Episode 7 of The Consultant opens at a Christmas party in a bar a few years ago. It was the first time Craig and Elaine met. They instantly connect and they do have a history between them.
Regus holds a marketing meeting to boost the popularity of the game. He gives a clock with a minute’s timer and asks them for ideas. Elaine is there too and her nonchalant idea to break out an elephant from the zoo is the most liked by Regus. Wait, are we seeing an elephant break out into the city in this episode?
Craig wakes up to a message from Patti asking about Pomona. He is perturbed to say the least. He walks to the office barefoot and straightaway heads to his desk. Regus watches him from upstairs. He calls Elaine to his office and expresses his wish to pursue her idea. Regus tries to convince her and even suggests that Elaine might have the opportunity to take over some day when he isn’t around. That is enough to push Elaine to pursue the idea with seriousness. She discusses it with Craig who writes it off, intensifying her will to complete the task.
Patti calls Craig and he tries to assuage her anger. But it is actually Regus on the other end of the line and Craig doesn’t know it. What did Regus do with Patti? Is she dead? Elaine calls Patrice, an old boyfriend, to do her the favor. She explains that an old circus is running in town. They have a 35 year old elephant, Jumbo, who can be released into the city by diverting the path of her trailer. Elaine asks for a budget and confirms that she called Patrice, the man from the date, to make this possible. Craig is called by Dr Grant asking Patti’s whereabouts. He lies that she has the flu as he got a call from her phone in the morning. Regus replies from her phone to Craig’s messages.
He confesses about lying to pattie to Amy, his coworker while smoking pot in her car. Patrice is emotionally manipulated by Elaine into doing it but he asks for more money. Regus asks Elaine to negotiate with Patrice and keep the budget intact. She also sees Craig and Amy together, adding to her woes. Elaine successfully convinces Patrice to do the job for her. Things are getting a little tense between Craig and Elaine as the former is completely unhinged. He is falling back into his old habits and insults Elaine for her association with Patrice. Regus surprises Elaine by only giving her half the money.
He says based on Patrice’s previous history, he cannot be trusted with the full amount. He will only get the other half after the elephant is in position. Instead, Regus suggests Elaine use “her history” with Patrice to “compensate” him. Elaine feels insulted but Regus has left her with no option. What will she do next?
Elaine seems like she has accepted Patoff’s idea. A high Amy mentions Patoff going to his home after work and Craig wonders where he lives. He asks if amy would drive to a place in the hills Regus regularly commutes to and fro. Craig knows this due to the spyware he installed on Patoff’s phone. Patrice does not take Elaine’s suggestion of half the money after the job well. The location on the map takes Craig and Amy to a hill with a single port-a-potty.
He angrily pushes away the structure and howls with Amy. Patrice threatens to cancel the deal if he doesn’t get the money. Regus watches the two converse from the top. She craftily manages to talk down Patrice, who asks for a drink with her. Regus seems impressed.
A drunk Craig calls Elaine at night. He confesses he feels Patti is never coming back to him. Elaine boasts she can be very persuasive when she wants when Craig asks how she managed to get the elephant. Regus takes half his lunch to the room in the store room and we see Patti there. She is alive and well and is typing away at the typewriter. But there is something creepy and unsettling about her still.
The Episode Review
Patoff’s manipulative streak immaculately works every time. He has special powers that humans do not have. How did he convince Patti to stay in the room and work for him day and night? All we see on the screen are effects and not their causal explanations. This episode felt too focused on the anticipation of an elephant running wild in the city. But we never got to see it.
One can also assume that it was a coming of age moment in Elaine’s life. We thought before that her moral compass was incorrigible; that she would take her ideals and virtues to the top of the ladder. But as evidenced in this episode, she is an animal. Regus found someone like him in Elaine when he did not in Craig. They have arguably taken CompWare from its grave to the sky of success. But at what cost?
Having said all that, we still feel distanced from what lies at the core of The Consultant. I know I have said this in every episode review, but the lack of answers at this point is admonishing. This choice has derailed the show significantly.