The Arrangement finale recap: 'The New Narrative'
Megan has a bash while Kyle gets ready for his close-up
This episode begins with one gasp (Megan’s) and ends with another one (mine). After being bound, gagged, thrown in the back of a van, and driven to the IHM “facility” in the middle of who-knows-where, Megan wakes up in an all-white room. She finds herself at a classic brainwashing camp where everyone follows orders and they only wear white. It’s the Guilty Remnant, without the fun of smoking. It’s prison, with presumably better food. It’s hell, with better weather and less interesting companions.
In Megan’s room, the slogan “LIFE IS A LIVING THING” is printed boldly on the wall; vague, self-help-style platitudes like this appear throughout the facility. It’s basically one big SoulCycle studio, except the instructors are actual cult leaders, and the spinning bike you’re flailing on is your own sanity. Speaking of SoulCycle vibes, Kyle’s hair looks amazing this week. Seriously. I think he might be wearing an actual Bumpit. And I’m into it! But we’ll get back to him; let’s stay on Megan for now.
During her first session at the facility, Megan is resistant, to put it mildly. Nina asks her to write her “Narrative Board” by listing “lies” in one column and “truths” in the other. Megan quietly takes a marker and, under “lies,” writes the words “Terence,” “IHM,” and “This place.” It’s the first time I remember experiencing a mild “yas queen” moment while watching Megan — and it won’t be the last — but Nina quickly pulls the rug out from underneath her, asking if Megan would rather do this with Kyle.
Obviously, the answer is yes, but when Nina goes so far as to open the door and call out, “Kyle, come in here,” Megan’s eyes widen: He’s here? He knows about this?! But Kyle doesn’t appear, and Nina lets the door shut, telling Megan, “Nobody is coming for you.” (That’s fine, Nina, but based on Megan’s expression right now, I think somebody might be coming for you.)
Terence and Deann meet up with Connor (Megan’s extortionist) at a diner, where he’s disappointed to learn they haven’t brought the five million dollars he politely requested as hush money for the six-year sentence he served for killing Megan’s stepbrother Evan, which he did not do. (She did.) Instead, Terence offers Connor a more sensible payment plan. But when Connor refuses the counteroffer, Deann shoves him against the wall and tells him that if he doesn’t accept, “I will put you in the ground.” After that, Connor is more cooperative.
In the middle of the night, Megan spots another recruit being dragged out of a van and dropped off at the facility. This gives her an idea — and gives us The Arrangement’s most thrilling sequence to date: While the van driver isn’t looking, Megan runs outside, climbs in the back of his van, and hides. And just like that, she’s past the gate, away from the facility, and into the woods.
The driver gets out to pee, and Megan makes a run for it, successfully hiding in a tree when he attempts to chase her down and catch her. Once he’s given up, she runs some more — briefly followed by a drone — until she stumbles across a nice house in the woods, where a nice older woman takes her in and offers her a nice breakfast of tea and scrambled eggs. And if you think this all sounds a little too nice, you’re right: Megan soon spots a pillow embroidered with a familiar phrase: “LIFE IS A LIVING THING.” And once again, she’s running.
But she doesn’t get far before she’s intercepted — not by IHM security guards, but by Kyle himself, who says he had no choice but to send her there; it was the only way they could be together. That’s right: Kyle knew. And he didn’t just know, he made it happen. Before Megan has a chance to process all of this, Terence and his stooge are upon her, needle in hand.
This time, when Megan wakes up, it’s Terence who greets her with a vial of purple liquid — the hallucinogenic potion we remember him taking a couple episodes ago when he fantasized about being Kyle. After some IHM garbage-talk, Terry finally asks Megan, “Do you want to live the rest of your life in fear?” No, it seems she does not. She opens the vial and downs it.
While Megan jumps into a hallucination, Kyle jumps into the air several times. He’s at home, mid-workout, chatting with Deann about an upcoming shoot for Vanity Fair. He tells Deann he can’t really focus on such frivolous things because he can’t stop thinking about Megan. And yet, he continues to jump rope, swing a kettlebell, and pump his arms with resistance bands. So it does seem like he’s managing pretty okay.
As it turns out, Megan’s trip isn’t so much a fantasy as a play-by-play flashback of what really happened with her stepbrother Evan six years ago. Evan is throwing a party at his bachelor pad in Hong Kong (Connor’s there, too) when Megan shows up to confront him. From the moment we meet Evan, we’re rooting for Megan’s revenge. He’s a chain-smoking monster whose response to “Why did you take advantage of me when I was 11 and you were 17?” is to try and force her to do it again.
Megan shoves Evan off, grabs a handy champagne bottle, and bashes him in the head a bunch. Back in the facility, she wakes from her flashback, sobbing, confessing that “It wasn’t self-defense. It was payback.” Terence holds her, satisfied with this breakthrough.
For a guy who’s feeling tortured over the fact that he essentially imprisoned his fiancée, Kyle has managed to keep himself busy this week. He’s prepping for his Vanity Fair cover shoot, his hair swoop just keeps getting higher and higher, and also, he plays piano now! He’s tickling the ivories when Megan appears behind him, escorted by Terence, who’s extremely proud of her recent transformation.
“That’s beautiful,” Megan says of Kyle’s piano jam, looking perfectly composed and completely dead behind the eyes. And just like that, the transformation is complete: She’s Katie Holmes circa 2008. (Remember when Katie — or “Kate” — went on Good Morning America with a blunt bob and repeatedly described her wedding as “magical”? Bone-chilling!)
Kyle apologizes for forcing her to do something so drastic against her will, and I find myself hoping he meets the same fate Evan did. But Megan isn’t angry — far from it. She thanks Kyle for sending her to the facility. The bad-ass Megan we know and love is long gone.
Or is she? While Kyle poses in a kimono on a throne for his Vanity Fair cover shoot (the theme is “King of the Sea,” and the vibe is less Annie Leibowitz and more children’s production of The Little Mermaid), Megan visits Shaun at IHM. They haven’t really connected since Shaun became Terry’s in-house counsel, or since Megan’s trip to the facility. Shaun asks Megan about a recent Personal Mythology Workshop, but that’s not what she’s here to discuss. Megan looks around, makes sure nobody’s within earshot, and finally says: “I went through hell. And I need you. Because I’m gonna burn the whole thing down.”
Like I told you up top: I gasped! Just ask my dog; I interrupted her nap. I wanted to crawl through the screen, high-five Megan, and hand her the matches. Even without a Leah Remini cameo or the return of Kyle’s goats from the pilot, this was an awesome end to a wild and wonderful season — a complete “yas queen” moment.