This week’s title “B/ill” is a play on two different toxic entities: the political toxicity of Selina’s Families First bill, and the physical illness of Selina herself. Seems she caught some sort of flu-like bug while meeting and greeting the public at an event. While she can’t make herself heal faster, she can try to steer her team to kill her signature legislation for a bump in the polls against her general election opponent, Senator O’Brien.
Engineering A Defeat
If there’s one thing that has been proven time and again on this show it’s that Gary should not be trusted to handle anything of great importance. The fact that he engineered a meeting with Dan and Amy seems questionable at first, because surely Ben or Selina or Gary would not entrust Gary with such a delicate matter. Only, Ben did exactly that. Gary tried to enlist Dan and Amy to the cause of sinking the Families First bill from outside the White House. Since it’s ethically dubious for Selina’s team to outright lobby against their own bill, and especially more dubious to involve new lobbyists like Dan and Amy, they needed a forward marching team to lobby on behalf of the bill for public appearance. The best/worst means to that end arrives in the form of Jonah and Richard. Enlisting those two to advocate on behalf of passing the bill is the hilarious equivalent to outright sabotaging the thing. For every endearing Jonah moment might have with a potential “yes” voter, there are bound to be 5 vulgar and inappropriate moments to surely sway that vote to a firm “no.” Trouble starts to brew when both duos–Amy/Dan and Jonah/Richard–target Congressman Moyes in the same day. When both teams hand him the same packet of projection numbers under different pretenses, he decides to switch a “no” vote back to a “yes” and throws a kink in the whole, already thin-margined, plan.
Congressman Owen Pierce, who you may remember as the most bumbling member of the Democratic Primary last season, is the next target for the two sets of vote influencers. Jonah and Richard beat Dan and Amy to Congressman Pierce, who was visiting his mother in the hospital, by mere moments. Pierce, who is too daft to catch on to subtleties, hears Jonah implore that the President has requested his assistance on the Families First bill. A Presidential request is quite the call to action for anyone, most especially for a clueless fellow like Pierce. But as Dan has to explain to Jonah, the mission that the White House sent he and Richard on to rally support for the bill was all a ruse in order to effectively sabotage the bill. After
the four horsemen of the apocalypse Dan, Amy, Jonah, and Richard all decide that the most important thing they can all do now is get Pierce to the White House, they begin jockeying for the prized position as the bounty hunter who will deliver the target. Dan and Amy–especially Amy–want the glory for themselves, especially as Amy could parlay it into getting back into Selina’s good graces. Dan might love the lobbying life, but it seems like she’s getting the urge to get back into politics. Jonah wants the praise solely because he’s Jonah. And Richard? Well, he’s just tagging along.
Breakin’ The Law, Breakin’ The Law
The data breach from earlier in the season was bad enough for Selina’s administration. She didn’t orchestrate it, of course, but it was highly illegal, and her lack of knowledge of the whole thing was nearly as politically damaging as if she’d had a hand in the breach to begin with. After such a colossal scandal, and after Dan’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering on the McCauley amendment during her time as Vice President, the last thing this Team POTUS needs is something as damaging as a direct lobbying effort coordinated by the White House. As Ben explained to Gary, he was only supposed to offer Dan and Amy access, not money, in return for their work on behalf of killing the bill. But now that Dan and Amy are expecting compensation, the White House will have to divert money from the campaign (fraud) and then destroy the evidence of that transfer (conspiracy to commit fraud) so there’s that. By the end of the episode, the vote takes place and the bill fails to pass.
The Best of The Rest
Highlight moments of the episode include Dan barricading himself into the back of Jonah’s Nissan Cube, Selina’s multiple moments of unconsciousness in her bed during recovery, the voice memos that Selina keeps sending to the team while she’s laid up, Gary’s overblown freak-outs over being involved in the whole mess, and Amy explaining to Dan that the only acceptable way to use the word “bitch” in this day and age is sassily and with hand motions.
What did you think of last night’s Veep? Let us know in the comments below!