F*ck the Rich
In episode 9 of This Fool season 1, Julio and Luis discover Payne sleeping in the van. He says he’s been sinking his own money into Hugs Not Thugs, and his ex-wife evicted him.
The organization isn’t getting much money from donors because Payne can’t stand sucking up to rich people. Julio says he’s going to have to learn to.
Luckily, Maggie has contacts who know a couple of billionaires. Richard Rowell inherited his money from his parents. After facing no consequences for seven DUIs, he felt so guilty that he turned himself in to serve a month in prison.
Julio is able to score a visit from Richard and his wife Rhonda to Hugs Not Thugs. He instructs Payne to be nice and welcoming, so that they will want to donate.
Payne is mostly able to hold his tongue throughout their visit. Richard and Rhonda seem to really love the tour, as well. But Payne compromises everything when he yells at them over dinner. Unable to hold it in any longer, he calls them monsters.
He soon calms down and apologizes, begging them not to punish the huggers for his actions. But Richard and Rhonda don’t care. They insist they deserve to be yelled at. Why should anyone have a billion dollars anyway?
They still want to donate. Payne asks for $1 million, but they insist on $15 million. It turns out, however, that they are not offering from the kindness of their hearts. They have a “thing.”
They go on to explain that Rhonda likes to have sex with poor people, and Richard likes to watch. Since they both loved how Payne put them in their place, they choose him.
Julio tells Payne that he doesn’t have to do this; they’ll get the money another way. But Payne always said he’d do anything to keep the non-profit going. Dejected, he walks out of the building to meet them in the van.
The Episode Review
For such a lighthearted series, season one’s penultimate episode is deeply sobering. Michael Imperioli gives his best performance of the series, more than living up to the new layer of complexity this episode adds to Payne in his struggle between devotion and dignity.
“F*ck the Rich” cleverly uses misdirection to imply that Payne’s pride is going to ruin their attempt to keep the nonprofit afloat.
In the end, it’s not his pride that is taken advantage of, but his devotion to Hugs Not Thugs. We get the desired outcome–a huge donation–with a gross and exploitative twist, as well as some cutting criticism of the rich.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|