In its barnstorming seventh and final season, HBO’s Veep has packed in more reality-adjacent bad behavior than ever before, from foreign election tampering to a believably boneheaded 2020 campaign season that — depending on how the real thing shakes out —might actually end up feeling understated. On Sunday, in the last episode of her last run for the presidency, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Selina Meyer probably has a few more terrible tricks up her sleeve before we find out if she has successfully clawed her way back to the Oval Office.
It was probably inevitable, especially as reality has pushed past what used to seem ridiculously over-the-top on this show, that Selina would end up absorbing all the toxic lessons of Washington and employing them herself in her quest to win. But wow, the list of bad things she’s done in just these last six episodes, leaping all over legal and ethical boundaries, is astounding. The following is a list of some of the bad, bad things Selina has done on this final campaign trail:
Approved a terrible campaign slogan that is itself a gigantic lie: “New. Selina. Now.” Except for the “Selina” part, this season proved it to be as untruthful a campaign tagline as it is a bad-sounding one. In almost every way, it's the same Selina as ever, only more so.
Downplayed a #MeToo moment: While joking about a time a Senator grabbed her ass, Selina learned from her former protégé and future campaign opponent Kemi Talbot (Toks Olagundoye) that the Senator in question was under investigation for harassment. Selina would eventually propose an all-female ticket with Kemi (“A two-cooter ticket,” as she called it) before Kemi decided to run for president herself. Per Selina: “Tri-racial twat stabbed me in the back."
Proposed a non-negative campaign pledge with other candidates and then broke it: Hoping to take some heat off of the financial misdeeds of her ex-husband Andrew, Selina asked her campaign opponents to agree to stop going negative in debates. Selina leaked information about a vehicular manslaughter case involving Kemi to another opponent, Tom James, who used the information against both Kemi and Selina in a debate.
Revealed private medical information about a political rival: In the same debate, Selina revealed that Tom had a heart attack that he never revealed publicly. To be fair, Tom revealed the same thing about Selina first.
Killed a mayor: Selina gave chocolate treats to the mayor of Lurlene, Iowa. It just so happened that the mayor was a dog. And you know about dogs eating chocolate.
Failed to pay a staging bill: In the run-up to announcing her candidacy, Selina learned that the owner of a tent company was never paid for work done for her in 2008, and had therefore not set up the stage for her announcement. She stole the man’s speech patterns to make her announcement anyway and then refused to pay the man, again.
Cynically used a mass shooting to launch her campaign: After twenty-six people were killed in a Phoenix mall, instead of sending thoughts and prayers, Selina used the tragedy as a springboard from which to announce her candidacy.
Got a woman deported: Selina made up a sad immigrant story, but it turned out there was a real woman in Tennessee who had the same jobs and was in the same situation that Selina conjured up. Publicly exposed, the woman was deported to Mexico, but was brought back long enough to mistakenly call Selina “President Montez” at a press conference.
Slept with a staff member, then fired him: Pleased with deputy communications director Dan Egan’s ability to cue balloons at a victory rally, Selina had a one-night-stand with him. The next morning, Dan found himself fired, presumably because he wasn’t quick enough to retrieve a remote control while they were both lying in bed together. Selina's kiss-off message, delivered via Andy Daly's mistakenly-hired campaign manager: “If I need another Washington douche, I’ll go to the M Street Rite Aid.”
Used her black grandson as a campaign prop: She referred to the practice as “Lion Kinging him around.”
Allowed the Chinese government to fund her campaign and suppress black voting in South Carolina: A $25 million donation suddenly appeared in Selina's campaign coffers after she gave a pro-China speech at a Baptist church, which was originally supposed to be a racist dog-whistle speech intended to lure more white votes. The Chinese government also cut power in African-American neighborhoods, and tens of thousands of voters were turned away at the polls because of their middle initials.
Tried to implicate a staff member for her ex-husband’s embezzlement: Selina tried to record staff member and future daughter-in-law Marjorie admitting she mishandled Meyer Fund money, but Marjorie didn't fall for it. Instead, she asked to marry Selina’s daughter, Catherine.
Admitted she got an elephant killed in a drone strike: To some, this will be the worst item on this list.
Made a secret deal to give Tibet back to China: In exchange for China’s election help, Selina made a shady deal to get Tibet into Chinese government’s hands, even though she knew it would lead to torture and death.
Used a former staffer’s daughter to translate a piece of foreign intelligence: BuzzFeed reporter and former staffer Mike McClintock’s daughter knows Mandarin, so Selina asked her to translate a document related to her deal with China. In it, she found out China wants Selina to win the nomination, but for President Laura Montez to win the election. Miffed, Selina didn't give the young translator a gift she promised.
Got arrested in Europe for war crimes: See elephant drone strike, above. Weirdly, the arrest made Selina more popular in the U.S., at least until people found out about the elephant.
Convinced her daughter to have a European wedding to distract from Selina’s escape from the Norwegian embassy: And it worked!
(Accidentally) Got her ex-husband killed: Hoping to pay her ex-husband off to go live in Israel, Selina told her Chinese operative staffer to take care of Andrew’s situation. Which was taken to mean “Take care of him” in a very permanent way, leading to the blowing up of the family yacht that Andrew was boarding (alone) to Cuba. This might be the worst thing Selina has done, however inadvertently, all season. But there’s one episode left for her to top herself. Never count our “New! Selina! Now!” out.
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