Review: Veep (Season 5, Episode 6)

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Catastrophic

Selina: "At least when Truman made the decision to drop the bomb, he wasn't fucking anyone in Hiroshima..."
Ben: "...that we know of."

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In light of recent events, Veep’s sixth episode ‘Cuntgate’ is more than likely not a breath of fresh air in terms of watching an economy begin burn to the ground. At least with the Meyer campaign, they are able to do it with comedic style, and no lasting effects to America’s economy.

Even though the world of Veep is (somewhat) fictional, it’s hard not to believe the events unfolding ‘Cuntgate’ haven’t occurred within the depths of the White House at least once. Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her administration are in the process of bailing out banks after the economic meltdown at the beginning of the season, and Selina has been given an ultimatum. She has to bail out two of three banks, one of them being her boyfriend Charlie’s (John Slattery). The entire episode revolves around this choice; if Selina chooses Charlie’s bank, it would be a good choice, but the media and public will consider it a choice of favouritism. Selina goes back and forth with the decision, causing chaos within her administration, with her peers trying to convince her to go one way, and then the other.

On top of that, there’s word going around the White House that someone has called Selina the title of the episode; hence the reference to the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration. Selina appoints Amy (Anna Chlumsky) to find out who called her this, when it was in fact Amy. She decides to play along with the charade anyway, not wanting to feel the wrath of Selina. But, it turns out that all of her colleagues that she interviews confess to also calling Selina the same thing. Amy finds this out after firing three people that Selina tells her to let go, and Mike (Matt Walsh) has to deal with the media focusing on ‘Cuntgate’, rather than the tanking economy.

‘Cuntgate’ is eventually put to rest once Selina knows it was everyone, not just a few people, coupled with Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) coming out as a lesbian. Both Gary (Tony Hale) and Selina have a sense of bewildered surprise, more so to her girlfriend – Selina’s secret service agent and look alike. Even though Catherine choose entirely wrong time to try and tell her mother the important news, since every which way Selina walks within the White House her administration are trying to get her final decision on which bank to bail out, Selina doesn’t seem too bothered about it. In fact, it makes sense, since Catherine tells her mother that this is the reason that she kept dumping her boyfriends.

Then there’s the ongoing Jonah saga, with his campaign in full swing. Dan (Reid Scott) is instigated as his campaign manager rather than Tom’s (Hugh Laurie) aid, much to Dan’s utter behest. But, it turns out to be an amazingly good thing for Dan, as it enables him to fuck with Jonah’s (Timothy Simons) emotions to his heart’s content. His campaign is also thwart with emails from bands varying from Rush to Petty to Springsteen, all of which don’t want their songs attached to his campaign.

Richard: “We can’t use ‘Wont Back Down’ anymore.”

Jonah: “Okay? Well, fuck him if he thinks I’m gonna back down. That’s like the whole point of the song.”

Richard: “Oh, we got the okay from Gary Glitter, but he’s in jail for child rape so maybe not the first choice. *smiles*” RICHARD

Unfortunately, Selina’s decision not to bail out Charlie’s bank results in the farewell of John Slattery. His portrayal of Charlie this season has been amazing, especially his chemistry with Dreyfus. And who knows, Hugh Laurie might be exiting as well, since Mike (and Dan) saw Tom meeting with Dan’s old boss, adding more fuel to Tom’s secret plan.

As per usual, ‘Cuntgate’ is as disastrous and fantastic as the rest of the episodes have been this season. ‘Thanksgiving’ saw a slight dip, mainly due to it being preceded by the iconic episode ‘Mother’.

Veep airs on Sky Atlantic on Tuesdays at 11:10pm. See a preview for the next episode below.

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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