Friday, March 21, 2014

Mind Games - Apophenia

With a reporter gunning for a takedown piece on the brothers' new company and new job involving changing the mind of a Congressman just days before a vote, Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark (Steve Zahn) have their hands full. Things get no easier when the success of bringing out the Congressman's old personality (by recreating the sounds and smells of the time when gun-legislation was all that mattered to him) to pass an important gun bill also renews friction between the politician and the son who hired them which hits all too close for Clark who is determined to set things right and makes an emotional appeal to Ross, Megan (Megalyn Echikunwoke), Sam, Miles (Gregory Marcel), and Latrell (Cedric Sanders) for their help by attempting to use the subconscious to bring father and son back together again.

The "fake case" (which gets the entire office to begin using air-quotes around each other) involves taking on Sam (Jaime Ray Newman) as a client and showcasing, in a more controlled circumstance than that of the Congressman and his son, just how the team uses various techniques to change someone's mind. In this case they try to manipulate a car salesman into giving Sam an unreasonably great deal on a car. When it all blows up in their faces, much to the reporter's glee, the firm is left with a mountain of bad publicity. But you know the old saying - there is no such thing as bad publicity.

By the end of the episode, through their failure and public shaming (while the impossible double-success they pulled off is hidden from the reporter's view), the firm finally has name recognition and a never-ending list of new clients who don't seem to have any problem with hiring con men, ex-felons, and mind-altering crazy doctors, to get what they need. With no mention of possible future bombshells or down-the-line trouble between the brothers, "Apophenia" offers a strong episode showcasing the ideas behind the show and the humanity of Clark's character which will prevent Ross from ever taking them too far.

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