The Arrangement recap: 'Control'
Kyle takes on his most challenging role yet, and a lot of bad stuff happens in cars.
Well guys, they’ve done it. The Arrangement has gone and done it. They’ve given us their wildest episode to date (in what has already been a pretty wild season so far). It’s surprising, it’s fun, it’s salacious, and it. Is. Horny.
Up top, Kyle receives a gift from his assistant Zach, a gift he apparently really wanted: a pair of roller skates. (I know, I know: First Kyle has a weird sexual energy with his assistant Ben. Then Ben is replaced by this twink. And then he gives him roller skates. And we are expected to believe that nothing gay is going on here?!) The skates are for Kyle’s upcoming appearance on The Gwen Byers Show, a daytime talk show whose host – a playful gal with short blond hair – is known for dancing with her guests. (Hey, hang on a second…)
Lisbeth is also hitting the talk show circuit with a radio appearance on The Roger Boyd Show, where she admits that Kyle is the love of her life. Megan hears this, and she’s not thrilled – even though Kyle assures her she’s the center of his world, and even though Megan is the one who kissed her director, Nate, in a clear violation of her contract.
Meanwhile, Deann is sitting in her car in the middle of an important business phone call when Annika approaches. She casually gets in the car, climbs on top of Deann, and starts giving her a handie and CHOKING her. It is, quite simply, insane. And Deann is pissed! Can’t Annika see she’s on the phone?!
But Deann isn’t just an A-list producer. She’s also a character on The Arrangement. And that means she’s super horny, all of the time. So when she waltzes into an office to pitch Kyle’s first directing project, she orders a room-temp water (a total power move) and flips through a magazine, which leads to a waiting room fantasy about… women in black pumps? Or something.
Terence’s week is decidedly less sexy. He’s in the middle of an intimacy workshop at the Institute when that pesky Detective Gaffey strolls in to continue grilling him on Sophie Marchuk’s whereabouts. Gaffey is a classic ladycop character: trench coated, with a masculine strut and a strict no-BS policy. (If one were to subscribe to TV tropes and stereotypes, one might go out on a limb and speculate that she’s a lesbian. This will be relevant later.) She’s back to let Terence know they found a body. They’re still waiting on DNA tests, but she’s getting closer.
Megan is nailing it at play rehearsals acting-wise, but Nate can’t take it anymore. He begs her to leave Kyle for him, and when she walks away from the conversation, he follows her to the car and gets inside. (This is what you do on The Arrangement when you’re driven mad with horniness: You get out of those dreams, and you get into that car!) Nate has a new proposal: “We should go to the desert!” And just when Megan starts to calmly explain to Nate that he is mentally ill — BAM! They’re rear-ended… by the same mysterious BMW that followed her the night of the bonfire. At this point, it’s very clear that Terence is having her followed. (We’ve seen Leah Remini’s show, Terry! We know what you’re doing!)
Kyle is at home in bed when Zach pops in to tell him he has a visitor: It’s Lisbeth, rocking a leopard-print dress, here to do some serious kissing. She tells Kyle she’ll always love him and that he should come visit her hotel room later if he’s feeling you-know-what.
Terence has an important conversation with his IHM spy, Connor, in a top-secret meeting held – where else – in his car. Terence knows Connor killed Sophie when he was supposed to just take her to a brainwashing facility, and he really wishes Connor hadn’t done that; the investigation has become a real headache for him. But Connor has a solid explanation. He totally meant to take Sophie to the brainwashing facility. But what had happened was: He fell in love with her, asked her to run away with him, she agreed, they were about to jump on a flight, but she changed her mind, so he murdered her. Terence nods – that all tracks – but tells Connor he must take responsibility. And Connor replies by pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the head then and there. You watch this scene and you think, “Welp, there it is: The Arrangement’s most shocking moment ever.” But then you keep watching, and you realize that a much bigger “bang” is yet to come.
But before we get to that, we drop by The Gwen Byers Show, where Kyle charms the host and the audience alike. He gives Gwen a onesie that says “AWOL,” showing several pictures of himself wearing it while holding a teddy bear named Larry. While raving about his love for Megan, he refers to himself – twice – as “versatile.” And then he starts roller skating around the set. I guess this is his couch jumping moment? Only much, much gayer.
After the interview, Megan is shocked when Kyle surprises her with a new Maserati. (But not as shocked as I was; just last week I wrote about my outrage that she was still driving a sensible Toyota. You guys… did I manifest this?! And if so, allow me to once again express my strong desire for a Leah Remini cameo.)
Not everything this week is roller skates and new convertibles. Deann has a tough meeting with Adam, the studio head, who tells her Kyle’s directing deal fell apart. She’s so stressed out that she heads straight to Annika’s to blow off steam with some lovemaking.
But this week’s horniest moment is yet to come. And my friends, it is a doozy. Over a casual diner meal, Terence offers to pay off Detective Gaffey. But Gaffey says she doesn’t want money. No, she tells him in between ravenous bites of a juicy hamburger, she wants more. She wants… to have sex with Kyle West. (Explosion! Air horn! Faint! Gag! Death drop!)
Kyle isn’t all the psyched about this plan. But, Terence reminds him, he has no choice. IHM is in real trouble here, and Kyle owes him: “I made you, and I love you, but I will end you in a heartbeat if I have to.” Besides, Terence explains, what Gaffey wants is “nothing kinky. Just two hours.” (Two hours?!)
Kyle arrives at Gaffey’s hotel room in character: “You’re beautiful,” he says when she opens the door. “You’re one to talk. Come in,” she replies bone-chillingly. And let me be clear: Tracy Waterhouse (the actress playing Detective Gaffey) is a gorgeous woman. But this particular character is, I’ll venture to guess… not Kyle’s type? He usually goes for the lithe twentysomething starlet crowd, whereas Gaffey’s vibe is more “Countess LuAnn as a dom-top.” (But hey, now that I write it out loud…)
We don’t get to see any actual lovemaking. But afterward, Kyle sits on the bed recovering while Gaffey gets dressed, casually telling him, “Usually I take a shower, but I like the way your sweat smells on me, so I’m gonna drive around with it as long as it lasts.” And all the while, Kyle stares blankly at a painting of a sailboat, completely disassociated. Case closed, I guess.
Luckily for her, Megan is oblivious to the whole incident. On the opening night of her play, the crowd is blown away by her closing monologue. And as she steps out for curtain call, we pan across the audience in a standing ovation, finally landing on a close-up of Kyle. He is fully crying, for multiple reasons. But hey: Aren’t we all?