Once again, we come to the end of a weirdly truncated, only-eight-episode season of HBO's How To Make It In America. What went down in the finale, "What's In a Name?" Well, we can tell you that there was still no sign of Gingy the art dealer (remember her from Season One?). Here's everything else that transpired.
"The name is mine, I'll take blame for that."
The CRISP bro's are still not talking to each other. Ben's (Bryan Greenberg) thirst for success is still blinding him to the evils of Yosi (Nick Chinlund), and who can blame him when the lesser Neanderthal's are rolling around in limos, opening cool flagship stores, and not even bothering to remember him from Cam or their brand name?
It's not long at all before Ben starts seeing clearly, though. Yosi is apparently a slave driver, furthermore, his ideas are getting progressively wacker. Some words of wisdom from Kap (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Yosi's Italian tailor finally get Ben's head on straight. First, he cleverly tries to flip Tim's (James Ransone) disrespectful CRUNCH comment to get Yosi off of CRISP. When that doesn't he work, he quits Team Yosi... But not before revealing that he's been raising Nancy's (Gina Gershon) freak flag on the low-low. What an amateur.
In the end, the gang comes together at Kappo's going away, 25th Hour party (where our man also gets lucky with the sexy realtor). And in a deus ex machina, everything's fine Entourage-esque move, Ben wins Cam's friendship (Victor Rasuk) back, along with that of Andy Sussman, the rabid, baby-faced sales rep.
CRISP's next move: jeans (that Kap and Dom are conveniently already wearing). Forget about what a salty Nancy (Gina Gershon) says about Ben's talent or lack thereof—they'll do it without her.
Cam Handles Family Business... Badly
It's the season finale, which means it's time for Cam to step out of his rosy world of Viking stoves and fancy wines and get roped into some shady Rene-releated dealings. Yet, this time, he brought it upon himself. He and Domingo (Kid Cudi) almost make things worse when they try to patch matters up with Everton (Eriq LaSalle) themselves and end up getting thugged into selling the weed sprays at a concert so the East Flatbush Caribbean League can profit.
Thankfully, Rene (Luis Guzman) the OG and his goons are also busy doing what they do best and run up in Everton's house. The half-nude guy they dragged out of Everton's bed, though? Not Everton. The gangster Caribbean leader with the .45 in his desk is getting right on the low with his assistant. That's blackmail enough for Rene to get all the sprays back at no cost. But it's not all happy endings for him.
For all the gunplay and threats in this story, this subplot surprisingly held the funniest moments of the episode. Among them: Pusha T not comprehending why Malik the intern would be in Everton's house at 4.am, Domingo bursting through Everton's office door, and Everton singing along to "Welcome to Jamrock." Plus, the revelation that Pusha T's Horace actually loves Rasta Monsta and Everton trying to parlay a jingle deal? Hilarious.
"Shit's gonna get weird."
Rachel (Lake Bell) is sleeping with the enemy. No, not Domingo; their relationship is left up in the air, though don't be surprised if we hear about an off-screen break-up in the Season Three premiere (should How To Make It In America get one). Nope, Rachel takes her Neanderthal courtship to the next level and accepts Tim's offer to be the brand publicist. Guess that means we're going to be seeing more of Tim next season. Ugh.
Sure, she's got to do what she's got to do for a dollar, but there's something even shadier and greasier about this than hooking up with Dom. We're very interested to see where she and Ben stand at the start of next season. They've been growing further and further apart all season, but if Ben's plotline this year was a product of that, then the show is better for it.
Debbie Is The Worst Girlfriend Ever
No sooner does Rene get done preaching to Everton about the power of love then he returns home to find Debbie ghost and a box of all his stuff waiting for him. Whatever. Good riddance, Debbie—you were boring and over-reactive. You can do better than that flighty chick, Rene. Holla at those suburban single moms on the VertAmerica tour, nah mean?
Congratulations On A Successful Improvement, Producers
As Kappo himself, Eddie Kaye Thomas, pointed out in our interview, it's rare that a show immediately finds its voice in the first season. In its debut last year, How to Make It In America showed real promise but lacked that spark that made Entourage appointment television. During the lengthy hiatus, though, the writers came a big step closer to realizing the type of show they want to make, while successfully raising both the stakes and the entertainment. We couldn't even tell you what happened in the season one finale; this year, however, we couldn't wait to watch the season wrap up. Kudos.
Season Two Grade: B+