Would you please hang up the phone because I'm the fucking Vice President of the United States and I have something to say.
– Selina

Midterms is the first episode of the second season of the HBO original series Veep. It originally aired on April 14, 2013.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Selina's party does poorly in the midterm election, though Selina has a successful campaign, which she attempts to leverage into greater influence for herself. A Presidential strategist named Kent Davison, with whom Selina has a troubled history, returns from an absence. Selina is assigned responsibility for foreign relations.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Selina campaigns across the country for the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, drawing lively crowds for candidates including nemeses Danny Chung and Roger Furlong, Ohio's gubernatorial hopeful. But Selina's successful campaign visits don't translate to election night victory. Selina blames President Hughes for the grim results and decides it's time he honored his ticket promises to her.

In order to confront Hughes about assuming more responsibility, Selina asks Gary for the Miami Sunburst lipstick her stylist recommended to offset the morose atmosphere in the in Oval Office. "Come 2 a.m., my eyes will say 'holocaust' but my lips will say 'carnival.'"

Mike gives a statement to the press, informing them Selina will not be doing the morning news shows. A reporter asks him if she's deserting a sinking ship -- a crack at the leaky boat he's trying to sell on eBay that's draining him financially.

Selina finds Ben Cafferty, the Chief of Staff, hiding in a supply closet fearing for his job. She asks for advice on how to assume more of a leadership role in the White House and he directs her to senior strategist Kent Davison, the Pol Pot of pie charts, who forced her to fake a happy relationship with her ex-husband during the election. "He made us go river rafting together. Catherine got giardia!"

Furlong calls Dan to threaten him with jail time if he loses the gubernatorial bid and return to his chairmanship on the Congressional Oversight Committee. He blames Selina for his poor performance and wants to launch an investigation on her office for revenge. "You're gonna have to prepare to be gay for the stay because you're going down." However, the threat of prison doesn't last long: Jonah announces they've lost the House later that night -- meaning Furlong's no longer Chairman and doesn't have the power to send Dan to jail.

Selina goes to Kent and attempts to persuade him to "reposition" her to a role with more power. Lacking any respect for Selina's job, Kent's refuses to help her. He's crunched the numbers and they taste pretty bland to him. Worried about Kent's attitude, Selina tells her staff she's concerned he'll try to get between her and Hughes like a thick rubber condom. She needs their help getting "unprotected access to the Oval Office."

Selina and Dan stumble upon Jonah's stat-nerds who tell them Selina's campaign visits always lead to a bump for the candidate -- even trumping Hughes. With this new information, Selina heads to the Oval Office believing Kent's there with the President. But when she arrives, she finds only Kent, who's spread a rumor that Hughes is awake and leading so people don't think he's given up.

The stat-nerd arrives with Dan at the Oval Office to deliver Selina's campaign data -- it turns out her lead over Hughes is a meager 0.9%. Dan and Kent discuss the value of the statistic, angering Selina who refuses to let Kent use her as a prop again. An argument ensues and a panicked Gary, who's been unable to find the Miami Sunburst lipstick, intervenes with a substitute that Selina accidentally smacks into Kent's eye. In the ensuing chaos, the lipstick is trod into the Presidential seal on the Oval Office carpet.

Exhausted and feeling defeated, Selina returns to her office to find that the President has actually called. Ben tells her Hughes acknowledged her 0.9% and is giving her an enhanced role in foreign policy -- she's got a sit down with a Senate committee in two hours about a Hostage Crisis in Uzbekistan. Kent also stops by -- Hughes wants her to do the morning news shows in the wake of the disastrous Midterms: "You will be the face of our failure." Despite being "exhaustipated," Kent's got her booked for 27 interviews.

Overly done-up and delirious, Selina settles in front of the camera and complains to Mike: "I'm about to enter a national ass-kicking contest with no legs and a massive ass."

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Congressman Furlong: "You know what they call guys like you in prison? Sweet meat."

Selena: "There is no "I" in freedom. Freedom is not 'medom.' It's 'wedom' "

Selena: "I visited a dance studio in Hartford, Connecticut... When I was there, I met a brave firefighter in a wheelchair...Back then, we didn't know what HIV positive was...Which meant he had to lose his kidney...He shook and he said, 'You don't remember me, but I am your grandpa.' "

Sue: "Marion, listen very closely. You have as much chance of getting the vice president on your show as you have of getting your husband to leave that cheerleader. ...Yes, Marion. We're all aware of that. Goodbye."

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main cast[edit | edit source]

Guest cast[edit | edit source]

Reception[edit | edit source]

"Midterms" received positive reviews. The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

-This episode takes place on November 4 and 5, 2014.

-Filmed December 2 - 5, 2012.

-Since Veep didn't have one built yet, the Oval Office set used in this episode was rented from House of Cards, which had concluded filming it's first season in Baltimore around the same time.

-The "fat Wolverine" painting Selina uses to locate Kent's office is a portrait of Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, from 1837 to 1841.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

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