Directed by Chris Addison
Teleplay by Sean Gray
Story by Armando Iannucci & Sean Gray
"He knows I’ve got a bigger role in the White House now which means I got a bigger d*** which means he can suck it. I'm so happy about that." – Selina
Selina is distressed to see Sean Penn is doing more about the hostage situation than the White House. The cause is close to her heart because the hostages are all about her daughters age. To shock DC into action, Dan rewrites the speech she's going to give at the Marine base that afternoon. He has her calling for a robust response, which is subtle enough to still seem loyal to POTUS but will electrify DC. She and Dan express their surprise that the famously cantankerous Defense Secretary George Maddox hasn't said a word about her joining him at the Marine base for a visit.
Meanwhile, Cliff, Sue's fill-in while she testifies at the Congressional Hearing on Governmental Efficiency, arrives. Gary reminds him to take care of Selina: "VP stands for 'very precious.'"
"Here he is the man who can't take a leak without polling his balls." - Ben
An angry Ben confronts Kent about POTUS's decision not to strike. "I was talking to POTUS last night he had a pro-strike hawk boner the size of Jonah, and then YOU talk to him this morning and hes suddenly totally against the operation!" Kent stands by his cold numbers that dont support intervention, but Ben and Amy argue that the VP wants a quick military strike:"Precise and surgical like your lobotomy, Kent." He stands by his inaction, sharing his "noodle analogy;" hostage situations and cooking cup-a-noodles both require precision timing and neither should be rushed.
"I've fired a gun before. In anger, too, I might add. " - Secretary Maddox
At the base, Selina does a meet-and-greet with the marines before Secretary Maddox arrives. Dan steps in and takes over Selina's ear, simultaneously generating small talk and pissing off Gary.
While touring the base's shooting range, Secretary Maddox suggests Selina participate, thinking she'll look foolish. Taken aback, Selina consults her staff; Gary's worried she'll chip a veneer, but Dan thinks it'll "really chap Maddox's ass." Selina fires, and is praised for her tremendous shot.
Before Selina takes the podium, Maddox questions her decision not to consult him about her speech. "With this hostage situation, I dont think you have the intelligence. As in, Intel, of course." To prove his point, he asks her how many countries border Uzbekistan. To the surprise of both, Selina correctly guesses five.
"It's time to robust-a-nut all over this place." - Dan
Sue testifies at the efficiency hearing, but despite having been told to be dull, her scathing attitude takes over. Caught in a rare moment of insecurity, she accidentally uses the word "robust" three times. Back at the base, Selina takes the podium as Amy learns of Sue's slip. They scramble to come up with a new word to replace robust, but when Dan tells Gary he needs the Veep's ear, he denies him: "Get your own ear, Van Gogh." The next morning, a livid Selina learns that Sue stole her spotlight. Dan brings her a word cloud that shows robust front and center, along with a giant "Sue" and a miniscule "Selina."
"We all know the White House would work so much better if there wasn't a president, but there is." - Ben
After Maddox gives a speech calling for an "aggressive response," Ben calls a meeting to reprimand them and get everyone on the same page: they're now calling for a "calculated response." Kent interrupts to announce they can finally move on the hostages. Maddox offers the 6th or the 9th and Ben agrees they should move as early as possible for fear that POTUS will "procrasturbate forever" and change his mind. Selina agrees to the 6th once she confirms it's the same date as Sue's second hearing.
"I feel like that porn star who had to do 200 men in one day. At least she got to lie down, right?" - Selina
Amy confronts Selina about her choice of date, but Selina denies she's trying to overshadow Sue. When she confirms that Cliff cleared her calendar, she learns he made a "f*** up the size of France." He neglected to mention the senator swearing-in ceremony - which is immovable. The day of, Selina tries to suppress her nerves while swearing in thirty-three senators, but fails: her small talk is the worst anyone has heard. Afterwards, she rushes to the "shituation room" - a glorified closet patching her into the real Situation Room. The rescue mission is successful - and Sue coverage gets wiped off the news map.
Later, Jonah delivers the mission evaluation to Selina. All the hostages were recovered unharmed, though a Marine sergeant, due to be rotated out on the 8th, lost his leg above the knee. She realizes with horror that had she not insisted on the 6th to eclipse Sue, the Marine would be fine.