The most recent episode of “Veep,” that excellent comedy on HBO that proves that no matter how horrible one thinks politics are in the real world it could be worse, Hugh Laurie returned triumphantly as Tom James, Selina Meyer’ former running mate. The show picked up where it left off on the theme of how politics and sex often get confused.

Sex and politics are an explosive combination

Selina decides to spice up her flagging memoirs by being frank about her sex life, which includes her strange encounter with Tom in the Green Room of the White House the previous year. Tom had betrayed Selina when the presidential election had gotten thrown to the House, calculating correctly that he would make a better president that she would.

Of course, in the end, they both got out maneuvered by Laura Montez, the current president. In any event, the two had a knock down drag out which quickly segued into the first time Running Mates became actual mates on a couch in the White House.

In any event, Selina met Tom to tell him that she was going to include the story in her upcoming memoirs. Tom begged her not to do it, noting that his new blond, trophy wife would likely not take things very well. Selina pretends to agree, but of course, she decides to include the incident anyway because that is how she rolls.

Tom’s second betrayal

Imagine Selina’s rage when she finds out that Tom has already covered the story of their sexual encounter in his memoirs, excerpted in Vanity Fair and discussed at length on one of the network morning shows.

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She had been betrayed again because that is how he rolls when it comes to her. He will get the book sales on the back of the bombshell revelation and she will not.

During the unveiling of Selina’s presidential portrait, the two have another knock down drag out, this time in the Red Room of the White House. She taunts him with the idea that he wants her, even as she apparently hopes he will have at her again. The two approach the moment several times and then draw back. Tom’s new wife, clearly with child, interrupts the proceedings. How much has she seen? How much does she know? Clearly something for a later episode.

Tom James is proving to be one of Hugh Laurie’s most memorable characters since Gregory House. Tom finds himself in the strange position of wanting to bed his political rival. HBO could do worse that to craft a spinoff show featuring the former senator now coming to grips with his post-political future.