[9.3/10] Veep goes out with a bang. This was thoroughly hilarious episode, one that packed in plenty of the show’s trademark foul-mouthed humor and hilarious insults, but that also built up some real pathos (and comedy) from its flashback structure that showed Selina’s path to get where she is today.
First and foremost, my god, every single joke about her vagina-shaped Presidential library was just uproariously funny. From Selina saying Gary “doesn't have a frame of reference” to Amy’s “no I said crypt” to even the ridiculous but rib-tickling portmanteau “vagi-brary”, I was laughing from the second the mock-up appeared on screen.
I also enjoyed the conflict between her and Catherine (and Yale) about the library being built on slave quarters. It was a nice chance to show how humorously terrible Selina is about any type of social issue, and the reveal that she leaked the story herself to give her a stalking horse and because she’s running for President again is a clever twist.
I also enjoyed the flashbacks, not just for the “here’s how I met everybody” bit of humorous backstory and gap-filling and silly wigs on everyone, but for the idea of how Selina has been mining her personal life, the good and the bad, to fuel her political career for a long, long time, to where you’re equal parts horrified, impressed, and pitying of her. The way she uses her diverse family (or, more accurately, her daughter’s diverse family) to fuel her Presidential run, even though moments earlier she barely cared about her grandson, is pure Selina.
But damnit, if there aren’t real moments of pathos here. I’ll admit, I’ve been a skeptic of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Emmy run on this show -- not that she isn’t quite good in this role, but that she’s not head and shoulders above all her competitors. But the scene where she has broken up with Jafar, danced around the issue, and starts tearing up on the elevator was genuinely affecting. However selfish and terrible Selina can be, she’d seemingly found happiness with this person, and now she’s giving it up for the political dragon she’s constantly chasing and can never catch, more often or not getting burned for her trouble. She’s a thoroughly bad person, but you can’t help but feel sorry for her in that moment, seeing how this trap has caught her once more.
There’s other fun little bits in this episode. Jonah running for President has potential, and his interactions with Richard and Tanz were amusing. I gotta admit, I don’t really care for the Amy and Dan slept together and Amy is pregnant development, just because it seems kind of soap opera-like, and I never really rooted for the pair as a couple. And I like that all the hounding by Leon West is, if not a feint, that at least something Selina spins to her advantage by having him set her up for a line to go after President Montes, and then become her speech writer.
Overall, an excellent way to close out a season that spent its last few episodes on a real high note.
For me, this has been the weakest season of this show. Of course the show still has its moments, and the Jonah storyline was very funny to watch. But I don't know, many of the characters now seem a little off. Amy was sidelined for the whole season, by both Selina and the writing. Mike now is just plain dumb. Gary became this creepy and sad to watch human being. Selina is plain mean to Catherine, who in turn lost a lot of her personality. And that whole Dan at CBS arc went nowhere.
The decision to keep the characters apart for so long didn't work. Now at least they fixed this, as we head to a familiar storyline, with another campaign, something this show knows well how to do. And now Jonah is in the mix too (I get it, Veep. He's Trump).
All that said, I still like this show a lot; the actors are great as always, and I will definitely watch the last season. Let's hope we get a nice ending!