Episode 5 of The Premise dives into a philosophical fable between the power of redemption and the drive for revenge. And the title of this episode? Butt Plug. Right, let’s dive in.
The main crux of drama here stems from a montage. Within these flashbacks, a whole group of kids begin bullying a poor immigrant boy called Daniel, sporting worn-out shoes and forced to go through hell. The ringleader through all of this is a kid called Eli Spector.
Years later, the tables turn and fate has a funny way of twisting. Eli is down on his luck, getting nowhere with a start-up and struggling to provide for his kids. Daniel Jung meanwhile, is now one of the world’s richest men.
Sensing an opportunity to make amends (and sponge off Daniel’s ricches) Eli meets him in a swanky restaurant to apologize. Our ex-bully wants to get involved with Blockchain and needs Daniel’s help to make the righ moves. Daniel waves it away, claiming he needs to zig where everyone else zags. In other words, don’t follow what the cool kids are doing.
Daniel instead gleefully suggests that he develop a revolutionary butt plug. There’s no contract or promise that this will work but he will grant him a meeting with the board of investors at his company in a year’s time. Only, that would mean he needs to quit his job and develop it.
The thing is, it’s difficult to know whether Daniel is just messing with him or whether he’s being genuine. Either way, Eli takes a leap of faith and starts to develop this product.
A year passes and Eli shows up at Daniel’s office. Daniel immediately greets him, throwing some cryptic chatter his way and hoping he has more to share than a butt plug. It’s all designed to throw Eli off his game but it doesn’t deter him in the slightest. He manages to deliver an excellent presentation, much to Daniel’s dismay.
Eli absolutely kills it and by the end, he turns it around to Daniel and uses his own words to talk about mercy. It’s enough to win the board over… except for Daniel. He tells Eli, in no uncertain terms, to shove his idea up his ass. Eli leaves, head held high, and thanks Daniel for the opportunity all the same. Eli is convinced that he has a big revolutionary product and intends to prove Daniel wrong.
As we pan back to Daniel one more time, he puts Eli’s butt plug product inside a trophy case, which is full of butt plugs; his own personal revenge stash.
Despite his initial concerns, it seems like he’s systematically gone after all these different bullies and put them through their paces. The idea of mercy VS revenge is ultimately the main drive of this episode and in the end, revenge is the stronger emotion. Daniel has built his whole empire on the ability to prove others wrong, using his past scars as a trophy of sorts, making sure that he’s never bullied again. In the end, Eli manages to become a better person through developing this product, rekindling those passionate fires that he seemed to lose.
His utterance of “thank you” just before leaving reinforces this. Although Daniel is determined to make these bullies pay for what they did to him in the past, Eli’s mercy and ability to look past Daniel’s very-obvious set-up leaves an interesting debate to ponder over whether mercy or revenge is the biggest drive to succeed. In the end, that is left up to us, as an audience, to decide.
The Episode Review
Despite a really solid presentation and a pretty convincing argument, Daniel comes out on top as his drive for revenge overcomes mercy. It’s a clever inclusion, and one that feels quite reminiscent of those pitches from Dragon’s Den that actually go right… until the last second where everything just falls apart.
As far as season finales go, this one’s pretty good and the acting from both Eric Lange and Daniel Dae Kim is enough to elevate this chapter. However, the shooting during episode 2 is by far the highlight of this whole anthology.
This weird blend of different ideas has been a bit hit or miss at times in The Premise but it’s undoubtedly one of the more unusual projects to hit our screens in 2021. Whether we’ll get a second season off the back of this is anyone’s guess but there’s certainly enough to like here!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|
8 thoughts on “The Premise Season 1 Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained”
Surely it’s a plot hole if Daniel has been making a whole list of guys, some of whom must be still in touch with Eli, design butt plugs for him that he eventually says he won’t use.
Daniel even had scouted out the individual board members and the entire Butt Plug market, surely he came across the story of the investor commissioning Sex toys but never funding them?
I felt the ending was actually made clear when Eli said he would be Daniel’s greatest regret: Daniel does NOT partner with Eli and it was all an exercise of petty, mean revenge, not mercy. However, Eli answering that, yes, he was genuine and heart-led was true, and shows how Eli beat a rigged game. Eli will become very wealthy and his financial theories (and the rest of the significant thoughts & feelings & shrewd actions he was led to in the process) will likely propel him beyond Daniel in business and more. I concluded that the punchline of Daniel’s cruel joke landed squarely on himself: Indeed, the two are not peers, but it is Eli who is the bigger and better man.
I needed help understanding the depth of the story. That’s why I looked up the recap, which wasn’t nearly as helpful as the comments have been. There were so many “morals” to the story, so many things to interpret, which is what made this episode rich and fascinating. Initially, I didn’t like it that the original bully had his day, and that Daniel was still bitter despite being successful in many ways. Then I look at the reality of how genuinely remorseful Eli was, and how courageous he was to take on the challenge for the right reasons. I’m left with my belief that revenge is seldom satisfying if one must see someone else hurt to satisfy that revenge.
The whole idea surrounding the series is to get you to think, Matt, which is why I think that you don’t get it. Daniel got his revenge and Eli got his product. The board was in on the setup as they’ve probably been called to do this before (hence the other plugs at the end plus their laughter). Being spoon fed is sometimes great for light entertainment but this series is not that.
Great finale! I agree with Mark’s comments for the most part…As for what happened after… I’m not sure it matters really…Regardless of whether Daniel takes the deal or not, it’s pretty clear that he’s not over what happened during his childhood; so it’s a catch 22: if he goes into business with Eli, it might work financially but it also means reopening a wound from the past. On the other hand if he choses not to work with Eli and the butt plug is successful, he will most certainly regret missing the opportunity (he is a sharp businessman after all). Regardless of the outcome, Eli will always be Daniel’s biggest regret. Eli actually got the upper hand in the end: personal growth; a successful project and a clear conscience, knowing that after many years Daniel finally got his shot at him thus allowing him to move on.
At the end of the day, it’s a butt plug. Not sure there’s much to the proprietary analysis that overlooks a large segment of the population that simply does not care for anal “stimulation” … it’s besides the point. Eli’s greatest regret is bullying Daniel. Daniel had an opportunity to be magnanimous and demonstrate true greatness by overcoming the ugliness and darkness of human nature… his whole life spent trying to prove that he’s better than his bullies … but at the end of it all, instead of putting them beneath him, he manages only to lower his own stature… he’s no better than Eli. So, with acknowledgement from both, Daniel’s act of revenge against Eli will be Daniel’s greatest regret.
Hi Matt, I think you didn’t quite get the point of the story. Daniel’s thirst for revenge ultimately overcame with whatever chance of him investing with Eli. More than the Butt Plug, was Eli’s theory of analysis (which was proprietary to Eli) in which he said, he was more than willing to share it with Daniel if he agrees to invest in him. After the pitch, Eli thanked Daniel not only because he was he somehow cleared of his conscience (by letting him get Daniel’s revenge on him), but along the process, he was also able to develop a proprietary financial theory of analysis (in which he applied with the Butt Plug product – DSO I think was the acronym) that may have pushed Daniel’s company to the next level. In the end, you will notice that Daniel had this feeling of uncertainty while he was placing the butt plug on the shelf (along with the other toys, assuming they were all collection from all the “bullies” of his past). He was probably thinking, what if revenge did not get the best of him and instead forgave and just partnered with him. That feeling of uncertainty was actually why Eli said in the end – “Now I’ll be the greatest regret in his life.”…
Matt, contrary to what you said, I actually believe this was a great writing. You just need to put more effort on understanding the story rather than being lazy watching and understanding the show as a viewer. 🙂
Clearly poor writing it directing, as it is still unclear whether Daniel is going to take the product on or not. His board loves it and he delivers his final line as a joke. So what happened? The case could just be showing this was the one that beat him at his own game where the others had failed. I hate lazy writing that leaves the decision up to the audience. Part of your job as a storyteller is to finish the story.