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Review: ‘Veep’ Season 4 Episode 2, ‘East Wing,’ Starts a Guessing Game

Review: 'Veep' Season 4 Episode 2, 'East Wing,' Starts a Guessing Game

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Veep’ Season 4 Episode 1 ‘Joint Session’ Addresses the Nation

Immediate Reaction: 

For the rest of this season, or as long as it takes to answer, “Veep” has now become almost exclusively about one question: “What happened on Labor Day?” When Selina and Gary went at it over the bag man’s overspending and poor choice in decorating, the fierce emotional battle came to a quick close as soon as the idea of Labor Day was broached.

“Can you find somebody else who did what I did?” That’s all Gary said, keeping the promise he made to never mention the certainly-scandalous day ever again. What happens between this not-quite-platonic couple off camera has always been intriguing, but now it’s put us on a need-to-know basis. I can’t wait to find out, or at least get a few more teases toward the twist.

Politically-Correct Reaction:

“Veep” focused on the unwanted secrets of its staff in “East Wing.” Selina and Gary’s Labor Day-set secret may have taken center stage, but plot threads involving Catherine’s poor likability index, Mike’s misguided mustache, Jonah’s hidden sexual relationship with Teddy and Gary’s decorating disasters all involved shaming the secret-holders. It built to a triumphant crescendo with Selina and Gary’s brouhaha, making the second episode of “Veep” as delightfully debasing as any of its best entries. 

Jonah Put-Down of the Week

“Jesus Christ, you can’t lie, Jonah.
a) She’s gonna find out, and b) you suck at it.”

Other than Teddy calling Jonah “sugar tits,” there wasn’t a lot of competition for Jonah insults in Episode 2. He largely made fun of himself, proving his ineptitude by lying about bowling with the President and promising private screenings with the “really prolific” Martin Scorsese. Dan was on what must be his best behavior, too, considering Jonah is still lording the Danny Chung torture rumor over him. Still, he got in one much-needed jab at Jonah, even if it was far from enough.

Simile of the Season

“Can’t she just call in? I feel like I’m on trial in the future.” – Ben

“Veep” is staggeringly accurate with its comparisons used as complaints or take-downs. Sometimes they’re too accurate, and the insult thrown in the heat of improv can be applied to the actor as well as his or her character. This week, Kevin Dunn perfectly captured our collective frustration with FaceTime while watching Amy get frozen out of the meeting. We’ll see if next week can top it, and compile a ranked list of the best at the end of Season 4.

Rhetorical Abuse

“Catherine, America doesn’t like you.”/anything said to Catherine 

We all knew who would be the worst choice to tell Catherine about her unfavorable poll numbers. Ben may not have wanted tell her, but he could’ve bolstered her spirits by tearing himself down simultaneously. Dan probably wouldn’t have said anything at all, perhaps instead making Jonah’s new “assistant’s assistant” Richard do it. So, of course, Kent stepped up to take care of some emotionally delicate business with his tin-chested lack of empathy. The results were horrifically funny and absurdly lethal, but the First Daughter torture didn’t end there. Check out the clip above for an equally ruthless assault on the youngest Meyer’s ego. Poor Catherine. She may never catch a break.

Power Rankings

1) Ben Cafferty
– With lines like, “Who knew they made lampshades out of unobtainium?” and “Hey, I need a shirt! This isn’t ‘Die Hard,'” Ben isn’t going anywhere. He’s still the Chief of Staff and staff MVP.

2) Bill Ericsson
– Easily the most capable and politcally-savvy member of the team, Bill is one cluster-fuck away from the top seat. In this administration, that could happen twice in one day.

3) Amy Brookheimer
– She’s still the campaign manager… for now. Bill Ericsson could be sliding in for the steal, especially if he learned anything from his old boss, baseball manager Joe Thornhill. 

4) Mike McClintock
– The melting mustache means Mike drops a spot.

5) Sue Wilson
– Blink-and-you-missed-it moment of the week: Sue trying to replace Barbara Streisand with Sarah Silverman at the State Dinner.

6) Kent Davison
– Any other mother might be mad at Kent for how he handled the Catherine situation. Lucky for Kent, it’s unlikely Selina will even notice.

7) Gary Walsh
– “East Wing” is about as close as Gary’s ever come to getting canned, but he stood up for himself with admirable vigor. Good for you, Gary. Now try not to screw up for a few weeks.

8) Dan Egan
– Dan may have tricked Jonah into taking on an annoying assistant, but Jonah is still holding him by the balls with the Danny Chung torture secret — a position Jonah should now be quite familiar with.

9) Jonah Ryan
– “All right, well, Jonah there you go. You now have someone under you.” “Great, or at least between me and Terry.”

Grade: A

READ MORE: 8 Things You Never Knew About the Supporting Cast of ‘Veep’

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