This Veep review contains spoilers.
Veep Season 6 Episode 3
Democracy, what a horror show. With Veep season 6, episode 3, “Georgia,” Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) begins her second chapter, traveling the globe to spread democracy. The former president is overseeing the as-free-as-possible elections of Georgia (not the state, the country). While being told that the country is looking for free, rather than American style elections, she learns that communist elections are as capitalist as those at home. They go to the highest bidder.
Gary (Tony Hale) and Mike (Matt Walsh) do their part in the planting of democracy in an uneven playing field. The unwitting pair turn out to have quite a green thumb for the international electoral process. Gary seems to have left his mind back in the west as Hale doesn’t just chew scenery, he chews anything that comes near his mouth. Tasked with testing the president’s soup for poison, it seems like everything starts flying into his face: scarves, ropes, plastic water bottles. The subtle punch line is that after Gary risked life and lips on a sip, Selina pushes it aside because it has carrots in it.
The old Oval Office crew reunites on the election tour and everything is exactly as it was except shittier in every conceivable way. Minna Häkkinen (Sally Elizabeth Phillips) is in the throes of political infatuation. The international busybody opens up to Meyer about her inflated sex drive and driving her son to a frosty near suicide. Thoroughly immune to Meyer’s attempts to extricate herself from any and all conversation, queen icehole clings to her new best friend with all the tenacity of a Greenpeace protester holding on to a life raft off the bow of a seal-hunting boat.
Louis-Dreyfus navigates the dubious waters of bribery with grace, if not poise. Stephen Fry is insidious as the “good guy” politician with the swollen pickle. Pushed as the populist man of the people, he controls the media monopoly that informs the people. His opposition gets more votes than there are people in the country.
Is it me or does anyone else think that if Richard (Sam Richardson) stays in the political world long enough, he will become Kent Davidson? Both characters give meaningless facts enough meaningful weight that they sound like they belong in the Kennedy Center, a perennial DC event that newly elected congressman Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons) probably won’t be able to get in. Jonah is making a name for himself, but is not on any invites. Last week he missed a taco party thrown by Senator Roger Furlong’s (Dan Bakkedahl) wife, and this week his fellow legislatures take to the streets with hot Siberian call girls in an ongoing effort to haze the new public official.
Amy (Anna Chlumsky) puts on her best Stepford Wife face to face the press. Her fiancé, the flashy Nevada gubernatorial candidate Buddy Calhoun, was caught with his pants down on a police dash cam and she, who is also his campaign manager, decides to defuse the news with an interview with an old colleague and short-term lover. Dan Egan (Reid Scott) seems like a good choice on the surface. He recently got Jonah to storm off a set after comparing him to a walking penis, so what could go wrong? Certainly not the video tape, which he rolls over and over again while the potential first couple of Nevada dream of tuning out to Downton Abbey. Abbey is Amy’s favorite character. Dan is first daughter Catherine’s (Sarah Sutherland) first choice for sperm donor, if he can go 72 hours without getting his nut off.
Is there no one in the newly freed world who doesn’t owe their very soul to Ben Cafferty (Kevin Dunn)? It seems like the former presidential advisor kept half the Eastern European leaders from being strung up in the town square with their balls shoved in their mouths. As Meyer learns how level the actual playing field is in Tbilisi, she relies on the stable counsel of Ben and political traditionalist Kent Davidson (Gary Cole) to field her offers. The difference between a brutal war criminal who roles with an iron fist and Scab Callaway is clear. Five million dollars if the check clears. There are literally no laws in Georgia, Gary says about political paybacks, and he’s using literally literally.
Veep has always been one of the most cynical shows on television, but with tonight’s AIDS aside, they take their place at the top of the list. East and West agree that easy labels said with the most sincere of deliveries win votes. Selina comes out as a hero for exposing the equal opportunity offenders for what they are, but the declining exchange against the American dollar makes none of it worthwhile.
“Georgia” was written by Billy Kimball and directed by Becky Martin.