The Arrangement recap: 'The Leak'
This week, it all goes down at a fundraiser party for an organization that supports fashion designers called the Change of Clothes Foundation. We’ve seen Megan angry, actress-y, and, of course, horny. This week, we see a different side of her: Megan is fun! En route to the Change of Clothes party with her gal pals Hope (the actress/waitress) and Shaun (the corporate lawyer whose name I figured out!), Megan talks to her agent Leslie about her deal on Kyle’s movie, which still hasn’t closed. She hangs up, turns to her friends, and says pensively, “All they really know about me is that I’m Kyle’s girlfriend. Wait… What if that’s all that I am?” And just when you’re wondering if she’s serious, all three girls burst into laughter. Megan’s got jokes!
At the party, Kyle is in full movie-star mode: tight white tee! Cranberry-red blazer! Soul patch! Asking his assistant for a mint! Standard A-list behavior. (That assistant, by the way, is not Ben from the past two episodes, and Deann explains it away in one wink of a line: “Nice recast on the assistant.” Wha?)
Meanwhile, Megan chats up a lecherous mogul known as “Dirty Uncle Russell” about her feminist approach to acting. It’s a bit of foreshadowing about this episode’s themes: Not only is Megan a fun-time gal, she’s also feminist AF. Yes, the girl who agreed to an arranged marriage is actually pretty woke. You’ll see.
Terence is approached by a thirsty screenwriter type who thanks him profusely for his Institute of the Higher Mind seminar “Demystifying Happiness.” (Sign me up!) But Terence isn’t up for the fawning and gives the guy a shrewd brushoff: “It’s great you’re so connected to what got you here. Now go discover where you’re going.” You guys, I’m writing that on a bathroom mirror Post-It immediately. There’s a reason the man’s got his own cult!
Megan introduces Hope to Andres, their big-time director friend, but Andres isn’t buying what Hope’s selling. Shaun has better luck at the party, hitting it off with a handsome IHM member named James. At one point in their convo, James tells Shaun, quite simply, “I’m going to recruit you.” It’s a refreshingly clear and straightforward statement. I’m really starting to appreciate the IHM method.
There’s a moment at the party when Megan has just finished a round of industry small talk, and she playfully dance-saunters back over to her homies with a festive greeting: “Wuddup party people!” She even does a modified raising of the roof. (Again: FUN.)
But not everything at the Change of Clothes party is quite so fun. Adam, a tough-talking producer with one too many open buttons on his shirt (a clear sign of evil), tells Terence he wants to recast Megan in their movie. He wants a name, and Terence agrees. Kyle gets extremely Kyle West-y on them with a barnburner of a speech: “I put the asses in the seats. So close the deal and put her in the movie, because if you don’t… There isn’t gonna be a movie.” He pats Adam on the arm, tells him to enjoy the party, adjusts his cranberry blazer, and takes his leave. Um, I don’t know if it’s Kyle’s inherent movie-star charisma or his advanced IHM communication skills in action, but I for one am on my feet, slow clapping.
Butt-hurt by Andres the director’s rejection, Hope gets drunk, slurry, and embarrassing. Kyle gently escorts her out of the party, and just before he hands her off to his driver, she hits on him. It’s real gross.
Even grosser: Word spreads at the party that someone has leaked Megan’s nude photos to the press. These were private sexy pics she took for Nic back when they were dating, and she failed to delete them from the cloud. Classic mistake. But then, scrolling through the multiple websites that have picked up the story, Megan makes the biggest mistake of them all: She reads the comments. (Never read the comments, girl! It’s a bunch of alt-right trolls complaining that your recaps are rambling and overly snarky! Who cares if they’re right?! Ignore those creeps and live your best life!)
For Megan, the leaked photos are more than a slut-shaming scandal. They’re also threatening her career: There’s a “morality clause” in her contract for Kyle’s movie. That means the studio can fire her after all, whether Kyle likes it or not.
NEXT: Bear, naked
Kyle and Megan decide it’s time to skip town, so they throw on their leathers, jump on his motorcycle, and ride off to his secret cabin in the woods. At the cabin, they hike, they lovemake, they have a fight that honestly makes no sense, and Kyle teaches Megan one of his favorite IHM adages: “Life is a living thing.” (On second thought, maybe I won’t join IHM. Maybe I’ll just start my own cult.) At one point, Megan mistakes Kyle for a bear in the woods, so he teases her by doing a silly bear impression. (He’s fun, too!) They also exchange their first “I love you”s on this trip. (They met two weeks ago.)
Leslie and Deann have a power lunch to discuss the scandal, and we start to realize that Deann is surprisingly Team Megan. You’ve gotta hand it to her; she’s not afraid to oppose her powerful husband. Does this mean she’s gonna be disappeared? (Not that Shelly Miscavige was disappeared by her husband. And not that this character is in any way based on her.)
Back at the cabin, Megan comes up with a solution to their naked photos problem: more naked photos. But this time, they’ll be on her terms. In a bold effort to reclaim her narrative, she strips down in the woods, posing (and bouncing, a lot) while Kyle prepares to take a photo on his phone. But then Kyle has a better idea: naked photos of them both. And suddenly, there they are, exposing their taut bods to the internet on purpose. Morality clause be damned, because this is the ultimate power move.
Terence and Kyle discuss Kyle’s recent D pics over a scotch. After careful consideration, Terence has changed his mind about Megan: He likes her! “I’m all in,” he tells Kyle, pulling him in for a masculine, fatherly hug. It’s an emotional moment, because when it comes to love, the approval of your cult leader means the world.
Kyle and Megan are preparing to do an interview about their nakedness on a popular morning show called Good Day With Renee (I’m available to recap GDWR, EW). But just when they’re about to go on, Kyle and Terence drop a bomb on Megan: They’re giving her part in Kyle’s movie to Amelia Briggs. (Again, Deann objects to Terence’s actions. Deann, you in danger, girl!)
Megan is pissed but agrees to do the GDWR interview anyway. Toward the end of their on-air happy-couple routine, Megan makes a pointed remark: “I can choose not to feel powerless. And I’m never gonna let that happen again.” Renee wraps it up, they call cut, and Megan storms off in tears. This was, categorically, not fun.
Over drinks, Hope confesses to Shaun that she’s the one who leaked the photos. And she’s not apologizing! Megan deserves it! Because she invited them to a fun party and then introduced Hope to an influential filmmaker who could help her career! Or something. She’s also the one who tweeted Megan’s sexy bathroom selfie last week (which was kind of a cliffhanger with no consequences). We’re probably headed toward a situation where Kyle and Terence force Megan to cut off her friends… but right now, that kinda seems like a good idea.
Deann shows up at Megan’s house later to tell her not to worry about being recast: “We’re not always gonna be the women behind the men.” It’s an empowering feminist statement… and it also kinda feels like it might be Deann’s last words. But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Terence won’t have her disappeared for defying him. Maybe she won’t be banished to a compound in the San Gabriel Mountains, only to surface occasionally at a local hardware store flanked by prison guards, looking frail and fried. Maybe these ladies will rise up! Maybe Deann and Megan will overthrow their male counterparts! Maybe Leah Remini will save them both! I’M WITH HER! I’M WITH HER!
Till next week, a couple lingering questions remain: Did Ben get fired for staring longingly at Kyle when he got out of the shower? And more importantly, what happened to the goats from the pilot? I miss them! (They were fun.)