Veep S06E08 Recap: The Most Devastating Lines From 'Judge'

The simple truth is that we keep coming back to Veep for the amazing one liners. And that's why even when it's not putting forth its A-game, like earlier this season, it's still incredibly watchable. But when the show is firing on all cylinders, it can truly be something special. A few weeks ago, when the writers found a way to put the characters back together and when the plot started making a little more sense, Veep once again became the award-winning show that we know it's capable of being.

Like the last few episodes, "Judge" is Veep at its best. Not only because it does all those things that keep us coming back to the show, but that it also goes the extra mile on a couple of fronts; most notably with Gary, his character development, and his relationship with Selina. We all know that Veep is the Selina Meyer show, but Gary Walsh is easily the second most important character, in large part due to how much screen time Tony Hale shares with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Everything that Selina said, Gary is there to react to. He can add to the hilarious lines, alleviate tension and awkwardness when she's being mean. He's at her side when she's doing schmoozing. He can even contribute to more emotional moments, and even has a few of his own, moments that usually wind up being peaks for the show in and of themselves.

But Gary Walsh is a bit of a blank canvas. Because this isn't technically his story, we're resigned to usually only ever getting bits and pieces of his background, of who he is. That's what makes an episode like "Judge" so delightful; it allows us to fill in the gaps, to confirm everything we thoughts about who Gary was. And believe me, the writers have had the same thoughts. Even though it may seem predictable that Gary's a bit of a mama's boy, that he has a repressed, closeted, bully of a father, that he's had the ghost of a stillborn son to live up to, it doesn't mean that the show isn't able to play around with it, and the episode is, as a result delightful. In large part due to what Jean Smart and Stephen Root add to it as Gary's parents.

Of course, this being the Selina show, she winds up making it about herself in every way possible, bossing Gary around, taking over his childhood house, redecorating his party and inviting people who she wants money from for her library, even stealing the story Gary was going to tell that might have finally brought him and his father back together. But Gary has his moment when he gets to yell at his dad, possibly verbalizing years' worth of anger she has built up towards Selina. The moment she and him share at the episode at a barbecue joint is pretty grest too, even if it sort of sets everything back to zero when he accepts her half-hearted explanation about how politicians steal stories (by hilariously stealing Richard's story to her).

If all of that isn't enough for you, this episode has so much more, too. A side plot where Mike takes a fed up Amy on a tour of Alabama in order to find all the stuff he lost, Dan forcing himself to be nice to Jonah only for Jonah to screw him over by giving an interview to Jane, Jonah getting his comeuppance when his "Libertoneians" go behind his back to make a deal to end the government shutdown, which also pleases a recently fired Ben. It's all fantastic, up to and including the return of President Montez's staff asking her if she's okay talking to Jonah a alone, and an escalation when Jonah threatens not to rape her.

"Judge" is indeed Veep firing on all cylinders, and it gets 9.5 McClintock Morsels out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • Line Of the Night: Sometimes, there are better things about this show than straight-up insults. The line below from Kent is perfect. It shows that he watches Dan on CBS This Morning, and that this has been bothering him more than anything else, all delivered with the best dry Gary Cole tone.
  • Quote:

    Kent: "You said on air that Greg Hornsby was a member of The Grateful Dead. He was a touring member from '90 to '92, he never officially joined the band."

  • Selina/Richard: "Is anyone as shocked as I am that I'm doing this?" "I'm easily shocked, so I'm probably not the best person to ask."
  • Selina: "You had a relapse? I thought you were just being lazy?"
  • Selina/Amy: "Hey Gary, how come your family doesn't have a mongoloid kid on the porch playing banjo?" "Because he grew up and moved to D.C."
  • Selina: "My god, Amy, do you have any social skills whatsoever? I mean, we're in the middle of visiting with what's-his-ass's family here."
  • Selina/Gary: "None of the polling research mentioned a dead son's ghost crib." "The ghost is gone."
  • Selina: "I'll tell you something, if I had a crib for every baby that died inside me I could open up a Pottery Barn Kids."
  • Amy/Mike: "Ma'am, do you think that Mike could benefit from closer supervision?" "She's not wrong."
  • Catherine/Mr. Marjorie: "We're actually doing a herstorical tour of southern female writers." "And where they killed themselves."
  • Muhammed: "I tried to explain to him that Birmingham ranks low on the Jihadi to-do list."
  • Selina: "We're in Gary's house, and this whole plays is like a vortex of sexual confusion."
  • Congressman Ryan: "Hold for congressman Ryan."
  • Selina/Muhammed: "Maryland had slaves, they just didn't secede." "So they had it both ways." "Like Gary's dad."
  • Selina/Gary: "You can't let your father talk to you like that, he's always interrupting you and insulting you." "You're absolutely right--" "You have to stand up for yourself, stupid."
  • Jonah/Dan: "Did you hear? I got engaged." "Is she a foreigner?" "No, just Jewish."
  • Richard: "I wish I had a pen. Oh you know what, I just remembered, I have a photographic memory."
  • I love these CBS This Morning non sequiturs: "And the little boy with the broken rollerskates? He grew up to be Egyptian president Anwar Sedat." "Who, sadly, was assassinated."