Veep S06E01 Recap: The Most Devastating Lines From 'Omaha' [Season Premiere]
There's always a moment in a Veep season premiere where you truly realize that the show is back. "Omaha" has no shortage of devastating insults or one liners, but for me, that moment was more about Jonah's storyline than it was Selina's or anything else's. Not only do we find out in this premiere that the result of his doctor's visit in last season's finale was full-blown cancer, but that he also went into remission after only a few weeks and has been milking it ever since by shaving his head and eyebrows.
And that's pretty much the most Veep-like sequence of events, isn't it? Not only do they actually give Jonah cancer, not only does nobody really care, as everyone continues to make fun of him, but it is indeed Jonah that turns out to be the true asshole in the end, since he takes a real situation and pulls at it and distorts it to the point where you understand why nobody has sympathy for him. To me, that's what proves that Veep still has some juice left in the tank.
Unfortunately, I don't know if I can say the same about the rest of the episode. There are some great lines, some wonderfully brutal insults that we'll recap below, and most of the characters are going through some sort of shit that makes you feel bad for them to one degree or another, but it doesn't feel like it truly comes together. The episode is clearly building towards something bigger for later this season, and that's fine, but this is also the most change the show has ever gone through over one off-season, the most the group's been scattered and splintered.
To recap, it's now been a year since Selina lost the presidency. Her first year as an ex-president hasn't been kind to her. She's had a tough time, but the episode starts with her coming out of hiding to talk about her incoming memoir (which of course she hasn't yet started writing) and her foundation, the Meyer Fund For Adult Literacy (and AIDS), but only AIDS because it got Dan to shut up about other stuff during their interview. Gary is of course right by her side as her bag man, as he's always been, but she's had to resort to Richard being her chief of staff, because that just seems appropriate.
Everyone else is more or less scattered though. Jonah has enlisted the help of Kent and, by the end of the episode, Ben, to work with him in congress on some bill about kid's lunches, and that'll also be our view into people like Furlong as well. Amy is running her fiance Buddy Calhoon's campaign for governor and trying to be Washington Amy in a much slower-moving state. Mike is jobless and trying to raise his family. And Dan is now the host of CBS This Morning, which will certainly have him interacting with a lot of different people in one form or another.
I'm certainly interested to see where all of this goes, but at the same time, not having everyone in the same building, under the same story, riffing off and insulting each other just makes it feel like something is missing, and it makes you wonder if this show is truly past the hump of having anything relevant left to say. They dangle a carrot under our nose when Selina says she's going to run for president again, but everyone's abject rejection of her proposal speaks volumes; everyone knows that President Selina Meyer is never going to happen again, that it's a terrible idea. That in and of itself doesn't mean that it isn't worth doing, especially within the context of the show, but I question the idea of having no one on board. I actually kind of want it to happen, having Selina be the kind of candidate that drops out after a couple of months and has to schlepp for another candidate. Maybe that's something that the show wants to keep in the back of their pocket for now, but then again what's the point of introducing it if you're not going to go on an ill-advised run with it.
But then you have moments like the Jonah stuff which build your confidence about what this show is capable of. And you have a lot of other things too, like a bunch of subtle jabs at Hillary. Selina says she's all about getting paid now. She doesn't care if it looks shady, if her ex-husband is taking advantage of her, so long as she gets to fly on private jets and gets paid a lot of money by foreign people to give speeches. Hilariously, it's Richard who mumbles something about how it all might come back to haunt her, seemingly his one clear-headed thought as he proceeds to take everything else Selina says in the episode literally.
I don't want to bee too much of a Debbie Downer because there is some truly great material in the premiere, and I'd like to give the benefit of the double to David Mandel for having to reinvent the show on the fly, but I question splintering the group this much when it's so clear that this show is at its best when everyone has a lot of other punching bags to work with.
While that may come in the future, it doesn't necessarily help Omaha, which gets 7.5 pity handies out of 10.
Notes & Quotes:
- Ben, trying to appease his woke co-workers at Uber: "No it's okay, my wife is Oriental. All of them have been. Gonna get yellow fevah."
- Selina & Dan RE Dan's co-host: "What is she like?" "Oh I love her." "Because I've heard she's a complete gash and a half." "Yeah, she really is."
- Selina/Gary: "I feel like we're celebrating my frat house gang rape, except I didn't even get a candlelight vigil." "I love candles."
- Selina/Richard: "And Time Magazine, let's get in touch with them, because the world really needs to know--" "About the gangbang thing?"
- Will's allegory to Furlong's green bean efforts in congress: "Like me jamming anonymous trucker cock in a restroom well-known for that purpose."
- Jonah: "He's already got a job much better than sponging up jizz, right kent?" [sighs]
- Selina: "This is the worst place they've ever stuffed an ex-president, and I'm including JFK's coffin."
- Selina's pronoun game after finding out she won an award from a transgender group: "That's nice, tell them I accept. Them? I don't know, tell the bearded ladies I'm coming."
- Marjorie/Selina:"We can't do anything about AIDS." "Who are you, Ronald Reagan?"
- Richard: "Ma'am, the Apollo is a soft pass."
- Dan: "You look like you should be underground worshiping an atomic bomb you human fucking pap smear."
- Ben: "A bunch of dumbass millenials, too lazy to learn how to drive drunk."
- Ben: "Schlomo Tans is radioactive. He can read the newspaper on the toilet by the light of his own shit."
- Gary/Selina: "Do you want window or aisle?" "I don't want anything here."