Post Mortems

Veep Season 6 Finale: Showrunner David Mandel Dissects Those Huge Twists, Teases Looming 'End Game'

Veep‘s presidential library arc climaxed in Sunday’s time-tripping Season 6 finale as ex-POTUS Selina Meyer prepared to preside over the dedication of her museum/shrine. But inevitably an 11th hour crisis derailed her big moment as Amy informed her boss that the library was going to be built on Yale University’s former slave quarters. Oh, and the building looks like a giant vagina, prompting Selina to dub it a “Vagibrary.”

Word of the slave scandal made its way to the press, prompting Yale to pull the plug on the project. However, as we quickly discovered, it was Selina who leaked it to the media because, as she noted, “Only former presidents have presidential libraries.”

Yep, Selina’s making another play for the Presidency (her fourth go at it). And to add twist on top of twist, she’ll be running against… Jonah.

Other highlights from the action-packed half-hour:

* Catherine and Marjorie welcomed a son, who Selina named “Little Richard.”
* After deciding to run for president again, Selina (tearfully!) ended things with Jaffar, aka her “Muslim baggage.” She also tapped her arch nemesis Leon West to be her new speechwriter, replacing Mike, who’s now working as a polysci professor.
* The episode zig-zagged through history, flashing back to seminal moments in Selina’s political career. At one point the show reached back two decades and we witnessed Selina giving birth to Catherine. It’s during this time warp that we discover Gary was on hand for the birth because he was working as an orderly at the hospital.
* Amy is pregnant with Dan’s baby!

Below, showrunner David Mandel breaks down the episode’s biggest twists and lightly teases Season 7 — aka the series’ potential swan song.

TVLINE | Selina’s running for president again, which brings everything full circle. Are you writing towards an end?
It’s something we’re going to be talking about very soon. We’re starting to think about an end game because, like anything else, we want to go out our way. We’re going to figure it out and hopefully announce something officially.

TVLINE | So next season could potentially be the last?
I don’t want to go there. We need to sit down and figure out of if there are three more seasons, two more seasons, one more season… Everything is still on the table.

TVLINE | How did you arrive at the idea to sprinkle flashbacks throughout the episode?
Last season’s ninth episode was all about Catherine’s documentary. And in the early part of the documentary there was that fun shot of Young Catherine falling off the stage at Selina’s senate victory party. We got a little peek of Nineties Selina, Nineties Andrew and, of course, God bless him, Nineties Gary. I will not lie, the notion of “flashbacks are fun” definitely occurred to me. And then I got all film-school fancy and thought a lot about one of the all-time great movies, The Godfather: Part II, and this idea that you could use flashbacks to enhance the present-day story.

TVLINE | I feel like this episode could’ve easily been an hour, if not 90 minutes…
Our rough cut of this episode started out at, if memory serves, 54 minutes. Right from the get-go, I reached out to HBO and went, “Look, I’m certainly going to need [the full 30 minutes],” because sometimes we go 28 [minutes]. And in my own head I was thinking to myself, “What if we need a couple more minutes.” But there’s something about the discipline and pace of [a half-hour]. I definitely cut some things [from the episode], but it’s nothing I miss.

TVLINE | The sight of Selina in tears on the escalator after she dumped Jaffar was jarring. You rarely show us the vulnerable, human side of her. I imagine a lot of thought went into that moment.
I [debated] whether someone else should be there with her, like Gary, to hold her hand. But in some ways the rawness of nobody being there [was more impactful]. And in my mind when she’s coming down that escalator, yes, she’s thinking about Jaffar, but she’s also thinking about all of the flashbacks and every choice she has ever made… And then most horrifyingly, we jump to Iowa and she’s as giddy as a school girl. She compartmentalizes [the breakup] because she’s back where she wants to be.

TVLINE | Amy’s pregnant. Is Dan really the daddy?
He’s 100 percent the father.

TVLINE | With Mike no longer working for Selina, should we be worried about Matt Walsh’s future on the show?
No, you should not be worried about Matt Walsh’s future on the show. We should be worried for Mike’s children and if there will be food on their table. We have a pretty interesting idea for Mike next season.

TVLINE | Speaking of next season, will there be another big time jump? Or will see the campaign?
I don’t think we are going to jump ahead a year again. One of the areas that really is interesting to me is the campaigning before the campaign. I’m also fascinated about what it’s like to live in Iowa two years before a national election when every five minutes a different person is knocking on your door. It’s a wide-open field of people looking to run against [current President] Montez.

TVLINE | Selina named Marjorie and Catherine son Little Richard. Is that going to stick?
I don’t think Catherine and Marjorie like it, but once you announce a baby’s name publicly [the ship has sort of sailed]. So no matter what Marjorie and Catherine think or want, we have not heard the last of Little Richard. [Laughs]