Mulligan – Season 1 Episode 1 “The Great Mulligan” Recap & Review

The Great Mulligan

Mulligan, Netflix’s new animated adult comedy, envisions a new world order after aliens have destroyed most of the planet Earth. Episode 1 introduces us to the hero of the mission to thwart the invasion – Matty Mulligan.

This dumb-wit simpleton throws a grenade through one of the air vents in the mother ship, taking down the entire army. He is accompanied by Miss America pageant participant Lucy Suwan. Senator Cartwright LaMarr is seemingly the only one who survived the destruction of the White House and grabs at the opportunity to install Mulligan as the new president.

LaMarr has a sinister plan to use Mulligan as a puppet ruler and reconstruct America the way he wants it to be. Lucy is an immigrant but for now, becomes Mulligan’s first lady after he proposes to her with the pin of the grenade that destroyed the mother ship.

They take a tour of Washington DC but find most of it completely destroyed. The country is in dire straits but the people see hope in “Matty & Lucy.” A small black kid on a skateboard is seen picking up General Scarpaccio’s uniform from his burnt-out skeleton.

The couple mull over their first plan of action, but due to their intellectual limitations and stunted understanding of how the world actually works, they find doing so troublesome. LaMarr is seen passing legislative orders in Congress without opposition as the room is completely empty.

Lucy suggests they delegate problem-solving to a panel of experts and Mulligan assembles his Cabinet. Dr Farrah Barun is a scientist, who worked at DARPA. King Jeremy is a British national Mulligan found at the British Embassy.

His foreign accent makes him look smart than he is. Professor Simon Priloeau is a Georgetown PhD scholar with a focus on 19th-century fonts. And the last one is Scarppacio. Even though it is visible the small kid is pretending to be the General, no one says anything. Lucy takes up the cause of children, animals, and obesity. She is attached to the animals in the National Zoo, who are being fed an elephant from the place that exploded in the attack.

LaMarr suggests they take out a victory parade or Mulligan. Lucy is surprised to see him get a cold beer, which has come at a cost. Mulligan stole the zoo’s generator and all the elephant food has been spoiled.

As an act of mercy, their caretaker has released all the animals into the streets. They interrupt the parade and Lucy is upset when she learns the truth. LaMarr says they must pivot to contain this PR disaster as Braun suggests they focus on real issues like the availability of potable water.

She goes back to her lab to ensure that this problem is nipped in the bud. We also meet her cyborg soldier, TOD-209, which isn’t perfect yet but that is the best they have got. LaMarr suggests Mulligan and Lucy get married the next day, which she isn’t thrilled about. Axatrax, who was the leader of the aliens, has been captured by the army and placed in a makeshift jail in the Nixon Bowling Alley. Mulligan goes to him asking for advice, but he isn’t interested in listening to Mulligan’s sob story.

He gets an idea to win the people and Lucy back by publicly cutting off Axatrax’s arm. But the move does not work. LaMarr arranges a marriage with Sandra, an NFL cheerleader, but Mulligan does not go through with it. Simon and Braun rue the fact that an incompetent nincompoop is in charge of saving humanity.

Mulligan has hung on to Lucy’s declaration that she “believed in Mulligan.” Axatrax tells him that their planet, Cardi-B, ran out of resources. They wanted to resettle on earth by wiping the population out before Mulligan saved them.

Mulligan wins Lucy back by showing her how he used the skunk beer to save the artefacts from the Museum fire. His cabinet, and the people, decide to give Mulligan a second chance, but LaMarr thinks to himself he might become a problem.

The Episode Review

Hitting the reset button on America is Mulligan’s central premise. The season opener started with some good jokes but the storytelling was a little scattered. There are some likeable characters and iconic arcs but that won’t dictate Mulligan’s success. It will all depend on how Tina Fey and co decide to characterize their cinematic universe.

Bridging the gap between narrative, commentary, and the soul of the show, humour, will make the difference. We saw a variety of humour in this episode which included sarcasm and crude obviousness. It is not the best of combinations but it will be interesting to see how reconstructing the American identity can be light-hearted and reasonably serious.

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Mulligan here!

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