In the latest episode of HBO's "Veep," viewers saw a side of fictional U.S. President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) not seen before.
"This was a chance to dig deeper into who Selina is," showrunner David Mandel told The Hollywood Reporter about the episode titled "Mother." According to the "Veep" boss, the episode allowed viewers to put the various pieces of Selina's history together to get a better understanding of who she is as a mother, a daughter, and a person.
"Why is she a terrible mother?" Mandel asked, "Well, maybe her mother was terrible. Why was her mother terrible? Well, maybe her dad died young."
In "Mother," Selina's laser focus on the Nevada recount is derailed when she receives news that her mother is very ill. Despite her single-minded goal of winning the Nevada recount, Selina's staff sets up a temporary office for her at the hospital so she can keep an eye on her ailing mother while also keeping tabs on Nevada.
Later in the episode, Selina decides to pull the plug on her dying mother, but forgets that her daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland), who is distraught over her grandmother's impending death, is not in the room to bid her Meemaw a final goodbye.
"She's a wonderfully flawed character," Mandel said about the "Veep" protagonist. According to him, the episode departs from the usual "Veep" fare as it shows Selina's "frayed edges," particularly as she delivers the eulogy at her mother's funeral right after she learns that they had lost the Nevada recount.
"She's a heinous individual, and yet I love her profoundly," Louis-Dreyfus recently told People about Selina. In "Mother," the loss of Meemaw/Mother led to a colossal rift between Selina, who was, at best, ambivalent about her dying parent, and Catherine, who was heartbroken over her grandmother's passing.
According to Mandel, the conflict between mother and daughter will only get worse, especially now that it has been revealed that Meemaw left everything to Catherine.
"The death of Meemaw and everything that goes with it, the estate and the money, has giant effects on both of them and their dynamic," he said. "There's big changes coming, that's the easiest way I can put it."
"Veep" airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO.