‘Veep’ Season 6 finale recap: Selina Meyer abandons one glass ceiling to shatter another in ‘Groundbreaking’

After a season spent exploring the many ways Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) tried to stay relevant during the first months of her post-Presidency, “Veep” capped off its sixth term with a finale resplendent with revealing flashbacks, devastating setbacks, and one huge stride forward. Below, let’s take a look at the Top 5 moments from “Veep” Season 6, Episode 10.

Vagi-brary — Following the publication of Selina’s memoir, Selina reaches another milestone accomplishment when the plans for her long-coveted presidential library finally take shape. Amy (Anna Chlumsky) reveals the final design to Selina, complete with a staircase that shatters the building’s glass ceiling, but Selina’s enthusiasm comes to a screeching halt due to a myriad of inconvenient optics, from Marjorie (Clea DuVall) pointing out that the structure looks like a vagina to the bad news that the library might be situated on the site of Yale’s former slave quarters. While Mike (Matt Walsh) proposes adding an exhibit onto the library to honor the men and women who suffered, Selina chooses to try to keep the issue under wraps. At Yale to celebrate the groundbreaking, the university president informs Selina that the Washington Post knows about the grounds and Yale has decided to postpone construction.

The Baby Has My Elbows — While at Yale, Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) goes into labor. Nonchalantly arriving far too late to the hospital, Selina has an awkward reunion with her ex-husband Andrew (David Pasquesi) and suggests Catherine and Marjorie name their baby Richard, half in homage to its father Richard (Sam Richardson) and half for the selfish joy of calling him Little Richard. As the entire entourage leaves the hospital, the press ambushes Selina and she performs a painfully awkward, yet successful, piece of political theatre, in which she reveals the baby’s name without Catherine or Marjorie’s consent, uses her newborn half-African American grandchild to decry the insensitive location of her presidential library, exploits Marjorie’s sexuality and Native American heritage, and addresses Leon West’s (Brian Huskey) badgering questions about her visit to the “spa” by bemoaning the country’s ongoing disregard for mental health issues.

The Band is Getting Back Together Again — While Amy apologizes to Selina about the failed plans for the library, Selina shocks her by announcing that she’s officially decided to run for President again, with the support of newly minted political consultants Ben (Kevin Dunn), Kent (Gary Cole) and Dan (Reid Scott), following the blockbuster popularity she’s received for freeing Tibet. The joyous reveal of Selina’s old staff together in her office has been a whole season in the making and doesn’t disappoint. The celebration runs short, though, when on the insistence of Ben, Selina breaks up with Jaffar (Usman Ally) because of his religion. In the most emotionally resonant scene of the episode, Selina expresses her genuine admiration of Jaffar, but admits that his religious beliefs coupled with his intellect won’t work to her advantage as she explores her post-Tibet political options. Leaving Jaffar’s hotel, Selina takes a long ride down an escalator, acknowledging a fan through her stifled sobs. Louis-Dreyfus’ pained conversation opposite Ally, who has been a wonderful addition to the cast this season, and her subdued heartbreak immediately after remind audiences that although “Veep” seldom displays Selina Meyer’s humanity, it succeeds when it does due in large part to Louis-Dreyfus’ brilliant performance.

A Feeling Tour — Selina and her reassembled team, sans Mike (who’s been replaced by Leon and now teaches a poorly attended college civics course), arrive at the Madison Monroe Dinner, an event at the center of the season premiere, where she gives a speech to unofficially announce her intention to run for President. Outside of the venue, Amy shocks Dan with the news that they’re pregnant after hooking up the night he got fired from “CBS This Morning.” Jonah (Timothy Simons), too, has a major announcement to make on the heels of losing his bid for Congressional re-election, assembling his mother (Nancy Lenehan), Bill Ericsson (Diedrich Bader), and previous assaulter Teddy Sykes (Patton Oswalt) at his former high school to announce that he’s running for President as “the ultimate insider’s outsider.” By pitting two of the series’ most hilariously inept politicians head-to-head in the race for the presidency, “Groundbreaking” lays the foundation for an exciting seventh season while also raising the stakes of its previous campaign-oriented arcs.

Continue to be a Woman — Throughout the present-day plot in “Groundbreaking,” writer/director David Mandel intersperses a number of knowingly insightful, newly-created flashbacks. In scenes set during Catherine’s birth, where Selina first meets Gary (Tony Hale), and Selina’s recent stint in the insane asylum, Mandel keeps the tone largely farcical. Other scenes, though, including Selina’s concession speech after dropping out of her first presidential race and her first day as Vice President, where Ben reminds her that she’s only useful to President Hughes because she’s a woman, emphasize the struggles that Selina has had to endure in her career. Mandel also gives fans of Louis-Dreyfus’ previous work a fun nod when Emily Rutherfurd, Louis-Dreyfus’ co-star of five seasons on “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” pops up as Sally Nuefeld, one of the many women with whom Andrew had an affair. After Selina catches them in the act, she uses the situation to her advantage, bilking Sally for a $250,000 campaign contribution. All told, the flashbacks help underscore the monumental decision Selina makes in this season finale and adds some context to her season-long, desperate desire to cement her legacy.

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