Sunday, March 13, 2022

What I’m Watching: The Dropout

The Dropout: Season 1, Episode 4 “Old White Men” (B+)

It’s strange to see Alan Ruck in the role of Jay Rosan because he brings the same overenthusiasm that Connor Roy has on “Succession,” but with considerably purer intentions and a genuine nature. I also appreciated the casting of Josh Pais as Wade and Rich Sommer as the man who knew that, before they could do anything, he needed to see the labs and make sure it was all legitimate. That’s the most astounding and befuddling part of all this, that posturing and explicit manipulation on Elizabeth’s part could be enough to compel them to move ahead without bothering to do that inspection, on the basis that the technology would be so proprietary that it couldn’t be looked at even by an expert. It’s disconcerting to see that, presuming this all happened in real life and wasn’t fictionalized for entertainment value, there were attempts at resistance by those who knew that this wasn’t right, and that when Ian got fired and then rehired because the staff was going to mutiny, he was just put in a do-nothing role so that they could say they didn’t fire him. Channing telling Elizabeth that Ian came to him with concerns was particularly unsettling since he was one of the more stable people steering the ship, and he seems to be interested only in profit and success, not any modicum of safety or accountability. Ending this episode with Elizabeth frantically watching as Kevin tried to examine the display prototype was eerie, signaling the very precarious nature of this entire faulty operation, and I also want to see more of Sam Waterston’s character.

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