Season 4, Episode 05 “Convention”
Air date: May 10, 2015 10:30 e/p
Veep continues its streak of major character shakeups this season with the surprise resignation of Amy. When Senator O’Brien announces a strong running mate in New Mexico senator Laura Montez, Selina and her team scrambles to find a suitable contender of their own in the midst of the National Convention. Meanwhile, Amy is fed up with her role as manager for Selina’s struggling campaign and Dan desperately tries to impress a client in his new role as a lobbyist.
Selina’s presidency has raised the stakes quite a bit, and has brought many relationships to a head. Gary and Selina had a major argument back in “East Wing”, while Dan was later fired as a scapegoat for the data breach. Amy’s epic meltdown this episode was a long time coming: tasked with managing Selina’s fumbling campaign, her job has only grown more frustrating since Selina ascended to the presidency and other priorities (and people) continue to crowd her out. Selina’s new advisor (read: sycophant) Karen pushes all of Amy’s buttons without contributing anything meaningful of her own, but Amy is finally pushed over the edge when Selina refuses to consider her recommendation of Tom James as a running mate.
Angry Amy is my favorite Amy; in a show full of venomous tongues and withering glares, few moments could ever compete with Amy’s all-consuming rage this episode. Her meltdown and resignation is suitably epic–she tears into Karen and Selina with the pent-up rage of everything she’s endured over the seasons. Although Karen’s tendency to speak only in vague, non-committal statements pushes Amy past the breaking point, Selina ultimately receives the brunt of Amy’s fury:
I wouldn’t let you run a bath without having the coast guard and fire department standing by, and here you are running the country. You are the worst thing to happen to this country since food in buckets, and maybe slavery… You have achieved nothing, apart from one thing: The fact that you are a woman means that we will have no more women presidents because we tried one and she fucking sucks.
It’s a shocking, cathartic, hilarious scene that leaves the team dumbfounded. What’s really great, however, is Selina’s reaction–she sees the truth in Amy’s statements and respects her opinion enough to go with Tom James. By the end of the episode, she even has Ben fire Karen. It’s the sort of wise, mature, and considered reaction we would expect from the president of the United States. Veep is a comedy that largely just documents the various fumbling and failures of Selina and her inept team, but we only ever catch glimpses of the skilled politician Selina needs to be in order to have gotten as far as she has. Her reaction to Amy’s outburst is an important reminder that she’s still good at what she does and she’s president for a reason. Ultimately, it’s also a rather touching victory for Amy; although it didn’t come soon enough to prevent her from leaving, she finally receives the trust and acknowledgement she deserved.
Everyone else has their own great little moments, from Catherine’s continued struggle under the intense scrutiny and micromanagement of Selina to Dan’s attempt to please his first client as a lobbyist. The pairing of Richard with Jonah continues to pay dividends–Sam Richardson’s unique blend of idiocy has been a great addition since he was promoted to series regular this season. This episode also has a few brief but funny appearances from both George Maddox and Danny Chung, who are briefly considered as running mates. The episode is a little overcrowded at times, but Amy’s meltdown really clears the air and the introduction of Hugh Laurie as Selina’s old flame and new running mate Tom James is an exciting set up for the second half of the season.
- I cannot properly express how excited I am to see Hugh Laurie on this show.
- “All sciences are precise. That’s what science means.” “That’s open to interpretation.” “Extraordinary.”
- “Chung’s our answer–he can be our minority retort!”
- “I call her Ames for short–wait actually it’s long for Amy.”
- “I remember being so excited to have a mania named after me.”
- Teddy Sykes was fired for fondling Jonah–Patton Oswalt’s great, but unfortunately I don’t think his character added much to a season already filled with great characters.