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VEEP-Cap: Episode 31 ‘Data’

VEEP-Cap: Episode 31 ‘Data’

All Selina Meyer wants to do is make people’s lives better. Not the people around her, mind you, just the people who might be potential voters. Is that such a difficult task? Well, in her administration, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Where’d You Get That Info, Madame President?

While promoting her Families First bill during a television interview, President Meyer gives a couple of those “real world” examples of people who are struggling but who are making do with their lot. She happens to mention a girl who is HIV-positive in a small Alabama town, but this real-life example of struggle didn’t find its way into Selina’s periphery via a normal meet-and-greet exchange. Turns out, some sensitive medical information had been obtained through the West Wing and then disseminated to the Meyer campaign by an unseen staffer. Targeted mailers were sent on behalf of the campaign to recently bereaved parents, and that, dear friends, is an epic political no-no. Obtaining and using citizens information in such a targeted way for campaign purposes breaks a number of laws, and is just downright skeezy. The fact that no one in Selina’s immediate circle had any knowledge it was going on doesn’t make the crime any less severe. On the contrary, it paints an even more drastic picture of how inept the Meyer administration really is. All I can say is that it’s a good thing the Post’s Leon West isn’t prodding into this right now.

Meyers Under The Microscope

Last episode, Ken had to deliver the bad news to Catherine that her “Likability Index” is … not great. This week, she’s facing even more criticism in the press. A mock-up of what Catherine and Selina would look like after 8 years in the White House has Selina looking only slightly older, and Catherine looking like her own grandmother.

After a Maryland campaign rally where Meyer and her VP, former Senator Andrew Doyle, were speaking to supporters, Selina was exiting the building and faced with a gotcha question about the data breach from the gaggle of reporters. Whilst deciding to tackle the controversy head-on, she was very loudly interrupted by an intense display of campaign fireworks, effectively silencing her answer.

The press continues to pile on the criticism of Meyer, so her Chief of Staff Ben Caffrey offers to take the fall for the story. After all, he wasn’t exactly thrilled with staying in the White House after his previous boss, President Hughes, decided to step down. And who could be a juicier target for the press than Meyer’s own Chief of Staff? Well…

Dan, Interrupted

By the end, Ben’s offer to fall on his sword has been re-tooled and Dan the Man is chosen to be the scapegoat. Never mind the fact that Dan has been fattening Jonah up for just such a fall; giving Jonah an assistant, tasking him with the music and fireworks at the Maryland campaign rally, involvement in the Families First bill. All of Dan’s deft maneuvering was for naught, because at the suggestion of Bill Ericsson (the great new series regular Diedrich Bader), Selina decides to keep Ben around, just in case a bigger scandal comes down the pipeline and requires another high-level firing. At this point, it’s unclear if Dan will be rejoining the administration before the end of the season, which is a real shame because his repartee with Jonah is always a highlight. Teddy (Patton Oswalt) is offering a level of, shall we say, intimate interaction with Jonah to fill that void though. (Tap ta-ta-tap tap tap!) Reid Scott isn’t leaving the series, so it’s very likely we’ll see Dan show up in the entourage of one of Selina’s political adversaries.

Join us here next week and every week during the Veep season for another recap.

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