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Selina Meyer ... Now With Pathos

Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 2, Episode 3 of HBO's "Veep," titled "Hostages."

The action of this evening's episode centered on a hostage situation (the who, what, where was unclear) that Selina adopts as her cause du jour. To bring the issue to the attention of the president, she takes the matter to Kent, an increasingly peculiar Type-A gnome rarely seen outside his windowless office. In order to advise Selina as to how she should address the hostage situation, he must first slap Jonah around, requesting his "cerise-colored" folder. Jonah fails, procuring instead his cherry red folder and prompting ridicule by all. Anyway, the whole exercise is moot because Kent will not allow action to be taken until a majority percentage of Americans approve of the mission even with casualties. To demonstrate, Kent explains pedantically, infuriatingly deliberately that, like his noodles that need to be heated at just the correct temperature for just the right amount of time, the hostage situation requires *ding* precision timing. And yes, he timed out that "whole shit analogy" for the little ding of his microwave oven.

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