Tuesday, May 2, 2017
MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: The LA Complex 1.06: "Burn it Down"
“I will take your lives if you take advantage of this man. And I will get away with it.” -Raquel And so we have (finally!) reached the finale of the first season of “The LA Complex.” This was a great lesson to me in why I should always finish out my summer recaps in the summer! Last summer, the show was available on Netflix, and recaps were easy. When I tackled episode 5 in February, it was no longer on Netflix, so I bought the episode on Amazon. Now, it’s no longer on Amazon either (although I still have access to the episode I bought), and I had to resurrect my ancient iTunes account and buy it there. The things I do for you, dear readers (if any of you actually exist)! Anyway, this episode saw most of our characters in a pretty bad place, as the machine that is Hollywood is grinding them up and spitting them out. As a former cog in a one industry town (Washington, DC), I can understand the frustration. When almost everyone in a city is incredibly ambitious and wants exactly what you want, it creates one heck of a pressure cooker. I endured it for about a year before decamping to the friendlier climes of a lower level of government 30 miles away. And with all that being said, let’s break down where each of our characters find themselves by the end of the episode. None of them manage to escape without at least some sort of crisis of conscience. After the bar fight he instigated in the last episode, Connor wakes up in the hospital, needing over thirty stitches in his face. His cheek bone is broken too. The doctor thinks, however, that if the sutures are done well, he’ll still look pretty once everything has healed. Deep down, though, this is not what Connor wanted to hear. It goes from bad to worse (from Connor’s perspective) when the producer of his show stops by the hospital to say that the bar fight has generated a ton of publicity for the show, so Connor is definitely not going to be fired. They have a plan for how they are going to write in his injury, and the public is eagerly waiting to see what they do. When Connor finally gets to go home, he sees that the show’s production team has sent him a show poster with his face on it. He turns on the stove and uses the gas burner to burn the poster. And he also lets the fire spread to his kitchen cabinets, and presumably the rest of the house too. Connor does not really want this life anymore, and he’s acting out in every way he can to show it. Raquel, meanwhile, is dismayed to learn that the writers she has been working with (and scamming Gary the dentist for) just took a meeting with Ellen Paige. Raquel’s exclusive on their film is in jeopardy. The writers want $100,000 ASAP to show that Raquel is serious about making this movie. She manages to convince Gary to cut the check, but then she feels horribly guilty about it. I think there is a part of her that does love (or at least have some genuine feelings for) Gary, but because their relationship started on a pretense, Raquel still feels terrible. She goes to give the check to the writers, warning them to spend every sent on the movie and not to take advantage of Gary, but by the end of the episode, we see she has a change of heart. She takes the check back to Gary, who admits he knows their relationship started because Raquel needed money, but he’s okay with that. Raquel isn’t okay with it, though, so she rips up the check and walks away. Back at the Luxe, we see she is in possession of a positive pregnancy test. While it could be Connor or Gary’s, presumably it’s Connor’s, which means she’s in for a heaping additional helping of trouble. Tariq is still very upset at how Kal treated Abby when she was laying down the backing vocals for Hard Times, so he is refusing to come into work. Dynasty, understandably, is not happy about this at all. Eventually, Kal shows up at the Luxe, and he apologizes to Abby (with a very scared Nick trying to run interference between them). Tariq sees the apology and invites Kal up to his room to talk more. The talking leads to sex, naturally (Rilo Kiley taught us that), and afterwards, Kal and Tariq talk about how uncomfortable Kal is with their situation. Tariq ends up going back to work, and he’s clearly in his element putting the final touches on Hard Times. The good times can’t last for long, though. Some of the other guys catch Tariq and Kal kissing, and Kal feels like he needs to save face. By beating the crap out of Tariq. Nick, being the complete idiot that he is, decides to tell Abby that he slept with Sabrina on the same day he slept with her. And he tells her this right before dropping her off at an audition. Of course, Abby has a complete melt-down at her audition, telling the suits what happened with Nick and whining about how she’s already read for this part eight times, so she shouldn’t have to do it again, especially on a day when she’s not going to be at her best. Abby leaves the audition room crushed, and when we next see her, she’s on standby for a flight back to Canada. While she’s waiting to talk to the gate agent, though, she gets a call from the producer of the show she was auditioning for. As long as she can keep her crazy in check, she’s got the job. Nick and Abby end up making out on a rooftop by the end of the episode. Before he gets to that point, though, Nick’s got some more struggles. He uses some of the “keeping it casual” banter that he and Sabrina worked on the day before in his act at a showcase, and Sabrina tells him that was actually material she’s been using in her act for years. She had been trying to impress him, and now he’s ruined her career since she can’t use that material anymore. And finally, we come to the cautionary tale that is Alicia. She stayed out very late partying after her porn debut, and she’s pretty happy about it when she gets home. She’s happy, that is, until she gets a call that she’s about to miss her call time for a dance audition one of the bigwigs at the party booked for her. She tries her darndest to get to the audition, but by the time she gets there, everyone has left. She goes back to the bigwig to beg for another chance, and in not so many words, he offers to give her that second chance if she sleeps with him. Alicia’s first reaction is to slap him, but when she doesn’t leave right away, he gives her a lecture about how she can either be desperate or proud, not both. At first, she takes the proud route, slapping him again and starting to leave. Half way down the hall, though, she changes her mind, returns, and starts making out with him. When she gets home, feeling terrible about herself, Alicia gets a call she didn’t expect. She booked the Usher tour after all. Remember, the thought that she lost the tour is what started her down the porn/casting couch path in the first place. Whether or not she takes the job remains to be seen. Like I said, in this episode, Los Angeles was grinding up our characters and spitting them out.