Veep – Episode 4 Review
In the world of politics, you can never let your guard down. In 2010, Gordon Brown made a huge mistake when he called a woman ‘bigoted’ when he thought no-one else could hear him. He’d been visiting a community payback scheme, when he spoke to Gillian Duffy, who asked him about paying tax on her pension, immigration and Britain’s debt. After getting in his car to leave, Brown spoke to his people inside, saying ‘That was a disaster – they should never have put me with that woman’ before saying she was bigoted. What he didn’t realise was that his microphone was still on, and members of the press had heard it.
Something similar happens to Selina Meyer in this week’s episode of Veep. She’s on a political television show called Meet the Press and after she’s exchanged awkward NFL banter with the host at the end of the interview, he asks her about a Governor Chung, who may be a future presidential candidate.
Earlier in the episode, she is given a signed copy of Chung’s new book (he’s a decorated war hero) and believes that what he’s written sounds like he’s after her job. She asks Amy to do some research on Chung, and she’s later told that he was born in China and his parents were not naturalised Americans at the time. So when she’s asked about him, she tells the host (off-camera) that he wouldn’t be allowed to run for presidency anyway. What she says accidentally sounds a little racist, and unfortunately for her, her microphone was still on, recording what she said. Gary’s attempts to get the recording don’t go well, and it inevitably gets leaked to the press.
Selina’s little verbal accident means everyone has to work on a Sunday, and when Gary and Amy go to the Veep’s residence to pick her up and discuss their plans, they find her talking to what appears to be a new lover (Ted). The pair are a little disgusted by the smutty bedroom talk they overhear between Selina and Ted, and Mike suffers similarly later (‘I want you to drill me in my oval office’) in the episode, when Selina is talking dirty on the phone when she thinks no-one is there to hear her.
‘Luckily’ for Selina, an industrial accident in a shipyard grabs headlines over Selina’s comments about Chung, which allows her to visit a local hospital where people are being treated. While this initially goes well (she’s talking to the parents of one man in surgery when the doctor tells them he’s going to be fine), it takes a turn for the worst when people in the hospital start agreeing with her over what they believe is her stance about immigrants (It’s the White House, not the Yellow House!).
Selina has also lost Senator Doyle’s support for her filibuster reform campaign, meaning that while she is facing accusations of racism over her comments on Chung, she has to send Dan and Amy to lobby the immigration reform caucus for their support. Despite initially being reluctant to do so, Amy makes promises to satisfy the Senators she meets, something which makes Dan look at her in a different light.
It’s another packed episode of Veep, and it again shows the quality of the writing. There are a lot of scenes that don’t feature Selina, and although it is effectively her show, there is enough depth to the rest of the characters that when she’s not on screen, you don’t necessarily miss her. Her new relationship is something else to add to the story and Veep continues to be another success for Armando Iannucci.