Sunday, September 22, 2019

REVIEW: 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida' - Krystal and Cody Learn the Truth About Obie's Wealth in 'American Merchandise'

Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida - Episode 1.06 "American Merchandise"

Krystal rubs elbows with the upper crust. Cody makes a surprising business proposal. Ernie finds his rhythm as a recruiter and celebrates with pizza.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

"American Merchandise" was written by Carlos Rios and directed by Julie Anne Robinson

The concluding moments of this episode are the most dramatically satisfying and emotionally earned of the entire season so far. It just takes a lot of work and effort to get to them. It hopes to land in a stunning and moving way so that Krystal doesn't have any other choice but to reach out to the journalist who has just been fired. It just comes after the show had started to repeat its stories in a way that made it seem like it had nothing left of value and interest to say about the topic. Krystal has long known that FAM is a scam. She was just willing to work the system in order to expand her own Splashercise business. She sees that as the successful opportunity that can lead to financial prosperity for her and her family. This episode starts off with a flashback to her youth that shows she had to kill her dog with a gun because her family didn't have the money to put him down humanely. That is tragic. It doesn't really inform the audience of anything new about her upbringing though. It does help explain how she has gotten so enamored with some of the more luxurious items she has received as of late. It's a big deal for her to get new washing and drying machines. Other people come to her house just to use the technology. It's a symbol that she is moving up in her life. She is making something of what has been given to her. She doesn't truly feel any kind of genuine love with Cody. However, it's exciting to be with him because of the kind of influence he can bring. The two of them are literally at a Republican donor dinner and get to meet Vice President Dan Quayle. That is huge for them. It's not even about the politics - of which everyone should rightfully be horrified. Instead, it's completely about the excitement of being amongst the wealthy until Obie continues to laugh at Krystal's business proposal. He doesn't take her seriously. No one in this room does though. It's not easy to just find a new investor for this idea. That's the one piece of advice Krystal gets from Cody's mother. That is a huge surprise. It also states that Cody comes from a wealthy family. He has never had to struggle for anything in his life. He hasn't had to risk any of his own money with FAM. He has just been faking it this entire time. It's a way for him to sell himself as a success in order to motivate his downline. That's what this entire business strategy is. It's just about faking it until one day you potentially make it into Obie's inner circle. Cody latched onto this man for a reason. He is the father figure he needs in his life. Cody's actual father being in jail doesn't seem to have changed his mother's influence in the world though. It was a big deal for Cody. He pushed her away even though he relies on her money. She doesn't expect that back. Nor does she wish to continue to entertain this criminal scheme. No one at this dinner takes Obie seriously. He's simply a man placed in the back of the room because of his wild theories. No, he isn't the same as the crowd of protesters outside talking about aliens. But he doesn't belong here either because he is corrupting the people of the world. He gives them hope that this business can be lucrative for them. It's all a lie though. The tapes and the books are where his money comes from. That's the source of his fortune. It may give Cody some legitimate money now. But it's so destructive to Krystal because she sees a man who destroyed her dream even though he is a liar to the millions of people who believe in everything he says. She is inspired to go to the press simply because she sees just how far under the spell Ernie has gotten. At first, it seems like Ernie is simply working his downline to ensure that people don't quit on him. But he ultimately has become a person who wants to see hope and opportunity in anyone even someone holding him at gunpoint. That man dies right in front of Ernie. He wanted to believe he could save him and change his life entirely. He can't. He is giving his all to FAM so hopefully he can save the next life. He doesn't want to hear what Krystal now has to say about the business. He needs to though because it is only going to cause more pain for the family next door that Krystal relies so much on to help raise her daughter.