Veep Recap: Dan Takes The Bait
Amy’s bad at the politics part of politics, Gary’s got a bum shoulder, Kent and Sue are apparently (?) an item, and Jonah and Dan both get new jobs. All this and more happens on this week’s “Veep,” so if you didn’t catch it, here is your recap so you will have something to talk about at the bar tonight.
Selina’s campaign is still chug-chug-chugging along, occupying warehouse space in Maryland and doing all the rudderless things a campaign does when it doesn’t have a campaign manager. We see Selina’s posse dispensing wisdom to campaign volunteers, and Kent gets in this brilliant line.
You are going to change America in a way that usually only war and fluoride can.
And then we meet our latest entrant in the race to be POTUS, some guy who used to be a baseball manager, whatever, we will remember his name if he becomes important. In the meantime, Dan and Amy continue to jockey for the inside track to be Selina’s campaign manager, only this time, there’s way less sexual tension between them. They should be paying attention to Ben, who has schooled both of them and turned himself into Selina’s most-trusted (?) advisor.
Ben, of course, doesn’t want either Dan or Amy to run this campaign. He thinks Selina’s campaign should be run by Rex Kwan Do some guy played by Diedrich Bader we’re going with Rex Kwan Do.
Ben thinks Rex is “Amy without a conscience and Dan without the 5% that needs to be loved.” Slow clap for the writers at this point, because before this season, it was not at all apparent that even 5% of Dan Egan felt the normal, human need for affection.
BUT FIRST! Mike and Gary meet in the bathroom, where Mike reveals that he’s carrying around a little travel cooler full of his spooge because he and Wendy (Kathy Najimy, aaaaaaaahhh!!!) are trying for in vitro fertilization.
All my troops are in a cold bag now, okay? So I’ve just gotta to get ’em to the doctor so he can begin the assault on Egg Mountain.
This is about as interesting as Mike and Gary get this episode, but it’s nice to see Mike and Wendy’s story line going somewhere. Mike dispatches one of the campaign volunteers to get his boys off to the doctor, and then he reminds Selina of this week’s “A” plot: that she has started her campaign without a campaign manager, NOW WHAT?
Unbeknownst to anyone in the office except Ben, Selina is on her way to meet with Rex Kwan Do, who is clearly enjoying the luxury of ripping on the sitting Vice President. He points out Mike’s lack of charm, Dan’s predatory, lecherous face, Amy’s blindness to her own marginalization, and Gary’s…Gary’s everything.
Rex Kwan Do: Do you really want him standing behind you for the next eight years like an asshole?
Selina: Oh, but, y’know he’s my asshole.
Rex Kwan Do: You need to find a new asshole.
When Selina gets back to the office, Amy informs her of news from the Clay Davis Maddox campaign — Maddox has hired Jonah for some reason, oh boy! We are excited about this, because we were never really sold on Jonah’s whole “Ryantology” thing to begin with, and the visual style of the videos was a little too JibJab for our tastes. Clay Davis Maddox lives in a large country estate in Virginia, where he greets Selina and asks “Jake” to grab the Veep’s bags.
“Jake” is our good friend Jonah, and he’s, like, somehow just here? Dan and Gary have accompanied Selina, and they can’t figure this out either. As Selina and Clay Davis Maddox head down to the ol’ fishin’ hole, Maddox asks Selina if she’s ever fished before. She lies that she has.
Then Dan takes the rod and reel, and with a deft flick of the wrist and some nifty Foley mixing, he sends Selina’s hook exactly where it’s supposed to be. Selina eventually gets a fish on the line that Dan cast. She brings it in, Dan grabs the fishing rod…and the fish slips the hook. DO YOU SEE WHERE THE WRITERS ARE GOING WITH THIS?
Meanwhile, Amy is trying to take a bit of Ben’s advice: that if you want to succeed in politics, it helps to have people like you. Amy, like many successful women in politics, has elbowed her way to the top of an insular boys club. She did not become Selina’s Chief of Staff by killing people with kindness, and her time in the job has blinded her to the fact that, to anyone outside her tiny, tiny world, she seems kinda nuts.
Amy would like everyone to recognize that she is the correct person for the campaign manager job, a topic Ben will broach over dinner with the rest of Team Selina at Amy’s house. After the guests have arrived, Amy is ready to get this thing on this dinner already, so while the rest of the food is being finished by the caterers (you didn’t think Amy cooked, did you?), Amy commandeers a plate of potatoes:
Amy: “What’s the delay? I have mammals in there who need to eat food, is this ready? What is this?”
Amy: “I can see that. Potatoes a la what?”
Caterer: “Just potatoes. You can’t really eat them by themselves.”
Amy: “I’ve eaten hummus with a pen cap, don’t tell me how I can eat.”
I love you, Amy. I love you to the stars and back, let us run away together now, please.
Mike’s IVF-driven masturbation dominates the early discussion at dinner, but KENT AND SUE ARE TOTALLY TOGETHER AT THIS POINT, AND NO ONE IS EVEN SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT IT?! And then it comes out that Amy’s Kinda-Sorta Boyfriend has some inside info about our good pal Jonah.
Turns out Jonah’s rapid rise through Washington comes from nepotism — his uncle, Jeff Kane (Caine?), is the king of the senior citizen vote in New Hampshire, and Amy needs to tell Selina this RIGHT NOW. She kicks everyone out, except for her Kinda-Sorta Boyfriend who gave her this information in the first place. Kinda-Sorta Boyfriend, though, sees a silver lining:
KSB: “It’s kinda more appropriate now that it’s just the two of us.”
Amy: “No, you have to go too.”
KSB: “Amy, it’s our anniversary.”
Amy: “Oh please, do not tell me you are one of those fucking weirdos who celebrates three month-aversaries.”
KSB: “It’s actually a year.”
Amy: “A year in which you neglected to tell me about Jeff Kane. Go”
KSB: “I guess I’ll tell the violinist he has the night off.”
KSB: “I’ll just have him play me a bunch of Smiths covers in my car…”
Kinda-Sorta Boyfriend slinks off as Amy delivers the news to Selina. Dan is dispatched to poach Jonah from Maddox’s team as the Veep sits down for a formal, one-on-one dinner with the former SecDef.
Dan goes to work trying to poach Jonah, but Jonah’s having none of it. Dan attacked him with a burrito, after all, and Jonah hasn’t forgotten about it.
Smash cut to Selina and Maddox talking about who’s going to step aside for whom, BORING. Smash back to Jonah and Dan, where the conversation is not going well, and Jonah promises that, soon, President Maddox will exact his vengeance on those who doubt his power.
Y’know what? Selina’s gonna lose, and President Maddox is gonna have you both executed!
Selina, for her part, tells Maddox that she would “rather be shot in the fuckin’ face” than serve as Maddox’s Veep, and the feeling appears mutual.
The episode begins to a draw to a close as Selina meets again with Rex Kwan Do and offers him the job. She’s just telling Rex how she’s going to fire her whole team, per his suggestion, when Dan rushes in, literally on his knees, with some late-breaking news from the Maddox campaign.
Selina says Rex is going to be the new campaign manager, at which point Rex says, NOPE! He’s actually going to manage the campaign of the baseball manager from the beginning of the episode.
So Selina Meyer is metaphorically dressed up with nowhere to go. And there’s handsome Dan Egan, in close proximity and at the end of a five-episode arc in which he’s shown as both more competent, more likableSan , and more selfless than ever before. Selina offers Dan the campaign manager job in the back of the limo. Dan is a happy panda.
Amy, meanwhile, is with Ben, Gary, and Mike at a bar, where Ben is teaching everyone else how to hold their liquor. Kent and Sue show up, BECAUSE THEY’RE A COUPLE NOW, YOU GUYS, when Ben reveals that Selina will be hiring Rex Kwan Do…except then she doesn’t, as they all learn from their Blackberries. Even Ben’s surprised by this, but the really surprising bit was the final three minutes of the episode.
Dan and Selina are having a celebratory drink in the Veep’s office, and then suddenly it is sexxxy times, and they are talking about an “intimate relationship,” and how Dan has “gotta get in there.” And they offer to play the I’ll Keep Your Secret game, which is really just Truth or Dare for adults without a “Dare” option.
Dan, the former communications hack, tells a story from his adolescence about how he murdered a stray dog. Selina, the current Vice President, admits that she set her ex-husband’s car on fire shortly before her last election. The episode ends with Gary chanting “Let’s throw cum!” as the crew at the bar takes Mike’s baby batter over to Jonah’s house. And that’s how a bill becomes a law!