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S05.E08: Camp David

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Selina takes Catherine to a family celebration at Camp David; Selina's team plans to conduct secret negotiations; Amy and Dan try to make Jonah seem more human.

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It's pretty rare for me to get full on belly laughs from things but I had it happen twice in this episode  Once when we saw Jonah literally shooting himself in the foot.  Even though we knew it was coming, it was just so silly. The second time was arround the joke of Marjorie looking like Selina from behind culminating in the delegation thinking Selina was making out with her own daughter.

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I loved Amy's old fashioned nightgown too. BTW this episode was written and directed by women- Rachel Axler and Becky Martin respectively.

Edited by maraleia
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I love that the Marjorie joke is recurring.  Between her looking like Selina from behind and her deadpan expressions of joy, she is a great addition.

Jonah shooting himself in the foot had me laughing out loud.  Like irlandesa said, we knew it was coming and it was still great.  Jonah shoots himself, Richard gives one of his usual upbeat sounding responses, then Jonah falling to the ground.  Then Amy and Dan doing the "You got Jonah elected to congress.  You got Jonah elected to congress . . ." with different emphasis each time.  So proud.  So horrified. 

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I have never laughed as hard during an episode as I did tonight when Ben was laughing at Jonah getting shot in the foot.  His genuine glee made me so happy.

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In general I didn't think this episode was funny but when Jonah shot himself in the foot I laughed for a good 5 minutes. NRA to the rescue.

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I never know what to make of Minna. I can't tell when she's being straightforward and when she's just fucking with Selina. I was cracking up when she immediately noticed that Selina had her eyes done and then later when she asked if she had a narrow vagina.

ITA that even though we already knew Jonah had shot himself in the foot, it was still hilarious to actually see it.

Glad that Catherine knows her father is a crook. I know it's her money and property to do as she pleases, but I don't want to see her waste $2 million on his "investment." One of the saddest things is seeing a parent bilk their kid out of money. Andrew is the worst.

I loved how gleeful Dan and Amy were at Jonah's acceptance speech and then how sad they were when they realized what they had done. The fact that Selina needs Jonah's vote to clinch her presidency does not bode well for her. I can imagine him turning on everyone as soon as he's sworn in, whether it's because he remembers they all hate him or for something new and petty.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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This was not the strongest episode, but they can't all be winners.

The only thing that took me out of the action was recognizing one of the locations.  The Motel Amy and Dan stay at in "New Hampshire" is actually in DC.  It's on New York Ave in NE, and it has always looked bad.  Real bad.  So bad that I actually worried about the crew getting lice, scabies, etc, just by being there.

Edited by revbfc

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In general I didn't think this episode was funny but when Jonah shot himself in the foot I laughed for a good 5 minutes. NRA to the rescue.

I actually disliked this episode a lot.  I laughed when Jonah shot his foot and when someone called Jonah "HR Fuckenstuff" or whatever that was..   He's the only thing even remotely amusing to me this episode.  

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One minor thing that bothered me was Catherine and Marjorie requesting the sham ham after they got to Camp David. I understand if people have food requirements but that is the kind of thing you should notify your host about in advance instead of springing it on them after you've arrived at your destination - and that goes double for holidays like Christmas when the stores are closed. I know Selina is the president so she can get whatever she wants (even a raw mushroom and walnut loaf) but I was imagining the poor kitchen staff scrambling to accommodate this request at the last minute. Marjorie seems like the kind of person who follows rules so I was surprised that she hadn't asked Catherine to request this sooner. I know, I know - I shouldn't apply reality to this show!

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One little bit I loved too was the Chinese President speaking English directly with Selina after everything was said and done, exposing that they still had the upper hand. Naturally Selina went after the prospect of something great over hard and fast actual solutions and results.

Minna is so freaking annoying but hilarious in doing so. Her little running commentary on everything is played so well, as she's certain she's the smartest person in the room and therefore must always have the last word, while also being completely perplexed by the idiocy she see's around her, which naturally Selina sees as diplomacy.

I also love how Jonah's uncle believes he's the one who pulled off this election.

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You know Jonah is going to vote for O'Brien. You just know it. Whether by accident or on purpose. Loved that Richard said "I hope he votes for himself" and then we see Jonah asking for another ballot. 

I also loved the little dig at the NRA. All this little old lady said was "guns are dangerous" and the NRA was all over it, branding her as someone who wants to take away all your guns. And voters ate this shit up and Jonah won because of it, even after shooting himself in the foot. It's so true it's sad.

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1 hour ago, Traveller519 said:

I also love how Jonah's uncle believes he's the one who pulled off this election.

We don't know that he didn't. The joke is of course that they are all congratulating themselves when it was New Hampshire's sheer bad luck that clinched it.

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You know Jonah is going to vote for O'Brien. You just know it. Whether by accident or on purpose. Loved that Richard said "I hope he votes for himself" and then we see Jonah asking for another ballot. 

Yeah, because based on the previews, he doesn't even know which hand to hold up at the swearing in ceremony. 

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This show is funnier when it is less about Selina. There is something about her staff that makes this show work, and this season I've really come to love Ben and his "roll with it" attitude. This episode was too much about Selina.

I don't know why Selina thinks Jonah will come through for her. Why would he do that? He will want something heinous, and/or just screw it up.

I didn't get what shocked the Chinese leaders when they saw Catherine making out with her girlfriend. I knew it was her girlfriend, so I couldn't figure out why Minna was asking Selina about the incident like something was wrong. Now I get it. I forget about the "looks like Selina" thing.

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21 hours ago, Ottis said:

I didn't get what shocked the Chinese leaders when they saw Catherine making out with her girlfriend. I knew it was her girlfriend, so I couldn't figure out why Minna was asking Selina about the incident like something was wrong. Now I get it. I forget about the "looks like Selina" thing.

If you watch it again, look for the scene where Selina gently places her hand on Catherine's cheek and leans in close to say, "Sweetheart, your father's a crook."  The Chinese delegation walks up right then and is appalled to have stumbled into another romantic mother-daughter interlude.  Pretty funny.

 

I liked this episode a lot.  Since the dying mother episode, I've been thinking the meanness was ratcheted up a notch or two too high.   I can laugh and engage at Selina's insensitivity when she gives away her daughter's thoughtful Christmas gift, but not, for example, when CYA-ing her careless stupidity costs Mike his baby daughter adoption.  It's a fine line, I know.

But now Mike's about to have a full house, so Yay!

Edited by candall
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3 hours ago, Ottis said:

This show is funnier when it is less about Selina. There is something about her staff that makes this show work, and this season I've really come to love Ben and his "roll with it" attitude. This episode was too much about Selina.

I don't know why Selina thinks Jonah will come through for her. Why would he do that? He will want something heinous, and/or just screw it up.

I didn't get what shocked the Chinese leaders when they saw Catherine making out with her girlfriend. I knew it was her girlfriend, so I couldn't figure out why Minna was asking Selina about the incident like something was wrong. Now I get it. I forget about the "looks like Selina" thing.

Marjorie was also wearing the robe that the Chinese gave Selena. So the viewing Marjorie from the back with that robe on equals Selena.

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I love this show,. But. Hated this episode.  It gave me three things I can't stand:

1) way too much Katherine.

2) Selena's awful ex. Katherine really is his child.

3) Every awful Selena character traits with none of the things that make her a fully-fleshed out character. Sadly, this is the Selena we get when she is in the presence of Katherine and Andrew.  

FYI - Jonah is do going to vote against Selena.  He is a power-tripping douche and this will be magnified by. The umpteenth degree now that he actually has power.

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I love Minna.  I loved how she told Selina how the Chinese delegation didn't like her outfit, she looked like a prisoner or a pirate.  

This, after asking Selina earlier if she was going to wear that outfit to meet with the Chinese delegation.

Edited by hoodooznoodooz
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I love Minna too.

16 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I never know what to make of Minna. I can't tell when she's being straightforward and when she's just fucking with Selina. I was cracking up when she immediately noticed that Selina had her eyes done and then later when she asked if she had a narrow vagina.

I think Minna is always being straightforward. She doesn't know when she's being insulting. Cracks me up.

 

11 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I also loved the little dig at the NRA. All this little old lady said was "guns are dangerous" and the NRA was all over it, branding her as someone who wants to take away all your guns. And voters ate this shit up and Jonah won because of it, even after shooting himself in the foot. It's so true it's sad.

Duh. I missed this. I thought Selina's campaign took the woman's quote out of context and ran the ads. I didn't realize the NRA had actually done it.

I noticed when Selina's ex was giving Marjorie the Xmas present, he was looking at Selina the whole time. He was definitely eager to see her reaction. He's such a creep. So funny when he comes up behind Marjorie and rubs her shoulders, thinking she's Selina.

Although I kind of like Marjorie's flat deliveries of sentimental lines, I'm not too fond of her. Anyway, the lines I liked: "Maam, your daughter's dazzling eyes can start a fire by themselves." and "Feels like it was woven out of Catherine's silken hair."

The clip of Jonah yelling at his former teacher, "Take the apple!" was hilarious. When Richard did it in the mock debate, it worked perfectly. Jonah just can't... He just can't. As Amy said, "We have to keep you away from people."

Selina: Dalai Lama, I'm so sick of him.
Gary: The guy is insufferable.

Love the way the Chinese translator said, "Thank you for this rock."

Edited by peeayebee
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5 hours ago, represent said:

Marjorie was also wearing the robe that the Chinese gave Selena. So the viewing Marjorie from the back with that robe on equals Selena.

Yes, but I, the viewer, knew Selena had given the robe to Marjorie, so again I wasn't sure what the shock was. At first I thought the Chinese were upset that someone was actually wearing the robe. I guess I never think Marjorie looks like Selena. 

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23 minutes ago, Roaster said:

I'm in love with Sally Phillips as Minna Häkkinen.  Put her in more episodes, please.

Amen.  I want her in every episode.  I think she is fantastic.  Too bad she's a foreigner and it wouldn't make sense to make her part of the Veep's team.

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27 minutes ago, sadiegirl said:

Amen.  I want her in every episode.  I think she is fantastic.  Too bad she's a foreigner and it wouldn't make sense to make her part of the Veep's team.

I know a way.  Make her Secretary General of the UN.

She wouldn't be part of "the team," but she'd have a higher profile in episodes involving international relations.

Edited by revbfc
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Jonah actually winning reminded me if this exchange from last season:

Dan: You could just hit the fucking gas, Jonah.
Jonah: Dan, I'm not getting a ticket. That's the kind of shit that comes back to bite you in the ass when you run for office.
Dan: Yeah, that's what's going to hold you back.

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I loved that moment just before the Chinese president spoke English to Selina. I imagine what he said to his translator was, "Step aside, I got this."

Can't wait to see how Jonah effs up and loses Selina the presidency. But she somehow has to end up as Veep again, right? Wonder how that'll it work since the U.S. doesn't have a "first runner up" system for the VP position.

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1 hour ago, Joimiaroxeu said:

Can't wait to see how Jonah effs up and loses Selina the presidency. But she somehow has to end up as Veep again, right? Wonder how that'll it work since the U.S. doesn't have a "first runner up" system for the VP position.

Earlier this season I assumed that she would end up as Veep again but now I'm not so sure. I can't imagine that she loses to O'Brien. He has been a non-entity as a character. I think that she will win the election.

Edited by Ellaria Sand

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22 hours ago, represent said:

Marjorie was also wearing the robe that the Chinese gave Selena. So the viewing Marjorie from the back with that robe on equals Selena.

Wasn't that the whole reason she was selected to be on Selina's detail, because she would potentially draw fire away from Selina due to the resemblance?  Now that's she's Catherine's plus-one, is she still on the WH detail?

Edited by cattykit
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If it goes to the Senate they can apparently vote for Tom James; that seems to be where they're going IMO. When Kent was explaining the rules for a tie at the end of last season he made it clear that Selina could wind up being Veep again under James and that's what the latter was trying to wrangle with the congress people last week.

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Minna's accent is funny.  Might offend the Nordics though.

Nordic beave and menopause as nicknames.  Latent hostility there.

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15 hours ago, cattykit said:

Wasn't that the whole reason she was selected to be on Selina's detail, because she would potentially draw fire away from Selina due to the resemblance?  Now that's she's Catherine's plus-one, is she still on the WH detail?

I'm pretty sure that when Catherine and Marjorie told Selina that they were seeing each other, Marjorie said she would be resigning from her post.

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She did resign. 

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I think Minna is always being straightforward

Me too. She clearly just doesn't get subtext. 

The additional scene was funny though: did you not massage your perenium? And then the whole thing with the punk band. 

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On 6/13/2016 at 0:40 AM, maraleia said:

I loved Amy's old fashioned nightgown too. BTW this episode was written and directed by women- Rachel Axler and Becky Martin respectively.

When she was staring dreamily at the NRA poster, and Dan said "It's a Christmas miracle".  Anna looked so young and sweet there, like the Anna Chlumsky of our childhoods.

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Jonah shoots himself, Richard gives one of his usual upbeat sounding responses

Richard is like a motivational e-gram in person, or something.

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I never know what to make of Minna. I can't tell when she's being straightforward and when she's just fucking with Selina. I was cracking up when she immediately noticed that Selina had her eyes done and then later when she asked if she had a narrow vagina.

I really admire that actor's performance in this so I looked her up.  She played Sharon/Shazzer from Bridget Jones' Diary.  I've seen that movie so many times but never made the connection.

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I love Minna.  I loved how she told Selina how the Chinese delegation didn't like her outfit, she looked like a prisoner or a pirate.

And then I heard "Exercise book" or "exercise bike" neither of which make sense to me, but I'm not a great "hear-er".  Anyone?

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I also loved the little dig at the NRA. All this little old lady said was "guns are dangerous" and the NRA was all over it, branding her as someone who wants to take away all your guns.

Did she say something like, "When Jonah was little he shot himself in the eye with a rubber band....." So up until the NRA poster I thought that was Jonah's mom. Again, I am hard of understanding or hearing so can somebody clear up that quote?

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Love the way the Chinese translator said, "Thank you for this rock."

Brings back memories of Parks and Recreation when Fred Armisen as the Venezuelan PM who receives a local bag of nipples (?) and syrup (?) from Pawnee and says "Thank you for this.... bag of garbage."

Yes, but I, the viewer, knew Selena had given the robe to Marjorie, so again I wasn't sure what the shock was. At first I thought the Chinese were upset that someone was actually wearing the robe. I guess I never think Marjorie looks like Selena.

The group from China likely don't even know about Marjorie's existence, right, so how could they assume it was anyone BUT Selina.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay

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I couldn't help but be disappointed at the "Chinese president thinks Selina is making out with her daughter" subplot. Likewise Katherine approaching them to instruct them on her dietary restrictions. I know that Selina told her they were the kitchen staff, but they're all wearing suits and ties and being led around by the POTUS. Both things were just far too sitcom-y for the Veep I've known and loved for the past four seasons.

Edited by FiveString
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Really? Katherine always seemed aimless to me. Now she has money so it's worse. 

I'm still assuming the vote goes to the Senate and somehow Jonah is involved. 

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I just realized my problem with Katherine is that she is whatever the storyline needs her to be for that moment. If she needs to be emo to get a laugh, she is for that episode. If she needs to an activist to thwart Selina, she is for that episode and so on. I wish that I could say that they were making the character all over the place on purpose, but I don't think they are. I don't really think Katherine has a personality, and I don't mean that she is drab. I literally mean that they have not given the character three dimensions. It stands out when all of the other characters are three-dimensional.

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10 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

When she was staring dreamily at the NRA poster, and Dan said "It's a Christmas miracle".  Anna looked so young and sweet there, like the Anna Chlumsky of our childhoods.

Richard is like a motivational e-gram in person, or something.

I really admire that actor's performance in this so I looked her up.  She played Sharon/Shazzer from Bridget Jones' Diary.  I've seen that movie so many times but never made the connection.

And then I heard "Exercise book" or "exercise bike" neither of which make sense to me, but I'm not a great "hear-er".  Anyone?

I rewatched with the closed-captioning on. She said, "An exercise book."

So I am wondering if the Chinese person used a non-specific word to describe someone who is on a boat in the ocean, meaning, sailor, and Minna translated that as "pirate." And maybe exercise book means composition book with the horizontal lines to write on?

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And maybe exercise book means composition book with the horizontal lines to write on?


 

I took it to mean she was dressed to exercise, not meet with a head of state.

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11 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

When she was staring dreamily at the NRA poster, and Dan said "It's a Christmas miracle".  Anna looked so young and sweet there, like the Anna Chlumsky of our childhoods.

OMG yes. I noticed it a few seconds earlier when they were still in the hotel room and they noticed the NRA poster. Amy/Anna turned from the TV to look outside and she looked EXACTLY the way she did 25 years ago in My Girl. The messy hair, the big blue eyes, and no makeup was like I was staring at 11 year old Vada Sultenfuss. 

 

11 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Brings back memories of Parks and Recreation when Fred Armisen as the Venezuelan PM who receives a local bag of nipples (?) and syrup (?) from Pawnee and says "Thank you for this.... bag of garbage."

LOL. Yup, that's what that line reminded me of as well. 

Catherine has never really bothered me in past seasons, I've actually found her sweet, but she has annoyed the hell out of me this season. She's 23 years old but behaves like a 13 year old. She's aimless (is she still in college?) and so low energy, she's got none of Selina's fire. And that voice! Why does she talk so softly and slowly and without any inflection?

I agree with others, more Minna Hakkinen!! I love how she and Selina play off each other. 

Edited by bunnyblue
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I really admire that actor's performance in this so I looked her up.  She played Sharon/Shazzer from Bridget Jones' Diary.  I've seen that movie so many times but never made the connection.

Wow, I never would have realized that Minna was Sharon from Bridget Jones!

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Did she say something like, "When Jonah was little he shot himself in the eye with a rubber band....." So up until the NRA poster I thought that was Jonah's mom.

It was the old grade school teacher he was running against, recalling him shooting himself with a rubber band, and remarking "guns are dangerous." The whole thing was a nod to the fact that any political candidate that so much as mentions guns in any kind of negative light will be attacked by the NRA with propaganda that the candidate in question "wants to take away your guns." It sunk her. It wasn't even about gun control; she wasn't advocating for stricter gun control or anything, she made an offhand comment about guns being dangerous and the NRA went after her with the full force of their smear machine. 

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Trying to figure out how Jonah could possibly screw this up.

The vote the House casts for president is based on State delegation, so each congressman doesn't get a vote, each State does. If the State delegation cannot decide, the State abstains from the vote. In state like New Hampshire, with only 2 Representatives in the House, either of them can deadlock the other by casting their vote for the opposite candidate, and prevent New Hampshire from casting a vote.

If the other congressman is committed to getting James into the Presidency, he'd want to deadlock New Hampshire, and would need to counter Jonah's vote for Meyer by voting for O'Brien. This could result in very confusing shenanigans if Jonah were to start changing his vote, because then the other congressman from New Hampshire would have to anticipate the change and vote the other way, for instance if Jonah chose to vote for O'Brien, his colleague would have to vote for Meyer, and if Jonah chose to abstain his colleague would have to abstain.

I suppose Jonah could start trying to play mind games with his colleague and end up screwing the vote up, making New Hampshire either abstain during a critical vote, or cast a vote for O'Brien cause he accidentally votes for O'Brien at the same time his colleague thinks he's voting for Meyer.

Also, please, please, please, let the other congressman from New Hampshire be "Jon H. Ryan"

Edited by Maximum Taco
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You're talking about a massive take on the prisoner's dilemma almost and it could be hilarious.

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On one hand I cannot stand Catherine, on the other I feel kind of sorry for her.

I have the feeling that when she was growing up she was pretty much ignored by her very self-involved parents and I sense that the way they treat her now is nothing new - she's pretty much an afterthought unless she has some sort of use/value/purpose for them. I can well imagine that 20 years in the future she's running a crystal store or following a guru or crusading to save penguins or some such thing/all of the above because she seems very aimless. I don't know if the boyfriend/documentary/girlfriend are/were about getting her parents' attention or an effort to find herself. So on that count, I feel bad for her.

But. She has no life, no spark, no real personality (probably because she has always been in the shadow of her mother and father). She's human tofu, taking on whatever characteristic of the person she's feeling connected to. So I doubt that the lesbianism sticks and I think that the foibles of dating a woman who looks like her mother from the back are a seasonal storyline because I can't see Catherine sticking with anything very long, let alone a new same-sex relationship.

And maybe that's what it is about her: she's such a weak personality compared to the huge personalities surrounding her. I think it's a character choice by the writers/show and it works because it underscores just how self-absorbed everyone is - particularly her mother.

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I hope that Catherine's documentary rears its ugly - and game-changing - head soon. Political aspirations may come crashing down once its released. 

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