Veep, Season 4, Episode 6: “Storms and Pancakes”
Teleplay by Georgia Pritchett and Will Smith, Story by Armando Iannucci, Georgia Pritchett, and Will Smith
Directed by Chris Addison
Airs Sundays at 10:30pm (ET) on HBO
Doyle’s resignation from Meyer’s ticket in last week’s episode began the search for a suitable replacement that ended with Amy resigning with an outburst, followed by Meyer going with Amy’s choice for running mate. This week’s episode sees Meyer trying to adjust to James and his high level of popularity, while Amy herself adjusts to a post-Meyer career, in another hilarious episode that reveals new facets to some characters.
It’s intriguing to watch both Meyer and Dan suffer from an inferiority complex in light of the entrance of people better at their jobs. Meyer’s ego problems have been well-documented through the series’ run, and her issues with James’ popularity eclipsing hers come as no surprise. What will be worth seeing, however, is how she copes. Meyer would generally be inclined to attack anyone who overshadows her the way James does this week, but this is a unique situation, as James’ success and popularity is key to her campaign run. In addition, if Meyer were to chase off James, she’d be back in her initial pickle of having to find a running mate who fills all the criteria James does, a hassle that’s only likely to get exacerbated the closer the team gets to the election. Meyer’s ego may become her worst enemy at this point, and how she, and the rest of the staff, deal with this situation, especially with Amy not around to defuse things if necessary, promises to make for a fun watch.
Unlike Meyer, however, Dan’s situation is a lot more precarious, making his frustration more understandable, and the character more sympathetic by extension. Dan’s on thin ice in his career, with the lobbying company already going out on a limb by hiring him, and he has yet to make a significant impact in his new job. At the same time, he’s the one responsible not only for bringing Amy into the company fold, but for helping her recover from her anger towards Meyer and the White House office. His case can be read as an example of the old parable that “no good deed goes unpunished”, but Dan has proven himself resourceful before, and is unlikely to go down so easily. With significantly less clout, however, and a decreased amount of ill will towards Amy, how he goes about regaining his lost prestige will be intriguing to see.
Overall, Veep delivers another entertaining episode. The look into Amy’s psyche that this episode provides is very telling, and it’s amusing to see her workaholic nature not allow her to enjoy time at a spa. With her imminent burnout now averted, it’ll be interesting to see if she develops a desire to return to Meyer’s staff and the White House as things continue. Ben’s loneliness in the White House is also amusing, particularly given his general prickly demeanour, and Sue’s reactions are a great way to highlight the key to her quiet efficiency. Jonah’s insecurity about why Teddy chose to molest him is a good way to show another side to the character, and it’s good to see the molestation storyline hasn’t gone away with Teddy’s departure. How Meyer continues coping with James and how Amy adjusts to life as a lobbyist will be worth keeping an eye on as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta