I hope everyone is enjoying my slide into only writing about series’ finales!
Let’s not mince words here: Veep has zero faith in humans’ abilities to wield power responsibly. And while this is no doubt one of the most cynical shows ever created, I found the finale weirdly hopeful in three major ways:
In the 24-year time jump, arguably the most qualified person (Kemi) and undoubtedly the nicest person (Richard) just won back-to-back, two-term presidencies. Granted, both (especially the latter) have their flaws, but the show consistently portrayed each in a relatively positive light.
Veep firmly believes that power messes with people’s abilities to have any kind of relationship. While that mainly plays out with the main characters remaining in Selina’s orbit because power’s gravitational pull is too strong to break, there is one notable exception: Gary. Gary loved Selina and Selina loved Gary as much as she could possibly love anyone. And in the end, the only person truly upset at Selina’s death was the person who loved her. Despite the way she treated him for years. Despite her sending him to prison.
Perhaps the most perfect moment of the entire series is its last: coverage of Selina’s funeral is interrupted for coverage of the death of Tom Hanks. At first glance I read this as a classic Veep moment: “no matter how much power you wield, you don’t matter. You’re just a cog in the process and even your funeral will be usurped by the ever-turning wheel”. But after sleeping on it, I think Veep meant a bit more than that and that Tom Hanks was a very purposeful choice. Tom Hanks is universally beloved as a decent and good man: the polar opposite of almost everyone on this show. And in its final scene, Veep showed its cards: power is a siren’s song– a false promise of meaning– and as soon as you lose it, you’re discarded. The only legacy we leave is how much we are loved by others.