Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mind Games - Asymmetric Dominance

Hired by a lifetime executive about to be overlooked for the job as the company's new CEO (Becky Ann Baker), Ross (Christian Slater) and Clark (Steve Zahn) are hired to make sure that doesn't happen. Using Asymmetric Dominance (which gives the series' second episode its name), the group adds a third candidate to the final pool in an attempt to make their client stand out from the pack as the obvious choice. Clark's public display almost looses the firm the account they desperately need to stay afloat, but that's nowhere near the problem they run into when their decoy refuses to play the game.

Needing to boost the confidence of their mark to make the team's play work, Ross brings in his old con artist friend (Jaime Ray Newman), after using her to try and frighten Beth (Katherine Cunningham) into dumping Clark for a legal settlement, to push the overlooked middle-aged middle-management. Although the scenario doesn't go exactly as planned (their patsy is fired and their client turns in her resignation rather than take the CEO position which is offered) the team earn their paycheck and keep the creditors away for another day.

The introduction of Newman, who I like, means Megalyn Echikunwoke's role in the second episode is paired down (not necessarily a good thing if it continues going forward). Claire's discovery of Ross' true relationship with Beth is rather clunkily handled (and seemingly tacked on at the last minute), but does offer the groundwork to possibly write the character out of the show. I could also have done without Clark's freak-out at the party, as the show needs to watch how often such events occur (we've already gotten a handful in just two weeks).

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