I am floored by this week’s INCORPORATED. “Profit and Loss” was nothing but payoff while moving the story forward. Sean Teale finally convinced me that Aaron/Ben is a character worth following, as everyone is acknowledging just how bad of a person he really is. Once again, Douglas Nyback as Roger Caplan shines as the series’ standout bringing the cat and mouse back and forth between Aaron and Roger to a deadly head.
We start off with the show picking up literally where we left off with Hendrick (Damon Herriman) leaving Aaron for “a better place”. We move forward six years later where we left off last week with Elena’s (Denyse Tontz) family diner burning to the ground. The fight fighters arrive to protect the surrounding buildings don’t burn as they paid their rent. Elena and Theo’s (Eddie Ramos) father arrives and blames the fire on Aaron as the whole neighborhood knows he cheated the currency exchange. We move again forward six years as we pick up once again where we left off last week with Aaron watching Elena board a elevator for an appointment in a Spiga hotel. That appointment is unfortunately with Roger set up by his father. Aaron boards an elevator while using a cloaking device to avoid detection. As Aaron sneaks into a room directly below Roger’s (thanks to a maid service he ordered), he uses a listening device to hear what’s going on in the room. Roger starts his interrogation of Aaron. Elena doesn’t recognize the name Ben Larsen. Aaron hearing all this hacks into the mainframe of the building to reverse engineer the air filtration to release deadly toxins into the building to stop Roger as he’s carving Elena’s face. With the building evacuated, Aaron watches Spiga security rush Elena away back to Arcadia. Ben then gets a call back from a co-worker saying their presentation is in ten minutes. Ben then heads back to Spiga headquarters to give a presentation on a new mind control device. He is distracted and flustered during his presentation on a mind reading device that makes interrogations easier. With his mind on Roger and Elena, Ben makes some bold promises that has Elizabeth (Julia Ormond) nervous about her son-in-law’s declaration on the device being ready in a month. Aaron then uses the tracker to locate Roger.
Roger has been fishing in the Red Zones for the truth on Aaron. After first visiting Elena’s school, he manages to track down Elena’s father after drafting up a fake letter to her father. After showing a picture of Aaron to Elena’s father, he spills everything he knows about Aaron to Roger. Roger awaits Aaron’s arrival and upon their quick conversation of Aaron wanting to help Roger get the promotion over himself in exchange for not turning him in. Roger doesn’t trust Aaron as he has lied to everyone (and as he points out his wife Laura), he recorded the entire conversation leading to a fight that ends badly for Roger. Theo arrives and helps Aaron clean up the mess. They spoof Roger’s car so it can go to the Mexican wall. With the heat turned all the way up it will make Roger look unrecognizable by the time the car gets there. Aaron then confesses to Theo that he saw Elena, but couldn’t get her out. Disgusted Theo heads home to find his dad waiting for him. Claiming that Elena is dead and Aaron is responsible for everything, Theo rebukes him telling him that Elena is alive and everything is his fault as Elena sold herself to Spiga in order to bail him out of jail and get the medicine he needs. And in return he abandoned Theo and became a drunk. What they both don’t know is that a Spiga headhunter set up the diner fire in order to get Elena to sign herself over, as she would make good commission.
Meanwhile, Laura (Alison Miller) has been seeing a trailer to learn how to fight. However her trauma gets the best of her every time, as the trainer tells her she needs to talk and face her emotions head on. Frustrated she leaves, and later invites Julian (Dennis Haysbert) over to talk about having the episodes again. She tells Julian that she feels like a prisoner as she hasn’t gone over the wall since the incident. Julian tells her a story of how he listened to an insurgent who infiltrated his ranks and killed his entire squad. Laura says that was not his fault and Julian says that what happened to her is not her fault either. He asks her if she’s gonna let one twist of fate decide who she is?
I loved that the flashbacks this episode correlated directly to the present as we see how Elena became a sex slave and how Hendrick got Aaron into Spiga with his Ben Larson alias. Aaron was right to make Hendrick help him get into Spiga after leaving him. This episode was fast paced and every character had something to do. No one’s actions made me angry this week either as the logic level has been drastically improved. This episode finally gave us most of the long burning questions we all had, and hopefully ends the flashbacks. I loved how Roger and Theo both called Aaron out as being a truly bad person. And he is. Masquerading with a loving wife and mother-in-law, all for a woman who is practically impossible to extract is crazy. I also felt bad for Theo. These flashbacks over the course of the show so far have shown just how badly Elena and Theo had it growing up. To hear Theo heartbroken over what had happened to him after Elena left was wrenching. Plus, this episode made Julian a human instead of the stereotypical henchman we’ve seen him be.
I am really excited to see where Incorporated goes next. With Roger gone the show loses a strong component, but I have a feeling this is gonna cause more trouble for Aaron. And again this episode had great use of the cool tech in the show’s universe. The tech gets better and better as we move along, as does this show. “Profit and Loss” had me riveted from beginning to end and now that the show is moving closer to what was promised in its intriguing premise, I hope we can have strong episodes from here on out.
Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Incorporated airs Wednesday 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