Well, that was eventful. Last night's episode of How To Make It In America, "Money, Power, Private School," saw one relationship end and another begin, as well as the dawning of a potential new partnership. In between all of that, things set on fire, Cam (Victor Rasuk) bought a stove, and Joe Pantoliano waxed poetic about art, personal touches, and pinky fingers. In short, "Money, Power, Private School" was the best episode of the show's still-fresh second season so far, and, since we've only just begun, the rest looks very promising.
Ben Tells His Women Exactly What They Don't Want To Hear
This episode is so busy that it actually starts with an ultimatum. Between last week's episode, "In Or Out," and "Money, Power, Private School," Ben's (Bryan Greenberg) current chick, Julie (Margarita Levieva), has apparently skipped a beat from jealousy to unhappiness and wants more from Ben, or else she'll start seriously considering some simp who promises to give her everything. First she wants to know if Ben even sees "more" in their future, and, what do you know, he doesn't. But even the shorty on the subway platform observing it all could've told her that. Goodbye, Julie. You were cute and "down to hang," but you just weren't, well, Rachel (Lake Bell).
If we were dealing with Season-One-Ben, he probably would've tried to get Rachel back the second he saw her; however, this year our man is doing his best to not wear his heart on his sleeve. Of course he doesn't really look back on his and Rachel's time together and feel sick, nor does he actually want to remain just friends, but he thinks that's what she wants to hear.
But if the souvenir she bought him (a $1,200 Louis Vuitton trunk) wasn't enough of an indicator, Rachel too has evolved since season one and she was looking for Ben to try and win her back. These crazy kids. The miscommunication with Ben leads Rachel to hit up the friendly East Village weed dealer Domingo (Kid Cudi) for the cure to her bad day. It doesn't take long for the two of them to build on to the budding tension from last week and end up in bed. From the looks of it, Dom isn't interested in this being a one-time thing, either, and we can't blame him. Think Ben's going to be OK with this? Neither do we.
Nancy Hazes Ben And Cam
OK, so how much time has passed between "In Or Out" and "Money, Power, Private School?" All of a sudden, Julie went from bothered to insecure, and Ben and Cam went from pissing Nancy (Gina Gershon) off to landing a meeting with her. Seems her son's opinion and taste holds a lot of sway with the big-time sales rep; her kid loves his CRISP hoody so much that Nancy has decided to bring the boys in for an opportunity: designing the T-shirt's for her son's middle school. For free. Tomorrow. Cam is against it but Ben is willing to forego pride and get in the MILF's good graces.
Little does Ben know he's dealing with the 12-year-old versions of Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum in Nancy's son and his friend. They reject his initial graphic design, but Cam comes through with the way to win them over. He's just had dinner with his crush LuLu and her rich, artist father (Joe Pantoliano) who imparts to him that the best art conveys something real and honest.
The result: a tee that reads "Rich Kids Run Ish." The nightmare middle school fashionista loves it, and so does the grown-up one. Ben and Cam are officially in, but is getting CRISP in Barney's the only thing that's going to come of this new partnership? Between Ben's comment about Nancy's ass and Nancy's comments about Ben's ears (?), it looks like Ben's about to be the victim of a cougar attack.
Rene Is About To Go Viral
It's pretty much guaranteed that Wilfredo's run-in with the militant Jamaician (whose rant was hilarious, by the way) at the Rasta Monster event is going to end up being the viral hit that Rene (Luis Guzman) was trying to manufacture. What was surprising is how genuinely funny the requesite Rene C-story was last night. His goons thankfully had no lines, giving Rene the opportunity to play solely off Wilfredo and his ride-or-die nuttiness, which works much better comedically. There were less laughs surrounding his battle-of-the-wits with his girlfriend's daughter, but we'll reserve judgment for now.
After a mediocre start, How To Make It In America's season is building up with momentum, higher stakes, and some actual laugh-out loud material. (Bring the blue-haired, glove-scarf wearing middle-school girl back anytime, producers.) Our one complaint: Cam and LuLu. It's cool that she inspires him to get his life together and such, but buying a special Joey-Pants-approved stove is a bit much. Too much effort spent on a chick we the audience barely know or care about—yet. But hey, if tonight's a sign of things to come, we just may forget that Entourage is history after all.