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Loot Recap: Molly and Mr. Khaki Pants


Photo: Apple TV+

There’s nothing I love to see more than someone so self-assured, someone who, for the most part, gets whatever they want, when they want it, just absolutely felled by a giant crush on a nerd. This is what’s happening to Molly in regard to Arthur, and it brings me so much joy to see this woman, who is not used to wanting things, just completely embarrass herself in front of this guy. I mean that in a good way. It’s so adorable! Molly loves Arthur. So much! She loves him so much that within 30 seconds of her introducing him as “King Arthur” and “My Lord” to Grace during her office tour, Grace knows exactly what’s up. If it wasn’t Molly using completely unhinged nicknames, it could’ve been that thing where Molly simply and loudly blurts out, “ARTHUR HAS A GIRLFRIEND. SHE’s 32 AND FROM PERTH.” Once Arthur finally escapes this make-you-want-to-die-inside awkward moment, Grace whispers to her pal, “Um, Molly, anything you want to tell me about you and Mr. Khaki Pants over there?” So much, Grace! We want to tell you so much!

Grace is now a part of the team — more Ana Gasteyer (never a bad thing) — which means she, too, gets to sit in on some Group Talk Sessions. In her first, she and Molly announce that they’ve bagged a few more billionaires to donate money. The secret weapon to getting them to say “yes”? They all HATE John Novak and are happy to help his ex. Whatever works, you know?

Even better, Grace is there for Howard’s big announcement: His wrestling league’s premiere is later that night, and the main event will introduce everyone to fan favorite Truck Harrison and evil villain the Straight Arrow. Yes, Nicholas’s heel persona is “a straight man.” Here’s a taste of his act: “I love empty Gatorade bottles, and I hate kissing other men.” As Grace notes, “Wow, that was really straight.” It’s going to be great.

The mood is high as the day gets underway, until one thing comes along to ruin it: John.

John holds a press conference announcing the first launch of his rocket. He also not-so-subtly hints that he and Molly are back together. He named his rocket the Molly 1 after all. He also says something very annoying about always telling Molly he’d love her to the moon and back, and now he’s proving it. None of it is true, of course, but it doesn’t matter — the damage is done. Once the billionaires believe that Molly is back with John, they start pulling their hate donations out of Space for Everyone. Screw helping the unhoused population of this country!!

To make matters worse, the press is all over this “love story.” The paparazzi are hounding Molly, even showing up inside the office. Arthur tries to scare them off by calling them the C-word (“chowderheads”), but surprisingly it doesn’t do much to deter them. Molly needs to get out of the office. Once again, it’s Arthur to the rescue. He helps her leave down the freight elevator, and in a truly middle-aged getaway sequence, Molly sprains her ankle and Arthur busts his knee before they (safely) peel out of the parking garage in Arthur’s Nissan Sentra.

Arthur takes Molly to his house until things die down, and we enter a Molly-Arthur ‘shippers paradise. He wraps her ankle with an ice pack. Also he is a man who owns an ice pack. Molly notices that he has the painting of the bird she bought him last season hanging on his wall, and it makes her smile. When Molly puts on the record player, it’s Christmas music, and Arthur explains how Christmas music cheers him, and Molly tells him that’s cute. When he helps her up from the couch, they linger near each other and almost-very-nearly-we-are-so-close kiss. Alas, the spell is broken with a message from Molly’s eye doctor. Honestly, who needs phones?! Or eyes!

Quickly after, they’re called back to the office and never speak of the almost-kiss again. They arrive just in time for live coverage of John’s rocket launch. In true comedic form, Molly gives a scathing speech about how John does so much harm to the world and suffers no consequences for it. With her back turned to the TV, the rest of the staff watches in horror as the rocket explodes. A perfect scene, no notes!

But surprise — or maybe not, knowing that John is just the biggest dick — Molly gets a call from a very much alive John asking her to meet him. We don’t get a ton of Maya Rudolph–Adam Scott scenes on Loot, so don’t take for granted getting to see them do their thing here. John admits that he built, launched, and blew up that rocket all as a plot to get Molly to realize she still loved him. Molly is livid. He spent $2 billion on this misguided gesture! He tells her he would blow up ten rockets for her. He’d blow up a stadium for her, “Empty, of course.”

In no uncertain terms, Molly informs her ex that they are never getting back together. When he asks why, she hesitates a little before admitting the truth: “I’m in love with someone else.” So she admits it! The day is ours, Molly-Arthur shippers! When John finds out the guy is a normal, he is furious. No one does indignant pouting quite like Adam Scott. By the time he gets to the point where he’s yelling about how he “flew in a fighter jet with Tom Cruise,” he is really cooking. Molly shuts him down with an “Oh well, that’s great — you’re both dickheads,” and honestly, what more can you say to that?

Molly may be fuming about John and unsure about where she and Arthur stand, but at least the night ends on a good note with her and Arthur still flirting — or, at least, just as friendly as they were before the almost-kiss-which-we-shall-not-mention — side-by-side at Howard’s big wrestling event. We have one more episode to go — do you think we will be bestowed with the gift of Molly and Arthur finally admitting their feelings to one another, or will this whole thing be one big tease?

Speaking of the wrestling event, Howard and Nicholas have become such a winning character combo on this show. It really does seem like they could … be … best friends? Shh! Don’t tell Nicholas, it will scare him off.

The evidence is there: When everything possible goes wrong ahead of the wrestling event, it’s Nicholas who has Howard’s back both practically — who else knows how to get ahold of David Chang to make 300 hot dogs or has an in with Chi Chi at Savage Bottom to make an emergency Speedo order?! — and emotionally. It’s Nicholas who repeatedly tells Howard that he can’t give up on this — it’s his dream, he’s worked hard at it, even when Truck Harrison backs out at the last minute. “You got me to come out to Torrance on a Friday night to announce that I’m attracted to women — do you know how difficult that is?” Nicholas tells him to prove to Howard that he can do anything. No, seriously.

The reveal during the event that Howard has taken over the Truck’s spot and become “Commissioner Mayhem” is so fun and also definitely more to add to the “Howard and Nicholas are best friends” evidence pile. Again, do not tell that man. Even while they’re still wrestling, Nicholas tells Howard he’s proud of him. He also demands he either choke him out or throw him. It’s a complicated friendship!

Notes From a Group Talk Session

• Molly tells Grace why going to work can be so fun: “You get to wear cute little outfits and carry a binder to the kitchen while you’re looking for a snack!” Those are the best parts of working in an office, hands down.

• Sofia and Isaac reach an impasse when Isaac announces he wants to take a sabbatical from work and rejoin his jazz band, Mood Vibrations, starting with a gig at a New Orleans Jazzfest. He wants Sofia to come — she says her job is too important and this thing with Isaac is just a “midlife crisis.” It’s very harsh! They break up, but this can’t be the end. Did you see that man play sax? He can even make the saxophone hot! Don’t give up on him, Sofia!

• Nicholas spitballs some taglines for the Straight Arrow, including: “Who are the Falcons playing this weekend?” and “I don’t need therapy.”

• “Is that blonde girl even real?” Grace, none of us know!


Maggie Fremont , 2024-05-22 13:00:03

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