On the Amazon Prime Video original series, The Consultant, starring Academy-award Christoph Waltz, a mysterious new consultant steps in at CompWare after the young CEO is shot dead. He shakes up the mobile gaming company, even as two employees try to find out just where the heck he came from and who he really is.
We open the first episode with a beautiful day in Los Angeles. We see the offices of gaming company CompWare, where it’s field trip day for a bunch of students from Glendale Middle School.
Creative Liaison Elaine Hayman arrives to greet the teacher and kids. She’s tasked with bringing them to meet the young CEO Sang Woo.
That is if he wants to see them. To Elaine’s surprise, Sang agrees.
She leaves them with him, while she talks with Craig, a coder who’d like to pitch an idea to their CEO.
The Consultant season 1 episode 1 recap: Game over, Sang Woo
A few minutes later, they hear five shots ring out. Elaine and Craig rush in.
One of the kids, with “Tokyo” on his sticker patch has a gun in his hand, having shot Sang Woo dead in his seat. The other kids are on the floor trembling in fear.
What an opening. It’s 2AM a few days later and Craig is at home unable to sleep.
He first plays a shooting game, then goes for a run. When he arrives at the CompWare offices, graffiti has been painted on the walls and on the entrance doors.
When he goes in, the mess of the shooting day is still there. He finds Elaine taking down surveillance cameras from the smoke detectors.
Apparently young CEO Sang has been paranoid ever since a lawsuit and decided to keep an eye on everyone. As they smoke weed and debate over the kid who shot Sang saying the devil made him do it, they hear the front doors clang open.
The Consultant season 1 episode 1 recap: Enter Regus Patoff
In the lobby they find an elder, silver-haired gentleman in a suit with a briefcase. This is Regus Patoff, or so he calls himself.
Regus wants to go to the second floor, but he asks for assistance from Craig. He claims he’s not very good with stairs.
When he occupies Sang’s former office, with blood spatter still on the walls, he presents Elaine and Craig with documents declaring him to be in control of management after Sang’s absence. Basically he’s the consultant…on all matters of CompWare business.
The next morning the meeting proceeds as planned, with Patoff announcing he’s in charge and that any remote workers who can’t make it in an hour are terminated. Elaine and Regus talk about the business, but the man gets derailed when he says he smells some weird scent of decaying fruits.
He sniffs Elaine but declares it’s not her. At 10 o’clock Regus goes down to lock the doors.
A disabled employee, someone they call Wheelchair Lois, arrives at the front door just as he locks it. Elaine asks him to let her in, but he declines, saying the wheelchair woman had one hour just like everyone and shouldn’t be given special treatment.
The Consultant season 1 episode 1 recap: Blood spatter cleaning
Elaine is shocked but relents. Later at lunch, Craig reveals that he can’t find anything about Regus online.
According to the internet he doesn’t exist. Back at CompWare, Elaine finds Regus introducing himself to the employees and intensely sniffing them, likely to literally smell out the putrid fruits source he’s been complaining about.
He eventually identifies it as coming from an employee named Iain. Elaine sneaks into his office, breaks into his briefcase, and takes a look at the contract.
The date says March 24, 2022. She also finds a business card for Viktor Kulzer and pockets it.
Regus almost catches her, but Elaine pretends she’s been cleaning off the blood spatter from the glass wall. Apparently, their cleaning service isn’t authorized to wash off blood.
Elaine brings up a bucket of water and a sponge. She finds out that Iain is getting fired for his smell.
She talks to Regus about it as she’s cleaning the blood spatter and he says he’ll leave it to her to solve it.
The Consultant season 1 episode 1 recap: Exorcising the putrid scent
If Regus smells Iain again, they will both be fired. Elaine leaves the bucket of water and the sponge in an empty office for Iain so he can strip down to wash himself.
Iain weeps as he sponges himself. On the crate with his things is a brand logo for Sparkles Soap.
We zoom in to the words REG. US. PAT. OFF. Elaine acquires the surveillance footage of the day Regus got in to see Sang and leaves it with Craig to sort out.
Elaine Google searches Viktor and finds out he was a CEO of Hilltech Industries in Russia who made artificial limbs and died by decapitation. Craig finally finds the time he’s looking for on the tape.
Elaine and him watch in horror as, after Sang signs a contract with Regus, he willingly gets down on his knees and performs fellatio the silver haired guy.
The Consultant season 1 episode 1 recap: Review
There are some pretty weird twists here that seem to really just be for superfluous dramatic effect. I mean couldn’t Iain, the “putrid fruits” smelling guy, take a shower in the men’s room?
I am sure every tech or even Silicon Valley adjacent company, has a full set of toilet amenities for those all-nighters they like to pull. Add to that, the total black comedy cruelty and meanness of locking out the Wheelchair Lois just at the brink of the deadline.
And yet such decisions probably owing to fuzzy logic aside, they all prove their point very well. Two things I enjoyed the most out of this debut episode are the allusion to how easy it is to let evil in, especially in the profit and addiction centered industry that is gaming.
Sang is literally wooed by the devil dressed in a nondescript suit. The helpful employees literally help Regus up their own steps of cosmetic, if armor-hard glass, to aide in their own demise and culling.
Waltz is delicious as Regus Patoff. Those Academy Awards sure do become their weight in gold.
I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for amateur sleuths Elaine and Craig, as they try to figure out just who the heck their hapless and very dead CEO left the reins of their company with.
You can stream the first season of The Consultant on Amazon Prime Video.