The government shutdown is on and furloughs are in full effect on Veep's seventh Season 2 episode, titled -- appropriately enough -- "Shutdown."
Even the Veep's office isn't immune to the Beltway lockdown, as Selina has to send several members of her "trusted" staff on unpaid leave. Sue and Dan are the first to go, with Gary and Mike assuming their duties and screwing up royally. Gary, for example, hires a private contractor to haul away the growing pile of garbage at his boss's home, not realizing how bad that bit of government privilege might make her look to the common man. So he's forced to dumpster dive to retrieve her discarded items, including one very important bag, the contents of which are on a need-to-know basis. Meanwhile, Dan uses his temporary "vacation" to see what other opportunities are out there, be they with the oil lobby or rising political star Danny Chung. And through it all, Selina works to rehab her battered image, now that she's being subtextually blamed for the entire shutdown. We're sure that's not going to backfire in spectacular fashion. As always, here's a roundup of the episode's finest, sharpest insults.
Sue: "Gary, the Secret Service is calling you 'Girly Shirley Temple,' so you need to just..."
Gary and Sue have been playing a catty game of "I'm more valuable to the Veep than you" for much of the season now, and the looming prospect of unpaid furloughs has made their bickering than much more cutting. Gary wants Sue to take a dive, but as she's in the middle of pointing out that his high vocal stylings are a distraction, Selina hands select members of her staff their temporary walking papers, including Dan... and Sue. Suddenly, the unflappable secretary is really and truly flapped. At least she has plans to keep herself "busy," booking a full day spa package. You just know that spineless Gary would settle for a half-day package.
Gary: "Okay, look if the V.P. did have a window, it would be a high one and she'd push you out of it."
With Sue gone, Gary tries to carry on her tradition of biting rejections to anyone who dares call her up to book an appointment with Selina. "I'm doing my impression of Sue," he says proudly, only to take it all back when he learns the woman on the other end of the line is pregnant. Not even that piece of information would break his predecessor's stride.
Selina: "You know, Jim. You're a lot older than me. If you die within the next six years, I will be attending your funeral and giving a eulogy when POTUS sends me there in his stead. And it is gonna be full of subtext. Chock full of subtext.
Sitting down in a pair of uncomfortably hard chairs with Speaker of the House Jim Marwood, Selina learns that she's effectively been frozen out of budget talks due to the "subtext" of an interview that POTUS recently had with Politico. So she fires back with this subtext-filled rejoinder, which, honestly, is pretty much all text.
Selina: "Let me tell you something, this ass is closed for business. This ass is in clenchdown. I don't want to be a decoy. Let the President take it in the ass -- he might like it."
Rejecting Ben's assertion that one of the jobs of the V.P. is to "take it in the ass" on occasion to keep the alpha dog protected, Selina makes it clear that she's in control of her own posterior. Though she might make an exception for her ex-husband-turned-occasional fuck buddy, Andrew.
Sidney: "Boy, I just wish I ordered a plate of useless assholes, but you go to war with the army you have."
Interested in getting the skinny on what's going on in the Veep's office from job prospect-hunting Dan, oil lobbyist Sidney Purcell invents a code that his lunchmate can use to feel safe. Hence, Selina becomes lobster, Amy greens, Mike carrots and Dan shrimp. Those nicknames are certainly easier to keep track of than "Useless Asshole #1" and "Useless Asshole #2."
Roger: "Really? I would have guessed Old Maid."
Slimy Furlong got the last word in a card game-themed back-and-forth with this dagger to Selina's gut. (Though we gotta say that Julia Louis-Dreyfus looked pretty smokin' throughout the episode. All this schoolyard taunting must be keeping her young.)
Mr. Walker: "Are you threatening me Pez Head? Because we've got a compactor that takes shit and turns it into cubes.
Sue: "Well, it's bigger than your mother's womb and you were in there until you were 15."
Selina: "Go, period. Fuck, period. Yourself, exclamation point!"
Let's close out this week's bag o' insults with three terrific bits of Jonah bashing, the show's most reliable source of evil laughter. As far as we're concerned, "Pez Head" is the guy's new name.
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