Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Loot 2x05 Recap: “Mally’s” (Happy Birthday to You) [Contributor: Jenn]

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Original Airdate: April 24, 2024

What you missed on the episode before this, titled “Mr. Congeniality”: Molly ended her dry spell by hooking up with Benjamin Bratt (who played an exaggerated version of himself), Arthur helps Howard find a “heel” (a villain) for his wrestling league and they end up choosing Nicholas. Also Ainsley is getting married, so Sofia and Nicholas help her figure out table seating with all of her family drama.

But this week we focus on a delightful Molly/Arthur plot that proves how truly wonderful Maya Rudolph and Nat Faxon are together. It’s Molly’s birthday and given that Loot began with a disastrous birthday party for her the previous year, Molly is not keen on doing any kind of celebration. The whole team discovers that John sent an over-the-top gift, complete with a hologram of himself singing to a very unamused Molly.

Even though Molly has improved a lot emotionally and has grown as a person, there is still one item of John’s she has yet to get rid of: his mega-yacht. So she enlists Arthur’s help to review the contract since she has a buyer — a Swedish billionaire named Emil (played by Academy Award winner and Nat Faxon’s writing partner, Jim Rash!). The two meet up with him and unfortunately for them, he wants to tour the yacht again for a few hours before he commits. 

Arthur decides that he and Molly should kill time at a nearby mall, and the rest is essentially ripped from the pages of a rom-com: The two talk, connect, laugh, and get in trouble by the mall security. Of course, Emil tells Molly that he’s done early; but Molly is having such a great time with Arthur that she lies and says they have to spend a few more hours at the mall. 

I honestly really love these two and the relationship they have; it’s such a charming relationship on the show to watch. This storyline specifically is so delightful because it allows both Arthur and Molly to have fun with one another and grow in their friendship. After Molly was sent an embarrassing amount of flowers — and equally embarrassing hologram — it’s so wonderful for her to be able to spend her birthday doing something that is low-key and actually makes her happy. The idea that she’s more excited by being at a mall than being on a yacht at this point says a lot about her growth as a person and her priorities. She’s not perfect and will continue to make mistakes throughout the rest of the season, but her heart is usually in the right place. Getting to share such a special and rather ordinary day (when she didn’t even want to celebrate) with Arthur makes Molly happy. And I love that for her.

Also just as an aside, I love that early on in the episode, Molly talks about how comforting she finds malls — no matter where you go, they’re basically all the same: same lights, same food courts, same kiosks, same smells and sounds. There’s something so simple and nostalgic about them — and so universal too. 

While enjoying Cinnabon at the food court, Molly and Arthur have a conversation about the moment they almost shared in Corsica last season before John showed up. When Molly wonders whether people think less of her for sleeping with John, Arthur reassures her by telling her how amazing, smart, and beautiful she is. It’s a lovely little moment punctuated by an equally lovely one where Molly watches from afar as Arthur helps an elderly woman throw away her food. It’s clear that she has real, genuine feelings for him that will continue to evolve as the season goes on.

While the pair have fun, they eventually get in trouble (Molly decides to steal a rideable toy animal that’s meant for children) and are sent to the back office of the mall. But don’t worry: their drama is short-lived because Molly decides to just purchase the mall! While it might seem like a quick-fix for their circumstances, it’s actually because Molly really does love the mall. She will keep everyone employed and the same — because, as she said, malls are awesome.

Elsewhere in the episode, Sofia has enlisted Nicholas, Howard, Ainsley, and Rhonda to help her go door-to-door in the community acquiring business owner signatures to show support for Space for Everyone. Ainsley decides they should make it a competition between the men and women, and very quickly it becomes evident to Howard that they will lose — and it’s due to Nicholas’ relationships with pretty much every store owner they meet. In summary, he ghosted them all when they assumed their relationships were serious. Nicholas’ response to their anger and frustration is initially self-centered (he doesn’t get why people are mad because everyone is obsessed with him!). But when Howard points out that he really did hurt the guys he dated and should apologize to them, Nicholas agrees.

Hilariously, once Nicholas begins opening up even a little bit to the guys he ghosted, he can’t stop and unloads years of repressed emotions and family trauma onto them. Hilariously, Howard observes this all happen and tries his best to steer Nicholas back on track. While Howard is obviously surprised by the tangent of processing Nicholas does on the spot, he’s ultimately proud of his friend for opening up and growing as a person. Yay character growth!

The episode ends with everyone back at the office, prepared to head to Las Vegas to see Mariah Carey, when Arthur gives the sweetest gift to Molly: an $30 engraved picture frame from Things Remembered that Molly wanted when she was younger. It’s such a kind, thoughtful gesture that Molly is truly taken aback with emotion. And it’s even more proof that Molly is really falling for Arthur and that Arthur would do anything to make Molly smile.

Overall, “Mally’s” is such a delightful episode that sets the stage for the rest of the season’s Arthur/Molly relationship! What did you all think?

Notes & Quotes:

  • I know I already said it above, but as a website that began devoted to Community reviews, it delighted me to no end to see Jim Rash in this episode.
  • Ainsley and Howard singing “A Whole New World” was adorable.
  • “Men: we are childish. But also violent and stupid.”
  • “I don’t like American wind.”
  • “I do like to win, because it’s the only way to get people to like you.”
  • “Claire’s! I got so many rashes from their jewelry.”
  • “This is a pity ice cream that’s coming in a cup with no toppings.”


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