When it comes to pork in politics, we are usually referring to the taxpayer funded favors done by lawmakers for special interest groups in return for political support. In Vice President Selina Meyers's case, we are talking actual pork – in the form of a giant pig, roasting on a stick.
POTUS, or at least his proxy, Kent Davison sends Selina to a North Carolina pork roast as part of operation "U.S.Hey!" — the administration's campaign (which owes its miserable name to Jonah) to curry good favor with the American public after a slaughtering in the midterm elections. En route, Selina thinks her biggest problem is that Gary's girlfriend, Dana, has leaked the system of gestures Selina uses to communicate with her aids –"Selina's Secret stash of signals," as a tabloid calls them; she may be forced to talk to humble citizens indefinitely, without Gary able to whisk her away under the guise of an important phone call. But when a pro-Palestinian essay written by her daughter, Catherine, about the film "Five Broken Cameras" gets posted online, Selina must smooth over the controversy while chowing down at the aforementioned pork roast. Commenting on the complexity of Israeli-Palestinian relations in front of giant pig rotisserie does not make for good optics.
Dan and Amy are working to put out of the fire from Washington, teaming up to write a statement, which, as Amy puts it, "needs to be the Gettysburg address of tight-rope-walking, say-nothing bullsh-t." (If you've ever wondered why political communications consultants get paid the big bucks, it's usually for doing exactly that).
Amy and Dan usually play sniping antagonists, but on a hospital visit to Amy's ailing father, some cracks in their disdain for one another are revealed. Dan first struggles for the right words to comfort Amy about her father, babbling about the Starbucks at George Washington University hospital (in truth: it is pretty nice), before admitting he is not "good with illness or death or basic empathy." To his relief – and admiration – Amy explains that her father's "stroke" was more family guilt trip than grave health emergency, and it serves as a convenient excuse to get out of an awkward work situation. The visit unravels into a family nag-fest over Amy's spinsterhood – a topic of particular discomfort for Dan, as he and Amy briefly dated – and Dan uses a convenient work excuse to get her out of an awkward family situation.
Selina must deal with her own family, jetting to Catherine (by helicopter, technically, which turns out to be a source of crippling terror to Mike) to convince her to apologize for the essay or "daughterboard" her in the process. But Catherine out-politicks her own mother and leverages the apology to get permission to stay with her boyfriend over Thanksgiving. Selina tries her best to hide her horror when she meets said boyfriend, the opinionated son of Iranian immigrants, but to limited success.
Nevertheless, Selina gets her apology, Florida's Jewish vote is safe, and she is back on Air Force Two in time to video conference into a meeting on the Syrian hostage situation—the national security crisis that Selina clings to as a last hope for relevancy. But Gary's girlfriend's reign of terror continues, as the Stetson hat Selina wore at the pig roast – which Dana recommended via Gary – has left her with a horrible case of hat head.
Better luck next week, Selina!
(Screenshots courtesy of HBO)