Selina's European (non-)apology tour took her to Finland on last night's Veep, resulting in the funniest episode of the season and perhaps the all-time funniest episode in the show's young history.
Where to begin with a half-hour this rich in miscommunications, outright obfuscations and biting put-downs? Truly, "Helsinki" was a master class in how to keep upping the comedy stakes, starting with the basic premise of Selina and her new Communications Director, Dan, having to decide how to address the fallout of the perceived Europe-bashing in that "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" spoof she performed at the Vic Allen dinner, during their stay in Helsinki. While Selina meets with the stone-faced Finnish prime minister, Minna, Dan meets the press, and to describe their respective encounters as "hilariously awkward" would be an understatement. But then two additional comedy bombs go off that wipe the song parody off the map; first, it turns out that POTUS knew that one of the hostages the military just rescued from Uzbekistan was a spy and covered that important piece of information up. And second, the Prime Minister's sleazy hubby Osmo (Dave Foley) violates Selina's personal airspace by grabbing her breast while they share a smoke. Suddenly, their simple state visit becomes a lot more complicated... and much, much funnier. As always, here are the episode's most memorable insults.
Dan: "Yeah, she's going to apologize to Europe, 'cause it's right up there with the bubonic plague and the carpet bombing at Dresden."
Part of the responsibilities of being Communications Director is schmoozing with the press in that buddy-buddy way where neither of you are really buddies, but pretend like you are anyway. But prickly Dan has trouble playing that game, going sarcastic when he should be subdued. It's up to Amy to show him how it's done, grabbing the phone away and chalking his little temper tantrum up to -- what else? -- hormones.
Amy: "Some paper's calling you the 'Europhobic Khaleesi from DC.'"
God bless the European press and their special skill with rhyming insults. And hey, nice way to namecheck your popular HBO lead-in, Veep writers!
Jonah: "You probably still get your porn from magazines."
Jonah: "Jesus, that's why you like sailing. Because you're a fucking anchor, dragging promising careers down to the bottom of the fucking ocean."
After serving as the butt of so many jokes -- particularly from Mike -- Jonah finally gets the chance to fire back at his regular tormenter when the poor loser finds himself flummoxed by his new position inside Kent's numbers factory. Don't get too cocky, Jonah. The shoe will almost certainly be back on the other foot next week.
Ben: "I'd like to divorce your head from your fucking neck."
Ben: "I bet when you take a crap, it actually comes out as a number two."
The Ben/Kent battle for West Wing supremacy seems destined to end in a bare-knuckled fight... that Kent talks his way out of through the use of a pie chart and other statistics-heavy graphs. In the meantime, we'll just enjoy Ben's mounting frustration and profanity-fueled trash-talking.
Selina: "Don't give me that Quaker in a titty bar look. Seriously, don't."
With all the pressure she's under, Selina can't help but fall back on her bad stress-smoking habit, much to Gary's disapproval. We never thought to describe that judge-y face Tony Hale sometimes makes in this precise way, but that's why we don't write for Veep.
Cosmo: "It's only the Prime Minister of Finland. Less power than the mayor of Cleveland."
This may mark the first time that Finland and Cleveland have ever been mentioned in the same sentence, which makes this episode one for the history books even without its non-stop hilarity.
Senator Doyle: "Oh, I've seen the bigger picture: it shows POTUS lying to the American people. I'm telling you, this is not just a crisis. This is at least ten years of Oliver Stone movies."
Roger Furlong: "Yeah, not the good ones. Not Platoon."
Oh, c'mon guys. Any Given Sunday is pretty damn awesome. Maybe not, you know, "good" like Platoon, but pretty damn awesome.
Gary: "That is an attack on America! That's like a sexual 9/11 in my opinion. Or a sexual Cuban missile crisis at least."
That's Gary for you -- always one to hyperbolize any situation.
Selina: "Where I come from, we kill people for looking at us funny. We waterboard folks who haven't even done anything. And you raped my tit. Yeah, you did. So, I'm coming for you. 'Cause I'm an angry bird right now. And you're a pig."
As battle cries go, this one's a little wordy, but we wouldn't want to be in Cosmo's shoes when the Veep comes calling for her promised vengeance.
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