Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Veep 6x02 Recap: "Library" (*Gary’s Voice* Holla, Holla, Holla!) [Contributor: Erin Allen]


Original Airdate: April 23, 2017

My notes on the second episode of season six are basically the entire thing verbatim with laugh-cry emojis, and “Gary” written a bunch of times with a ton of exclamation marks. This is an episode I will watch over and over. It is so hysterical. Do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. I’ll try to make my praise brief, although I can’t make any promises.

Determined to make something out of her joke of a presidency, Selina embarks on building her presidential library. Her attempt at this goes about as well as her stay in office did: horribly. She feels the need for one after attending the opening of President Hughes’ Library and Museum. “I don’t understand how a guy who never cracked a book can open up a library.” I will have the same thought if our current president ever gets a library, so someone save me that in GIF form for when that time comes. The jabs at her short term as a president are great. Former President Stevenson says, “Can you even have a library? I think it’d be more like a bookmobile.” Selina herself insensitively compares her short stay with Kennedy’s, saying “he was also a part-termer.”

Her staff gets excited about the potential library. Richard is ready to hit the ground running, until he remembers they are on an plane. “Let’s do this! Oh, you know what, we are on an airplane. I know that.” Gary starts thinking about all the possibilities. “Your outfits alone are going to be a wing. Dresses. Belts!” Andrew starts racking his brain for unethical ways to get funding, such as reallocating money from The Meyer Fund (“That’s actually a felony.”) and shuffling papers around so it looks like they have the money (“That’s also a felony.”).

Alternatively, Yale is not excited. They come back to Selina with an emphatic no. Their next best bet is Smith College, where Selina did her undergrad. Smith is “open to exploring.” Andrew creepily responds, “Nothing like a Smith girl open to exploring.” To which Selina comes back with: “Lesbians really know how to run a library, I can tell you that.” All this lesbian talk leads us to meeting Regina “Gigi” Pell who is the president of Smith College and Selina’s former schoolmate (with benefits, apparently — if only Selina could remember).
Regina: Do you remember that night, junior year?  
Selina: No. 
Regina: Chardonnay on the quad after Julia Child Day?   
Selina: I’m strictly a Scotch girl. Always have been. I never really experimented with ... um, Chardonnay, so I think you’ve got me confused with somebody else.  
Regina: I don’t think I was confused.  
Selina: Good for you.
Regardless of Selina’s seeming amnesia, Regina is enthusiastic about the library... until a sex scandal rocks Selina’s team. The scandal is perpetrated by Andrew. Yeah, real shocker. Mike weasels his way into a job as communications director for all of 30 seconds until he reads what the press is saying, out loud.
Selina: You’re hired. 
Richard: Congratulations. 
Selina: What are they saying? 
Mike: They’re mad at you for victim-blaming Helen for Andrew’s behavior. 
Selina: You’re fired. 
Richard: Tough break, buddy.
Not everyone faults Selina, though. Amy commiserates via phone telling Selina she’s right to dump Andrew. “You can’t just be that woman standing by her man like Lobotomy Barbie.” Catherine is sorry that he did this to her. Marjorie pipes in with her unique comforting words: “Ma’am, you are unstable and manipulative, and I worry about the genes you will pass down to our child, but your ex is worse.” Selina sincerely responds, “I appreciate that. Means a lot. You’re like a son to me.” And then she almost lets Marjorie call her “mom.” Almost.

The library gets put on hold until Selina gives in and rehires “Frida Swallow” as her portrait painter. Smith still backs out, giving Selina the opportunity to tell Helen to “pack up your crayons.” Gary gives the painter a death glare, and trips up Selina by stepping on her dress, which is the perfect wrap-up to this whole debacle.

Amy has to deal with a scandal of her own in Nevada. Her Howdy Doody fiance/candidate can’t handle her unscrupulous campaign tactics, and goes on a bender which results in him spending a night in jail. The dash-cam footage gets released and it is bad. The episode ends with Lobotomy Barbie... I mean Amy, standing by her man during his public apology.

Jonah also has to deal with romantic troubles. Kent and Ben convince him that it would be better for him, career-wise, to get married. “If it’s any consolation, statistically speaking, married congressmen have sex with more single women than single politicians.” We see Jonah go on three dates, and they all go badly. The first two are unsuccessful because the women get to know Jonah as a person and run the opposite way. The third actually hits it off with him until Dan comes in and outs Jonah as the deplorable human that he is. Dan tells him: “This is for trapping me in a job that makes me long for the days of Selina Meyer.” It was nice to see Dan in that scene because his storyline without the other veteran cast members isn’t as interesting as the rest of the strong subplots.

So much for keeping it brief, huh? And I’ve even got more below! “Library” is an outstanding episode of an outstanding series.

Stray Observations: 
  • That first scene with the physical comedy between Selina and Gary is hilarious! I’ve watched it probably a thousand times already. Julia Louis Dreyfus and Tony Hale are almost balletic in their execution of that move. I am so impressed. 
  • “If only the American people could’ve known you for your sense of humor and not your bizarre indifference to apartheid.”
  • “Where is La Presidenta?”
  • Richard sees Selina and Gary running, and joins them. “Are we running from something scary, ma’am?”
  • Gary running! 
  • In response to considering a female architect for the library, the first woman President of the United States says, “Well, we’re not redoing a kitchen here.” A feminist, Selina is not. 
  • “Nobody in Congress cares about ethics.” 
  • Furlong to Jonah: “Good luck trying to get your precious back from those mean hobbits, Smeagol.”
  • “A job’s a job.” “That’s a false equivalent, but I appreciate the sentiment.” Gary Cole delivers Kent’s robot feelings in the best possible way.
  • The artist, Helen Wright, is played by June Diane Raphael of Burning Love and Grace and Frankie fame.  
  • “I guess AIDS had a good run.” 
  • Richard is so resourceful: “My pen’s out of ink. I’m just going to scratch it into the paper, and go back and trace over it to see what I wrote, like a suspense movie.”
  • Kent’s face after Jonah says, “Find me Mrs. Right. Not my mom.” is priceless.
  • “Can you play that back? I want to see him cry again.” That’s my Amy. 
  • Richard Splett’s family calls sweatshirts “Splettshirts” because of course they do.
  • “It’s what I’ve come to expect from the gatekeepers of the patriarchal ‘phallus quo.’” 
  • “You just rolled your eyes like you’re the world’s bitchiest mime.” This is such a great description of Gary. 
  • “If Catherine’s uterus is as loamy as the doctor says, you’re going to be a grand-ma’am.”
  • Gary’s freak out on Andrew is epic. “You are the devil!” 


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