Warning! Spoilers for Veep below.
The story so far: With the first debate around the corner, Selina decides to make a pledge with her opponents. Almost immediately, she learns something about one of the other Democratic candidates that makes her regret the hasty decision. She once again turns to Tom James for help with unsurprising results. Jonah’s team try to get him help after an unfortunate comment to a reporter. It turns outs as expected. After making the biggest choice of her life, Amy makes the biggest decision of her career. Most shocking of all, Catherine helps her mom Man Up.
Veep has consistently done a great job of keeping its viewers on edge over the years. Election results, who can be trusted, and how will Selina’s team mess up another golden opportunity are all questions that have had long time fans of the series glued to their television sets. Still, it can be argued that the show has never introduced intrigue. Obviously, the show is filled with various types of political intrigue, but there has yet to be the type that seems dangerous or makes the viewer worry.
‘South Carolina’ adds a new dynamic to the show. Veep has never needed perilous sublplot to increase engagement. The constant political scheming has been more than engaging enough. Mirroring the most recent Presidential election, the HBO political satire has introduced a more volatile element. Though Selina is no stranger to scandal, the stakes here are especially high. The additional wrinkle of a seemingly unimportant character being much more than initially portrayed makes the entire situation even more frightening. This was a very unexpected development in the show and it will be interesting to see what happens next.
The season continues to examine Selina and the picture it paints of her is not a flattering one. More than any previous season, the audiences is seeing how conniving, manipulative, and narcissistic the former President is. Each episode, Selina seems to sink to new lows in order to win a place back in the Oval Office. Selina has always been written as a goal oriented woman who is gunning for the highest office in the United States. What was once a goal has now become an obsession and the change in her character has been shocking, but unsurprising. Long time viewers are being rewarded by the consistently strong writing.
Though the episode was very good, there are potential problems ahead. The first is an over reliance on Senator James. It was established long ago that Selina has a weakness for men – especially the ones that seem to enjoy taking advantage of her. After the last experience with her husband, it seemed like Selina had learned her final lesson. Season seven has kept a running joke between Selina and James that is coming dangerously close to making her look dumb instead of vulnerable. A decision made at the end of the episode also seems completely out of character.
The other potential problem is time. The final season is more than halfway over. This will be a true test of how strong the writing is. The last season seem to be building to Selina’s final run to the White House. This season has been all about her run to win the Democratic bid. Season seven has been excellent, but it seems unlikely that the next three episodes will see Selina become the Democratic nominee and then try to win back the Presidency. There just is not enough time to do that story justice.
That being said, Veep is one of the best written television shows in HBO’s history. Three episodes is enough time to wrap up all the storylines from this season in a satisfactory manner. Plus, this season has done a great job of telling its story. The final three episodes of Veep are gearing up to be some of the most intriguing the show has ever had. And that is something no one has to worry about.