Veep, Season 2, Episode 10: “D.C.”
Written by Tony Roche and Armando Iannucci
Directed by Tim Kirkby
Airs Sundays at 10pm (ET) on HBO
Throughout the second season, the US administration has found itself embroiled in one issue after another, beginning with the poor showing at the election in the season premiere. The President’s attempts at passing the buck on these issues have not only been futile in keeping his own nose clean, but have also turned members of his own administration against him, including Vice-President Meyer herself, as the end of last week’s episode indicated. The season finale thus examines, with the noose increasingly tightening on his political career and impeachment being a looming threat, how the President handles these issues, and the effect it has on Meyer and her staff, delivering a great finale to cap off a season that managed to improve upon its high quality predecessor.
Illustrating the parallels between Ben & Kent and Mike & Dan was a great way of pointing out how cyclical politics ultimately is in DC, that even if Meyer replaced the current POTUS, it would be a cosmetic change at best. While the show has yet to have a scene where Meyer and the President have a direct interaction, the fact that the two agreed to run, successfully, on the same ticket, indicates that there is more than a passing similarity in their policies and how they approach issues, and despite Meyer’s animosity towards POTUS, she is, seemingly for worse, associated with him. It will be interesting to see, with the confirmed departure of the President in four years, how Meyer goes about dissociating herself from him, both in the public eye and policy-wise, a feat that will no doubt be more difficult after a season where she has been placed at the centre of numerous crises.
The personal friction between Gary and Dana, as well as Amy and Ed, also helped in bringing back the season’s overarching theme of personal life vs. professional life. Amy’s situation, in particular, is fascinating, as it’s clear that her relationship with Ed is going to end sooner rather than later, and she seems willing but unable to build a personal life, with Ed’s freaking out over getting more serious standing as the strongest proof of that. With Selina gearing up for a run at the Presidency, any attempt on Amy’s part at building a life outside of her work is going to be further stalled, and how that weighs on her should be worth watching, particularly if circumstances cause her importance among the Vice-President’s staff to diminish. Similarly, Gary’s issues with Dana are proof of a more voluntary attachment to Meyer, and an active decision to stay on her staff, possibly at the expense of his personal life, and how that decision affects Gary’s actions next season should also be worth keeping an eye on.
Overall, this was a great episode to end a fantastic second season. Danny Chung stomping on Dan’s ego by declaring him as not special and irrelevant was a standout moment, as it’s difficult not to feel bad for Dan in the moment, despite the fact that this was brought about by him trying to jump ship from Selina’s staff without her knowledge. It was good to see both Zach Woods and Jessica St. Clair return, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus was in fine form throughout the ups and downs that Meyer went through this episode. With both Chung’s announcement, and the President’s imminent departure, allegiances are bound to shift as the new power dynamics become more apparent, and how things shape up, particularly with regards to minor but important characters like Sue, is worth tuning in for when Season 3 rolls around.
– Deepayan Sengupta