Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Loot 2x01 and 2x02 Recaps: "Space for Everyone" & "Clueless" (We're All Just Doing Our Best) [Contributor: Jenn]

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

“Space for Everyone”
Original Airdate: April 3, 2024

Welcome back to Loot, friends! To recap where we left off in season 1: Molly committed to giving away all of her money to charity at the Silver Moon Summit. But we officially ended the season with Arthur wanting to tell Molly how he feels about her — only to discover that Molly slept with John.

I’ve gotten the chance to see all of Loot’s second season and I can tell you that you’re in for a funny, wild ride over the next few episodes! But to kick things off, let’s unpack all that happened in “Space for Everyone.” The episode opens with a fun take on Molly’s “73 Questions” for Vogue, which she’s getting roasted for online because it makes her life still look opulent (and it is). Really, Molly’s trajectory this episode is focused on her desire for people to like her. As someone who is trying to reinvent herself but is still quite out of touch with a non-billionaire life, Molly spends most of the episode trying to focus on being a better person and helping the foundation.

Meanwhile, Molly has decided to put her romantic life on pause and is annoyed that John keeps sending her gifts and trying to connect with her. She tells him that their night together was a mistake and that she has no interest in reconnecting with him. Meanwhile, John continues to disregard her wishes, convinced he can win his ex-wife back. (Culminating in an act at the end of the episode that sets Molly into a rage.)

Molly tells John that she doesn’t just want to be his ex-wife and wants her own identity. She also tells Arthur this later, who insists that she’s not just someone’s ex-wife — she is better than she gives herself credit for. And I really do think that so many of Molly’s insecurities and struggles come from a place of doubting her ability to stand on her own and carve out her own name for herself that isn’t dependent on John, his money, or his fame. Molly and Arthur’s scene is sweet because he affirms things that are true within her, and she confesses that she always feels better after talking with him. They banter a little bit and I really have to point out how great the chemistry between Maya Rudolph and Nat Faxon is.

Speaking of Arthur: he is trying to reinvent himself as a result of what happened (or didn’t happen) in Corsica. So he buys a leather bracelet — that hilariously everyone roasts him about throughout the episode — and Nicholas and Howard confront him over his new attitude. He tells them that he’s doing a new thing where he goes after what he wants and doesn’t hesitate (an overcorrection after not going after Molly last season that the two friends point out). I do love that these three have a friendship and notice when something is off with one of them.

Sofia, meanwhile, is upset because a project for unhoused people that The Wells Foundation had been working on for seven years was shelved by the mayor’s office — even though it was supposed to be announced the following day. So the team tries to work together to figure out a solution that can’t be stopped by bureaucracy and doesn’t require them building anything.

They decide to contact Noah Hope-DeVore, a young billionaire who designed an online philanthropy platform that uses an algorithm to help the greatest number of people in cost-effective ways. Everything seems to be going great — the team meets with him at Molly’s home, he agrees to invest... and then he gets arrested by the FBI for wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracies, security fraud and money laundering. Turns out, he was a fraud who stole about $50 billion!

Everyone is crushed, understandably, at this revelation — and they have no clue what to do next. But something unexpected gives Molly an idea that actually ends up being pretty great (and earns her a hug from Sofia in the process): After discovering that Howard is living in the guest house of her mansion because he and Tanya broke up, she moved out, and he couldn’t afford rent alone, Molly formulates a way to use the money she has to do something good. What if the way to help unhoused people didn’t have to involve building new spaces but utilizing ones they already had that were empty?

So Molly decides to buy up hotels in downtown L.A. and help turn them into a “Space for Everyone” — free housing with amenities, career centers, childcare, and anything else someone might need to get back on their feet. I loved that Molly was incredibly proud of her idea because it shows that she has passion for doing good in the world with her money and connections. She smiles as she reads through positive comments on social media about Space for Everyone, and truly rides that high... for a few minutes.

Unfortunately, Molly’s good mood is undercut when John reveals that he’s giving Molly space — and by that, he means LITERAL space. He announces on TV that he’s going into space as part of a new initiative for his tech company. And Molly fumes.

“Space for Everyone” does what any good season premiere will do: reminds the viewers of where we’ve been and begins laying the foundation for what’s to come. Molly really is trying to do better — in life, with people, with her money — and it isn’t always a linear path. But then again, growth rarely is. Maya Rudolph continues to shine, not only in her comedic moments but also in these very earnest, sincere scenes where we get the chance to see her vulnerabilities (more on that next episode). Loot’s second season is off to a solid start!

Notes & Quotes:

  • Welcome to Loot recaps, everyone! Are we excited for season two? Trust me when I say there are a LOT of fun and chaotic things ahead.
  • As someone who adores Adam Scott in Parks and Recreation, it is quite fun to have him play a character in this show that we all hate.
  • “What makes you angry?” “Injustice. And drawstring pants. End of list.”
  • “Okay! We are agreeing even though we are yelling at each other!”
  • “I want you to get everyone into the conference room for a gathering... thing... you know, like a group talk session...” “Are you trying to say the word ‘meeting’?”

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

“Clueless”
Original Airdate: April 3, 2024

I could watch Clueless on repeat, just like Molly Wells. As Nicholas points out, Cher reminds him of Molly — and the similarities (given that Clueless is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma) are there that it makes sense for Molly to adore the film. The iconic 90s comedy opens the show and becomes its theme, as Molly decides to forgo work in favor of playing matchmaker for Sofia.

With a hotel purchased that can house 600 people, Molly and the rest of the Wells Foundation crew are ready to celebrate — but not Sofia. The hotel is nowhere near ready to open to residents since it’s been abandoned for years and needs a lot of work. She immediately squashes the celebration, insisting that everyone get back to work.

With Sofia in full prep mode, Molly and Nicholas watch Clueless together and are annoyed by Sofia texting them after work about all the things they need to do. Sofia even sends Molly a PDF (and the latter refuses to learn what that is, let alone open it). The next day, the trio go to the hotel Molly purchased to wait for the architect she hired: Isaac.

Sofia is ticked off that Isaac is late, and her Type A personality clashes immediately with his more laid-back, artistic one. But while he focuses on the beauty of the space, Sofia is hyper-focused on the details and functionality. She gets slightly flustered when Isaac challenges her — shouldn’t something be beautiful as well as functional for people who have been unhoused?

And that sparks a very Cher Horowitz idea within Molly: She should set up Isaac and Sofia. So she does by telling them both there’s an emergency on the hotel roof and then leaving them there to have drinks amid a very romantic ambiance.

Despite their initial conflict, Isaac and Sofia actually do hit it off, discovering that they’re both from places (Newark, NJ and Wembley, England) that are often overlooked in favor of larger cities. They both love chain restaurants, and actually enjoy talking to one another. I love that we get a love story for Sofia this season because it is something that challenges her character. She is used to taking charge, of thinking practically, and compartmentalizing emotions. But while her workaholic tendencies may help her on the job, they hinder her personal life. Getting the chance to see her more relaxed and at ease in her conversation with Isaac was a treat.

After a lovely evening, Sofia tells Molly and Nicholas that Isaac didn’t ask for her number. They encourage her to ask him out instead, and it... well, it goes awry pretty quickly when they realize Sofia is an over-texter. (Sidenote: Michaela JaĆ© Rodriguez is hilarious in this scene as she frantically tries to justify her texts but then quickly realizes, with horror, what she’s really done.)

Molly decides to help her friend out and discovers that Isaac is actually at a local bar. Fuming at the fact that he ghosted her, Sofia shows up to confront him... only to realize that he’s at a memorial for a friend he lost five years ago. Whoops.

As it turns out, Sofia was texting Isaac’s work phone number, not his personal one. He tells her that he didn’t want to cross boundaries with her, even though he wanted to text her, which surprises Sofia. She actually met a man who respects her space, her job, and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize either. Sofia is awed by this revelation.

So instead of making an excuse to leave or focusing, in that moment, on work, Sofia stays at the memorial birthday. She even gets up on stage to do karaoke! And she sends a video to Molly (who is watching the rest of Clueless), who is thrilled by her friend’s happiness. But what’s really heartbreaking and beautiful is the subtle camera direction in this final scene: We cut back to the romantic conclusion of Clueless and slowly pan over to Molly watching — at first with the kind of heartwarming glance that we all have watching rom-coms. Her face then shifts ever-so-slightly (a testament to Maya Rudolph’s acting) and instead of joy, we now see her face fall into a slightly pained expression.

Because as much as Molly loves setting people up and pretending to be Cher Horowitz, and as much as she claims she’s swearing off men, in this moment we see her loneliness clearly in a way that she doesn’t allow anyone else to see. It’s so subtle and sad, and such a poignant way to end the episode.

Elsewhere in “Clueless,” we get some plot development that will carry throughout the remainder of the season: Howard confides his financial woes to Arthur (remember, he’s living with Molly in her guest house), who takes the opportunity to help his friend by taking a look over his financial assets to see where he can cut back and save.

Since they can’t find places to cut back, Arthur challenges Howard to take a look at his assets — and they realize Howard has a pretty valuable collection of wrestling memorabilia he’s collected since he was a kid. At a wrestling match, Howard and Arthur attempt to sell some of the memorabilia; but when Arthur realizes how valuable it all is to Howard, they come up with a better plan: Arthur is going to invest in Howard to start his own wrestling league to ensure that favorites of his get their time in the spotlight and also make the money they deserve.

I really love when we get Arthur and Howard moments, and this storyline is so great to be able to showcase the growth we’ll see in Howard this season. He’s someone who has a specific passion and has never believed that he could turn it into anything more than just a hobby. But with Arthur’s support and confidence in his friend’s abilities, Howard is going to pursue an avenue he didn’t initially think was possible. It’s going to be a fun story throughout the rest of the season so stay tuned!

Notes & Quotes:

  • Have I mentioned how much I love Clueless? Because I do.
  • The show still doesn’t really know what to do with Rhonda or Ainsley in season two, which might be my only critique of the series as a whole. It feels like we only needed one of these characters since their jokes are a bit repetitive to me. 
  • “What flavor is this?” “Gin.”
  • “I am so sorry about Sofia’s personality.”
  • “It’s exactly how I act when I watch Stanley Tucci eat a cannoli.” This will not be the last Stanley Tucci reference this season and I, for one, am here for it.

What did you all think about the Loot season 2 premiere? Sound off in the comments below!

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