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Review: ‘Veep’ Season 4 Episode 5, ‘Convention,’ Adds Hugh Laurie as Amy Drops the Mic

Review: 'Veep' Season 4 Episode 5, 'Convention,' Adds Hugh Laurie as Amy Drops the Mic

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Veep’ Season 4 Episode 4 ‘Tehran’

Immediate Reaction:

Amy Brookheimer just brought some honest-to-God truth to the White House. Okay, so the President and her ex-campaign manager weren’t in the Oval Office for Amy’s epic throw-down, but the reverberations of her mic-drop departure were certainly felt in the nation’s capital. Dan was left scrambling in his new position, at a loss for contacts after both Jonah and Amy were cut out of the President’s inner circle. In all honesty, Amy’s outburst made Dan’s Season 3 blow-up look like a balloon deflating in comparison to her detonating bomb. 

And what’s up with Tom James? Sure, it makes sense why Selina would be hesitant to bring in an ex-lover to the team, but why does James — a commodity so hot even Ben likes him… Seriously, Ben! — want to be a part of this campaign catastrophe in the first place? You could see the wheels of recognition spinning as he was forced to repeat his rather bland joke again and again and again to an all-too-giddy White House staff, but I also got the sense he knew exactly what he was walking into the second he stepped foot off the elevator. That introduction presented James — played by the always affable Golden Globe-winner Hugh Laurie — as a man on a mission, and I’m betting he’s only here under the presumption Meyer will lose, thus making him the frontrunner for the top of the ticket in four years.

Politically-Correct Reaction

Amy’s ruthless evisceration of Selina’s political practices brought a surprising dose of honesty to a show usually reveling in its lies. Selina tried to dismiss the impressive outburst — all hail Queen Chlumsky — but you could see how deeply it connected with her after Amy walked out. Though the sundae was good (“You are the worst thing to happen to this country since food in buckets — and maybe slavery”), the cherry added on at the very end was the best and most destructive part — “You have achieved nothing apart for one thing: The fact that you are a woman means we will have no more women presidents because we tried one and she fucking sucked.” It took that much drama to rattle an all-too-confidant Selina, but Amy finally proved she’s the right person to be running her campaign — even if she had to leave it to do so.

Jonah Put-Down of the Week

Jonah somehow escaped the week without attack. Despite failing to do what Dan needed, the new lobbyist couldn’t attack the man he brought to help in front of his client. Neither could his boss, whose worst turned out to be ignoring Richard’s handshake. However, we should hear some real Jonad slams next week when Teddy seeks revenge for his dismissal and/or the story leaks around D.C. A nation’s capital full of people who know Jonad got his balls fondled for weeks without complaint? I’m not even going to try to guess what they’ll say — just enjoy it when they do.

Simile of the Season

“It’s like Christmas, except happy.” – Ben

Simple but effective, Ben’s response to Selina’s praise — after conspiring to get Vice President Doyle to resign rather than publicly abandon the ticket — said so much about the sad-sack Chief of Staff. Christmas at the Caffrey household must be a morose affair. But is Ben’s direct reference better than last week’s winner for Best Simile? Vote below for your favorite (and list any personal favorites in the comments section for year-end consideration).

Rhetorical Abuse

“He said no. Actually, let me elaborate on that: 
The shitty two-faced fat fucking turd said no.”

Just to get this out of the way, Amy delivered the definition of “rhetorical abuse” with every sentence of her career-defining speech (for better or worse). We just already covered those insults pretty thoroughly above, so instead we turn to the President herself. Selina does not take kindly to people turning her down, especially because she’s so blind to how it could effect them. “Convention” set a brilliantly fast pace to illustrate the speed at which this team is forced to make vital decisions — and how some of them can’t hack it. Amy proved she was one who could, while Ben told Karen exactly why she couldn’t. (“But she definitely wants you to go. So how are you feeling?” “I don’t know what to think.” “Precisely.”) It matters to Selina who can or can’t help her — be it on her team or on her ticket — but she doesn’t care even slightly what happens to them. She was so blind to the idea of Danny Chung turning her down that she actually considered putting Owen Pierce one step away from the presidency. Talk about a perfect reason for Amy to go all devil-may-care.

Power Rankings

1) Ben Cafferty
– After his work getting Doyle ousted without incident, Ben should be flying high in the No. 1 slot. Too bad Ben’s top level is everyone else’s middle. 

2) Kent Davison
– Don’t get me wrong.  Kent’s promotion to campaign manager is certainly meaningful, but Selina just needed to pick someone in the room at the time and her choices were minimal. Will the Meyer campaign become a numbers-driven machine of efficiency, or will Kent’s reign be too middle-of-the-road boring? 

3) Bill Ericsson
– I firmly believe if Bill had been in the room when Tom James asked who the campaign manager was then Ericsson would be running the show. She’s always wanted him. He’s got an impeccable resume. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles on “Veep” — rarely do the best men win out.

4) Sue Wilson
– It was Sue who broke the news about Senator O’Brien’s running mate (“Sexy Mexy”), so her upward trajectory isn’t just due to Amy’s backslide.

5) Mike McClintock
– “It was a joint decision made by the President, Vice President and Vice President’s prostate doctor?”

6) Gary Walsh
– Between Gary’s barely restrained “example” kiss with Selina to his denying Karen as her best friend (“The president’s best female friend. I mean, come on.”), the bag man was certainly hoping for more in Episode 5.

7) Amy Brookheimer
– Unlike Dan’s dismissal a few weeks back, Amy’s was a) voluntary; b) honest, and c) effective. She really got through to her boss, so don’t be surprised if Selina humbles herself to win Amy back. Brookheimer is down, but far from out.

8) Dan Egan
– Dan has now proven inept at a number of professions, but by far the worst yet has to be as a pitchman for a prominent zucchini grower. I mean, Mike McClintock? That’s as deep as your black book goes? Come on, Dan. He was *this close* to dropping below Jonad, again — getting him coffee as well as the assistant Dan hired for him was particularly embarrassing — but we just can’t do it to Dan. He, at least, knows when he’s messed up.

9) Jonah Ryan
– Seriously. Jonad is going to get it next week.

Grade: A

READ MORE: Is Saving ‘The Mindy Project’ What Hulu Needs to Do to Take On Netflix?

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