In episode four of The Consultant starring Academy-award winner Christoph Waltz, Regus has revealed that the company only has a runway of a few months before needing to drastically cut costs and the employees get pay cuts. Craig and Elaine scramble to save the company by pitching some quick buck to the new consultant, with wildly differing results.
In a flashback, Regus meets Sang Woo like an old-school door-to-door salesman, dropping in without an appointment and pitching his consultant legacy idea.
He waits for quite a long time but when Regus does get a few minutes with the young CEO he surprises Sang with insider knowledge about CompWare’s finances.
Sang undervalues his product and overpays his staff. This is why he only has four more months of runway for employee salaries. Regus also knows about the suicide attempt a few days ago.
I mean, that’s pretty detailed, so does this evil consultant have satellite surveillance on the young CEO?
The Consultant season 1 episode 4 recap: Mystery crates
Flash forward and Craig is teasing Elaine that she had gone dark on him. She reveals that she had to employ a major overhaul of her accounts security and passwords because she’d discovered the detailed files that Regus has on all of them in the secret room hidden in the server basement.
She’s particularly disturbed that her file even has the gym she hardly goes to. It’s the same day that a huge crate is delivered to the CompWare premises. It’s got Sang’s name on it.
In front of Craig’s computer, he reveals to Elaine that he ran comparisons on one of Regus’s former clients, the artificial limbs company Hilltech Corp. According to the charts, Regus doubled the company’s turnover within six months, up to 50 million.
Strangely enough, the index of amputations in Russia also doubled within that year. Craig adds a before and after of Milani, the Hilltech CEO’s second-in-command, and tells Elaine that after Regus came in she had a new jaw, arm, and leg amputated within a few months.
Elaine finds that Regus doesn’t answer when she knocks so she reconvenes with Craig after noticing the two huge crates at the bottom of the office stairs.
The Consultant season 1 episode 4 recap: Six weeks until we go under
Craig tells her about his futile search for Frank Florez and how Regus made him his bitch after Friday night drinks went sideways. He also hasn’t told Patti about what happened.
Everyone is interrupted by Regus suddenly appearing at the top of the stairs. He shouts out that he’s looking for Denise DeLilo but nobody answers. When Elaine finally gets timer with Regus she catches him scratching off names of employees who have zero output.
Elaine tells him that these are employees that dear departed CEO Sang Woo had continued to pay, mostly to avoid discrimination lawsuits.
Regus pays her no mind and continues to cross out names on his printed-out spreadsheet. I mean, that’s a sure sign of evil right there. But the bottom line is that CompWare has to pinch every penny it can find.
But why? Elaine is concerned now. Because, Regus explains, the company can only afford to bleed so much and an estimated time of death within six weeks to two months max is the prognosis if the financial hemorrhage can’t be plugged.
The Consultant season 1 episode 4 recap: Behold Upskirt Jungle
In the lobby, people are already claiming objects from the CompWare gear and furniture auction. Like an old arcade game and their ping pong table. Oh no, not the company ping pong!
Upon Elaine’s disclosure of their dire straits, Craig talks to one of the senior coders and aims to finish a draft reskin of an old game that’s closest to one of their old pitches called Upskirt Jungle.
When the draft is completed, Craig takes the pitch up to Regus and puts the demo on his phone. There’s some discomfort as Regus chides him for their unnaturally wonky Friday night together. But Craig dismisses everything and soldiers on with the pitch.
Later on a call to Elaine, Craig reveals he also put a stalker program on the phone. Now he can track the consultant and see what he’s doing too. This is also how he got the address and number for Frank Florez.
In the same flashback, Regus continues to pitch his legacy idea and he can see that it’s working on Sang. That, line about what stopped Sang from suicide is a real deal clincher.
Regus makes it clear that he can only start working for Sang after he’s dead, angling the deal like it’s just like any other insurance policy to secure what the young man leaves behind in the industry is nurtured.
This makes Sang sign, though he finds the deal shady since Regus doesn’t have a salary for it or shares to win. Regus reminds him though that he needs to die ASAP if he is to save CompWare. What a young fool is this game creator, but them’s the brakes.
The Consultant season 1 episode 4 recap: The consultant, the CEO, and weathering the storm
Hearing mass with his fiancée, Craig later sees a Gustave Dore painting. It’s that classic one where a man holding up his own severed head is preaching to the masses.
With everyone gone, Regus comes out of his office and starts hauling the two crates up the stairs with a rope. This is intercut with the flashback of Sang helping him down the same flight, since he has trouble with heights and, I guess, glass steps.
As the employees are coming in the next day, Craig catches up to Elaine. She reveals that Florez is a jeweler based in Pomona. When they get in everyone is gathered in the lobby and staring up at what Regus had been up to the previous night.
A life-sized statue of Sang in the style of Michaelangelo’s David stands on the top of the stairs in plain sight for everyone to see. At least it’s Sang’s face on the thing.
Judging from their expressions, people have mixed feelings about this new office décor. Some are weirded out. A few, like Elaine and Craig, seem distraught as if it heralds some doom. Perhaps it does. But mostly folks are surprised and delighted. Especially with this very, ahem, classical depiction of Sang in such naked glory. That’s a bingo.
“Mr. Sang will guide us through the storm” is Regus’s greeting to everyone as he makes his way through the throng of CompWare-rers.
The Consultant season 1 episode 4 recap: Review
This episode only has two things going for it that save it from utter boredom.
First is the flashback explaining how Regus met Sang. The balls on the consultant and his level of psychotic charm getting the young CEO to sign both his legacy policy as well as his death warrant is like some extremely twisted form of dark-side corporate magic.
The second thing I like here is that we see why Craig is one of the senior game designers on CompWare’s payroll. I mean, the guy can think out of the box, what with his idea of reskinning an old game into Upskirt Jungle.
You can bet your bones that the title is never going to ship as is but the recycling of old hits to make them more palatable is the bread and butter of many game companies. Bravo Craig and Raul.
Also, good job to Craig that he twinned stalker ware to his demo of the game upon pitching it to Regus. We can see how it eventually backfired but how could he know the old consultant wasn’t really all that stupid?
Other than that all the setups and senseless uses of flashbacks can’t disguise that this series has shoddy writing. It’s even shoddier editing when the episode ends and you realize essentially nothing of consequence has transpired for the last 40+ minutes!
I’ll likely stop watching by the next ep if it’s as much of a dud as this one. I mean, Mr. Waltz’s stellar acting can only take a crappy story so far. I still love him, but c’mon this was pretty much a snoozefest.
You can stream the first season of The Consultant on Prime Video.