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Review: ‘Veep’ Season 5 Episode 2 ‘Nev-AD-a’ Brings In a Mad Man

Review: 'Veep' Season 5 Episode 2 'Nev-AD-a' Brings In a Mad Man

Immediate Reaction

The recount is underway and each side is fortifying its team. The Meyer camp has Amy and Dan in Nevada, monitoring all things related to votes and lead by newly-discovered expert Richard Splett. But after the O’Brien camp hired recount specialist Jim Whitman, Selina went after her own proven vote getter, Bob “The Eagle” Bradley. He’s an old mentor of Ben’s, who’s just utterly honored that the old man remembers him as “Butt Fucker,” but his confusion over Nebraska and Nevada could spell trouble down the line.

Meanwhile, Mike’s Master Cleanse didn’t end the way he’d hoped, just as Amy’s night lacked the finish she’d aimed for with Dan. Really, the only winner this week was Selina, who — other than being outted for “dating” Charlie Baird — saw mostly positive returns. The recount is underway. Tom James thinks she’ll win (supposedly). And hey, she still got the banking task force she so desperately needed — in multiple rooms, even! Way to go, Pres. Now we wait for the other shoe to drop.

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Veep’ Season 5 Episode 1 ‘Morning After’ Teases Hope

Politically Correct Response

Episode 2 kept things cruising along, introducing new elements and building up the spirits of the Meyer camp. Of course, that means a crash is imminent, as Mike’s water bottle mishap and Dan’s poor choice in hotel partners are hardly major concerns for the team. Plenty of good zingers populated the half-hour episode, and John Slattery proved himself an excellent addition to the team — as if there was any doubt. The man just looks like he belongs here. Now we know he can act like it, too.

For an episode that laid as much track as this one — Charlie Baird, Bob “the Eagle” Bradley, Chinese hackers, Amy & Dan’s (failed) relationship and the ongoing Catherine film project — it’s nice to see new showrunner David Mandel and the team effortlessly plugging along. Benefits are undoubtedly on the way, but “Nev-AD-A” was hardly just about biding time.

Jonah Put-Down of the Week

“You are not Michael Jordan. You are a seven-foot-seven
goonie-looking Lithuanian who’s going to drop dead of Marfan Syndrome.”
– Amy

Ah, there it is: the first true Jonad takedown of Season 5. Amy, prompted by Jonah’s attempt to make himself much, much more than he is, finally provided the correct amount of negative attention to the series’ punching bag with the above retort. I wonder how many times the word “goon” has factored into the adjectives built around insulting Jonad. No matter the number, it can never be enough.

Simile of the Season

It’s Ben v. Ben in this week’s poll, as the man who was getting Amy’s sexts to end the episode kicked it off by criticizing Mike’s health kick by going full Nazi. It takes some gall to invoke the most hated organization this side of the KKK, but he wasn’t wrong in pointing out the connection. ‘Tis the beauty of “Veep’s” insults: They might sound harsh, but they’re always on the mark. 

Rhetorical Abuse

“I’m at Walter Reed meeting the troops
and shaking… god only knows what.”
– Selina

Selina’s fear of meeting limbless men and women in uniform is one of the better running jokes of “Veep.” Going all the way back to Season 2, when a rescue mission overseen by the then-VP cost a soldier his leg, the current President remains terrified of reliving that painful memory; perhaps because it’s one of the few times she’s felt the emotion commonly known as “empathy.” Knowing it all too well, I can see why a politician of her stature would be haunted by even a fleeting instance of said feeling. And not only did the above line open up the episode, but Selina later on made sure the Olympians she was meeting weren’t “special.” Nice work by the new showrunner David Mandel to keep a good thing going. 

Power Rankings

1. Selina
– If the worst thing to happen to Selina’s bid for the Presidency was getting fucked thrice over by Charlie Baird, then she’s in pretty great shape. 

2. Ben
– He’s second in command and seems to be doing a better job than Richard… or we’re just truly impressed with his verbal tenacity this season. Either way, he gets the nod.

3. Richard
– Don’t make any more statements to the press, Richard — maybe not to anyone outside the Meyer campaign at all. Your expertise is needed, but your political awareness is null.

4. Tom James
– “Why did Tom James just wrap up his balls in butcher paper and put them in my purse?” Call it what you will, but Tom knows how and when to play politics. It may not have been fun for him, but he sucks it up and gets it done. 

5. Catherine
– Still lurking in the background, filming everything her mother doesn’t want on camera, Catherine should remain in the top half of this list all season — if not Top 5.

6. Charlie Baird
– “You know, I hardly ever did that with President Hughes. And even when we did, I was kind of just going through the motions.” John Slattery made quite the impression in his “Veep” debut, and not just on Madam President. His timing and rhythms seemed right in line with the group, and his character is intriguingly hard to read, even after his faux-pas in the press. Let’s keep the banking task force rolling.

7. Kent
– Did the Nazis poll well, Kent? I would’ve never guessed, considering how many people they won over to the cause despite the absolutely horrifying atrocities they perpetrated.

8. Amy
– Amy, Amy, Amy. We know Nevada is a lonely place — especially Reno — but Dan? Really? Sure, his “Fuck, President Meyer” argument was admirable, but this was still the guy who, just last week, ate his sandwich in front of a homeless man…for fun.

9. Mike
– Technically, the Charlie Baird reveal was Catherine’s fault because she knocked over Mike’s juice, but really, the press secretary who can barely get through a conference in peak condition should have known better than to try something this draining. 

10. Gary
– Describing wanting Gary’s opinion as, “That’s like saying the cat doesn’t like you” so perfectly sums up Selina’s attitude toward her bagman, it’s almost a shame it wasn’t given more room to breathe. That, though, wouldn’t be “Veep’s” style.

11. Dan
– Technically, Dan should be higher on this list now that he’s doing a good job. But passing up a night with Amy for her sister was not a smart move emotionally or career-wise. I mean, there’s no way she’s high-ranking enough to get him a job on TV. My guess is she’s a local camera woman or the equivalent.

12. Jonah
– Michael Jordan never ranked this low for anything — other than baseball — in his life. You are not Michael Jordan.

Grade: A-

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