Mulligan – Season 1 Episode 9 “Not My President” Recap and Review

Not My President

LaMarr reveals that President Brad Chadman – the incumbent before Matty – might be behind the door. That space is a saferoom of sorts built by Jimmy Carter after he watched Close Encounters. Chadman might still be alive with members of his cabinet behind that door. Mulligan has a choice to make – if he opens the door, he will no longer be the President but he will be doing the “right thing.” If he doesn’t, he can still be President but he would have lost America the opportunity to rise again. Turns out that Chadman was not well-liked. He lost the popular vote (Donald Trump much?) and is an incapable leader.

Matty still goes ahead with it. Chadman is alive, chasing the group with an axe. He has long hair and a long beard but he is the only one there. It is insinuated he went mad after the invasion and killed the other members of the cabinet because he thought they were aliens and wanted his “nuclear football.” Zhao proposes to start a new business – the Paywall – where people will come to them for exclusive content. LaMarr changes his colours and sides with Chadman to be his VP now. Both Simon and Braun appreciate Matty’s selfless decision, and so does Lucy, who has an epiphany.

Chadman does not seem right in the head as he continually inspects Matty’s body. He thinks they are all aliens wearing human skins. Zhaio’s plan does not seem to be working at the moment. He needs something explosive to catch the attention of the people. The mood and energy at the WH are up as people see hope in the new POTUS. Although no one else knows that Chadman is back, LaMarr leaks the info to Vance Barry in order to get the people on their feet and working.

Lucy is worried she will not be First Lady anymore. But there is bigger fish to fry as Matty mentions Chadman’s off-screw behaviour. Braun and Simon think it is because he wants his presidency back. But he might have a point. Barry takes a photo but there is no use as they cannot develop them. TOD has more visions about how he was made. He sees other robots like him in a sudden flashback. Chadman’s paranoia is revealed to all when he punches Braun and even tries to insinuate that everyone is an alien wearing human skin.

They chain him up and now decide they want to send him back to the bunker. But Vance knows and LaMarr unsuccessfully tries to kill him. Matty comes up with a wicked plan to ensure that Chadman walks voluntarily into the saferoom and no one is hurt. Axtarax pretends to be the alpha alien, who concedes that Chadman saw right through their plan. Others wear Axatrax’s exoskeletons from the time he was moulting.

TOD cuts off Axatrax’s arms and frees Chadman, as the former President thinks the robot is the only real human there. He takes Chadman to another building with “more humans like them.” Braun, Matty, Lucy, and Simon change appearances and act as the Resistance to convince Chadman that his theory was real. They say Chadman must be preserved at all costs and be kept safe in a place with food and electricity. Chadman points to the saferoom and he walks in voluntarily.

The plan is successful and Braun’s brains also ensure that they now have the nukes case with them. LaMarr came up with a brilliantly devious plan to install another truth-sayer who shouts that Chadman is alive. In an ironic moment, that truth-sayer turns out to be a photographer and has been secretly developing photos. He hears Zhao’s frustrations with not being able to develop them and shows them his workshop. In a photo, Zhao sees Lucy kissing Jeremy and it is game on.

The Episode Review

Surprising creative nuance continues in Mulligan’s episode 9. This was a great chance for Matty to show his leadership skills and redeem himself to some extent. The team effort ensured that Chadman went back into the hole he came from and saved America from decimation. That has happened quite often in the series, as opposed to the rebuilding efforts that we were earlier promised.

Fate favoured Zhao, as his immense will to get back to the top saw him land the explosive Jeremy-Lucy photo. It will be interesting to see how Matty reacts to it and how the creators handle that moment. Given the tone of storytelling and how such pivotal moments are let go, the possibility to experience something profound remains low. However, Mulligan has shown potential in the last two episodes and might be heading for a strong finish.

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