And it all comes down to this.
Selina has fought her way through bumbling scandal after bumbling scandal. She made it through her own Democratic Primary. She made it through the General Election. Her team made it through a very public Congressional Inquisition. Election Night in America is proving to be her toughest challenge yet. In a season full of close calls, this is shaping up to be the closest.
The episode opens on Selina overlooking DC from her election night hotel penthouse suite windows. She is solemn, hopeful, and completely oblivious to what people are saying to her. Tom James, her veep candidate, pops in to offer a few words, but they fly right over the glassy-eyed president. Gary comes in and asks “Ma’am, how are you doing?” to which she replies “I’d love one, Gary.” To be fair, his first words to her upon entering a room are almost always offerings of tea or food. She finally comes back down from the stars, and begins to walk out of the room, realizing that her fate is in the hands of the voters.
She has asked America for their vote, and that is all that she can do. Gary says that America doesn’t just love her, they’re in love with her. With his impeccable sense of timing, Mike yells out “We just lost Kentucky.” Smooth, Mike. Real smooth. The state counting process continues. With the Eastern Timezone states’ polls closed, Indiana and Tennessee, like Kentucky, have been called for O’Brien. Connecticut and Vermont have gone to Selina. The nation is following standard red state, blue state presidential voting patterns so far. For some ungodly reason (other than making viewers like us laugh) Selina asked Karen to return and join her for the election returns. She is, of course, full of blathering gems of saying nothing.
Amy, Dan and the Numbers Man
Amy and Dan, not having found their way back into the administration are still moonlighting as TV pundits in their lobbying downtime. They’re talking heads on CNN for election night, featuring a guest spot from 30 Rock and Big Hero 6 alum Scott Adsit as the roundtable host, Greg. Matty Curtis, an “online statistics savant” a la Nate Silver joins Dan to the host’s right, while Amy is joined by a mostly silent political analyst named Sally Davenport to the left. While watching from the West Wing, Sue and a friend discuss Amy’s seemingly distracted appearance on CNN. Sue gives yet another delightful critique of one of her coworkers: “She’s a workaholic. Works frantically to avoid dealing with her weird mix of lack of self-worth and narcissism. I really like her.” This season has been full of wonderful character assessments. From Amy’s “I Quit!” speech full of criticism aimed at Selina, to Sue again, when she fired off the hilarious line “Every room you’re in is a panic room, Gary.” Amy, after realizing that she’s not adding much to the panel decides to bail and go meet Team Selina in the hotel. She arrives just in time to find that O’Brien is sitting at 267 electoral votes to Selina’s 207. All it takes is 270 to win the presidency, so things are looking rather grim in the Meyer Situation (Hotel) Room.
Jonah and Richard have been given the task of overseeing the rally at which Selina will either declare victory or admit defeat. That they are in charge should be an indicator, or at least an omen, that things are going to not go to plan. Jonah, meanwhile, has been getting a lot of positive traction after the Congressional Hearing outed him as a victim of both workplace bullying and sexual harassment. Being the egotist that he is, he is enjoying his newfound recognition and has spun it into advocacy for both bullying and genital health. “Check ’em, don’t neglect ’em,” he proudly says to a rally stagehand. The “Jonad” has come full circle. Band of Horses makes a brief cameo as a musical act for the rally.
The Electoral College
The Pennsylvania call that originally went to O’Brien was a wrong call, and finally went to Selina. In a sick twist of fate, yet a twist that seems to be all too perfect for Selina, the Electoral College vote numbers have come to an absolute tie, with Selina receiving 269 votes, and Bill O’Brien receiving 269 votes as well. As such ties haven’t happened since a year that started with 18–, Team Meyer searches the internet frantically for what happens in such a scenario. Bill Erickson wonders aloud if there’s a book, a real, tangible, paper book around that might have the answers. Mike is only turning up results on how to tie a necktie. Sue and Kent in all of their efficient prowess discover the answers: if the Electoral College vote is tied, the vote goes to the House of Representatives, with each state getting only one vote. In a contest this tight, a scenario in which Selina and O’Brien each receives 25 votes each, resulting in another tie is not unlikely. Should the House tie the vote, the Senate will vote for Vice President, and given Tom James’ cross-party popularity and former status as a Senator he very well could be elected Vice President. After a tied House vote, the Senate’s choice for Vice President would become the new President. All of this time when Selina has been touting Tom James as the wonderful choice that she made could come crashing down on her Presidential aspirations very, very hard.
Down on the rally stage, Selina rushes out to cut off Tom James and bring out her entire team to introduce to her supporters. It is while she’s on stage that the large backdrop screen cuts to CNN with their final projection of the night, with Dan announcing that Virginia and its 13 Electoral votes has indeed gone to Selina, cementing not her win, but a tie. It was a nice touch throwing to Dan, because in that one shot, the entirety of Team Selina past and present were on hand to revel in her … tie. We can only imagine where the fifth season will pick up. Should Tom James claim the presidency, we may very well be seeing Selina right back where she started in season one: as the Veep. Politics is ruthless comedy gold.
That’s it for the weekly Veep roundups until next season. Sound off with your finale thoughts below!