‘Veep’ episode 2 recap: Gender politics stymie Selina, Jonah in ‘Library’

After abandoning her pipe dream of running for President again in the season premiere, “Veep’s” Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) aims to immortalize her legacy with the ambitious goal of opening her own presidential library. While Gary (Tony Hale), Richard (Sam Richardson) and Andrew (David Pasquesi) help Selina line up funding and a venue, Jonah (Timothy Simons) tries to become more marketable as a congressman, Dan (Reid Scott) struggles to appease his anchor Jane (Margaret Colin), and Amy (Anna Chlumsky) helps Buddy (Matt Oberg) deal with the fallout of a DUI and lascivious dashboard camera video. Below, let’s look at the Top 5 moments from “Veep” Season 6, Episode 2.

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Strolling Down Memory Lane — “Veep” seldom begins an episode with a cold open, but “Library” kicks off with the surprising image of Selina wistfully sitting behind President Hughes’ desk in the recreation of his oval office in his newly-opened presidential library. Gary hears former President Stevenson entering the room, which leads to a hysterical bit of physical comedy in which Selina gets stuck trying to jump over the barrier intended to keep guests from touching the furniture. As always, Gary comes to her rescue, flipping Selina upright just in the knick of time. With Stevenson in the room, they realize Selina left her purse on the desk, which Richard immediately points out much to Selina’s chagrin.

Undatable You — After being denied an open slot on the House Committee on Ways and Means and snubbed for an important dinner hosted by Roger Furlong (Dan Bakkedahl), Jonah turns to Ben (Kevin Dunn) and Kent (Gary Cole) for advice on how to climb the political and social rungs of the House of Representatives. They suggest Jonah needs to find a female companion to bring to functions and, to that end, find four women within the greater Baltimore, Arlington, and Alexandria area interested in dating Jonah. On his first two hilariously bad dates at the same restaurant, Jonah scares off his potential suitors by limiting them to ordering either an appetizer or dessert with their meal and swapping gruesome stories about cancer operations, with both women bolting for “the bathroom.” Just when Jonah finally hits it off with his third date, bonding over their love of Sting’s solo albums, Dan interrupts their dinner and scares her off.

‘Veep’ season 6 premiere recap: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina confronts a dream deferred in ‘Omaha’

Chardonnay on the Quad — On her return flight from President Hughes’ library to New York, Selina tells her team that she wants her own library, ironically emphasizing that “Selina Meyer belongs in an institution.” After receiving an “emphatic” rejection from Yale, Selina’s law school alma mater, Andrew suggests they reach out to Smith College, where she got her undergrad degree. At Smith, Selina meets with former classmate and current university president Regina Pell (Amy Brenneman), who reminds Selina of a special night they shared on the quad during junior year after drinking a bottle of chardonnay, to which Selina rebuffs that she’s “strictly a scotch girl and I always have been, so I never really experimented with chardonnay.” Later, Selina sits down for an interview with a student, who questions Selina’s controversial decision about pardoning private prison mogul Sherman Tanz. Louis-Dreyfus reminds viewers of why Selina became a successful politician, fabricating an excuse out of thin air, blaming the “male-dominated media,” and ultimately winning over her skeptics.

Siri Spills the Beans — En route to a fundraiser for Selina’s library, Andrew accidentally activates Siri to read his unread text messages aloud, including three from Helen Wright (June Diane Raphael), the artist currently working on Selina’s presidential portrait. Before he can intervene, Siri reads the explicit messages that reveal they’ve been sleeping together. While Selina stews in her anger, Gary flips out in the back seat, calling Andrew “the devil” and climbing up front to beat him up. Between the cold open and this scene, Hale has ample opportunity to showcase his physical comedy chops and he delivers on both occasions. In light of Andrew’s affair, Selina share a pair of heartfelt moments, first on the phone with her most trusted female confidant Amy who tells her to quit acting like “lobotomy Barbie,” and then with Marjorie (Clea DuVall), who comforts Selina by telling her she’s not nearly as bad a person as Andrew. Albeit brief, Louis-Dreyfus brings a lot of heart to the latter exchange, telling Marjorie “you’re like a son to me” over a handshake, finally allowing her to call her mom (a decision she quickly regrets and backtracks).

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Scarlett Letter — Selina fires Helen for sleeping with Andrew, but Helen swiftly accuses Selina of victim-blaming in the press, setting off campus riots at Smith. Desperate to keep the plans for her library on track, Selina proposes to Regina that they have dinner, go back to her hotel and share a bottle of chardonnay like they did junior year. Regina immediately declines the offer because she’s in a committed relationship, to which Selina again replies, “I really, honestly, have no idea what you’re talking about.” Brenneman is great opposite Louis-Dreyfus, from her flirtatious coyness about their past relationship to her icy rejection of Selina’s ineffectual advances.

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