|“||When you pull the pin out, you're supposed to throw the grenade away. You don't stick it up your own fricking ass!||”|
– Andrew Doyle
Helsinki is the fifth episode of the second season of the HBO original series Veep. It originally aired on May 12, 2013.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Ben and Kent argue over new intelligence, while Mike employs the services of Jonah to help him on a special White House project. Selina travels to Helsinki to lock in a trade deal, and tries to teach Dan how to charm the media.
Plot[edit | edit source]
On Air Force Two en route to Helsinki, Amy does damage control for Selina's "50 Ways" song, while Dan struggles in his role as the new Mike: "I don't want to be like Mike. Even Mike doesn't want to be like Mike." Selina covertly implores Gary to get her cigarettes. He protests, but she insists "I need my flaming red heads." Besides, she only smokes internationally.
While Mike flounders on Kent's Dream Metrics team, Dan calls him for advice: "How do you do that Fozzie Bear, happy guy, wakka wakka bullshit to get the press to like you?" After revealing how to "McClintalk," Mike calls on Jonah for help with Dream Metric, promising to get him back in as the "Veep's resident creep" in return.
After landing in Helsinki, Dan unsuccessfully tries his hand at being Mike with the waiting reporters. Selina notes the cold and hostile reception - "Are you sure we didn't overshoot and land in Russia in the 1950s?" Later, she meets Minna, the Finnish Prime Minister. She presents Minna with a book - "Freshwater Game Fish of North America" - based on information from her team that the Prime Minister enjoyed fishing. Selina receives an equally awkward gift - a cumbersome clock with an ‘Angry Bird' on its face.
Kent asks Mike to divert the media's attention away from the White House and towards Selina's Helsinki visit - but refuses to explain why. Exasperated, Ben exits from his hiding place in a nearby supply closet and reveals one of the Uzbekistan hostages was a spy - and the president knew it. Unfortunately, other people, like Selina didn't know, and she even went on record denying it.
Selina attends the Prime Minister's drinks reception. When Minna leaves to speak with the Finance Secretary, Selina joins Minna's husband Osmo outside for a smoke. Mid-conversation, Osmo reaches over and grabs one of her breasts. Shocked, she goes back inside and reveals to Gary what happened. While he gets her water, Amy arrives, and believing Gary knows about the spy situation, accidentally reveals the news to Selina.
Ben argues with Kent about what to do vis-à-vis the spy lie - he wants Kent to get the president to admit he knew about the spy, but Kent wants to do more polling before determining the right course of action. Furlong busts in and confronts them - "You two have been caught with your balls in grandma's mouth - everybody's talking about it up on the Hill." He's followed shortly after by an equally incensed Senator Doyle: "This isn't just a crisis...this is at least ten years of Oliver Stone movies."
Later, Selina and her team have dinner with Osmo and Minna. She introduces Gary who explains that he's the Veep's bag man, or "kassi" in Finnish. Osmo reveals that ‘kassi' is a slang term, meaning "man bag" - Gary's been introducing himself as a "testicle container."
Back at Dream Metric, Jonah tells Mike to use "command A" rather than "control A" to add regional summaries from Kent's thumb drive. Jonah realizes his mistake too late - Mike's sent Kent's polling consultation to half the politicos in DC. In a panic and trying to reconcile what they've done ("This is the Internet age - nothing stays a secret"), the pair bump into Kent, Ben, Furlong, and Doyle just as the disastrous email pops up on their phones.
While Selina gives closing remarks, Amy gets word that Kent's polling data leaked - they need to get on the plane before Selina can answer any questions from the press. Selina explains that Osmo will face consequences for the grope. "In America we kill people for looking at us funny; we waterboard folks who haven't even done anything."
As she's leaving, a tenacious reporter demands to know if the President knew about the spy. Without thinking Selina responds, "I stand with the president" and immediately regrets it. Back aboard Air Force Two, everyone agrees Finland sucks. "I told everybody that I was a scrotum," Gary laments.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Selina: I'm the Vice President of the United States of America, and he just squeezed my tit like a balloon.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Main cast[edit | edit source]
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer
- Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer
- Tony Hale as Gary Walsh
- Matt Walsh as Mike McLintock
- Reid Scott as Dan Egan
- Timothy Simons as Jonah Ryan
- Sufe Bradshaw as Sue Wilson
- Kevin Dunn as Ben Cafferty
- Gary Cole as Kent Davison
Guest cast[edit | edit source]
- Phil Reeves as Andrew Doyle
- Sally Phillips as Minna Häkkinen
- Dan Bakkedahl as Roger Furlong
- Dave Foley as Osmo Häkkinen
Reception[edit | edit source]
"Helsinki" received acclaim from critics and is considered by many to be the best episode of the first two seasons. The A.V. Club gave the episode an A-, calling it one of Veep's strangest episodes.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
-This episode takes place in January 2015, immediately where The Vic Allen Dinner left off.
-Filmed February 6 - 8, 2013.
-This episode, while set in Helsinki, was filmed entirely in Baltimore. The Art Department won an Emmy for their work on this episode. Some shots used in the episode are of the real city, but that is simply stock fottage.