Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Loot 2x08 Recap: “Grace” (The Messy Discomfort of Life) [Contributor: Jenn]

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Original Airdate: May 15, 2024

Where we left off on Loot last week: Sofia told Molly that in order to expand Space for Everyone nationally and keep the locations running, the nonprofit needs more money. Even more money, in fact, than Molly has. Their idea is to recruit more billionaire donors who are willing to give away their fortunes to a charitable cause.

One woman, Grace (played by Ana Gasteyer), is on Molly’s radar. She, too, was recently divorced and wound up with $110 billion. Because Molly was friends with her, she and Sofia decide to pay Grace a visit. Molly is expecting to be greeted by her uptight friend, but ever since the divorce, Grace has been spiraling. She’s in the middle of throwing a rager (in the middle of the afternoon, no less), and while Molly initially goes to Grace’s house to ask her about the money, the rest of the episode focuses on how concerned Molly is for Grace and her wellbeing.

When Grace cavalierly offers the foundation $11 billion, Sofia is elated. Molly, on the other hand, is worried that Grace isn’t thinking rationally. It would feel wrong to Molly to take her money when Grace is basically on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Instead of accepting the money, Molly opts to stay behind at the party to try and talk to Grace, get her to see reason, and calm her down a little.

I really love this story for a variety of reasons. Of course, Maya and Ana are delightful and so funny together. But I also think this is the kind of storyline that could only happen in season two where Molly’s grown thanks to other people having been there for her when she was spiraling. The fact that she is now in a good enough place in her life to be able to offer advice, comfort, and empathy to someone else going through a similar situation says a lot about Molly’s shifting priorities as a person. Yes, she is flawed. Yes, she is occasionally selfish. And yes, she still has her own insecurities and struggles (more on that in a bit). But she could have just taken Grace’s money and run. Season one Molly probably would have been able to justify it to herself by pretending it was for the good of the foundation. But now, Molly sees that even though funding Space for Everyone is her goal, helping Grace should be her focus.

And as Grace expresses her embarrassment over her divorce, Molly assures her that she has nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed by — her ex-husband should be the one who is embarrassed instead. Grace’s somber (and sober) moment of realization doesn’t last long, however. She decides to fly her party to Reykjavík, and Molly offers to tag along in order to make sure Grace is safe and okay. 

Things take a turn for Molly, however, when Sofia sends her a text about seeing Arthur making out with Willa. The reminder that Arthur is unavailable is still fresh and painful for Molly, who has a moment of weakness when she agrees to do shots with Grace, gets hammered, and winds up vocalizing the reason she decided to get drunk in the first place to Sofia by saying, “What’s the point of being good if you feel so lonely and shitty all the time?” 

Molly really has made so much progress but in this moment she’s acting from an obvious place of pain and fear. Pain that she’s doing so much good for the world and people around her, but still feels like personal happiness is out of her reach; and fear that even if she continues to do good in the world, that her circumstances won’t change. And unfortunately, when any of us act out of pain and fear, we often wind up making bad decisions.

But in true Molly fashion, after she sobers up, she offers Grace some advice — even though things are far from okay and she can’t pretend like they are, Molly assures Grace that her life isn’t over. It might be messy, confusing, frustrating, and difficult, but there is also good in the midst of all of it. Molly tells Grace that because of her divorce, she learned she could lead and didn’t just have to follow what John wanted or did. She could build something of her own, instead of relying on her husband. And in time, Molly knows that Grace will find what she wants to do. But for the time being, she encourages her friend to start small.

So the two go ice skating, and it’s hilarious and wonderful because even though Grace is bad at it, it’s something she’s wanted to do and hasn’t done in 20 years. The whole experience, however, inspires Grace — she pledges to give her money to Space for Everyone, and because of her involvement, multiple other billionaires agree to donate too. Things are looking up for the Wells Foundation!

Elsewhere in the episode, Howard — frustrated by how Arthur is head-over-heels in his relationship with Willa — spends time with Nicholas instead, and he is deciding whether to audition for a popular Korean TV series. The issue, however, is that Nicholas doesn’t speak Korean. The rest of their storyline is spent with Howard trying to help Nicholas, whose frustration keeps growing as he’s progressively unable to correctly pronounce the Korean lines no matter how hard he tries. 

When Howard asks about this, Nicholas confesses that even though running lines seemed innocuous, it’s a reminder that he’s never felt connected, culturally, anywhere. He’s adopted by white parents and doesn’t feel at home in white spaces. But he can’t speak Korean, has never been to Korea, and therefore doesn’t feel at home in that part of his identity either. It’s a really powerful little moment of vulnerability where Nicholas expresses that he just doesn’t feel like he fits anywhere. Howard listens to his pain, offers his support as a friend for whenever Nicholas feels like talking about his emotions, and Nicholas is genuinely appreciative of that. I also just love that instead of providing any real solutions (because he has none), Howard just offers his presence to Nicholas instead. It is really sweet and an example of how great of a friend he is.

I love that “Grace” was an episode all about how messy and uncomfortable life can be. Still, Loot reminded us that even in the midst of that discomfort, good things can form. And they are going to form for the rest of the season.

Notes & Quotes:

  • It was so much fun seeing Ana Gasteyer and Maya Rudolph together!
  • “We can’t just drop in uninvited.” “If you’re worth over $10 billion, legally you’re allowed to show up wherever you want.” “That is absolutely not true.” “I don’t know — I’ve been to like, 10 Olympics. Never once bought a ticket.”
  • “What’s in this? Robitussin?” “And NyQuil. And DayQuil.”
  • And in what was barely a C-story, Sofia tries to avoid Arthur after seeing him make out with Willa in public because, in her words, “it’s weird.” The story comes full circle when Sofia decides to give Arthur a taste of his own medicine — she kisses Isaac in public, making sure Arthur sees, and it’s only then that Arthur admits how weird it is to see your coworker kissing someone in public. And that was the extent of a rather silly and pointless mini-story.
  • Can you believe we are only two episodes away from the finale? If you thought that things were going to settle down for Molly and the rest of the Wells Foundation coworkers, just wait until next week!


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