We are seeing momentum more and more each week with INCORPORATED. Sadly, both actor Sean Teale and the character he portrays Aaron/Ben Larson both continue to be uninvolving. “Cost Containment” continues the flashback structure started in episode two. While these illuminate Aaron and Elena’s (Denyse Tontz) backstory, they also drag the momentum of the present story down. And in the present I’m having more fun with Aaron’s rival Roger Caplan (Douglas Nyback) scheme and double cross his way into taking down Aaron.
So now that Roger has access to Aaron’s hard drive and sees he interested in Elena, he asks for his dad’s help to access to Arcadia to get to Elena. His dad however want’s Roger to get his brother out of the house and the help he needs. Roger does this and he’s got access to Arcadia. Roger reminds him that his brother current condition is his fault and that he’s placing his gold digging wife as a priority over his first born son, to which Roger’s dad admits that she wants him out. Disgusted, Roger leaves. Roger then blackmails Hendrick (Damon Herriman). Hendrick goes to Aaron and tells him that Roger has a video of Elena walking into Arcadia. Aaron realizes immediately that Roger took the hard drive and why he was pressing him earlier about Arcadia. Aaron tells Hendrick to give him the file he wants in order to keep an eye on him and that the file will be so redacted it’ll be worthless. Roger is of course frustrated. That file however, contained a tracer that when accessed gave Aaron access to Roger electronically. Leaving him no choice, Roger visits his brother and convinces him to go to hospice. This was a heartbreaking scene as we have to watch Roger manipulate his brother into going to the hospice with the promise of destroying their father, a promise Roger looks to uphold. At this point in Incorporated‘s run Roger is despicable, but the most interesting character on the show. He’s engaging and moves things forward. Watching actor Douglas Nyback bring this guy to life is a treat on a lifeless show with a hero that’s hard to root for. I do wanna see Roger win just to see his brother and himself vindicated. Aaron/Ben again proves to be unlikable this week.
So as Aaron and Laura (Alison Miller) makes steps towards having a child together, Aaron continues to deceive her. During the aforementioned meeting between Aaron and Hendrick, Hendrick gives Aaron male birth control. The whole episode we have to watch Laura enthusiastically want a child with Aaron. He has to lie again to her about why he had malaria and elevated levels of lead. Even though he has a change of heart and starts to be more open to having a child with Laura by the episode’s end, it was really just to spite Elizabeth (Julia Ormond)not because he truly wanted to. Laura continues to be the only good and innocent character on this show and for that she continues to be the most interesting. I do wonder two things though. Are we ever gonna learn what happened to her and what is the end game with her character? I ask because seeing her be a bleeding heart is getting to be slightly redundant.
This week we also get a storyline of Theo (Eddie Ramos) having to play the role of henchman for Terrence (Ian Tracey). We are reminded that since Theo messed up the last time we saw him, he is now Terrence’s lackey to do with what he pleases. A kid named Spider got himself a job playing basketball over the wall and in the Green Zone. The kid who came in second has a family that paid Terrence to take Spider out. Terrence wants Theo to break one of Spider’s legs. Theo goes to do the job at the basketball court and sadly for him, Spider finds Theo to be a hero because Theo was able to win the fight in the second episode. He’s become a King David in taking down a Goliath. Theo feeling conflicted offers Spider to meet the other fighters and get drinks. Taking him back to Terrence’s club, Theo gets Spider drunk and Terrence mad. Theo takes Spider out back to tell him he needs to skip town and gives him the money he earned from Terrence. Spider flips out calling Theo a coward and nothing but a thug thus angering Theo and breaking his leg. Job done. This storyline was great as we get to see Theo’s character. And his character is of a good place. Being beholden to Terrence was always gonna be a bad thing, so I’m glad the writers executed on this sooner rather than later.
The flashbacks are starting to show just exactly how Elena ended up in Arcadia. Again, the show is trying to sell the true romance of Elena and Aaron, but the chemistry between the actors is non-existent. The flashbacks are showing how Elena won and subsequently lost a scholarship that could pay for the diner that Elena’s family is in the course of losing. Aaron manages to hack the currency exchange and get the money Elena needs to get a co-op free of control from the corporations. But, Elena got the scholarship once the person who got it got caught cheating. Elena doesn’t wanna take it as she doesn’t wanna leave Aaron, but Aaron convinces her it’s the right thing to do. However the diner suffers a drive-by and incendiary grenade fire, setting the money on fire and destroying the diner.
This was a better episode of Incorporated. The show is much better when it’s not written by the series creators David & Alex Pastor. The gadgets remain the coolest aspect of the show. And while there’s still room for much improvement, “Cost Containment” is the strongest episode of the show thus far. We are starting to see some progress with these stories. Roger is great foil I enjoy watching and Laura is still a good empathetic character. Julia Ormond is still turning in great work as well. I’m actually eager to see what happens next week for once.
Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)
Incorporated airs Wednesdays at 10PM on SyFy
A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is a indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor