After a weak episode, the series springs back with a strong one. In this episode, Selina’s crew heads off to Helsinki to do some kind of diplomatic thing regarding a software development deal between Finland and the US. That sounds vague, but it’s about as informed as the characters are. This one is really full of just pure gold. It’s cool to see the cast in a totally new setting, though there is still some of the episode dedicated to the cast that’s back home in Washington. This one really rises on the performances of Sally Phillips and Dave Foley as the Finnish Prime Minister and her sleazy husband. Phillips actually manages to raise the awkward bar and her scenes with Louis-Dreyfus are genuinely forehead slapping and jaw dropping in just how horrifyingly awkward they are. Foley gets one genuinely astounding scene; you’ll know it when you see it – suffice it to say that I literally shouted “WHAT?!” at the screen. The regular cast is performing solidly as well; I really feel that I don’t even need to say that anymore. Particularly funny is a bit revolving around the fact that Selina feels free to smoke when she’s out of the country. Gary disapproves and this leads to a wonderful scene of Selina begging Gary to give her cigarettes. “I really do need my little soldiers,” she whines, “I need my flaming redheads.” If you don’t think that’s funny, I just don’t know what to tell you. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – bolstered by two brilliant guest performances by Sally Phillips and Dave Foley, this episode is a hilarious masterpiece that’s more than a strong bounceback from last time’s mediocre episode. 4 stars.