Mulligan – Season 1 Episode 8 “Matty’s Treasure: Book of Seeds” Recap and Review

Matty’s Treasure: Book of Seeds

There is an acute food shortage in America. Dr Braun has located a seed vault in Beltsville, Maryland, that could be a potential game changer. But Jayson – uh, General Scarpaccio – refuses to give Braun the only truck left with gas. This is despite Matty having signed an Order to this effect – with some “tough” convincing from Braun and Simon. The duo get another idea. Lately, Matty has been obsessed with finding the national treasure, like in the Nicolas Cage movie. They decide to use this to their advantage and convince Matty to follow “clues” in order to locate the treasure.

Simon is purported to be from a lineage of “treasure protectors” and they cleverly manipulate Matty to get what they want. And save the country. Lucy is mad at Matty for having left the WH without informing anyone. She wants to organize a campaign to support the youth and give them good role models to follow. LaMarr suddenly realizes that in Matty’s absence, he is in charge. He is excited at the possibility. The first “clue” is in the Declaration of Independence.

Zhao and Vance Barru are bored, seeking explosive news pieces. Jeremy is wary of their thirst and resists any temptations of seeking a story about “an affair in the WH.” The next “clue” is Stephen Hopkins, which leads Matty, with some help from Braun and Simon, to Rhode Island Avenue in DC.  While scraping the gum from below the President’s table, LaMarr finds the President’s Book of Secrets. Is there a real treasure somewhere in DC?

Turns out that the book doesn’t have directions to one. Just gossip and trivia about the WH and Senate. LaMarr learns that his compatriots secretly despised him for his methods, even though he was fit to be POTUS. Lucy’s teenage initiative is going horribly until Jeremy walks in. She blushes when he does, indicating that they are indeed having an affair. Jeremy helps steady the ship and helps with the tour. The teens immediately sense their sexual tension and decide they are sleeping together.

The treasure hunt is going well as Matty once again opens up about why he doesn’t have friends. He alludes to a baseball game from his past that they lost because of him. He wasn’t allowed to call the shots back then, but now he is “leading his team straight to the treasure.” When he reaches the centre, he recognizes the word “Beltsville” and confronts the duo. LaMarr takes the teens to make fun of Axatrax to make himself seem cool. But the move turns on him as the teens think LaMarr’s insecurities force him to “body shame” Axatrax.

Lucy breaks up with Jeremy, saying she cannot abandon her duty to make America a better place. Axatrax consoles LaMarr over his presidential disappointments. Scarpaccio tells LaMarr about Maryland and he immediately connects the dots to learn where Matty is currently. When Matty calls the duo “bad teammates,” Braun flips out and Simon joins her. They accuse Matty of being selfish and not caring about the greater good. He is the bad teammate who spoils his team’s chances by only caring about himself.

Jeremy has sour grapes and outs Lucy and Matty’s troubled relationship with Zhao. Matty throws his Ben Franklin glasses in anger and they slip under the wall, revealing a secret door. They climb down the stairs and reach a vault that is meant for the POTUS to open. Before they can do it, LaMarr sneaks up from behind and tries to explain the situation.

The Episode Review

Well, there can finally be some reprieve for Mulligan. Episode 8 is arguably the most original and compelling of the lot. Tina Fey, Rober Carlock, and Sam Means finally found some of their 30 Rock magic to strike a fine balance of storytelling and drama. It is also the first part where the potential to carry over the storyline is a possibility. The cold opens have nicely led to the central storylines in the last few episodes, and this episode was no different.

Matty’s rugged past has been unimaginatively brought to life by the creators, who have not stopped short of using stereotypes. But LaMarr’s arch has been quite wonderful. He is the sort of character who would make for a committed President but ultimately fell short due to his personality.

It will be interesting to see what is behind the vault. Mulligan might have some life after all but to be safe, we must expect the “expected,” if you know what I mean.

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