Home > Uncategorized > Profit, Episode 8: Forgiveness

Profit, Episode 8: Forgiveness

Arthur MacLaine is actually more masculine than this picture makes him look, making him even creepier.

Here is what happens in Episode 8, Forgiveness.  I want to tell all that happens.  You can’t get more concise than this.  Some might say that that with one scene every under-two-minutes the show is too fast paced.  It might be better off being slowed down.  But the biggest advantage is that it makes the show re-watchable.  With subtitles at your side, (if you have the right TV), you can pick up on things you didn’t see or hear before on repeats (or on your DVD).  Being a fan of cartoons, I’d use The Venture Brothers or Fooly Cooly (FLCL) as examples.  But I can do more than get by without a hilarious, bizarre, animated universe.  Regardless, this will give you a sense of how well story is crammed in.

Scene 1: Jim is awake and lively and tells us that that Pete and Chaz Gracen are rich, powerful, and miserable.  Jim’s learned to appreciate what he has.

Looking back, I should have figured out he didn’t want to overthrow the company himself.

Scene 2: Chaz is frustrated with his brother and tells him to set his money on fire, though not literally.  Profit tells us about Arthur MacLaine, who is shown on his way to the town.  Chaz has found out about the takeover, but profit tells his boss to treat Pete like the little brother he is.

Here Profit is again with the warm lessons about life contrasted with cruel actions.

Scene 3: Nora prepares to encounter her uncle Arthur, who is staying at her place, because it has been revealed in episode 7 that he is planning to take over G&G.  Arthur is the CEO of an organic food company.  Arthur molested her when she was twelve years old.  He is a very realistically perverted, half-effeminate, post-middle-aged creep.  Profit’s voice says, “Putting a perpetrator back with his victim is like dropping a baby in a snake pit.  Ouch.”

I thought the “ouch” was kind of silly.  But it’s good Profit fully explains the context that wasn’t outlined too clearly in previous episodes.

The opening theme plays, and presumably a commercial break happens.

Scene 4: The pedophile rapist approaches the door, with his sweater and overbearing smile, and knocks.  The door opens.  He says, “You asked me to escort you- did you?

He is a very well-acted creep.

Scene 5: After sex, Bobbi acts grateful to Charles.  “It’s so good with you it just makes me cry.”  As the bed covers less and less of them, Chaz offers her a big silvery bracelet.  She accepts with modesty.

Money can’t buy love, but it can make you think you have it.

Scene 6: In the street, Nora asks Profit how to deal with her rage against Arthur.  Profit says she may have to suffer for a time before for the business deal.

This contrasts with the real fate on Arthur.  But this lie was needed to motivate what happened.

Scene 7: Chaz discusses shares on the phone in the office.  Pete walks by, but it is not clear this is covering for bigger concerns.

Scene 8: Bobbi’s car is towed, so she asks her stepson for a new one.  She threatens; she could speak negatively about that Jim Profit.

Scene 9: Bobbi, who has been using the fake name “Eleanor”, breaks up with Constance Gracen, in spite of Constance’s feeling “free and honest” now.

Constance must be the least intelligent character.  She is very sweet, though, and has the ability to express herself in a fulfilling way.

Scene 10:  Joanne confronts Sykes about his true motivations.  She has received information from her anonymous female avatar friend.  The Gracens were virtually responsible for his parents’ death when he was only six.  Sykes says he is not out for violent revenge, but rather to make the company better so they don’t do something like that again.

I didn’t figure this one out.  Maybe I would have if there were less scenes.

Scene 11:  Leo, Joanne’s bowtie-clad subordinate, gets asked by her to investigate the messages on her computer.  Leo clearly looks up to her and is in love with her, so he is glad to do the task.

I knew Leo would be relevant when I saw him many episodes ago.

Scene 12: Sykes and Pete scheme some more in an office.  Sykes says they are “playing in front of God and everyone.”

Scene 13: Profit tells his boss that he has put takeover rumors in the newspapers.  Chaz is shocked, but Jim says this is good for business and has figures to prove it.  He can “make the rumors work.”  Arthur waltzes in to a lower floor.  Looking up, he says, smilingly, “I came here to pay respects- wait a minute, I don’t have any respect for you.’’  Equally snide, Chaz plans dinner with him.  “I really need to start carrying a gun” he says to Profit.

Scene 14: Gail, with rapid speech and great enthusiasm, shows a car catalog to Profit (for his stepmom).  Nora calls on the phone.  He gives advice to keep loving Pete.  He is manipulating and giving good advice.

Does Gail have a future in sales?

Scene 15: Leo cracks the stranger woman’s signal and reveals that it is Profit using a face-blurrer and a voice-warper.  Both are elated at the discovery.

I finally predicted something.  Though I wasn’t so sure that would happen.

Scene 16: Around the workplace, Sykes and Joanne reveal to us that Jim Profit is actually an impostor.  His name is really Jimmy/Jim Stakowski.  Joanne wants to stop the menace, and plans to go to Ireland where the real Jim Profit was or is.

The tension is building and there will be a bigger reveal, is what I thought.

Scene 17: Bobbi is with a trashy dude in her new red car, and calls her son on her cell phone.  Profit is worried and tried to demand she stop because he can hear the intoxication in her voice.

I’m surprised that Profit’s biggest enemy in this episode could be an auto accident, not a scheming person.

Scene 18: Nora Gracen cries to herself.

Scene 19: In Chaz’s house, he and Arthur have a quiet dinner at a huge table.  When asked about his odd organic foods, including his favorite strawberries, given by his servant, MacLaine explains he has a strong throat allergy to preservatives.  Profit is nearby and gives a voice over about how being a businessman is like being a choreographer.  Pete comes in and punches his wife’s uncle in the face with little warning.  Chaz keeps his cool before and after Pete admits his planned coup, and resigns.

Pete’s punch was predictable and awesome.  I was glad to see the return of his punch.  Though now it is for good use.  The resolution of this takeover was kind of anticlimactic, but in a good way.  Things were resolved “peacefully.”   The characters developed.  Chaz essentially forgives his brother, in this show based on actions begetting revenge.

Scene 20: Sykes storms in an office in a rage the borders on uncivil.  Pete explains the molestation and his ex-partner-in-crime half-accepts.

Has Pete made a better life for himself?

Scene 21: Bobbi, in a hotel, gets called by Chaz while in a hotel.  She says the noise is “just the television” and Chaz believes her.  She gives a sigh of relief and a phony but effective “I love you.”  The guy on the bed doesn’t really care.

Bobbi’s sexy antics remain amusing because she has so much going on in life.

Scene 22: Charles offers Profit Pete’s job.  But Jim refuses respectfully.

This was the point where I realized the show wasn’t going to end the way I thought it did.  The message may be that victory isn’t gained by aiming for the top, especially if you want to control people.  This is almost like people who purposely “throw” competitions in Big Brother.  Unlike Lelouch in Code Geass, there is not sacrifice.  Unlike Light Yagami in Death Note, the main character sincerely wants to balance power with work and family.

Scene 23: Gail serves Profit with more secretary work.  She is more content now, though.

Feeling good for a woman who breaks laws that protect the economy is strange.

Scene 24: Profit tells us that life is like a team sport, with players.  A hostile takeover is like a floodgate.  The abstract takeover concept takes over the environment even if someone fails to exact one.

I thought a takeover was going to happen, possibly, still.

Scene 25:

Profit arranges a plot involving a girl scout and Arthur’s vacation.

Scene 26:

Jim is anxious at her mother, now speeding and under the influence.  She speaks about enjoying life, oblivious to the crash that comes about after what seems like a whole minute.

This fantastic scene was slightly ruined by the crappy editing.  The car crash is obviously real life sped up.  This was inconsistent with the show.  It reminded me of the low-frame-rate stop-motion used in the first Terminator.

Scene 27: Bobbi survives the crash and is in the hospital.  Son pours water on mom’s face to get her up.  Son threatens mom, who is “a drug-guzzling slut” but can do good things, to marry Chaz or face death by needle poison.

I don’t think she marries him.  That isn’t brought up in the end.  Does Jim recant that plan?

Scene 29:

Profit has arranged with Nora to meet her uncle.  Waiting at his girl scout organization, Profit talks to a 12-year-old who has been set up to possibly meet with Arthur on his yacht cruise, for selling the most cookies.  This clearly affects the abused Nora.  Profit asks her secret, she says “I never take no for an answer.”  He says, “You’ll go far.”  Gail enters disguised as an assertive New Yorker whose intentions get the woman who runs the room to leave.

This scene is oddly inspiring.  Profit says you can fight your enemies and win.

Profit hides when MacLaine enters this room, and the girl scout is also gone.

Scene 30:

Nora confronts her uncle.  He says they had something special, and that she’s still beautiful despite growing older.  She says it was rape; he denies because she didn’t resist him; he gets mad; she lets him hug her.   But in the middle of the hug he chokes on a Profit-rigged strawberry.  Profit convinces her to let him die by not calling the hospital in time.  She forgives him only verbally

Here is another case was cruelty may or may not be justified.  But would Arthur even have survived long enough if she called as soon as possible?  Also, the way the camera is set up, it looked like a stabbing may have happened.  But there is an “oh” moment when you see the strawberries.

Scene 31: Calling from a phone booth in Ireland, Joanne Meltzer gleefully informs Jeffrey Sykes that she has more information about the original, presumably Irish Jim Profit, so they can catch “our Lucifer.”  Sykes is glad.

I guess the show ends with Joanna still searching for answers.  She seems happy.

Scene 32:  The camera slowly enters on a “Gracen family” formal party.  Pete wants to give Profit female company, but one fit woman says they could if they tried.  Bobbi, now walking with a cane, talks sweetly (and means it) to her stepson.  He has everything he could want, she says, including her.  She seems to discourage his risks in life.  She comes on to him.  Jim backs off just a little, but gives in, silently.  Now in a further corner of the big room, they make out as the camera tracks backwards outdoors, and pans back left toward the actual party.

Profit’s voice says, “When the smoke clears, and you get right down to it, only three things matter: Your faith, your fortitude, and your family.  Goodnight.” The credits roll.

Is this how the show ends?  Things are left unresolved?  Damn it!  I want to know what happens, especially to Joanne and Sykes.  But I guess that is a fair way to end a show.  I’ve dealt with the anime series The Big O! and Neon Genesis Evangelion.  In the former, we get vague clues that reveal a huge conspiracy, but the ending is not well explained.  In the latter, we get a dream-like two episodes that make a vaguely concluded existential adventure, and a movie that does not even officially correspond with that ending.    Not all our questions have to be answered.  And the show’s final message is about family and moderation in living, however strange.  The Gracens seem a lot better now.  I’m stunned by how good the character interaction is.  I was shocked by not being shocked.  Any other show would make this disappointing, but the world of Profit is sincere enough that one likes a tame conclusion.

Watched: April 3rd, 2010

Overall Rating: 5/5

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Professor Dunphy
    May 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    I really liked your approach to this show. I never saw it– was suggested to but never did… so maybe I should!

    I really liked your personality within this entire blog… it extends through into the class.

    I am really satisfied with the overall excellence of this blog.

    You’ll get your grade shortly.

    All the best,

    Prof. Dunphy

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