[7.5/10] While it’s not the focus, I think the part of this episode that interested me the most is Amy’s story. This show feels like it occupies a similar space to BoJack Horseman (see also: the “thoughts and prayers” gags from the season premiere), and that’s the only other show that I can think of that’s done such a frank but still irreverent take on a woman deciding to have an abortion. Dan still being a shit, but also being as considerate as a “dad not to be” like him is capable of is an interesting look. And Amy’s rebuke of the protestors, bit on how she can’t relax, and worries that she made a mistake all help to humanize a choice that the show manages to wring both humor and pathos out of.
I’ll also admit that I got a lot of enjoyment out of Mike’s story. I’m inevitably (and probably revealingly) amused by stories of complete dopes fumbling their way through things. The running gag this season of Mike being completely in over his head with his new media job, and yet inadvertently breaking big stories and blowing up Selina’s spot is very funny. The “fat guy/hat guy” distinction, and his misadventures on “study buddies” were good for a laugh out of me.
I’m also enjoying the continuing misadventures of Jonah’s complete inability to be, you know, a human being. The show has thankfully been pretty subtle when it’s commenting on Trump, but Jonah’s interlude at a sensitivity training course feels like the most direct its been in critiquing him this season. The sense of Jonah being completely unable to learn how to view other people as people and not just fodder for insults, or understand why his words would be hurtful, walks the line between satire and indulgence, but largely comes off okay since the joke is always on Jonah. (And it’s nice to see Katie Aselton joining this show’s roster of awesome guest stars).
And I did enjoy the main story too. The off-the-cuff “non-negative” pledge from Selina in response to her ex-husband’s misdeeds works as a story engine. Having her try to use Tom James as a stalking horse, only to have him turn around and use it on her, only to have Kemi turn it around on both of them is a nice set of turns in the story. And I like the subtle idea here that what’s putting Selina ahead in the end is her rebuking Kemi like she rebukes her daughter, capturing an anti-millennial vibe which is the closest thing to truth a practiced, calculating politician like Selina can muster. There’s a definite vibe of truth (or some version of it) inexplicably getting her through these things, and I’m intrigued.
In terms of odds and ends, Richard succeeding a dog as the mayor of his home town is a good bit. (Though I hope it doesn't mean we lose him from the regular cast!) Ben and Kent’s repartee is still delightful. And Catherine and Marjorie’s support/attraction to Kemi is an interesting thread.
Overall, another solid episode in what’s been a solid season so far.
Selina wining South Carolina is cringe! Dan is cringe!