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Review: ‘Veep’ Season 4 Finale, Episode 10, ‘Election Night’ Puts Its Own Twist on History

Review: 'Veep' Season 4 Finale, Episode 10, 'Election Night' Puts Its Own Twist on History

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Veep’ Season 4 Episode 9 ‘Testimony’ Exposes The Jonad Files In All Their Glory

Immediate Reaction:

Instinctively, I very much want to say that “Election Night” capped the best season yet of a show that repeatedly tops itself year after year. Knowing hindsight may prove me a fool, there’s simply too much brilliance in tonight’s episode to ignore the possibility it could be the best finale yet: the collective group’s non-empathetic frustration regarding the impending prison sentence of poor Bill Ericcsson; Jonah’s sudden rise to public favor and his quick fall via unintelligible stand-up; Amy’s heartfelt devotion to a woman she knows is a monster, but knows too well to hold it against her; an unpredictable but wholly justified election night twist never before executed in scripted television; a classic Selina tirade culminating with “The rule book’s been torn up now, and America is wiping its nasty ass with it!”; Tom’s successful integration into the cast without betraying his upstanding moral code (a code that goes against those of everyone around him); and finally, an ending with enough closure to hold us over ’til next year, but carrying a tease too delectable to forget.

Screw it. “Veep” Season 4 is its best year yet.

Politically Correct Response

And it ends just as it began. Selina Meyer seems poised to head back to her old office just as “Veep” creator and showrunner Armando Iannucci departs his. In truth, we should be thankful for these four exquisite seasons of television’s most ruthless — and ruthlessly funny — comedy. Even if next year takes a nose dive synonymous with past series that lost high profile creatives, Iannucci has provided nearly 40 episodes of incomparable work that will stand the test of time. He’s also left on a high note marked with the need for continuation but also just a dash of finality. “Veep” has been renewed for Season 5, but there’s something idyllically bittersweet about Ms. Meyer being inescapably trapped in the vice-president’s office for the rest of her days. What made for a dynamite season finale also works as a last word for the series creator. Bravo, Armando, and thank you.

Jonah Put-Down of the Week

“Check ’em, don’t neglect ’em.”

Jonah went out on a bit of high despite losing the crowd with his awkward stand-up. His catchphrase worked (somehow), and he even got a one-on-one thank you from the President. Who cares if it was short? She didn’t call him any of the names from The Jonah Files, so that has to be a win. With that kind of positive public buzz, it will be delightful to see how Jonah squanders it come Season 5. 

READ MORE: Happy Birthday Peter Dinklage! His 13 Best Non-‘Game of Thrones’ TV Performances 

Simile of the Season

“I only really know Amy as the woman who rushed everywhere,
clutching her phone like it contained her frozen embryos.” – Sue’s Friend

Either way it shakes out, Amy is going to be the winner of Indiewire’s First Annual Simile of the Season contest. If the nearly season-long trend continues, she’ll be the one credited with saying the best simile, but if this week’s entry can pull of the upset, well, Amy is the butt of the winning words. I’m not sure which she’d prefer, given the circumstances. After all, Amy was at her most stressed when she despairingly claimed her closest colleagues cared more about their cell phones than her well-being. That, and Sue’s friend spoke the truth: that’s exactly how casual observers would identify Amy. But no more words: let the battle commence!

Rhetorical Abuse

“That fucking guy with his fucking charm and his fucking son
and his fucking wheelchair with his spine all fucked up.” – Selina Meyer

Sometimes only an f-bomb (or five) will do the trick when it comes to verbally tongue-lashing the opposition. President Meyer used as many to unleash her frustrations on Tom James, her supporter turned mortal enemy all in the span of an election night for the ages. Though he wasn’t there to hear her tirade (for once), Tom felt the heat of her vehement anger on stage as Selina interrupted his personal anecdote before boxing him right out of the spotlight. After shoveling more than his fair share of shit to get her elected — well, tied — it will be interesting to see what Tom puts up with next season when the power roles are reversed. No matter what, it’s unlikely Selina will ease up on her language — in private, public or both.

Power Rankings

1) Tom James
– If I included President Meyer in this ranking, Tom would still be No. 1. I’m not saying he’s going to be the next president, but we all know he should be (which may, in fact, be his downfall, knowing “Veep’s” wicked satirical mindset).

2) Ben Cafferty
– Seeing Ben on cocaine would be absolutely wild. “Veep” writers: please, please have a flashback episode in Season 5.

3) Kent Davison
– It’s almost too perfect that the ultimate stats man/robot managed a presidential campaign into a statistically-improbable tie. 

4) Sue Wilson
– Sue made up for last week’s slip-up by bringing Amy to campaign headquarters and being the first to add up electoral votes accurately. I bet Kent has never been more aroused.

5) Mike McClintok
– Give Mike some credit. He may have accidentally Googled “how to tie a tie,” but he was still the first staffer to interpret the constitution correctly. Who saw that coming?

6) Amy Brookheimer
– If Anna Chlumsky doesn’t win an Emmy this year, there is simply no justice in the universe. She’s blended intensity, honesty and humor like never before, and her beautiful arc was capped off perfectly with that awkward, sobbing Selina hug.

7) Dan Egan
– It was unsettling to see Dan’s face that big, but boy was it satisfying to hear some good news coming out of it. Well, bad news for the citizens of the “Veep” world. Rough times ahead.

8) Gary Walsh
– “America doesn’t just love you, Ma’am. She’s in love with you.” – Gary, speaking for himself.

9) Jonah Ryan
– “The face of workplace bullying and genital health.” I can’t wait to see how this new designation alters The Jonad Files.

10) Bill Ericcsson
– Quite frankly, I was surprised to see Bill in this episode. How long do trials take? Have they not filed charges? Shouldn’t he already be in the prison he’s so afraid to end up (and rightfully so)?

Grade: A

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