On tonight’s episode of The L.A. Complex, "The Contract," every character had to face facts. The road to success in Los Angeles is paved with scandal, false value systems and judgment.
It actually is how you play the game - and whether you win or lose is of the utmost importance because everyone wants to be on top and there’s not a lot of room for error.
What I love about this show is just how high the stakes are. Everyone’s livelihood is dependent on making their chosen careers work for them. That’s why “The Lux” is an important setting. These aren’t nice apartments, even though for the sake of television, that pool looks pretty great. It’s gritty. This series is gritty. Nothing is easy and nothing gets handed to characters, unless it’s with a twist and unless what’s being handed to the character, they want no part of.
Take Connor for instance. He started off his day defining his relationship with Raquel, seemingly happy for once! Then he runs off to meet Jennifer Bell, a movie star, thinking she has a script in mind. She makes him an offer that some people might not refuse. Dating a beautiful, big time movie star contractually would mean a movie career for him. But does Connor even like acting? All his success seems to do is further isolate him from his friends and doubt himself and his abilities.
While Connor is horrified by his contract, Abby dutifully signs her morality agreement, a must, on the set of Saving Grace. I love that after watching this show for a short season, the viewer knows that this religious set will be corrupt in some way. And sure enough, the actors playing brother and sister are caught by Abby having sex in brother Brandon’s dressing room. And here we have Abby in another unusual predicament.
It's great that Abby always gets caught up in something so beyond her reach. I predict that the brother and sister acting team (Brandon and Laura) will end up outing Abby in some way to get her kicked off the series.
While Abby is off having to play nice with the faux-twins, Nick is also coming off of a weird first day. After finally calling a truce with Sabrina, he says nothing in the writer’s room until Sabrina encourages him and he finally shares an idea that Tomkins considers winning. But it might be all for naught since Nick is not contracted for his position yet, and he may never be.
Meanwhile, Raquel is dying for a contract of her choice, but people are telling her exactly what she doesn’t want to hear. Raquel is her own worst enemy; she is constantly getting in her own way and unwilling to accept that she can’t be, even in terms of acting, someone who she isn’t. I did love that even though she erupted in the class, she changed her style to soften herself up, which of course, didn’t work. The blonde wig. Not good.
This leaves us with the three people on the show with the highest stakes: Beth, Simon, and Kaldrick. I’ll admit I was skeptical of new characters, but I am enjoying watching Beth and Simon navigate Los Angeles. And they’re going to stumble, but I definitely root for them.
Just as last week’s episode left us with the lasting image of Kaldrick bleeding on the floor, this last scene was just as memorable and disheartening. Kaldrick answered the doctor truthfully, much to his friend’s dismay, admitting he was still feeling suicidal and was devastated his first attempt didn’t work. Kaldrick is not the type to open up to just anyone and he remained closed off in group therapy and in one on one therapy.
In the last moments, his friend comes to get him out of the hospital, “rescuing” him, but Kaldrick needs a moment. He confides in someone who can’t judge him. He admits to being a “faggot” which truly may be the saddest moment of series. Because not only does Kaldrick hate what he did to Tariq, he hates himself so fiercely that even when he’s coming out to a stranger, he has to call himself a hateful name. He’s an extremely flawed man, but I’m rooting for him and am completely wrapped up in Kaldrick’s story.
Another week well done, The L.A. Complex. Now if we can just a few more hundred thousand people watching!