Veep, Season 3, Episode 09: “Crate”
Teleplay by Simon Blackwell and Georgia Pritchett, Story by Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell, and Georgia Pritchett
Directed by Chris Addison
Airs Sundays at 10:30pm (ET) on HBO (Special airing at 10 pm ET for this episode)
Veep, Season 3, Episode 10: “New Hampshire”
Teleplay by Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche, Story by Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell, and Tony Roche
Directed by Chris Addison
Airs Sundays at 10:30pm (ET) on HBO
Over the course of Veep, Selina Meyer has made no secret of her desire to take on the top position, culminating in a campaign run for the nomination over the course of this season. Despite her experience, she has continued to suffer setbacks, with her job as Vice-President, a position she has come to resent, also negatively impacting her campaign. Her staff has similarly suffered, as Dan’s nervous breakdown and Gary’s continuing shoulder troubles can attest to. The final two episodes of the season bring a major background issue with the FLOTUS to the fore, giving Meyer a shot of optimism amidst the failing campaign, in an entertaining finish to a wonderful season.
The minor donor nickname scandal once again serves as a sharp reminder of the disconnect between the people in DC and the American public at large. While the way the people at DC conduct themselves, as well as Meyer’s prior public interactions, have revealed this difference before, highlighting it at this stage of Meyer’s campaign can actually yield consequences in the form of losing the presidential nomination. It will be intriguing to see how Meyer, and Amy, deal with situations such as this going forward. With Meyer losing both the primaries so far, and placing poorly in New Hampshire, it’s clear that she’ll have to tighten up her campaign if she wants to keep the presidency. Amy is also likely to sense her job on the line if the campaign continues to go in this direction, especially with members of Pierce and Maddox’s team posing a threat along with the members of Meyer’s own staff, such as Dan. How Amy navigates the campaign will also be promising to see.
The reactions of the various members of the staff to Meyer’s ascension to the Presidency is also intriguing. For many of these individuals, including Meyer herself, being in the White House represents the pinnacle of their political professions. However, it also comes with its share of difficult work, work that is likely to be much more complex than the vice-president’s office. The conflict of these two duties is clearly already affecting the group, as both Dan and Amy relish the opportunity to be part of the Presidential staff, while Mike and Ben both express apprehension at the increased workload. As Meyer continues on her presidential run, it will be worth keeping an eye on her staff to see how they function. With her outburst this week following the scandal about the donor nicknames, it’s now explicitly clear that Meyer has very little regard for her staff, perhaps save for Ben. This may mean that, at some point, the responsibilities of working in the White House will outweigh the prestige and perks, resulting in members of Meyer’s staff jumping ship, as they’d find little reason to be loyal to her. On the other hand, members of Meyer’s staff who do continue to enjoy being in the White House may sense the hopelessness of her campaign, and decide to jump over to someone with a higher probability of winning the upcoming election. What course of action the members of her staff takes, and how Meyer reacts and adjusts to the losses, if she suffers any, promise to be a fascinating aspect of next season.
Overall, this is a strong finish to the season. Catherine’s role, albeit brief, is a great reminder of both her ability to see through her mother’s platitudes and behaviour, and her naivete about the political process and the complications present in it. Jonah’s story through both episodes is also fun to watch, and it works well to illustrate the difference between someone like him and someone like Dan, who continues to be moderately successful in the political system despite obstacles such as his nervous breakdown earlier in the season, and the possibility of the Chung rumour coming back to bite him this week. With Jonah now on Meyer’s team, it will be worth seeing how he operates with both Meyer and her staff members. Despite him being on the team only for his uncle’s votes, he does have some experience working with the President, which might have the potential to make him valuable to Meyer, which in turn might force the rest of the staff to be civil with him. As Jonah has shown, even a minor taste of power makes him unpleasant to be around, which is likely to only add to the contempt others have for him, which in turn will certainly yield hilarious results. How Meyer’s time as President affects her presidential campaign run, and how she manages to juggle the tasks, as well as the effect this promotion has on her and her staff, is bound to make for an exciting fourth season, and if this season is any indication, it will be well worth looking forward to.
– Deepayan Sengupta