I Have a Rotting Finger
Episode 1 of Made for Love Season 2 begins with Hazel daydreaming about Herb forgiving her for kidnapping him and putting him in the Hub for cancer treatments. She imagines killing her husband, Byron, with a golf club.
But when Hazel is jolted back to reality, Byron stands next to her. He introduces her to Dr. Hau, who will treat Herb’s cancer without his knowledge.
Every morning, Herb will take his pills, which they have swapped out with a sedative. When he passes out, they will take him to the medical center. They will then reset his clocks back to the time it was whenever he passed out.
Hazel tells Byron she’s only staying in the Hub for as long as it takes for her dad to get better. Bryon says this gives him 12 weeks to try and fix their relationship.
The FBI apparently won’t be complacent during that time. They hold a meeting about people who have gone to work for the Hub and died mysterious deaths. They believe these people are still alive and working in the Hub.
Part of the meeting is Jay, Hazel’s former coworker at the bowling alley. The FBI clears him for an undercover interview at the Hub under the name Jasper. If he can get a job there, they think they can pin Byron Gogol with multiple crimes. They also think Hazel could potentially fall for him and confide in him.
At the Hub, Hazel and Byron get their chips taken out of their heads. Hazel eats the chips afterwards, worried that Byron has plans for them.
She doesn’t want a sensory chip put into her finger, but it’s the only way to get around the Hub. As a workaround, Bryon gifts her with Herringbone’s severed middle finger, which he claims was a parting gift after he fired him. He’s, of course, lying. Last season, he trapped Herringbone in the pasture cube with Fiffany.
After Hazel leaves, Dr. Hau asks Byron how he knew Hazel would destroy the chips. He had planned for it, and managed to save the chips’ data to the Cloud via a transfer plate, right before Hazel consumed them.
Meanwhile, Herb goes about his life. But there are things he finds odd. In his drawer, he finds an old watch that doesn’t match his digital clocks. When he calls his mechanic, Bennett answers the phone. Pretending to be a secretary, he tells Herb they can’t squeeze him in right now to fix his truck. Herb is especially confused by the toilet, which suddenly flushes without issue.
Jay passes his first interview in order to become a Hub employee, but he is told his former identity must cease to exist. He’ll be declared dead if he signs on.
Hazel explores the Hub while her dad sleeps. People won’t talk to her until Byron gives them permission.
Byron wants to show her something. He has her enter a pod that leads her to his childhood roof, where he used to hide. He says the Hub has cameras in every location except there. It’s his sanctuary that only he knows about. He wants to give it to her, and promises he’ll never intrude.
The episode ends with a surreal scene set in The Cloud, where digital versions of Byron and Hazel greet each other.
The Episode Review
Made for Love is back for another darkly comedic season. Season 1 subverted expectations for an escape story, focusing less on a life-threatening chase and more on the twisted relationship dynamic between Hazel and Byron. Going into season 2, we see that same interesting dynamic, if it is a little less fresh and fun.
The plot twists in Made for Love may be corny, but the show is more than aware of its overt theatrics, and pokes fun at its own uses of cliché tropes. It’s with a wink to the viewer that the nameless FBI agents push a dangerous assignment on Jay–with no plan of extraction–and Jay finally responds, “F*ck it. I’ve done worse. Let’s do it.” It’s like we’re in on a joke with the creators who are saying, “This isn’t real. We can do whatever we want!” If overdone, this may eventually come across as cringeworthy and lazy. For now, it serves up a few laughs and some light fun.
The season 2 premiere had a slow start (could have done without the dream sequence). But it managed to keep up an overall sense of fun and intrigue. I’m looking forward to seeing whatever zany plans Byron has up his sleeve–and concerned that Hazel doesn’t seem worried enough about her husband’s intentions.