Veep S06E03 Recap: The Most Devastating Lines From 'Georgia'

While the first two episodes of Veep's current season were by no means bad, it was very obvious that something as missing from the formula that has made the HBO sitcom one of the best shows on TV for five years running. And that something was the fact that the gang was scattered in a way that exposed the weaknesses of Selina Meyer as a character. The thing about Veep is that while every character is broken or flawed, in one way or another, those flaws present themselves in one of two categories; either a given character is morally bankrupt, or they're simply inept upwards failures. With Selina, the joke is that she can be either thing at any given time. She's very clearly failed upwards her entire career, all the way to the top of the executive branch. She isn't qualified to be president or maybe even Vice President when you really think about it. But she's not stupid. Similarly, she'll make morally questionable decisions, but she at least recognizes it when those decisions are problematic.

To put it another way, Selina is a very self-aware character who's put up with a lot of shit in her time and doesn't really want to deal with it anymore, even though she knows that more shit is inevitable in her day to day life. The show achieves balance and manages to hide her flaws in the people that are placed around her in various capacities. People like Mike, Richard, Gary and Jonah are there to remind us that she isn't at the bottom of the totem pole in this world. People like Kent, Ben, Amy and Dan are comparatively competent assholes. All of them are perpetually stuck a few rungs under her in that proverbial totem pole, while passersby like, for example from this very episode, Doyle or Minna, are similarly positioned as Selina.

Where all these characters are placed are important in determining the aforementioned balance. The problem with this season is that, as you may have noticed, the people around Selina in her new life as a more-or-less disgraced ex-president are solidly from the stupid side of the fence. Outside of the occasional idiot savant-like shades of brilliance from Richard, Mike and Gary are very much the ding dongs that Selina calls them in this episode, "Georgia". And there's nothing wrong with that, Gary and Mike's antics in this episode are among the highlights, as both have to execute their share of physical comedy after accidentally voting and getting their thumbs painted in the Georgian election, and having to hide it.

But Veep is about a lot more than stupid characters and physical humor, and without guys like Ben and Kent to knock Selina down a peg or two on occasion, the show becomes one note and exposes Selina as too much of an asshole. "Georgia" gets the band back together, as Selina and a congregation of congressmen that begrudgingly includes Jonah are tasked to monitor the first free elections in that titular European country. That means that Jonah is around to get his ass handed to him by Selina, still mad over him fucking up his vote in the election. Ben and Kent are also there, and it brings out the best in them, not only in their interactions with Selina, who immediately goes to them for advise, but also in their character quirks. Ben turns out to have freelanced for both (very corrupt) candidates in the election, so he shows up everywhere with a drink in his hand. Kent delivers some great, dry one liners of his own.

Amy and Dan are of course still missing, but that might change soon, at least with Amy, who leave Buddy Calhoun after he drops out of the gubernatorial race to be with her. Dan, meanwhile, is going to donate his sperm to Catherine and Marjorie.

The crux of the episode involves the two corrupt candidates in the Georgian election trading offers for donations to Selina's presidential library. Selina mulls not only the sizable offers, but also who she likes better. The sitting dictator is a charming storyteller, while his opponent, played by the incredible Stephen Fry, has a burned face but is a bit of a schemer. Nevertheless, this is Veep, and the episode doesn't forget that, as the dictator and winner of the election winds up arrested and Selina's local military escort somehow winds up in power. All the while, Selina's bribe is much less valuable since the coup, but she gets one over on a deflated Doyle when she steals his doctrine as her own.

"Georgia" is exactly the kind of episode I expected when we were told that this season of Veep was going to explore Selina's post-presidential life, and it fixed pretty much all of the problems of the first two episodes, showing us that the writing team is aware of the problems that face the show in what's likely its late stages. It's also probably the best we can hope for from Veep at the moment, so it gets 10 ice holes out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • A lot of great on liners this week, as you'll see below, but also a lot of great visual gags, not only with all the green thumb physical humour from Mike and Gary, but also some subtle stuff, like the guy wearing a knockoff "Chicago Balls" shirt, Doyle and Selina exchanging time on hold, Jonah getting "hazed" by his fellow congressmen, Selina glove-slapping Mike, and the best of all, Richard's literal tourist hat and his and Jonah's outing to a neo-Nazi bar.
  • How has it taken six seasons for Stephen Fry to guest star on this show?
  • Also nice to see the return of Sally Phillips' Minna in this episode, who still thinks Selina is her best friend, and spends the entire episode mispronouncing innuendy about Stephen Fry's poison engorged penis.
  • Line Of The Night: The two kinds of characters on Veep, illustrated.
  • Quote:

    Selina:"I just want to let you know that I will destroy you in ways that are so creative that they will honor me for it at the Kennedy Center."

    Jonah: "I will find ways to destroy so hard that everybody at the Kennedy Center is going to take a fucking massive shit."

  • Selina: "Jesus, democracy, what a horror show this is."
  • Local man/Selina: "Can we do picture?" "No." "It's okay, I don't have camera."
  • Selina: "Selina Meyer travels the globe, spreading democracy like patient zero."
  • Kent: "Hawaii is rightfully a monarchy, and will be again."
  • Jonah/Kent: "Oh! Sex trafficking workshop." "ANTI sex trafficking workshop." "Lame."
  • Ben: "Look at us, just like the good old days, except shittier in every conceivable way."
  • Dan/Amy: "Who's your favourite character on Downton Abby?" "I don't know, Abby, I guess."
  • Selina: "You have a doctrine now? What is it, 'boners are rare, don't waste them?"
  • Minna: "Your stay in the insane asylum has really agreed with you."
  • Kent: "Sorry Mike, you cannot stay here, please don't make me make up a reason."
  • Selina: "I never, ever want to see the inside of your mouth again. It looks like a Haitian porta-potty."
  • Selina: "Have you imprisoned any good novelists lately?"
  • Georgia's dictator: "How are things in the international busybody circuit."
  • Georgia's dictator/Selina: "I was sorry to see that your forceful condemnation did not do more to stop the recent genocide in the Congo." "Maybe next genocide."
  • Catherine/Dan: "How's your family?" "I don't know, have you heard something?"
  • Kent: "There is literally no Georgian law. And I'm using literally correctly."
  • Jonah: "Your noses must have been really tiny, because you lied and now they're normal-sized."
  • Selina: "You have lost a great deal of face, in my estimation."
  • Amy: "You have to walk 25 miles for breast cancer and attend a WNBA game but I think we're gonna be okay."
  • Selina: "You two ding dongs look like you fingered the Incredible Hulk."