Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Loot 2x10 Recap: “We Shouldn’t Exist” (Ring the Alarm) [Contributor: Jenn]

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

“We Shouldn’t Exist”
Original Airdate: May 29, 2024

A lot happened in the Loot season finale — related to the characters’ professional and romantic lives — which could set the stage for a very interesting season three. Let’s recap what happened, shall we?

“We Shouldn’t Exist” opens with Molly and Grace at a photoshoot for Vanity Fair. As the episode title would suggest, since it mirrors the magazine cover title, the two are promoting giving away all of their money and attempting to prove that billionaires shouldn’t exist. While everyone at the Wells Foundation is excited about how great Molly and Grace look, Sofia (fresh off her breakup with Isaac) has bigger news: Norman Lofton, a reclusive billionaire from Wyoming with ten times more money than Molly, reached out about wanting to tour a Space for Everyone building. The group is thrilled about the prospect of someone like him being willing to invest in the Wells Foundation.

After a literal bumpy arrival (since Molly requested Norman fly in on her private jet and it experienced wild turbulence), Molly is determined to make sure everything else goes smoothly so Norman invests in Space for Everyone. She has a celebrity chef make Norman’s favorite burger. She enlists a children’s choir to sing his favorite song. She’s decidedly pulling out all of the stops for the admittedly down-to-earth billionaire.

As she’s preparing for Norman’s arrival, Arthur approaches Molly about their almost-kiss the episode prior. At first, it seems like the conversation might be headed toward positivity — but then Arthur quickly squashes the notion by apologizing. Molly, taken aback, listens as he explains that he made a mistake, wasn’t thinking, and wants to make sure they’re okay with one another now. Oh, Arthur. As much as I’d love to believe that he can read Molly’s mind, he obviously can’t, and has to take her word as it is. So she agrees that them kissing would have been a mistake and awkwardly exits the conversation.

Elsewhere, Sofia and Ainsley have a conversation where Ainsley talks about how much she admires Sofia — she admires her work ethic and selflessness. While Sofia initially basks in the compliment, Ainsley continues to detail the truth: Sofia puts everything before herself. She puts work before her personal life, happiness, and well-being. She spends all day helping everyone else around her succeed and find joy, and then she goes home alone. Sofia, of course, begins to spiral when she realizes that Ainsley might be onto something — and not a good something either.

Howard and Nicholas, meanwhile, continue to bond when the latter gets a voicemail from a Korean woman. As Howard translates the voicemail, the two suspect that the older woman could be Nicholas’ birth mother as she mentions looking for him for a while. Nicholas is a bit shaken and doesn’t want anything to do with the woman.

When Norman — or Norm, as he instructs everyone to call him — arrives at Space for Everyone, he’s greeted by the whole team and a very startled Sofia. She’s been thinking about what Ainsley said and second-guessing her decision to end her relationship. Molly follows Sofia, and instead of reflecting on her emotions, Sofia tries to convince herself to stop feeling her emotions altogether. She then begins to rationalize why breaking up with Isaac was a good decision. They’re too different! They’ll never work! But then, Molly asks one important question: does Sofia love Isaac? In a beautiful little moment of vulnerability, Sofia nods and says that she thinks she does.

After everything she has gone through in the course of two seasons, Molly has one piece of advice for Sofia: if she loves Isaac, nothing else matters. There will always be obstacles. There will always be sources of conflict. But loving someone means taking that leap, and that’s when the leap is worth it. I loved this moment between Molly and Sofia (Maya and Michaela did a fantastic job with a scene that was both beautiful and profound), and it’s such a testament to how they’ve formed an actual friendship.

Norm is impressed with what Molly and the team have managed to do with Space for Everyone. In a personal conversation, he asks if Molly plans to follow through with everything she promised — giving away all of her money to make the world better. When she affirms that she really does want to walk the walk, he seems impressed. Norm says he always sleeps on any big decision but would be in touch. The Wells Foundation colleagues celebrate a well-earned victory!

Later on, Molly receives an invitation from Norm to chat with him that night. She arrives at a giant mansion and is led into a dark room with a very creepy circle of people all wearing various face masks. Obviously, Molly is confused and mildly afraid at what’s happening until the leader explains — she must stop all of her activities that are threatening their way of life, or else she’ll face dire consequences. In a hilariously subtle move that people definitely don’t do in horror movies, Molly finds the light switch and turns it on.

Of course, Norm is the leader and informs her why he summoned her. The room is filled with billionaires who, like Norm, are mad that Molly is giving interviews about how billionaires shouldn’t exist. He claims that she’s upsetting the natural order of things and that no one in the room sees a problem with how much money they all have. When Molly talks about how she and Grace will help change things, Grace reveals that she’s part of the circle too. She loves money too much and never wants to feel small or powerless again. From her perspective, everything the billionaires are saying makes sense. 

It’s such a gut punch to Molly who not only trusted Grace, but also believed that the world could be better than it is. She, personally, has changed so much since the show began. Her eyes have been opened to the world around her and how her money can be used to do good, not hoard and spend on extravagance. It’s heartbreaking to see Molly defeated by the knowledge that now she’s truly alone in this cause.

Elsewhere, after Nicholas gets drunk, he tells Howard that they should call back the woman from Korea who left the voicemail on his phone. So they get very, very drunk and do just that. When she finally returns the phone call, Nicholas’ expectations immediately are crushed — she’s a casting director, offering him a role in a show that’s shooting in Korea. I truly love how subtle Joel Kim Booster is with his acting in this moment. It’s evident how utterly heartbroken he is at the knowledge that the person has no relation or connection to him. No matter how much he tries to bury his feelings, he really is struggling with not knowing anything about his birth parents. All he wants is to find connection.

Sofia decides to follow her heart by showing up at Isaac’s show in New Orleans where the two rekindle their romance. I love their relationship so I’m excited to see what this could continue to become in another season. When she sends Molly a text about leaping with no regrets, Molly seizes the chance to follow her own heart too.

Molly shows up at Arthur’s house and tells him that even though there will always be obstacles in their way, they both clearly feel something for one another. And when that happens, it’s so rare and beautiful that they owe it to each other to see where it goes. Instead of backing off, Molly tells him that she is doubling down and initiates a kiss with him. Arthur, of course, kisses her back and then they’re kissing in the doorway of his house... just as Willa turns on the light in the hallway and Molly realizes she’s there.

The final scene of the season finale is Molly practically running onto her private jet with Nicholas to escape everything that has just happened.

Here’s the thing about Molly: I don’t see the end of this episode as a character regression at all. I see it as a big response to a lot of things that have just happened in her life. She’s talked all season about wanting to make good on her promise of giving away all of her money, and she had the door slammed in her face by other billionaires. She was betrayed by Grace, someone she cared deeply about, and Norm too. She went through hell with John and finally freed herself from him in the previous episode. She’s been in love with Arthur and has just had her heart crushed. But worst of all, I think, is the realization on Molly’s face when Willa appears in the doorway. She’s been cheated on and it was the worst feeling for her to find out. And now, she’s kissing someone else’s boyfriend; she is now the other woman. So Molly decides to flee — in fear, in anger, in embarrassment, in exhaustion, in sadness.

(Sidenote: Joel Kim Booster does a really great subtle job of letting his typical fun-loving Nicholas façade fade ever-so-slightly as he’s watching Molly with clear concern over whatever is upsetting her that she won’t tell him yet — and a little moment of disbelief that she’s not telling him too. That small, specific choice for Joel to almost wryly chuckle at the notion that he is left out of the loop was a great one. A moment later, he switches back into planning mode, but it’s such a great moment.)

Maya Rudolph makes such a fantastically subtle choice where she angrily hops into her seat and shimmies around like a child trying to get comfortable. The biggest red flag that she’s hurt and this isn’t a regression is that she tells Nicholas: “I give up.” Molly is tired — tired of fighting, tired of getting hurt, tired of taking three steps forward only to be lurched backward. So she gives up and returns to the one standby: escape her problems by literally escaping them using her opulent privilege.

And what happens next — or where she goes — is anyone’s guess.

What did you all think of this season of Loot? Sound off in the comments below!

Notes & Quotes:

  • Honestly, closing out this season with Beyoncé’s “Ring the Alarm” was just an incredible way to end season 2 of the show. Also, continued kudos to the show’s music supervisor because the song selection the whole season was epic.
  • “Why do we celebrate being down-to-earth? I’m on earth right now, and looking around the room, everyone sucks. Bring me to the skies, baby!”
  • The entire cast doesn’t get the chance to do many comedic things together but the scene where they’re all reacting to the private jet is one of the funniest moments of the whole episode.


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