Home > Uncategorized > Profit, Episode 3: Sykes

Profit, Episode 3: Sykes

The story of episode 3 is neater and easier to manage than in the previous two.  It cuts out uninteresting subplots and underwhelming plot twists.  But it’s still very dense for a television program.  I tried to make things easier- and more fun- by taking three-or-four minute breaks between the show’s actual breaks.  “Sykes” goes as follows:

Jim comes out of the shower in his fancy suite to find his stepmother Bobbi Stakowski with audio tapes to blackmail him into giving her more money for living.  At the G&G office, Chaz Gracen instructs his subordinates to acquire the business of Ian Karpov.  Jim goes to a fashion show, and gets suave African American gentleman-lawyer Jeffrey Sykes to join his team.  Sykes’s wife is in the show.   He spikes the food with an insect in order to better his own quality-striving public image.  Profit wants Sykes at G&G because- through internet research- he knows that Sykes had a vendetta against Ian Karpov, who is really a Russian mobster responsible for the deaths of many people, including one of Jeffrey’s friends.  Profit meets Karpov at his office and makes a deal to clean Karpov’s unclean records for a share of the company.  Profit now works with a timid, nerdy, fat man named Edgar as an assistant for computer-related work.  At Sykes’s home, he lightly argues with his wife about his revenge plots.

Profit sees Pete Gracen at G&G, and openly lies to him – “Who would be more qualified than you?” – about taking more power in the company.  Bobbi- acting as a designer, though totally unqualified, advises Pete about a new painting- with some help from her smarter son.    We see Sykes planning to make a virus.   Profit confronts Joanne Meltzer, who knows that this designer is his mother.  But Profit makes the convincing excuse the he does not want to break her Alcoholics Anonymous anonymity.  Sykes steals data through a disk in a dark room.  After finding more about this conspiracy, profit meets Ian again, who threatens him by pushing him into glass for being so sneaky.  Sykes saps information Profit (and Edgar) needs, so he has to find another way.  What happens next may be the best scene of the episode- Jim goes to Joanne’s door- which is secured by a chain, and tries to swift-talk his way into getting company data from her, but does not succeed.  Profit meets his sleazy mom again in her suite, but has to go back out when his secretary Gail Cohen gives him a call to action.

Jim Profit, posing with his two greatest co-workers/adversaries

Profit confronts Sykes at another fashion show- and threatens him with a concocted potential drug-bust on his wife.  Sykes is distraught, and gives into the threat, submitting the data and agreeing to resign from G&G.  At Profit’s computer, the funny-looking 3D avatar of Sykes- just like the other vanquished employees- explodes.  Cut to a shocking and intense scene- Jack Meltzer, the “hero” from episode 2 and former VP of Acquisitions, is in prison.  A guard tells him to cut off his hopes of revenge on Profit- because, in a complicated move, Profit has made it so the guards can collect money if they murder Jack when Profit is not alive.  At Sykes’s home, his wife confronts him on putting him in this danger she found out about- despite some calm affection and negotiation, this woman indeed leaves him.   Jim meets Karpov in his lair again, but it is a setup- Ian gets arrested by some high-level police.   Our protagonist is happy- but then Sykes comes back.  I can’t remember exactly what happened, but Sykes either had a backup computer scheme that contributed to the arrest, or simply came back because he has other ambitions for Gracen & Gracen, and to tell his nemesis Karpov to know he got revenge.  Sykes’s avatar reforms.  Chaz reprimands Profit for acquiring Karpov’s assets through a very risky and possibly controversial means.  On his way home, Jim gets nearly hit by a car.  The driver apologizes.  But he says- to the camera- “I’ll be just fine.”  Cue the rockin’ end theme and its credits.

I am surprised at how much Profit improved in one episode.  It’s as if the writers, television directors, and actors just got more comfortable with the characters, setting, and themes.  When Sykes confronts his disappointed wife, the love and fear they both have is real.  The office of Karpov is intimately intense, filled with lies and danger.  The relationship between Profit and his stepmother is increasingly unique.  They are enemies and friends- but accept each other’s personalities and need to exploit each other.  The score is finally a healthy mix between tough-guy 80’s rock and eerie orchestral and electronic tunes.  When Profit tries to convince Joanne for help, you have to root for and feel sorry for him.  Jim and Sykes suspensefully reveal their schemes, and both make bittersweet levels of progress.  Although I despised what Profit did to Jack, his voice-overs about learning from mistakes are more inspiring than ever.  It’s also easier to like our villain protagonist when his opponents are also vengeful liars.  Profit’s audience-intimacy via camera contact and voice-over was corny before, but now it’s genuinely charming, and at the end of the episode, offers closure of today’s plot and curiosity for the next.  What foes will he take on next time?  How evil will they be, or become?  What challenges can Jim profit overcome?  According to the DVD, one is a lie-detector test with Joanne Meltzer.  I think that episode four will be even better.

Notable quotes-

“Oh please, Jim, break down the door.  Give me another excuse to blow your psychopathic head off.” -Joanne, to Profit

“Hiring a human being isn’t much different from acquiring a company.  You mount an approach and appeal to the seller.” – Profit, voice over

Watched: March 3, 2010, in my room in the evening

Overall rating- 5/5

Categories: Uncategorized
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