Impunity has come to an abrupt halt for the Meyer Administration. If it seemed to you like the data breach scandal from earlier in the season had come and gone with far too few repercussions, this episode is for you! Combined with a congressional inquiry into whether or not the Families First bill was intentionally sabotaged by the White House, tonight, we’re seeing everyone take their oaths and give their sides of the story.
The Whole Truth, And Nothing But
Dan Egan, Amy Brookheimer, and Jonah Ryan are the first trio to take to the stands before the congressional hearing. Funnily enough, a congressional inquiry has long loomed large over Dan’s head but the reason for his ultimate appearance on the stands has nothing to do with his direct actions. Ohio Congressman Roger Furlong has been threatening Dan with an investigation since Selina’s days as the Veep, an investigation that never came to pass. Now, as Dan sits in the spotlight, he is the one person with the least to hide. Amy’s banter with her congressional inquisitors riles her up a bit, but ultimately she poses no threat to herself or others while she’s being questioned. Jonah’s history of being ridiculed by Team Selina does make its way into public record, however, with one of the Congressmen reading off a list of the derisive nicknames found in the “Jonad” folder on the administration’s shared hard drive. One of the more creative nicknames read aloud for the stenographer to take down was “Supercalifragilisticexplialidickcheese.” When it comes to insults, Dan and Co. really went that extra mile for Jonah.
Waiving Executive Privilege (Or Not)
When it is mentioned that Gary was the go-between to re-enlist Dan and Amy to the White House’s “advisory council” (and not “lobbying” because “advisement” is a different word, you see) for Families First, naturally Gary is called forth to testify. Since he was nearly on the verge of a full-blown meltdown over his involvement last week, the Gary we see tonight is one who is much more somber, stoic, coached, and outright terrified. Naturally, since it’s Gary, his testimony is full of misleading answers which seem at first as if he’s affirming the question being asked, only to immediately confirm the answer in the negative. His little verbal dance is helped/hindered (depending on your view) by his own legal council. The added cameras and larger crowd in the hearing room only serve to freak him out further, but by the end he doesn’t release any information that is so damning for the administration as to require damage control. His quasi-adherence to his executive privilege shields him from incriminating anyone further, save perhaps for Catherine’s fiancé Jason. After Jason’s official title is revealed as “lobbyist” in Gary’s deposition, Catherine’s engagement comes to an abrupt halt. Entirely a coincidental split, of course.
Selina’s deposition takes place via recorded video, in accordance with her executive privilege. Since she’s not directly “on the ground” with the others, so to speak, she often finds herself getting secondhand information in the form of her interviewers’ questions. It is Gary’s slip about Jason’s job title that causes Selina to take the short break from her interview, only to return with the sudden and sad news of her daughter’s recent break-up. She may be under oath, but that doesn’t mean Selina isn’t still controlling Catherine’s narrative like an overbearing puppet master. Catherine too is giving her deposition by recorded video, and after a brief lapse in decorum where she got a bit snippy with one of her interviewers, she too breaks and returns full of new (read: coached) energy and affability.
Allie? Lee? Leigh? It’s Leigh.
Leigh, the young and effective staffer who was let go from the White House shortly before Easter was meant to be the scapegoat for the entire data breach. In that episode, it was shown that the dismissal of a low-level staffer–one without much input into either the White House’s affairs or the affairs of Selina’s presidential campaign–was not enough to satisfy the bloodthirsty media. It was Dan who was ultimately let go to sate the appetites of an unhappy populous, untrusting of such a major breach of confidentiality in the government. Leigh, however, was far more perceptive than she was thought to be by Team Selina. It was Leigh’s testimony in front of the congressional hearing which steered the focus of the investigation away from the lobbying effort and toward the data breach. By the end of the episode when it’s clear that Leigh’s information has now required a brand new sacrifice at the altar of public opinion, White House Communication Director Bill Erickson takes the title of the newest “chosen one.”
Where Do We Go From Here?
Next week’s episode is titled “Election,” and after that public opinion beat-down, Selina’s Administration is sure to take after a congressional investigation, it could end up not going great for President Meyer. Granted, her opponent is the Tea Party-esque Senator O’Brien from Arizona–the same Senator that Amy and Dan hoped to enlist to support filibuster reform back in season 2–and even in the face of the Meyer administration’s mounting ineptitude, surely she’s a better option than a Tea Party Arizonan. Right??
What did you think of this week’s Veep? Let us know in the comments below! Also, sound off with your predictions for next week’s season finale!