Veep – Episode 6 “Baseball” Review
In episode 4 of Veep, Amy, Gary and Mike all overheard Selina having adult conversations with a man called Ted. That relationship takes a dramatic turn in episode 6, when Selina discovers she is pregnant. It’s a shocking development for Veep, and again highlights that although it’s a very funny show, it’s based in reality too, and isn’t afraid to bring up topics that do play a big part in the world of politics.
For Selina, the news is far from welcome. She’s just seen her Clean Jobs bill dumped, and she’s not married, and American voters are certainly not going to be happy that the Vice President is going to have a child without a husband. So Selina and her team are in crisis mode, and Ted is in for the shock of his life.
Most of this week’s episode takes place at Camden Yards, the home of the Baltimore Orioles. Selina is launching her healthy eating initiative, but the food guys are far from enthusiastic about the food she has presented as alternatives to what they sell (and they are mostly overweight meat-eaters). Gary is feeling under pressure at the event, as he is having dinner with his father later, and he doesn’t think Gary does a real man’s job. He becomes determined to get a photo with the Orioles players, and tries to prove his manliness throughout the episode in a series of calls to his dad as he tries to convince him (and himself) that he’s a real man.
But the real story of the episode of Selina’s pregnancy. Selina’s team are pressed into action when Amy thinks Mike tells her that the story is out over the phone, but he was actually talking about something else. It’s a moment that doesn’t quite work though. Mike is another part of the stadium fielding questions from the press, and one of them, Leon West, instead asks about the re-assignment of a Secret Service agent, claiming that it makes Selina repugnant if she has had him sent away because he laughed. When Mike tells Amy this, he’s eating; making her think he’s said repugnant, but it doesn’t sound muffled enough to really make it work.
But once Amy has heard (or thinks she heard) pregnant, it’s damage control time, forcing Selina to tell Ted that he has to man up and marry her. The team starts to panic, and Gary is sent out to get as many pregnancy tests as he can. Later on, when Selina is talking to some school children, we see Gary carrying out the tests in a school toilet, still convincing his father that he does a ‘real man’s job’ (he also gets some of Selina’s pee in his eye). Other sources of comedy in this episode are a lip reading cameraman with ‘hot hands’, and Selina’s lack of baseball knowledge being shown up as she meets the Orioles players.
It’s a bold move by the writers of Veep to have Selina become pregnant. Up to this point, most of the issues she’s had have been problems any vice president could have. She now has a problem that is of course exclusive to women, and that could change the dynamic of the show as Selina’s gender becomes more important than the position she holds.