The June 24 season finale of Veep took viewers down memory lane, but it also hinted at changes to come. In "Groundbreaking," Selina tries to learn from her past political mistakes, which ultimately leaves the series open for a potential President Selina Meyer in Season 7. But does she have what it takes to make it back into the White House?
Of course, her decision to run may be shocking to fans, who know that showrunner David Mandel claimed that he wasn't planning on placing Selina in the presidency again. In an interview with The A.V. Club, at the end of Season 5, Mandel explained why Selina lost the presidency to Montez and the chance to be V.P. again. He said, "My first instinct was she cannot be president of the United States. She needs to lose because it’s the thing she wants most on the planet Earth. I think if we had decided to let her win that’s the end of the show."
Was it his plan all along to put Selina back on the campaign trail, or did Mandel change course at some point? Either way, Season 7 is shaping up to focus on her run. And the showrunner sees it as another in a long list of bad decisions made by the former VP. In a post-mortem Season 6 finale interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mandel said, "[Selina] could have had a happy ending. She could have had a library at Yale, very prestigious, could have been flying around the globe with Jaffar solving international issues wherever, and she could have been really, really happy. And she threw it in the garbage."
But throughout her journey to the presidency, Selina Meyer has been the subject of harsh sexism, as the episode's flashbacks show. And these jabs may be spurring her on to keep trying to claw her way into power. At one point, Ben tells her that as the Vice President, "the President doesn’t want you to do anything, but to continue being a woman." From the look on Selina's face, this comment stings, but she spins it by announcing to the staff that she's going to distance herself from this "one and done administration." At every major event in her life, Selina's political career — and her dream to become President — takes priority over everything else. She wants to be a part of that secret boys' club that continues to keep her out.
As Selina tried to find her footing in a post-Washington world, the finale follows through on the overall uncertainty of the season. Six years ago, Selina was suffering the defeat of losing the primary and being hidden away as the Vice President. 16 years ago, Selina was struggling with being taken seriously as she ran for the Senate. 24 years ago, Selina gave birth to Catherine and, as she disinterestedly held her newborn, told her then-husband Andrew that she wants to run for Congress.
In the present day, after Catherine gives birth, Selina is holding her new grandson when she makes the decision to run for President again. Only this time, she makes a few changes. She breaks up with Jaffar so she can get further in the race. It's a heartbreaking moment as she tries to explain she has new options for her career, post-Tibet, but admits that she believes that having a Muslim boyfriend will hurt her chances of being elected. It's a callous move, and it fits who Selina truly is: running for office is all that matters to her.
From being reduced to being a token as the first female president to losing the presidency to another woman, Selina has sacrificed her dignity and personal relationships to further her floundering political career. It's symbolic that all of these turning points lead up to the finale's big curtain: Selina makes the decision to run again and gets her staff back together. It parallels everything she has been through already and how little she's learned.
It seems that Selina has finally embraced her ruthlessness though. She's able to reject what hasn't been working for her — including Mike McClintock — and finally make the decisions that may get her back in the White House. She hasn't changed fundamentally as a person — she uses her grandson's birth as an impromptu press conference — but she may have the political grit to get past Iowa.
Jonah vs. Selina for president. YES. Give me that season now. #VEEP— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) June 26, 2017
Of course, nothing is ever easy for Selina, so the next announcement for President comes from none other than her former staffer Jonah Ryan. It won't be the historical election America was waiting for, but it's one that Veep fans will definitely want to see play out in Season 7.