Veep S06E06 Recap: The Most Devastating Lines From 'Qatar'

This season of Veep has been perennially unsure of what to do with Selina Meyer in a post-politics world. With no office to hold or to seek, Selina seems stuck between wanting to build her library, influence the world as an ex-president, write her memoir, or even go back into politics once again. In and of itself, that's not really a problem. Uncertainly and aimlessness would be noble subjects to tackle. But the show seems uncertain even of that. It's not as if Selina is wandering from one thing to the next, until maybe the season settles on something for her to finally do. She just has all those balls constantly juggling in the air, and that uncertainty is itself bringing down the show just a tad.

I really don't know why it has to be this hard, to be honest. Last week's episode did something really interesting by making it specifically about who Selina is and what she's been through. Her interactions with Mike led her down a path of discovery about her family, a resolution to change her legacy. Combine that with the mental breakdown she purportedly went through between seasons, or the heart attack she apparently had, or her age issues and the looming threat of menopause, and you have what could be a very succinct character arc.

But the show seems hesitant to truly go there. Even in this week's episode, "Qatar", some of those things are touched about, but only, it seems, for a fleeting one liner or gag. For example, the episode begins with Catherine and Marjorie trying to tell her that they're pregnant, only to be ignored by more pressing news. Later on Richard spills the beans, and she's only momentarily concerned about being a grandmother. At the end of the episode she laments the end of her relationship with a Qatari shiek, concerned with whether or not he ended it because of her age. It's not that Selina's self-consciousness about her age isn't omnipresent on the show, it's just that it's inconsistently addressed.

Now that we're more than halfway through the season, you start to get concerned with the apparent aimlessness of the show. Maybe we were spoiled by the presidential race arc that lasted two seasons, maybe the plot was truly tighter under Armando Iannucci, but the gaps are slowly starting to show.

it's just a shame, because plot issues aside, this is still a truly fucking hilarious show. Every week it seems like I'm jotting down more and more jokes, having to take more pause breaks for laughter. Ultimately, that's what you look for in a sitcom, but Veep is supposed to be the gold standard of comedy on television, so we sort of have to hold it to a higher standard.

Still, it's hard to deny "Qatar's" entertainment value. Selina takes her self-consciousness and her team's ineptitude to the Middle East and Africa, where she tries and orchestrate a mining deal between Sudan, Qatar and China in exchange for recognition for Tibet which President Montez usurped from her. She has to balance that with her desire to double-down on women's issues after she sees Montez visit Sudan shortly after she did, treading carefully during a human rights speech to balance it all, a moment which is truly one of the most uncomfortable things I've seen on TV in a while. It isn't enough, so she winds up losing everything, as Selina Meyer is wont to do.

SO we're once again back to square one, but on the bright side, Furlong was all over this episode and one of the subplots is that Mike gets a bad sunburn, which I sincerely list as a major positive. Plot and arc issues aside, "Qatar" is a hilarious episode of Veep, so it gets 9 communist-capitalist swirls out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • Aside from all the Mike stuff, the sight gag of the episode has to be Gary being led into a mine field while everyone stays behind.
  • I also love the subtle misdirect with Mike. You think his arc in this episode will be him lamenting about his roaming fees, then, boom, the sunburn thing hits you and Selina is full of one-liners about it.
  • Furlong took an interesting turn in this episode, as we find out that he has to be nice and not obscene in front of his wife.
  • Line of the Night: Mike's struggle, in three Selina one-liners.

    "Are you kidding me Mike? You look like an old dyke in an English gardening show."

    "Mike, what happened? You look like the business end of a baboon."

    "You look like the world's least fucked Geisha."

  • Selina & Gary:"You did such good work together in the field of--" "Human trafficking." "Import-export."
  • Selina: "It's like six degrees of Al Qaeda in here. I hope we don't drone this place while we're in it."
  • Selina: "You don't just forget English, he just went full Chinaman on me."
  • Richard: "Oh yay, maybe I could stop masturbating now."
  • Selina & Richard: "What is the opposite of a warlord?" "A peace lady?"
  • Selina: "I can't be with someone who's physically disfigured. It makes me feel sick."
  • Congressman & Jonah discussing their group's name: "Libertonians, says what it's about." "No, that sounds like a gay a capella group."
  • Dan, on a coworker's tie: "I think it's rad. Which is a combination of retarded and sad."
  • Selina at her best, vamping to poor Sudanese children: "Is it something something that you eat or something that you already ate?"
  • Richard: "You know, ma'am, back in America people are always telling me to go back to Africa, and I'm actually glad I did, it's magical out here."
  • Furlong & Will: "You know, Will here can't eat cheese, what happens when you eat cheese, Will?" "I go poopoo in my panty-wanties."
  • Furlong: "Woah what's this, the fourth horseface of the apocalypse? You know, Jonah, if you're going to pay for sex just add the two bucks for the premium edition."
  • Sudanese lady: "Come, let me serve my American visitors tea while half the Sudanese suffer from starvation."
  • Richard & Gary: "You know that animal that Nathan Lane plays in The Lion King?" "Oh, I love that animal." "Well, three of those got caught in the engine."
  • Selina: "What's Qatari for morning-after pill? Probably a stoning, which would also do the trick."
  • Furlong: "And I want Rihanna to put a gun to my head while she makes me eat me out, but guess what, that's about as likely to happen as Will's wife putting a baby in her polyp festival of a uterus."
  • Mike: "Here's your speech, sorry about the hummus stains."
  • Ben & Kent: "Second goddamn floor. I can't even commit suicide." "I got a key to the roof. We could do a Butch-Sundance?" "Nah, I'll just wait for cancer."