That was sort of expected. After a ride through Compton, things can only go up for the pod, right?
The episode begins in a restaurant with Jeannie meeting a woman named Samantha, played by Rhea Seehorn. Samantha is the Special Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, which is taking bids on a new contract that Jeannie feels Kaan & Associates would be perfect for. Samantha could help, and Kaan & Associates is slowly making its way up the management consulting food chain by landing the McClintock deal, as well as U.S. National Bank, DollaHyde and Colossal Foods.
The name DollaHyde rings a bell to Samantha, who tells Jeannie that Lukas was and still is a major fixture in the drug world. This would obviously conflict with the DOJ contract unless K&A dropped DollaHyde.
So at the office, Jeannie brings the idea to Marty, whose busy going over DollaHyde projections. The multiyear contract with the DOJ sounds enticing, and dumping DollaHyde would put K&A in competition with firms like Kinsley Johnson Partners, DeMark and Galweather before Jeannie threw the grenade. But Marty’s not interested in dropping a top tier client like DollaHyde at this point. Jeannie doesn’t think the little détente between Lukas and Dre will last long and that Marty should cut his losses, but after coming so far with DollaHyde, it’s too late to go back.
Elsewhere in the building, Caitlin is upset over a breakup she just had with her boyfriend. Jeffrey tries to play nice, but the creep factor kicks in and Doug, the heroic savior that he is, swoops in to console Caitlin. He tries to contain his overjoyed reaction, but he’s a bit too enthusiastic, for obvious reasons, to talk with Caitlin now that she’s single. Doug doesn’t believe he and Sarah can mend things- even though Caitlin does- and he insists that they go out. Though Caitlin doesn’t think she’d be any fun, Doug eventually gets Caitlin to accept when he reminds that her not having fun means the emotional terrorists win. We wouldn’t want that.
Clyde, meanwhile, gets ready for work- one of his shoes is in the refrigerator, for some reason- while Marissa prepares to snort a couple lines of coke. You know, only two weeks after she’s been put back in charge of the McClintock empire. Marissa strokes Clyde’s ego a bit, telling him that the pod should be worshipping him for bringing in a client as big as the McClintock family. Sure, Clyde has been saying this already, but he doesn’t let that distract him. He does stop when Marissa threatens to terminate their partnership if he doesn’t do a few lines with her. Is she kidding? Whatever she’s doing, he decides to have a little fun between the sheets before heading to work.
At the DollaHyde office, Marty sees Lukas and Dre discussing their upcoming meetings. Marty tells Dre that if there’s no decision made today, they’re done, and no more discussing Zhang, either.
Back at Kaan & Associates, Monica talks with the WON creator, Vincent, played by the man himself, Fred Armisen. She tells him that college kids use WON as a diet supplement and energy stimulant. Vincent would have to be crazy to not capitalize on that, but he doesn’t, since WON isn’t a stimulant, but a meal replacement. It could potentially end world hunger, so it shouldn’t be marketed as an energy drink.
Close by in another room, Clyde and Doug watch Monica fail to convince Vincent to take up her offer, though Clyde is a bit more ecstatic at the idea of watching Monica crash and burn. Doug’s worried about some particular focus groups, but when Monica storms into the room, she beckons Doug to follow her so they can explore market segmentation strategies. Clyde, meanwhile, decides to catch up to Vincent.
At DollaHyde, Dre and Lukas talk with a Mr. Vincent of Bloomingdale’s about a potential deal, with one caveat: Lukas will have the final say over marketing and presence of DollaHyde in the store. Marty steps in and tells Mr. Vincent that DollaHyde has been in double digit growth in profit margin since its inception, so this Lukas’ request would be a deal maker, not breaker.
When the meeting ends, Lukas decides to celebrate with dinner plans and he invites Marty and Jeannie along. Dre, obviously, is less than thrilled with the results, but doesn’t make it known to Lukas. Jeannie, again, doesn’t see the point of continuing with DollaHyde, but Marty shuts it down when he asks if everything has to be an argument with her. So she leaves, telling Marty that she’s not going to argue with him.
Monica and Doug watch focus groups discuss WON with mixed results. But in come Clyde and Vincent, who then storms out and interrupts the focus group. Clyde is unable to contain his glee, but Doug reminds Clyde about how long it took for him to get out of Marty’s doghouse. Now that he’s out, something like this could put him back in. Clyde doesn’t care, though. After all, Vincent would be a small fry compared to the McClintock empire. And screwing over Monica would be payback for the hell that she put Clyde through. And when Monica suddenly smacks Vincent, it appears that things could not get any worse for her.
Clyde shares the news with Will, who doesn’t share Clyde’s enthusiasm since he never had a problem with Monica. But then Clyde sees Monica and Vincent hug as his world begins to crash. Turns out Monica managed to convince Vincent to market to college kids after all. In effect, Clyde did Monica a favor. She returns the favor by giving him a point of advice: don’t come to work high.
Later on, Jeannie meets with Samantha again and lets her know that she hasn’t dumped DollaHyde yet. However, Jeannie does offer some incriminating financial records on DollaHyde. She’s willing to offer a trade for the DOJ contract. Samantha complies, though she does wonder why Jeannie took such a messy route to get what she wants.
As the office filters out for the night, Doug and Caitlin discuss their dinner plans. Doug suggests that the two check out the Fellini retrospective at The Egyptian. Turns out that Caitlin is a giant fan of Fellini. Who knew? As Will bids the two a good night and leaves, Caitlin asks for Doug’s opinion of Will. As Doug is trying to get into Caitlin’s good graces, he says that he doesn’t like him.
But as it turns out, Will is the reason that Caitlin broke up with her current boyfriend. Why? The two happened to be drunk on the road and hooked up one night. It was a big mistake that taught Caitlin the valuable lesson of not hooking up with coworkers. It cost her relationship with a great guy that she genuinely liked. Doug asks when Caitlin hooked up with Will, and she tells him that it happened when the pod traveled to Chicago. But that’s all in the past. Right now, Caitlin could use a really good friend. Well, maybe she should have thought of that before she decided to hook up with Will.
Doug’s words, not mine. And it’s at this point that Caitlin lets Doug have it and calls out the exact same bull that Clyde did earlier: Doug’s been using his break up with Sarah and Caitlin’s break up to manipulate her. In Caitlin’s eyes, Doug is the emotional terrorist. She storms out before Doug can fire back his so-so comeback of calling her vagina ground zero.
Also, a now disillusioned Clyde meets up with Marissa and demands to do some lines of coke.
When Jeannie finally shows up for dinner, she learns that Lukas already ordered the duck breast for her, given how much she enjoyed it last time. Huh.
After dinner, Jeannie tells Marty that, yes, she hooked up with Lukas a few times, which clashes with her telling Marty about getting too close to Dre. At least the two of them never hooked up. That we know of, anyway. The two run into Dre and Lukas, who congratulates them on a job well done before they take off.
Before the two can get far, an SUV cuts them off. A man emerges from the vehicle with a gun and unloads on the truck before rushing off.
Lukas’ body is riddled with bullets. Dre survives.
“Comeuppance” is building up to some serious confrontations as the show approaches the season finale. With so many characters trying to reach a higher point than they are, this episode brought many of them to a standstill. In fact, Monica seemed to be the only character this week who gained anything. There was a lot of buildup for many, but then as the episode slowly wound to a close, all the efforts characters made began to deteriorate. It goes to show how one little thing can make surefire plans go awry, and just when it seems like you’re in the clear, one little thing that can be seen as a throwaway can come back to haunt you.
Take Doug, for example. The man screwed up a chance with a woman who cared for him in exchange for Caitlin, who only sees him as a friend, not a lover. One of Doug’s biggest character flaws is his naiveté. He doesn’t realize when he’s putting his foot into his mouth until it’s too late and he’s too stubborn to admit when he’s walking himself into a trap. Again, I don’t get why he’s so pressed to land Caitlin when she hasn’t shown nearly the amount of interest that he has in her.
Doug really would benefit from grasping the meaning of subtlety, because he’s about as subtle as a train wreck when it comes to making passes at Caitlin. The way he knows what she likes, it feels more stalker-ish than him finding this out through conversation. With each time he’s timed himself to run into her, Doug is flat out pining over Caitlin. What he sees in her, I don’t know. I mean, Caitlin is pretty, but Sarah is an attractive woman as well, yet Doug didn’t want to give her the time of day.
And what’s worse is that Doug could have been a good friend to Caitlin, but he wanted inside of her then and there. Clyde had him pegged completely when he mentioned how convenient it was that Doug would pursue Caitlin not only after her break up, but after he couldn’t maintain a relationship with Sarah. And when Caitlin called him out on it and Doug didn’t have a good defense, you see just how little thought Doug put into pursuing Caitlin. He became too emotionally invested. It’s like when Jeannie flat out called Doug’s proposed art gallery outing a date. Doug couldn’t separate the professional from the personal and, as such, he’s potentially ruined his friendship with Caitlin. Whether he can rebound from this, I don’t know. At least Caitlin was smart enough to see through his crap.
But Doug’s not the only one having a bad day. Clyde’s attempts to ruin Monica’s deal didn’t pan out. When he goes back to Marissa for cocaine, it looks like he’s going back down the self destructive path he worked so hard to bounce back from. Given how much of a rut Clyde found himself in, it’d be a massive slide backward for his character.
In addition, aside from just having funny confrontations with Doug, Clyde doesn’t really have much to do ever since he introduced Marissa and the McClintock idea to Marty and Jeannie. In fact, that’s pretty much all he’s talked about since he arrived at Kaan & Associates. Even before he landed the contract, the rest of the pod talked about when he would present concrete details that Clyde told them would have to wait. And now that Marissa is on board, most of what Clyde has done is just talk about how much money the pod stands to make. It’s as if he’s become a one trick pony. If it’s not Marissa and McClintock, it’s joking with Doug since Clyde has mended bridges with Marty. Ben Schwartz is still funny in the role; I just wish he had more to do.
Trying to trip up Monica for his own self-satisfaction blew up in his face. Sure, Monica is vindictive and evil, but like Clyde, she’s at least trying to bounce back. Again, I really hope he doesn’t regress back into using the same vices that brought him as low as sleeping naked in a car.
As for Jeannie, she’s once again taking initiative and making moves without going to Marty for approval, which I like. Similar to what she told Clyde in “Middlegame,” it’s a smart move to not put all of her eggs in the Marty Kaan basket. She’s exercising the power she has as a partner to make an executive move and even though it’s still in the working stages, it’s a massive power play to help garner a DOJ contract.
It’s been evident from the start that Jeannie would meet resistance from Marty on, well, everything, but in addition to Marty telling Jeannie before that he liked her better when they weren’t equals, him telling her that all they do is argue shows the growing strain on their relationship. They agree that DollaHyde is a problem, but they disagree on getting rid of them. This I don’t entirely understand, especially when Jeannie has parity in the firm and could probably just go around Marty to get rid of DollaHyde herself. Jeannie knows she has power. Why is she still going to Marty for his approval? Doesn’t really make sense to me, but Jeannie’s never been afraid to go to war with Marty before, and she certainly isn’t afraid to now.
But as Marty pointed out, it is one heck of a double standard for Jeannie to get on his case about his friendship with Dre, when she openly admitted to hooking up with Lukas several times.
And then there’s Marty, who doesn’t want to take the giant risk on dumping DollaHyde, given how far the pod has come to securing them. Despite the fallout and mess from Compton, he still believes that DollaHyde is worth pursuing. I sort of side with Jeannie on this one. They both know Lukas, and by extension, DollaHyde, is dangerous business, so is it really giving up when neither of them had much faith in the client to begin with? I don’t think so, but Marty still wants to go to bat for DollaHyde and salvage what’s left. Plus, given how Jeannie said that Marty was Lukas’ bitch for having to help pay a large sum of money that Dre didn’t have, maybe this is him getting back at her by dragging this out as long as possible. Maybe.
And Marty had to know that confrontation with Jeannie was unavoidable, but I get the feeling that he’s nearing his limit with her since, in his eyes, she’s taking away the control he so desires. It’s as if because the pod has been through hell to secure a dangerous client like DollaHyde, it’d be ridiculous to turn back, but it would be advantageous in the long run.
But, as always, Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell both deliver solid performances and have great chemistry together and their moments on screen always have some of the better written dialogue of the show. I never get tired of seeing them interact, even the little things like the glances they give each other when trying not to lash out into giant arguments.
As for the shooting, it’s a game changer, for sure. With Lukas presumably dead and Dre still alive, Marty and Jeannie almost have what they want. They knew Lukas was a problem, so he’s out of the picture. Jeannie wanted to dump DollaHyde, and now the more dangerous side of it has been eliminated. Why, we don’t know yet, but rest assured we will find out.
“Comeuppance” was a much stronger installment than last week’s “Zhang,” in my opinion, with much more focus on the interpersonal relationships and conflicts revolving around the main cast. It showed the obvious flaws in trying to take advantage of people when they’re in a vulnerable state and wanting to capitalize on their fragile state. For characters like Doug and Clyde, assumptions clouted their judgment for the worse and now they have to rebound from their horrible decisions. The episode also furthered the ever growing divide between Marty and Jeannie, a divide that’s just bubbling beneath the surface and sure to blow up as we approach the season finale.