“We’re Going to Build a Mothership and Rule the Universe” has the pod looking up as happy days are ahead of them. With the Gage Motors fiasco done, it looks like the worst for Kaan & Associates is behind them, or is it? I mean, Deanna did say she now owns Marty, so just what did she mean by that? Let’s find out.
The episode begins at Kaan & Associates with Marty watching Roscoe pulling some skateboarding moves on the half-pipe. He’s goes to pull off the Disaster move when we get a time freeze.
Indeed, there was a disaster, and it’s been averted! Economic health has been restored to Kaan & Associates for now. The firm is poised to go on an acquisition bender, scoop up as many companies as possible, and leave a swath of broken hearts and dreams in its weak as K&A disembowels its foes, all while filling its coffers. What happens on day two, though?
When Jeannie arrives, Marty learns about an upcoming family dinner that Jeannie has been invited to. Looks like Jeremiah forgot to tell him, but the dinner is just so the family can spend time together. Oh, and Jeannie knows the gender of her baby: it’s a girl. Marty speeds up this already awkward conversation so Roscoe can get to school.
Clyde, meanwhile, makes the discovery of the day when he finds Doug sleeping in his office- in comfortable, blue pajamas. He beckons Jeannie and Marty to join him, and they do.
Though Marty takes a Sharpie and draws some whiskers on Doug’s face.
Doug soon awakens and explains to the others that this isn’t entirely sexual. He’s been working late to prepare for the Zobel presentation, and that required him to slip into something more comfortable.
On cue, in enters Ron Zobel, played by Steven Weber, who is very professional and prefers to call Marty ‘Martin.’ Zobel was handpicked by Denna to aid in K&A’s growth and chooses to separate his two followers in order to keep them data pure and data strong. He surveys the building and sees a lack of commerce. A dead business, essentially. Of course, Marty is defending his business the way that he prefers to, though.
So the pod presents its case to Zobel, who finds more interest in his cell phone. It’s called multitasking. The pod is certain that, if they look at the competitive landscape, they have a baseline in place to oversee the development cycle. In essence, K&A plans to build an episode title-I mean, they’re going to build a mothership and rule the universe. If that was the case, Ron says, he wouldn’t be needed.
Jeannie is willing to take any suggestions Ron has, but he cuts her off. He says that it’s premature to implement strategy and will take their plan under advisement. First, you excavate the quantitative architect of the firm for a better understanding of which growth strategy is best. Ron’s team will set up a war room while he goes to take a phone call.
So Jeannie expresses her concerns to Marty about why company decisions are being made without them. The commanding officer owns 60 percent of Kaan & Associates, meaning that Denna can do whatever she wants. Jeannie wants Marty to check in on her, but Marty isn’t concerned. Denna is doing this as an investment, not as a favor. There’s no need to check in on how to run his company.
Their company, Jeannie corrects. Also, Jeannie considers not showing up at the dinner given the awkwardness it will bring, but Marty says that she has to. After all, if she doesn’t, Marty will be blamed.
While Doug and Clyde discuss Ron’s shadows, Marty gets them ready to deliver some deliverables to Sky East. Luckily, Ron will tag along, even though this is only a local engagement.
At Sky East, the client, Derek Rainey, played by Adam Kulbersh, is not happy about the segment models, which he calls opaque and cloudy. This needs to be explained in a way that people can understand. When Rainey is called away for a call, Marty sends Doug to find Jeannie.
He doesn’t have to go far. Jeannie is outside and in pain. It’s not the baby, though. Nor is it a miscarriage. Doug thinks that she’s just fearful about having dinner at Marty’s.
Right, let’s go back to Marty for a second. Ron was told that Marty can be less than careful with clients, but Ron is still a businessman. He knows better than to deflect when a client is seeking assurances. In the service industry, the client is always right. Marty agrees, unless it’s a panicky little bitch. Ron is certain that he could handle this better because he actually gives a shit about consulting.
He has a golden ticket for Kaan & Associates and is there to maximize profit and eliminate waste, so Marty needs to listen up. After all, Ron has Marty’s balls in his hand, and he can either cradle or crush them.
Back outside, Doug brings Jeannie some water. She pushes and strains! It looks like the baby might be on its way, but…it’s gas. It’s just gas. Jeannie just had gas and now she suddenly feels better. I can’t believe I had to write that out. Anyway, Jeannie is ready to rock this presentation.
Derek has concerns about the customer reference system, but Marty turns things over to Ron since he’s an expert on growth strategies. Ron’s response is that Sky East’s potential growth depends on currently used benchmarks used to measure growth. When he’s shown them, though, Ron has no answer.
To Marty, Ron’s eyes say cost model, but his mouth says he doesn’t know dick about management consulting. So, then, Ron decides he will crush instead of cradle. Ouch. Ron leaves just as Jeannie and Doug return, so Jeannie can work her magic.
Clyde comes home and finds his father at the table with some lotion and tissues nearby. We’ll get to that in a moment. Harvey opened the door to Clyde’s room, meaning the cat’s been all over. Harvey’s upset that Clyde didn’t return his texts, as Harvey needed help with the computer. Only now does Clyde notice that his father has the tools needed to jack off.
Just as Harvey tries to throw history at his son, Clyde tells his father that he’s not allowed to justify his jacking off with cancer and the Holocaust. That’s just fucking crazy. Clyde wants to sympathize with his father, but in the end, he tells him to find a new place starting tomorrow.
Denna stops by K&A to fill Marty in that Ron is not happy. She admits that Ron can be brash, but he’s also made money for Global and can do the same for Marty’s firm. Marty, though, states that Kaan & Associates is his business, not someone else’s. That’s true, Denna says, and Ron doesn’t have feelings to get tangled up in.
After all, Marty did give half his company to the woman who sent him to prison. Business is business, sure, but in the end, Denna asks Marty what means more to him- saying fuck you to Ron or making serious fuck you money? What does he want most and what is it worth?
At the Kaan Family Dinner, Jeannie tells the others that she’s due three weeks from tomorrow. Roscoe toasts to Jeannie and his oncoming baby sister. May she grow and flourish. Jeremiah also toasts to Jeannie, Marty, and their happiness in whatever form it appears. The family will love Jeannie completely. Jeannie can’t take this anymore and prepares to leave.
Marty stops her, but the two talk amongst themselves. Jeannie isn’t able to stomach the family being so nice to her after she ruined their lives, but Marty won’t have Jeannie beating herself up. The two of them won’t be teenagers anymore. They need to keep their shit together for both Roscoe and the daughter on the way.
In a move that surprises even Marty, he says that Jeannie doesn’t get to walk away every time that she feels something. He heard it and means it, so the two decide to head back just in time for blackberry cobbler just as the episode comes to a close.
As we get close to the season finale, we’re watching the pod slowly regain its altitude after rebounding from the Gage Motors fiasco. They have money in the bank, their reputation is back, and they’re looking forward to growing. The pod can only go up from here, but to do so, they need a clear focus. It’s a new day for Kaan & Associates, but unless the pod has a forward vision, they can’t take advantage of their forward momentum.
However, as we learn, their victory over Gage Motors came with a price. In this case, the pod gained Ron looking over their shoulders whenever he felt like it and imparting his wisdom when necessary.
Ever since our main pod left Galweather Stearn to do their own thing, we’ve seen them both rise and fall in the world of management consulting. They may be familiar with consulting, but they’re less familiar with running and managing their own business. They can’t account for anything, which would explain why Marty roped in Denna, who he has been chasing for a while.
Though Marty had to combat with Ron this week, the episode dealt a lot with internal dilemmas…quite literally, in Jeannie’s case, but we’ll get to that in a second. The pod members had to stop being petulant and acting like children. No more wavering on indecision because that would just drag out a problem.
Take Marty, for example. Landing Gage Motors has been his priority since he got out of prison. He took them down and got a healthy bonus for it, but things still aren’t perfect for him. Now that the firm is on an upswing, Marty needs to keep it that way, but the problem is that Marty doesn’t have an answer for everything.
He’s a good businessman, yes, and some of his tactics have yielded positive results, but he’s not the most approachable of consultants, the way that Jeannie is.
However, as impatient as Marty can be with clients, he’s still operating on his own terms. He doesn’t need anyone else telling him how to run his business. Even though he ends up managing the Sky East client, it wasn’t a smooth process for Marty and he almost ended up insulting Derek’s intelligence. Since Marty still has a lot to learn about this process, it’s expected that he would stumble a few times.
But this is why Denna introduced Ron to Marty in the first place- to help the firm achieve great success. We don’t get to see Ron in action, but from what Denna tells us, we know that he’s been at consulting for a while and is an expert in the field. He knows how the game is played, which is why he barely pays attention to the pod’s presentation to him.
If they were as intelligent as they think they are, they wouldn’t need his help in the first place.
And Ron does have a real point: Marty can be irrational and immature when it comes to clients. It’s a nice role reversal, actually. At first, Ron ignores the pod’s presentation because he already has a plan worked out, but when we jump to Sky East, it’s Marty who ignores Ron’s advice to be careful with clients in the service industry.
But the way Marty rolls his eyes at Ron’s wisdom, you can tell that he’d much rather do things himself, even if it means a few fuck-ups.
As tempting as it may be to accept Ron’s help and potential income increase, Marty decides that this isn’t what ultimately makes him happy. He sticks with saying fuck you to Ron and standing by Jeannie’s side because he realizes that it’s time to grow up. For so long, Marty and Jeannie have been in a tug of war over their different visions, but also their personal lives. They’ve had a significant impact on each other and now Jeannie is about to give birth to Marty’s child.
He encourages her to stay at the family dinner because he’s tired of running away from his problems and wants her to do the same. It’s a warm moment and even Marty felt surprised to hear himself say it, but this is very good character development for him, if he decides to stick with this route.
Marty and Jeannie are working on keeping their shit together not just to keep up appearances, but because it’s time to put aside petty differences. That sort of negativity is what’s kept the two at war for so long, but hopefully they can move forward without any issues.
I did enjoy the dinner scene at the end. It became warm and welcoming as the night went on, but had its fair share of tension. Despite Jeremiah’s good intentions, Jeannie didn’t pretend like she was a perfect person. This is what I think makes her such a good character, as she’s willing to call out her own crap that caused the Kaan family such harm.
Instead of running away yet again, she lets Marty bring her back because there’s a chance they can make this work. Plus, as Jeremiah pointed out, Jeannie would have the family’s support.
But I did say this episode dealt with internal dilemmas, so I guess I shouldn’t ignore Jeannie’s more explosive moment. I’d prefer not to get too deep into it, but maybe Doug was right. Maybe Jeannie was nervous about the dinner. Or maybe she just had a gas attack. Is this a thing with pregnant women- having winds due to their pregnancy? If so, I’ve just learned something.
Sticking with Jeannie for a second, I loved the brief look she gave Marty when he talked about getting S’muffins, as if she expected him to joke about her weight or she really wanted S’muffins. Whatever the case, it was a small, but funny moment.
Clyde’s moment is brief, but he stood up to his father and had one of my favorite lines of the episode when he called Harvey out for using cancer and the Holocaust as guilt trips. Clyde is seeing so much of himself in his father’s action that he’s trying to get him out so he can get back to living his own life, especially with Harvey trying to use the computer to jerk off.
And Doug sleeping at the office. He could have been working all night, but given his living situation, I’m leaning towards him just not having a good place to sleep right now.
“We’re Going to Build a Mothership and Rule the Universe” worked towards putting Marty and Jeannie on good terms again, showed why the pod operates the way that it does, and, for the moment, the Gage crisis has been averted. Will things stay this good? Who knows?