Veep, Season 5, Episode 5: “Thanksgiving”
Written by Sean Gray & Georgia Pritchett & Will Smith
Directed by Chris Addison
Airs Sunday at 10:30pm on HBO
I recently wrote about Veep’s lead-in on HBO, Silicon Valley, and how that show is best and funniest when the characters are dealing with a crisis. Veep operates similarly, but for different reasons; whenever Selina and her associates are confronted with a major problem, she results to unethical and immoral behavior to save her butt. As a portrait of Washington incompetence and immorality, Veep is most successful when it allows Selena to be a garbage person. “Thanksgiving” is less successful than the fantastic run of episodes so far this season because it doesn’t have any major crisis to showcase Selena’s depravity.
It’s Thanksgiving time and that means the annual pardoning of two turkeys (Catherine named them Drumstick and Cranberry). After the ceremony, Selena decides to have some cosmetic surgery to shrink the bags under her eyes. It should be a slow weekend so she’ll have time to heal out of the public eye. Except that it’s not slow at all because of a salmonella outbreak among turkeys that freaks out the nation. Selena needs surrogates to calm down the nation while she’s recovering from her eye surgery. Tom James gets picked to go on TV to calm people down. Dan’s tasked with assisting Tom and he notices that Tom keeps getting calls from his old lobbyist boss, Sidney Purcell. Tom also happens to be recommending turkey alternatives like Salmon, products that Sidney pushes. Perhaps Tom has been bought. Vice-President Doyle also gets picked to run press conferences on the outbreak. Selena expected him to do a passable job, but she’s threatened when he ends up winning the room.
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