Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Loot 2x07 Recap: “Camp Wells” (Distractions and Cabins) [Contributor: Jenn]

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

“Camp Wells”
Original Airdate: May 8, 2024

This week on Loot, Molly accepts that she has feelings for Arthur — just in time to meet his new girlfriend. Later in the episode, the team takes a trip to a cabin in the woods. And even though the trip to “Camp Wells” doesn’t end like a horror movie would, it doesn’t necessarily end well for a few members of the team.

The episode opens with Molly accidentally walking into a hidden bathroom at work where Arthur is changing and realizes he’s surprisingly fit! Cue awkwardness between the two. This encounter prompts Molly to admit her feelings for Arthur to Nicholas, and Nicholas tells her that Arthur confessed his feelings for her while in Corsica. Nicholas then has an idea for them both to organically figure out how they feel about one another — a work retreat. Molly enthusiastically tells the team they’re going to Dubai, and everyone (even Sofia) is on board. I kind of love the little detail that proves Sofia’s relationship with Isaac is causing her to relax a little bit and enjoy taking a break from work every now and then! She’s ready and she even has a new hat she is excited to wear.

Unfortunately for Molly, she soon discovers that Arthur may not be as available as she’d hoped when Willa shows up brandishing freshly-baked muffins with blueberries from the hike she and Arthur took that morning. What happens the rest of the episode is a pretty standard rom-com-style series of events in which Molly acts jealous of Willa and instead of admitting that she has a problem or feelings, projects it onto everyone and everything else. It’s actually uncomfortable and cringey to watch Molly act like this — and honestly it’s supposed to be. This is the part of the story where we realize that Willa is a nice, good, normal person who is taking Molly’s awkwardness in stride. Molly is supposed to be the one we’re not thrilled by in this episode. And only Molly and Nicholas really know why she’s acting the way she is. It’s a delicate line to walk though, making Molly unlikable, but Maya Rudolph chooses her moments of vulnerability in this episode carefully and does a great job selling them so that we still root for Molly to be happy.

After meeting Willa, Molly spirals and does what we all do — looks up Willa’s Instagram account. As she tells Nicholas, she can’t compete with Willa who is down-to-earth, loves nature and hikes, bakes, and even fosters bunnies! Molly, meanwhile, is a billionaire with a palace in Dubai. Even though feels like she might be out of the running for Arthur, Nicholas convinces Molly that she’s not. But this does spark something in Molly: a change of course for the work trip. Instead of highlighting her opulence and money, Molly speculates that maybe Arthur wants someone who is more laid back. So she decides that Dubai is out and a cabin in San Bernardino, California is in! (Unfortunately, Ainsley is the only one not present for this information and spends the rest of the episode stuck at the Dubai airport because she just bought a ticket there herself.)

Elsewhere in the episode, we get some more bonding between Sofia and Howard when they both bemoan the change in plans from Dubai to a cabin. As it turns out, both had terrible camp experiences when they were kids and aren’t keen to relive the experience of camping. They try to find reception so they can distract themselves on their phones. Unsuccessful (and yelled at by Nicholas for complaining loudly), the two head outside where it’s chilly. Howard mentions that he could try to build a fire, and he actually does!

The two then talk about how bad their camp experiences were — between bullying and feeling like outcasts, neither of them really made any friends. Ironically, both Sofia and Howard’s only friend at camp was their camp nurse. Despite how things went for them when they were younger, they both decide that if camping had just been sitting around, talking about life, they might have enjoyed it more. It’s sweet to see the ever-blossoming friendship between these two coworkers this season!

Molly, meanwhile, decides that the best thing to cook for the team is a chicken pot pie since it’s homey and down-to-earth, but she’s hilariously bad at it so Nicholas volunteers Arthur. And because Molly and Arthur genuinely have such a delightful rapport together, they easily joke and make fun of each other (for example, Arthur assumes that Emeril Lagasse’s real name is “Emerald”). Unfortunately for Molly, this little flirtatious bubble pops momentarily when Arthur begins to play some cooking music and it’s a band that Willa introduced him to.

When Molly asks how the relationship is going, Arthur admits that he’s really enjoying himself. Willa is helping him to step outside of his comfort zone in a way he hasn’t since his divorce. He’s taking pottery classes and going hiking. As he tells Molly, he’s just having fun for the first time in a long time. And for someone like Arthur who always plans and thinks and is so structured, it’s freeing for him to just be able to live life and enjoy someone else’s company.

Molly is visibly pained — a great choice in direction is that she has her back to Arthur while this conversation is happening and only we can see her reaction — but she doesn’t handle it very well. In fact, she’s pretty upset and her mood doesn’t improve when Arthur’s phone begins incessantly pinging at dinner with text messages from Willa. And while Molly’s behavior is definitely immature, the fact that Arthur keeps trying to joke with her (and has his ringer still on! Turn off the text message sound, dude!) means he definitely doesn’t understand that Molly is upset about something else. Loot does a great job of framing Arthur as a good guy — and he is, there’s no doubt about that. The problem is that he might be too kind and nice without realizing that his kindness and niceness is actually hurting other people. He talks so much about Willa and how happy he is, and we see brief moments in this episode of him being confused by Molly’s behavior. But there’s one moment in the kitchen that struck me — Molly’s back is to him and when she barely comments about how happy Arthur is, he looks visibly hurt.

Because the truth is that despite all of the thousands of rom-coms out there, there’s always a central arc: a misunderstanding. Arthur doesn’t think Molly sees him as a romantic prospect, just a friend. So he moved on. But they still flirt and have fun together because Arthur does not think they can be anything more; he just assumes this is all their relationship will ever be. So he is confused when she seems detached as he talks about Willa. Meanwhile, Molly doesn’t think that Arthur could want someone like her, just as she is. But he does. So she tries the whole episode to bend and fit into whatever box she thinks he might want in order to win his attention. These two just haven’t been honest enough with each other yet to realize that maybe they want the same thing. If only they would communicate it!

Frustrated with the weekend, with Arthur, with herself, and with everyone complaining, Molly storms out of the cabin and insists that she’s driving to the grocery store to pick up things for s’mores.

She doesn’t, however, heed Nicholas’ warnings about driving a passenger van (she’s apparently a bad driver, according to him), and Molly decides to spite him by making a three-point turn and knocking over piles of wood, a statue, and a mailbox while Arthur, Howard, and Sofia watch. Unfortunately right at the moment she’s about to pull out of the driveway, she hits (a naked) Rhonda who had been swimming in the pond since the beginning of the cabin trip. Everyone is rightfully horrified, even though Rhonda notes this isn’t the first time she’s been hit by a passenger van.

Later on, back at her home, Nicholas tells Molly that Rhonda is at the hospital and fine, but Molly is obviously distraught over what happened — her behavior culminated in hitting Rhonda. Disappointed and embarrassed by the way that things have turned out between her and Arthur, Molly tells Nicholas that she’s going back to her original plan: focusing on herself and her job, not relationships.

The next day, Molly is in the office early and passionately tells Sofia that she doesn’t just want to create Space for Everyone in California — she wants to expand it to the whole country. But Sofia has a bombshell that will carry us the rest of the season: Molly doesn’t have enough money to do that.

So the question now is ... who does the billionaire Molly Wells turn to when she needs more money? Stay tuned next week to find out!

Notes & Quotes:
  • I, much like Molly, was surprised to see a very fit and shirtless Nat Faxon at the beginning of this episode!
  • “I had a dream where we were in a sleigh, under a blanket, looking up at Santa.”
  • “I was sworn to secrecy! And, as a clinical narcissist, I honestly just forgot.”
  • “If anyone’s gonna be Princess Jasmine, it’s me. I’ve got the hair for it.”
  • Maya Rudolph shoving an entire muffin into her mouth while speaking in an Australian accent was pretty funny.
  • I really do think that if we cut Rhonda and Ainsley or at least limited their time on screen, the show would be tighter overall.
  • “If I can’t check my email in the next 10 minutes, I’m burning this cabin to the ground.”


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