|“||You treat the Constitution like a build-your-own-pizza menu.||”|
– Andrew Doyle
Thanksgiving is the fifth episode of the fifth season of the HBO original series Veep. It originally aired on May 22, 2016.
On Thanksgiving Day, Selina is forced to go into hiding; A congressional race in New Hampshire could give Selina the presidency; Dan suspects Tom is up to something.
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, Selina pardons two turkeys at a ceremony in the Rose Garden. Meanwhile, Dan learns that he's been "greened"; his blue pass was revoked because of a security glitch, thus limiting his access to the White House.
Catherine asks when her mother will be joining the family for Thanksgiving, but Selina tells her she has to shore up her vote with Congress instead. In actuality, she's using the holiday to have plastic surgery on her eyes. Before Selina goes under the knife, Ben informs her the South Korean Prime Minister wants to discuss trouble with North Korea, and the CDC is reporting a few cases of salmonella linked to contaminated turkeys.
As the salmonella scare increases, Ben and Kent decide to send Tom James out to comfort the public while Selina is having her procedure. Dan is sent to work for Tom, who presents him with his coveted blue badge. Slowly, Tom begins using Dan as his own Gary. When the number of cases continues to rise, Ben asks Doyle to make a statement on behalf of the White House. Doyle is suspicious about Selina's supposed "dental surgery," as the 25th amendment should be invoked if the president is incapacitated. After her procedure, a raccoon-eyed Selina calls various congressmen to wish them a happy Thanksgiving and to talk to them about the upcoming vote. Unfortunately, many are distracted by the salmonella outbreak, and are wondering why Selina hasn’t made a statement herself.
Mike calls Wendy to tell her their baby surrogate, DebraLee, is a go. They ditch their families to celebrate at a hotel room, which Mike got for free as it was used to house the pardoned turkeys.
Ben informs Selina that Rep. Sherman, the oldest member of the House, has died. Yet again Selina can’t give a statement because of her appearance, but Kent sees a bright side. Sherman was a staunch supporter of O'Brien and losing him could mean a new vote for Selina -- if they can get New Hampshire to hold a special election in time. They decide to call Jonah's uncle Jeff Kane, the state's political "kingmaker," for help.
Despite Selina's objections, Ben and Kent approach an increasingly-suspicious Doyle, but he refuses to make a statement about Sherman unless he meets with Selina in person. After their meeting, Doyle agrees to give a statement -- on the condition she considers him for Secretary of State, which she promises to give him.
Kent and Ben meet with Jeff, who tells them that a Special Election will be held shortly before Christmas, but they will need to move fast, as Sherman's widow is running for the seat to continue her late husband's legacy. Jeff suggests his nephew, Ezra, who he has been grooming for the seat but he's currently serving in Afghanistan, and defeat Sherman's widow would require risking one's reputation and good name, which Jeff is not prepared to let happen to Ezra. They'll need a disposable candidate for the interim -- a "spectacular dumbass" willing to fight dirty against the widow.
Jeff approaches Jonah at Thanksgiving dinner and asks him to run. Jonah is beyond thrilled at the request, but deflates when his uncle clarifies, in no uncertain terms, that he'll only sit for one term before Ezra takes over, and that he will be little more than a "placeholder" during that time.
After watching Mike flail at a press conference about the salmonella outbreak, Selina decides to take action. Aboard an aircraft carrier, Selina (donning aviators) serves Tofurkey and claims the "top secret" mission necessitated her radio silence for the past 24 hours. Gary brings word that Jonah is running for Sherman's vacant seat, leaving her speechless.
- Selina: [talking about a Congressman she's about to call] Is he the one with the prostitute problem? Oh, never mind. They all have that. House is like Caligula's room.
- Jonah: Dear Lord who guides me and nourishes me, I set foot on this path that you have laid before me with a strong arm and a willing heart to totally rock this shit. Amen. The Jonah Ryan Story, chapter five: "The House Kneels Before the Fucking J-man." I'm running for Congress!
- 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
- Sam Richardson as Richard Splett
- Sarah Sutherland as Catherine Meyer
- Hugh Laurie as Tom James
Guest cast Edit
- Clea DuVall as Marjorie Palmiotti
- Mary Catherine Garrison as Sophie Brookheimer
- Lisa Robbins as Mrs. Brookheimer
- Jim O'Heir as Mr. Brookheimer
- Phil Reeves as Andrew Doyle
- Nancy Lenehan as Jonah's Mother
- Kathy Najimy as Wendy Keegan
- Seth Morris as Bill Jaeger
- Peter MacNicol as Jeff Kane
This episode received positive reviews, but was called one of the weakest of the season by some. Kate Kulzick of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B, saying "Next to the hilarious and dark “Mother,” however, this episode can’t help but feel slight."
-This is the second episode of Veep to take place on a holiday, the first being Data, taking place on Easter.
-This episode was watched by 0.92 million people.
-Jonah's Uncle Kane, played by Peter MacNicol in this episode, was played by a different actor when he first appeared in New Hampshire. Also, Amy's father in this episode is played by Jim O'Heir, but was played by Patrick McDade at the start of season two.
-The Turkey pardon was filmed three months after the rest of the episode. While the rest of the episode was filmed in Los Angeles, the Turkey Pardon was actually filmed in Washington D.C.
Thanksgiving 2016 was November 24th, so the Turkey Pardon was held on November 23, 2016, and the main events of this episode was held on November 24, 2016. Selina tours the South China Seas 26 hours after Thanksgiving night, meaning this trip was held on November 26, 2016.