonah, he finally concedes so long as everyone stops yelling at him. On one condition…he wants Richard to be Secretary of Farm Shit. Better known as Agriculture. Oh, and fire Dan. That much can be arranged. Sherman Tanz then wants to talk with Selina about casino licenses.
But then Catherine and Marjorie storm in, having learned about Selina’s proposal to kill gay marriage. But it’s just the party platform, so it’s not like anything will come of it. Before Marjorie can lose her shit at Jonah helping Selina, Catherine takes her out of the room.
So it looks like Selina Meyer is poised to win the nomination. The delegates then vote to vote by acclamation and Selina does indeed win the nomination.
We then go through Selina’s life story, but Furlong informs Selina that the Meyer Fund is still a sticking subject. He tells her that someone has to go down for this, but Selina is fully aware of this.
Selina then returns to the governor and tells him that she’ll be taking even more of his speech. He’ll also need to cut out the line about being the Vice President. Tough luck.
Governor De Vito takes the stage and begins his speech. Back stage, though, Selina tries to tell Gary, her life saver, something, but she stops short of saying what it is. Gary is confident, though, that he’s not going anywhere.
Selina finally takes the stage and accepts the party’s nomination. She tells us her life story as she promises to make the world a safer, better place. Meanwhile, Dan learns that Richard was offered the spot of Secretary of Agriculture. However, Richard then informs Dan that he had to be fired as part of the position.
Selina then talks about sacrifice and how it means to lose something for the greater good. At the same time, Gary is take aside from federal agents. Still, Selina knows that nothing will stop her at this moment.
Then Jonah arrives as the power duo make their grand stand.
Kent, meanwhile, leaves the convention and doesn’t look back. Well, at least the balloons worked. Selina then tells Amy that she’ll be Jonah’s Chief of Staff.
Six months later at the White House, Amy and Vice President Jonah Ryan try to meet with Selina in the Oval Office, but they are both turned away. By whom, you may ask?
By Sue. By motherfucking Sue! Welcome back for the finale!
Inside the Oval Office, President Selina Meyer receives updates from both Keith Quinn and Michelle. Also, the Israeli Prime Minister will be calling.
While Selina calls out to Gary, she’s reminded that, of course, he’s not here anymore. Selina then takes a call from the Israeli Prime Minister.
24 years later, Mike covers of Selina Meyer’s funeral. She only covered one term, but she is remembered for briefly freeing what was once known as the nation of Tibet, as well as permanently overturning same sex marriage. Her body rests at the Selina Meyer Presidential Library in Massachusetts. Many of Selina’s former rivals even got front seats. Also, turns out that Kemi Talbot ended up serving two terms.
Except Jonah, naturally, was not invited, as he was impeached.
As for Marjorie, she watches the funeral with Richard and an overjoyed Catherine, who has prepared margaritas just for this special occasion.
Finally, President Richard Splett- who was re-elected in a landslide victory- arrives at the ceremony. Also, as for his three state solution in the Middle East, he received the Nobel Prize. It’s what Richard deserves, honestly.
Bill Ericsson, Amy, Dan, and a hippie looking Kent are also at the memorial. They catch up- also, I see you, Andrew- but Dan then spots Gary, who Selina apparently never visited while he was in prison.
Gary at least knows that Selina would hate the flowers. He rests some lipstick on her casket and heads off.
While the guards struggle getting Selina’s casket into its resting place, Mike decides that he’ll say a few kind words about Selina after his years of working for her.
However, there’s an important update that overshadows the former President’s death. It turns out that a major American icon has passed away at the age of 88: Mr. Tom Hanks himself. Well, time to honor America’s true hero as Veep and the political misadventures of Selina Meyer comes to a close.
As much as we often joke that Jonah Ryan’s rise to prominence feels like one giant accident, I would argue that there are similarities with Selina Meyer. To be clear, I’m not saying Selina and Jonah are the same, but consider this. For everything thrown at Jonah, he continued to persevere and make his way up the political ladder.
With Selina, who is more competent, she had many obstacles in her path, the biggest one probably being that she actually lost the Presidency two seasons ago. Despite all of that and everything she’s faced this season leading into the finale, she squeaked out a victory and finally managed to win the Presidency. The distinction here being that the people actually voted for her, whereas before she ascended into the position.
But with the aptly named “Veep,” it’s crunch time. There are a lot of parallels here to Season Five’s “Inauguration” in that it feels like a race against time. Selina had to overcome a lot in order to come out victorious and it felt like there could be an 11th hour curveball that would derail her momentum. It wouldn’t be Veep if she didn’t have one blunder, after all.
But Selina is nothing if not clever and crafty. Whether she makes the right decisions is up to you, but right now, as Selina said in the premiere, it’s her time. Damn the consequences, Selina Meyer goes scorched Earth in this series finale. Showrunner David Mandel, who was behind the camera here, took us through Selina’s last hurrah and delivered both a fun and scathing finish to the political series.
There are wacky hijinks aplenty, but there are quieter, more focused moments for reflection. That and we were given plenty of times for Selina to be her usual, ruthless self. This time, though, more than any other moment, the gloves were off because she called the shots.
Throughout the season, Selina had prospered in the face of the Meyer Fund and every other thing nagging at her. She even managed to overtake Kemi Talbot. With all of that, the nomination should’ve been in the bag, but so many X factors prevented that. Like our own political world, you can’t prepare for the unexpected.
But if Selina’s time as Vice President has prepared her for anything, it’s this finish. One by one, she eventually manages to vanquish her foes through her own terms. From the start, she refuses to offer Kemi Talbot the Veep spot merely because others proposed it. This would’ve made the party happy, but Selina is only interested in making herself happy.
So when Selina has Gary fall on the sword, when she offers to kill gay marriage in exchange for Buddy Calhoun’s support, turning Michelle against Tom James, and even offering Jonah the VP slot, she’s being very calculating and methodical in her approach. It’s ruthless, but not out of character at all because we know at this point that Selina isn’t above using others to get her way.
More than that, though, her heart-to-heart talk with Ben helped spur her into action. While Ben and Kent are usually there to help center Selina, she had to call the shots this time. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has always been excellent as Selina Meyer, but Selina felt more methodical here than we’ve ever seen her before.
The best example of this is when she proposes that Jonah be her running mate. The fuck-up who managed to fail upwards. This was the moment that broke Kent of all people, and even got Amy shaking. But Selina knows what it means to suffer, in particular as Vice President. This would be the perfect spot for Jonah. Terrible as it would be, Selina had to make this in order to secure the nomination.
As I watched this finale, I kept waiting for an 11th hour switch. When Jonah initially turned down Selina’s offer, I thought ‘Okay, is this what prevents Selina from becoming President?’ After all, with Jonah’s rhetoric still winning him delegates, he was in a position to bargain. It was one of the few times, I think, when he actually stood up for himself and even shouted back at Uncle Jeff.
I love this little moment because it showed that, for all of Jonah’s many fumbles, even he’s capable of playing political ball. But he’s still no match for Uncle Jeff and Selina combined.
Selina sold her soul and more in order to become President. That she offered to kill gay marriage just for Buddy Calhoun’s endorsement was one thing, but we have to talk about Gary. Poor, innocent Gary who has been there for Selina since day one. Andrew established earlier that Gary could be the fall guy for the Meyer Fund, but there wasn’t much discussion about it.
But now, Selina had to let one more domino fall in order to secure her victory. It’s a slimy, underhanded tactic and major slap in the face to the man who, more than anyone else, has always had Selina’s back. When Gary is hauled off by agents as Selina delivers her acceptance speech, it’s a punch in the gut. Yet, again, this isn’t unlike Selina at all. She wouldn’t hesitate to throw Gary under the bus.
That doesn’t make the moment any less painful, but it just shows that Selina will reach for any new low. She’s a terrible person who we really have no reason to root for, and yet we do because we just can’t look away.
At the end of the day, sure, Selina returns to the Oval Office. But like the Season Three finale, I’d argue that once Selina becomes President, things are even worse. She’s alienated many of her allies. Gary rots away in prison and she doesn’t think to visit him. She’s won what she wanted, but it cost her everything and more just to get there. Now she’s just President, but unhappy.
Sure, Selina has always been unhappy, but there’s always been a spark to her ferocity. When we see her sitting in the Oval Office by her lonesome, though, Selina is left with no one but herself. It’s a tragic, yet fitting ending to such a despicable character.
But the hits don’t even stop there. For all of Selina’s hard work, she only ended up as a one-term President and will probably just be remembered for the Tibet incident and overturning gay marriage. To pour salt in the wound, both Kemi Talbot and Richard managed to serve two full terms, while Selina was, once again, a mere blip on everybody’s radar.
Actually, full stop for a moment. Richard. Sam Richardson came onto the scene in the third season and he seemed like nothing more than just another helping hand for Selina. But his nice demeanor and overall pleasantness made him stick out in a sea of unlikable and deplorable characters. His rise to prominence in politics all but guaranteed he would continue being a rising star in this world.
So the fact that he not only became President, but served two terms and deservingly won a Nobel Prize shows that yes, nice folks can succeed in politics. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
But let’s use that as a way to talk about Selina’s supporting players. Everyone had a moment to shine in this finale, though the standouts had to be, for my money, Ben, Kent, and Amy. Ben in particular gave Selina the encouragement and words that she needed in order to make her victory a surefire possibility, while Kent and Amy’s freakouts at the prospect of Vice President Jonah Ryan were hilarious to watch.
Also, Mike! Another example of someone whose star continued to rise. When Selina gave him the boot, he quickly bounced back. From his humble days at Buzzfeed, Mike ended up with great success that culminated in him becoming a full-fledged Walter Cronkite. Perhaps Selina was right: people only succeed or do well when they’re not associated with her.
Sticking with Mike, though, let’s talk about that ending. The final knife to the gut that is Selina Meyer’s legacy. No matter what she does, she will always be overshadowed by someone else. In this case, the death of Tom Hanks ends up taking precedence over Selina’s. It’s a fantastic payoff to the pilot episode and fitting end for Selina. She can do a damn good job and someone will still upstage her.
But hey, who better to be overshadowed than by Tom Hanks? That’s one way to take the momentum out of your death. It’s like when Farrah Fawcett’s death ended up being overshadowed by Michael Jackson’s death.
Even though Veep doesn’t operate in the same world as ours does, I did like the real world parallels. North Carolina’s bathroom bill, for example, was a hot button issue and I did like how it was integrated into the episode without becoming the focal point. Plus, it wasn’t just there for show, but used in a way that divided Catherine from Selina for good when Selina proposed killing gay marriage.
It might’ve been the only time we saw Marjorie lose her shit. But as we see in the time skip, Catherine couldn’t have been happier than to drink to her mother’s death.
Oh, and I’d be crazy if I didn’t bring up Sue’s return! This was a surprise and definitely a ‘Hell yes’ moment for me. Even though it was brief and while Sue did pop up in the ‘Previously on’ segment- indicating that she could appear- it was an absolute treat to see her again.
When you consider that we didn’t see or hear from Sue at all last season, it left me wondering if Sufe Bradshaw would ever return to the series. At the same time, story-wise, last season didn’t need Sue since that was about Selina outside of politics. Last we checked, Sue stayed on under Montez’s administration. Luckily, we got to see her one last time doing what she does best: shutting shit down.
Veep is a fascinating take on politics. I’ve said this before, but Veep is like taking our political world and holding it up to a cracked mirror. I maintain that “Inauguration” could have worked as a series finale, but that’s not taking anything away from what we got in “Veep” tonight. For all of Selina’s hard work, scheming, and underhanded tactics, she got what she finally wanted. What matters in the end, though, is whether it was worth it.
Again, Veep was not something I tuned into until right before Season Three premiered, but I am happy that I did because this was a fantastic series. For me, this series never skipped a beat or let up on its comedy. I’d be hard pressed to pick out what I’d consider a bad or even mediocre episode because the quality from start to finish was consistent.
If you’re in the mood for political satire or just a great comedy, Veep is something you should check out. The adventures of Selina Meyer and company have come to a close. For the folks who made this possible, from series creator Armando Iannucci to current showrunner David Mandel and the cast and crew, thank you for creating one of the best, consistently sharp comedies of the past few years.
Also, thanks to you all out there in reality land who have been following along with my ramblings and unnecessarily long essays. With all that said, thanks for reading, keep on watching television, and take care.