Michael Gove looks for love in Paris while Jared Kushner negotiates for peace in another episode of Spitting Image.
This recap of Spitting Image season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Boris is having a rough week. First, he gets laid out by Andy Burnham for his continued mistreatment of Northerners, and that’s before he has the end of Brexit to contend with. It’s over, obviously, and the no-deal is done, but why not go to France for more negotiations anyway? Priti Patel can’t go since there’s too much garlic for her vampiric tastes, so it’s Michael Gove who’s despatched instead. He reckons he’s going to find love using a translation app designed by Nigel Farage that turns every phrase into a xenophobic ad hominem. Nevertheless, sexy Emmanuel Macron invites him to dinner, despite Gove looking “so young and fresh”, which isn’t Macron’s usual thing.
Dinner goes so well that Macron starts licking Gove’s face until they’re interrupted by the fish on the plate announcing itself as a Brit captured by the French. Sovereignty is at stake, and Gove’s determined to leave, but not before agreeing to another date.
After a brief aside that sees Prince Charles making up for the Welsh lockdown by showing people how to have fun in their palaces with indoor fox hunting and blooding their grandchildren, Spitting Image season 1, episode 4 makes plenty of space for a plot involving Joe Biden falling down a well in Iowa while on the campaign trail. This is a good thing for his advisors, who are trying to stop him from saying things like, “Women want you to catch ’em, even when they look scared.” While in the well, he recounts a worse well-related injury he heard about that befell someone named Jack. This, apparently, is why he and Obama came up with the Affordable Care Act, for people like Jack, and indeed Jill, should she want an abortion. Elon Musk makes his regular cameo by sending a boring machine to free Biden which ends up tunnelling through the back of his head and spinning his brain around.
Another reoccurring gag is at the expense of Adele’s weight loss. First, her charitable foundation Irrigate Not Hate wins her a philanthropic award, but the only thing the press is interested in is her losing 90lbs. Later she saves a life with CPR and is rewarded with only more questions. Eventually, aliens arrive for a selfie.
And then there’s Ivanka Trump’s continuing quest for world peace. She’s using Jared Kushner as a sledge up the Himalayas to resolve the India/China border dispute, which is all Xi Jinping gets to do this week. While he negotiates, she busies herself with wowing the “malnourished dirt-poor craftswoman of this Himalayan dump”, to whom she proposes a partnership for an indigenous women’s fashion collective which would see her sell her clothes in America at ten times the price. Deservedly, she’s savaged by a Yeti, while India and China come to terms over Kushner’s severed rubber head.
A fun song-and-dance interlude finds Taylor Swift, Adele, Kim Kardashian, the Rock and Piers Morgan — you know he’ll be thrilled being included in that mob — singing a catchy song about Twitter and cancel culture, all vowing to throw their phones away until the slightest bit of online attention has them plunging their hands into a literal trash fire. Nobody said this show was supposed to be subtle.
The highlight might be Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings on a camping trip in the Scottish Highlands, with Boris hoping to befriend the Scots into remaining in the Union. “What is the use of holidays?” Cummings asks, “Surely the time would be better spent removing spent workers from the hive?” Brilliant. Boris makes a campfire and ends up burning half of the forest down, having failed to heed Cummings’ warning of taking precautions. “I never take precautions,” he insists. Yes, Boris, we know.
In a final scene, the last presidential debate takes place, and the moderator uses a newly-installed mute button and leaves both Trump and Biden to it. That seems like a good idea.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.