Okay, this episode is . . . I mean, wow. This episode is as great as the series has ever been. It’s maybe the best episode yet. Anyway, some hikers get held hostage in Uzbekistan and Selina finds herself caught in the middle on the issue. It’s just a really phenomenal episode. Sufe Bradshaw gets to shine a bit more than she has before as the Veep’s Secretary; she has to testify before a Congressional committee on government waste and it’s a really, really funny scene. While Sue’s out of the office, her temporary replacement name of Cliff comes in and it’s a hilarious, cheesy performance from guest actor Craig Cackowski. Would that he’d stick around for a while. Meanwhile, Selina and SecDef Maddox spar over language: Selina says that there will be a “robust” response to the hostage crisis, while Maddox calls for an “aggressive” one and, no, Kevin Dunn’s Chief of Staff Ben informs them in a hilarious scene, those are not the same ******* things. Using the same words, Ben explains, is the only way to know we’re “on the same . . .” “Diet?” Selina asks. What about Gary Cole’s Kent? Well, he gets an astonishing scene where he discusses the hostage crisis in term of the noodles he’s warming in the microwave; the punchline to his monologue was so brilliant that it literally made my jaw drop. Then there’s a scene of Selina doing the swearing in ceremony for the new Senators. She’s desperate to finish in time to be in on the hostage rescue and the scene of her blasting through the swearing in is probably the funniest scene yet. But then the episode has a strange, utterly confounding and surprising climax as Selina is forced to face the darker side of being involved in international politics; confronting the reality that one of the soldiers on the hostage raid lost his leg shakes her to the core and Louis-Dreyfus nails the surprisingly dramatic scene. Yes, now that I muse on it, this isn’t a maybe – it’s DEFINITELY the best episode of the series so far. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – a hostage crisis in Uzbekistan gives us both the funniest and the most surprisingly dramatic episode yet; Louis-Dreyfus nails both to absolute perfection in this episode, the best of the series so far. 4 stars.