Written by Frazier Tharpe (@The_SummerMan)
Two issues back, Nancy (Gina Gershon) fleetingly mentioned her son's father and an impassioned Jamaican man took offense to the brand name Rasta Monsta. Both instances seemed insignificant, yet both circled back around in a big way in last night's episode, "I'm Sorry, Who's Yosi?", as How To Make It In America's Season Two quality spike continues.
"Everybody's in bed with everybody."
We never liked to be among the people who compared How To Make It In America to Entourage. They're two very different shows and calling them any more than companions is just lazy. But, if we're being honest, this new direction the Ben-Nancy plotline has taken is straight out of HBO's recently deceased bromance comedy. Which is probably why we loved it.
Six-figure deals and partnerships threatened by forbidden lust is the type of story Entourage was able to give just the right dramatic edge to while simultaneously making it hilarious. When the camera panned to Ben (Bryan Greenberg) and Nancy recklessly going at it below deck on the same yacht where her husband was having drinks upstairs, we smiled and grimaced at the same time. Because, unlike Vincent Chase, Ben and Cam (Victor Rasuk) have a lot to gain but even more to lose. This deal between Yosi (Nick Chinlund) and the Gadzooks girls (so glad they stuck around for one more scene) could be the big break CRISP has been waitng for; not to mention, Cam is completely innocent in all of this.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. So this whole time that Nancy has been cougar-scheming on Ben, she's been married. Damn, homie. (She briefly mentioned a husband in episode two but, perhaps purposefully, worded it as if they were divorced.) Being the side-man is not the type of sordidness that the usually straight-laced Ben is used to or willing to be a part of...at first. He can swear to Cam and pretend to agree to forget about their night over drinks with Nancy, but in practically no time they're back at it, Yosi be damned. This is the most entertaining CRISP conflict yet (Ben's repeated attempts to tell Cam were very funny); we can't wait to see how it all implodes.
The Enlightenment Of Rachel Continues
So it appears that Rachel (Lake Bell) isn't looking to jump ship from Do to Neanderthal Tim (James Ransone). But she is partnerning with him in another way that's sure to upset Ben. The nighttime ride through Williamsburg had such a profound effect on her that she's unwisely pushing for a feature on Tim and the Neanderthal's home garden at Biscuit, going ahead with it even after her boss Robin rejects it. She even uses the company's expense account to pay for Tim's latest tattoo, and in this week's anti-normal-Rachel-moment gets a sexy pelvic one herself. It's safe to say that Rachel will be looking for a new job again in Season Three, but this time she's not going to get the chance to quit. We are headed for one hell of a firing scene.
In other news, Rachel and Domingo (Kid Cudi) finally have the awkward yet inevitable where-is-this-going talk. Rachel just wants to keep hanging out, but we know Do already sees their fling as something more. The writers have been trusting Cudi more and more each week with more than saying cool stuff while looking fresh, and he's been delivering. Welcome to heartbreak?
Rasta Monsta Comes Under Fire
Watch out ladies and gentlemen, Rene (Luis Guzman) may actually be interacting with the rest of the main cast soon. Rasta Monsta is finally taking off, and it's now big enough to catch the attention of the local Jamaican community, and the dreads aren't amused.
The guy that Wilfredo attacked a few weeks back? Well, it turns out that he's some kind of local political bigwig (as shown by his pictures with Puff and Bloomberg and such) and he's trying to put the squeeze on Rene and the company as reparations for the racially exploitative drink. Rene isn't about to let anybody shake him down, but Evrington has an ace up his sleeve: Domingo's unauthorized Rasta Monsta weed spray. That kind of press won't keep the drink in suburban stores for long. Between his girl problems and now this, Domingo is about to have a bad week.
-The FBI roll up on Kappo (Eddie Kaye Thomas) at his office. Pretty stupid of him to try to run. We figure next season he'll be trying to "make it in America" while poor right alongside Ben and Cam.
-There was a random Pharrell cameo that was kind of awkward, but, hey, he likes the brand's name, so that's something.
-The guest stars this season have been extremely well-written and impressionable. The middle school fashionista, the Gadzooks Kristens, and Rachel's boss have done a lot with such small doses.
-The Yosi-Gadzooks deal is good money and exposure, but LuLu rightly points out that if the boys aren't careful CRISP could be heading toward ubiquity and un-hip-ness of Zoo York proportions. Which is hilarious considering Zoo York's founder Eli Gessner is a consultant for the show.