Welcome to the Pentaverate
Episode 1 of The Pentaverate begins with a scene of a helicopter in New York City. Dr. Hobart Clark is taken out of the helicopter and led into a massive building, with no idea where he’s heading.
Guards escort him to a room full of people dressed as knights and monks. At the front are four men. Clark asks if they are going to kill him, but no. According to the rest of the world, he is already dead.
The men introduce themselves as Bruce Baldwin, Shep Gordon, Mishu Ivanov, and Lord Lordington. They then declare themselves to be the Pentaverate.
The show’s introduction states that, in 1347, five men learned that fleas on rats caused the Black Plague. The church called these men heretics, so they formed a secret society to be able to positively influence world events.
In Canada, TV reporter Ken Scarborough is nearly fired by his boss. He’s essentially too nice, and needs to get the show more hard-hitting exposés. If he can do this, his boss will grant him one more chance.
Meanwhile, the Pentaverate explains that they want Dr. Clark to be a part of their organization. His predecessor, Jason Eccleston, died a few days ago. Now they want Clark to help them with the climate crisis. They warn him, however, that the Pentaverate must never be exposed.
Clark tries to leave, but they block his way. They tell him he can’t leave; they faked his death in the real world. The same happened to all of them.
The executive assistant to the Pentaverate then enters, introducing herself as Patty. She tells Clark he’s now part of an organization that will finally allow him to shine.
They then introduce Clark to MENTOR, the greatest supercomputer in the world (because it contains a human soul). It’s explained that the human is a jerk from Boston who accidentally fell into the machine.
Clark tells them they’re crazy, but they insist he must stay for his initiation tomorrow. They proceed to fill the room with gas to put him to sleep.
With the help of news intern Reilly Clayton, Ken tries to sniff out a story at the Canadian Conspiracy Convention.
As one would expect, the convention is full of conspiracy theorists. One man in particular, Anthony Lansdowne, talks about the existence of a secret society called the Pentaverate. When another warns Ken not to inquire into the existence of the society, he and Reilly decide they need to research the Pentaverate further.
They agree to go with Anthony, who claims he can lead them to the Pentaverate’s headquarters in New York City.
Clark later wakes up in a white room to an announcement from Pentaverate TV. The announcer proclaims the arrival of Clark and explains the circumstances of his embarrassing fake death.
Patty then walks into the room. She takes him outside, where he finds that several conspiracy theories are actually correct (i.e. the existence of Sasquatch and a fake moon landing).
He asks why the Pentaverate chose him. Patty says he had the foresight to research the Lagrange Point Lens, which could shield the earth from the sun’s rays. He says this is just theoretical. But Patty claims they’ve already built it. She tells him the future of humanity is at stake, and they need him to help combat global warming. He finally gets a little excited about the prospect–although he still thinks the society is crazy.
During his initiation, The Pentaverate offers Clark a key to join them or a pill to end his life. He chooses to accept a position on the Pentaverate.
The episode ends with Ken, Reilly, and Anthony crossing the border into the United States.
The Episode Review
Mike Myers makes a dissatisfying comeback in Netflix’s comedy miniseries, The Pentaverate, about a Canadian journalist who tries to uncover a secret society of five men that essentially rules the world.
Written by and starring Myers in eight roles, the first episode is basically one big, flat joke (if you can even call it that), all to say, “What if conspiracy theories were real?”
The premise of The Pentaverate certainly has potential, but it was clearly wasted in this premiere. It dumps a truckload of information and backstory without exploring any of its characters–depending rather on overconfidently delivered punchlines and bad-accent jokes to carry the episode.
The one good thing I can say about The Pentaverate so far is that the installments are mercifully short.