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The Arrangement

The Arrangement – Trips (1×07)

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This week’s episode of The Arrangement shows us the other side of the perfect Hollywood relationship; a side where both actors are acting in bed while making love to each other because they’ve both done “things” they’d rather forget. Megan’s mind is distracted because she’s guilty about kissing and having slight feelings for her director Nate. Kyle’s is a little darker as he’s traumatized by having to live out Detective Gaffey’s sexual fantasy in order to save IHM. *Shudders*

And despite how gross Kyle’s latest “assignment” was, it was actually effective because it shined a new light on the Institute and his dear friend Terrence. Up until now it seemed like Kyle was under Terence’s spell and backing IHM because they “saved him” and he owed them. He didn’t see how twisted and corrupt the Institute was, which is something Megan was skeptical about since day 1. But after being pimped out and realizing that Terence didn’t even fight for him, he pulls up looking like a badass, pins the manager to the wall and tells him he’s done with him. No amount of threats from Terence about “I made you and I can destroy you” can scare Kyle anymore. But on a serious note – what does that mean for Kyle’s career?

The emotional distanced “lovebirds” are brought together again after attending the wedding of Tessa, Megan’s childhood best friend. Initially Kyle was set to skip the wedding to mingle with some big wig executives for his new movie but after his altercation with Terence, he blows it off and skips town (his favorite “I’m stressed” activity) with his girl.

I’ll admit, in a normal setting outside of the fake Hollywood life, Kyle is actually pretty charming. Tessa’s parents, who are like Megan’s second family would agree, especially when he accepts the challenge of building a gazebo to prove he isn’t just a pretty face. You go Kyle.

Megan seems to be in good spirits but her best friend knows something is up. For one, she’s not as giddy about dating Kyle West as she was in the beginning and Tessa just can’t figure out why. I kind of want to tell her about the whole IHM controls his life, I signed a contract, and I might have feelings for another dude, situation but really, that’s not my place. Plus, Megan is sworn to secrecy and that right there just shows you how far removed she is from the simple life she led not too long ago.

But the uncertainty of her relationship isn’t the only thing that’s bothering. Kyle is quick to realize that there’s something from Megan’s past that’s bugging her. We quickly find out that it has to do something with a girl named Rebecca, who Tessa reveals is actually coming to the wedding. At first I thought this was an “ex best friend” situation until the series took a horror-movie twist when Megan sees a reflection of a guy named Evan in her kitchen window. Whoever he is, whatever happened with him, is enough to give her a panic attack.

The day of the wedding, Megan remains uneasy, freaking out whenever she runs into Rebecca. During her last break down, Kyle is able to squeeze out the truth from his girlfriend – Evan was her stepbrother that molested her several times when she was a kid.

This is the first time we’re hearing anything about Megan’s family and since it’s so dark, it’s no wonder she’s haunted by her past. When Kyle asks what happened to Evan she simply says “he died.” And that’s that. Megan telling Kyle the truth somehow brings them closer together and they even exchange “I love yous” again.

While I feel for Megan, I have to admit that the story comes out of left field as she’s never really exhibited any signs of past trauma. It does however explain why we’ve never heard of her family and definitely opens up more story possibilities for the future. Yet for an episode that was supposed to be focused on her best friends wedding, Megan’s attention was everywhere but with Tessa. Even when the newlyweds were leaving their own party, Megan was too focused on her relationship to care. I’d say someone didn’t take their maid of honor duties too seriously.

Kyle and Megan’s getaway brilliantly paralleled what was going on in Hollywood, particularly with Terence. You think the wedding was dramatic? Terence was so thrown off by his fall out with Kyle, he took some “safe shrooms” and hallucinated in an isolation tank. I guess the whole purpose was to clear his mind and face his subconscious in hopes of getting back to being the great and mighty cult leader.

All I know is, it was one hell of a trip. He was basically Kyle, dating a very vain version of Megan. Apparently, Terence crafted Kyle in order to live out his own failed dreams. He also realizes that he’s created this institute to help people but he actually doesn’t care about anybody except himself… and money I suppose. Kyle was right, he is a fraud.

I’m not sure what the purpose here was but regardless, Terence emerges rejuvenated and refreshed and goes back to IHM and teaches a profound and touching workshop. It’s all so weird that I’m kind of sitting here wondering how the hell Kyle never saw any of this and thought “what the eff man.”

Meanwhile, Deann is embracing her new relationship with Annika, who is apparently a professional dominatrix. She’s giving Terence’s wife a massage to “reset” her after taking her body to extremes. I don’t really want to know what that means. When I see these two together though, the only thing on my mind is “trouble.” Imagine when Terence realizes he’s losing his hold on both Kyle and his wife. No amount of shrooms will be able to bring him back from that anger-fueled episode.

And while it seems like both Deann and Terence were busy “resetting,” someone had enough time to come and trash Kyle’s sleek apartment. Whoever did this didn’t steal anything they were merely making a point that they can come in whenever they please. Definitely sounds like something a post shrooms Terence would do to establish his authority over Kyle yet again.

 

 

If you thought things were messy when Megan signed that contract, you had no idea.

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The Arrangement

The Arrangement – Sins (1×09)

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The Arrangement Sins

It’s been a wild ride for Megan Morrison but it came crashing down on this weeks The Arrangement as her past came back to haunt her and Kyle turned to Terence for guidance.

We start off with Megan getting blindsided by the cover of a gossip tabloid, reporting that there’s trouble in paradise between her and Kyle, providing a picture of him in bed with Amelia Briggs, the co-star he’s rumored to be “moving on with.” Megan laughs it off because “it’s just Hollywood” but is surprised to learn it’s a PR stunt and Kyle knew all about it.

Well, not “all about it” but he knew of the road map without details. The “romance” between him and Amelia was faked by a marketing company in order to sell tickets to the movie. But no worries – they planned to have Megan and Kyle reconcile just in time for the premiere. I guess I always believed that certain relationships could be publicity stunts but I never actually thought about the process behind it; a whole team mapping out your life, just to advance your career? No wonder Megan was a little bummed about it. Between this and the contract, it seems like she’s just living this artificial life that’s planned by someone else.

Seeing how upset this all made her, Kyle decided to be spontaneous and planned a little date night at Nobu. This isn’t really relevant to the storyline but if a cover just teased trouble in paradise for these two, wouldn’t a public outing negate it, proving that they are still together and madly in love? Just saying.

The two never made it to Nobu because their motorcycle “accidentally” broke down by the beach – just in time for them to catch the sunset from a secluded little love suite. Turns out, Kyle planned the whole thing not as an apology, but as a proposal. See, sometimes Kyle can make his own decisions!

Somehow, word of their engagement got out to E! News and the only person that was happy about that diamond ring was Megan. Everyone else was peeved that Kyle had gone off course, thus botching their mastermind marketing plans. You know how much money is lost on a movie when two leads are in love? A lot. Which makes me wonder why they didn’t just give the part to Kyle’s actual GF Megan like originally planned if the goal was to sell a love story?

The engagement is quickly pushed to the backburner when Megan is blackmailed by the same dude who broke into Kyle’s apartment and has been stalking the outside of the lavish Hills home. As Kyle takes a call making sure that Amelia’s rehab check in was merely a PR stunt, Megan is approached by a man who is all sorts of unsettling. At first she doesn’t recognize him but he gets right down to the point – he went to jail after taking the fall for Evan’s death, after Megan killed him.

Need a refresher? Evan was Megan’s handsy step-brother. She told Kyle all about him during a trip back home for her best friends wedding. At the time, she admitted that Evan passed but never revealed cause of death.

After the confrontation, Megan is sick to her stomach, not because she killed a guy but because she was about to be exposed and it could potentially threaten Kyle’s whole career. She couldn’t tell him the truth because then she’d reveal that she was dishonest when signing their contract and a breach could cost her a career when she’d only just started.

She decides to turn to Shaun for advice and considering she’s a lawyer, it seems logical. That is until she finds out that her BFF is actually working as a counsel for Terence, aka the one person you absolutely don’t want to find out about something like this. It’s no secret that he’s not a fan of Megan and would take this and run with it.

Realizing she’d exhausted all her options, Megan finally comes clean to Kyle, who is more peeved about the fact that she lied and now he has to pay $5 million dollars than about her killing someone. Hollywood you know. How can a man who has lied about a majority of their relationship get mad about his partner doing the same thing? You tell me.

He assures her that he still loves her and tells her he’ll handle it. I was surprised that Megan went to seek advice from Kyle but after all the recent events, it seemed like he really was in her corner, backing her up and taking on the “we’re in this together mindset.” Oh, you don’t even know how wrong Megan was.

Soon after, Terence calls Megan’s agent and she knows that it’s #GameOver. Instead of trying to find a solution, Megan decides to pack her things and leave Kyle a goodbye note. As she’s finishing up, Deann appears at the house telling Megan “it’ll be okay” before a man throws a bag over her head and kidnaps her. Who else is surprised that sweet and provocative Deann is actually siding with IHM? When I saw her sit down after literally ordering the kidnapping of Megan to scheme with Terence some more, who confidently admitted that Kyle would trust him again, I was disgusting.

There’s question about who told Terence about Megan’s predicament. While the series tried to make it seem like Shaun ratted Megan out, I’m confident that her best friend is still weary of IHM, even if she’s slowly buying into all the hoopla. Kyle, however, knew he had limited options and acted the only way he knew how – by turning to his mentor to solve his problems. The good news is that we know he still cares about Megan because he could have just kicked her to the curb to deal with her own problems while ordering the contract void. On the other hand, is it really love or just a further extension to protect his own brand? Megan making the front pages for murder and a breakup would inevitably take a toll on his career, especially since they just got engaged.

After a long trip, stuck in the back of a van, Megan finally arrived at her final destination, a secret Shutter Island-esque facility belonging to IHM. Basically, they want her to undergo a full-on IHM transformation so that she becomes more controllable, aligning her thoughts and ideas with theirs, so she poses less of a problem. In other words – she’s being brainwashed and it proves everything we thought about IHM (and Scientology, I’m sure).

 

Does Kyle even know where Megan was taken too? Has he been here before? Has he secretly been wanting to make Megan into someone that doesn’t challenge anything that his guru Terence recommends? Have we all been fooled? Despite the illusion that Kyle has been grounded and living on the same planet as Megan, he’s still very much stuck in la la land… and not the musical.

The series establishes the IHM for what it really is – a place that eliminates problems when they don’t fir the narrative. And it turns The Arrangement into a semi-horror, semi-love story, semi-tell-all-about-Hollywood. We’re almost at the finale and I’m shocked to say, I can’t wait to see what next twisted turn the series takes.

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The Arrangement

The Arrangement – The Betrayal (1×08)

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The Arrangement The Betrayal

Hollywood, specifically Kyle and Megan’s IHM-influenced Hollywood, is full of betrayals.

This week’s The Arrangement kicks off with the biggest one – the break in at Kyle’s house. After the scary incident, the actor is getting a new system installed at his home, which obviously makes sense considering he’s the ‘it’ actor in Hollywood right now. What doesn’t make sense? That Kyle still hasn’t realized Terrence broke into his place to send him an “I’m always watching message.” Or maybe he has realized it (that dream, am I right) and just doesn’t want to say it, letting his fears give him the courage to ask Megan to finally make the leap to move in with him.

Speaking of “always watching,” Megan tells the system’s expert that she’s definitely not comfortable with a camera inside the house. While I get where she’s coming from, it’s a bummer she’s not looped in on the fact that there’s a secret camera in their house where Terrence can watch EVERYTHING they do, including what they do in the bedroom. Seriously, homeboy is gross.

Quinn, the security expert, respects the whole “no camera’s in the house” rule but offers Kyle so advice – get a handgun. It’s the only way to protect yourself from stalkers, she tells him. Even though like I said, his stalker is someone working for Terrence. The stalker is technically already inside, infiltrating Kyle’s life.

With Megan moving into Kyle’s luxurious place, she calls her best buds over to help her pack up the old apartment. At first, the ladies are having a really great time together, joking and laughing but the fun ends where the secrets begin. Hope is convinced Terence is behind Kyle’s break in (this would be the first time she’s ever been right) but Shaun gets defensive, confessing that she’s actually been getting involved with IHM and even offering up law advice, which you know Terence needs considering all the shady stuff that goes on there. Megan is blindsided but it’s nothing compared to finding out that Hope was actually the one who leaked her nude photos and embarrassed her because she was jealous. “I messed up,” Hope pleads with Megan who basically says #ByeBitch. She definitely doesn’t have time for this kind of drama.

Terence is giving Kyle some space to “just be” after their tiffy last week. Everyone’s noticing it, including Deann, who wants to know why the two best buds are suddenly estranged. Obviously, he won’t tell her the truth about the sham of a business he’s running  (although I’m sure she knows)and she’s not any better, keeping her romance with dominatrix Annika a secret. There’s a clear disconnect between the two lovebirds and it might not be reparable, especially when she realizes she can go on without him and be successful.

There’s also betrayal when it comes to her working relationship with Kyle. She apparently lost the rights to a movie he really wanted to direct. She tried to pretend that it wasn’t her fault but Adam later reveals that she did it because she wanted him to direct a play not run by the studio with Megan as the lead. Kyle’s upset about this but I’m not sure why considering this is what he wanted, right?

When Kyle won’t listen to her, she gives the play to Megan, who immediately falls in love with it. Both fall in love with it and it seems like DeAnn really hit the mark her with “Ann Torren. (She paid Annika a hefty sum of money for that screenplay too!) Megan even thinks the “writer is the real deal,” oh if only she knew the truth! Even though Annika won’t be associated with the project, I have a feeling her real identity will get out causing even more drama for all involved.

Speaking of the truth, sometimes it hurts. Megan focuses her energy on shooting a guest role on a TV show with her childhood idol, Charlotte Banks. Her first day is quite the disaster when she gets rewritten notes from the showrunner Patrick. She spent all night preparing to nail the script only to be taken aback by a brand new one. He offers her cue cards or an earpiece, which Charlotte kindly advises against because it will damage her credibility as an actress. Fair enough.

All the advice from Charlotte is actually helping ease Megan’s nerves. “Us girls have to stick together,” Charlotte says, which is slightly different than her motto for the next day, “millenial bullshit.”  The next day when Megan realizes Charlotte is in fact behind all the rewrites. It’s unclear what Charlotte’s goal was but I’m thinking it was to make Megan look bad and give her a reality check about the industry. Rude. All she proved though was that sometimes, idols aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Seriously sorry about this Megan.

His first night alone at home after the break-in, Kyle is pretty paranoid. He’s like me when I have to stay home alone and hear random noises that are usually made by my fridge but attributed to the paranormal. Turns out, he actually does have something to fear. We see either his or Terence’s secret camera, checking out the property and there’s a MAN in the bushes. Just standing. Creepy as all hell. It’s chilling to the core. Somehow, The Arrangement has turned into a horror show and I’m intrigued yet tempted to turn it off before I have nightmares similar to the ones Kyle had.

Who do you think broke in? Was it Megan’s ex? Was it Megan’s step brother who should be dead but is probably still alive? Is it one of Terence’s henchmen? Ugh, I need answers.

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The Arrangement

The Arrangement – Temptation (1×05)

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The Arrangement Temptation

We got a closer look at the Institute of the Higher Mind on this week’s The Arrangement and it was everything we expected and more. That translates to – so many secrets. And a lot of spying.

We kick things off with Kyle giving a touching speech at a new youth center, telling them about his past as an orphan. The whack part? Kyle isn’t actually an orphan. The whole thing is a lie the Institute made up to sell him. We know because Kyle’s been acting all sorts of weird and getting secret texts from a girl named Drea, who he meets up at secretly in an alleyway. Turns out, she’s his half-sister who wants him to visit their dying father.

The photographr spying on Kyle is actually working for Terrence, who reveals that he’s been having Kyle followed and is a little peeved he’s been lying to him. Deann advises that he let Kyle come talk to him about it when he’s ready. He finally does, revealing that he’d made his final payment for his father’s hospital bill, right before he passes away.

Kyle is clearly blind to the fact that IHM is manipulating him all because he believes he owes Terrance his career and that he saved him. Megan on the other hand isn’t that naive, but she does know how to play her cards right. When Terrence tells her she needs to check out the Institute, she agrees to take the “introductory course.”

The course, led by James aka Shaun’s new boy toy, is difficult for Megan to get into mainly because she doesn’t want them to know more about her and she’s convinced someone is following her. The next day, they’re tasked with no setting an alarm to wake up and of course, Megan oversleeps and lies about it in class. James immediately goes into a speech about how lying to oneself is pointless, which further proves her point.

She befriends a woman in the workshop named Nina, who asks way too many questions about Kyle. Immediately, I knew she was a journalist trying to get the scoop. And I was right but when he recorder fell out in the bathroom, she admitted that she was trying to expose the Institute and its secrets. She begged Megan not to tell anyone and I was certain she wouldn’t.

I underestimated Megan clearly. Hoping to prove that the Institute was spying, she told Terrence about Nina, who was violently removed from class. We then see her chatting with Terrance who admits Megan’s honesty surprised him. As he continues watching the class, Megan “opens up” with the group, telling a sob story about her late son Patrick, who died a few days after birth.

Now we know that isn’t true… at least not for Megan. She heard that story during a campfire with her new co-workers from the play. Earlier in the day, she got into it with Nate after offering some suggestions about his confusing play getting lost in the metaphors. Turns out, he actually isn’t such an asshole because he took her advice and rewrote the script. But then came the kiss after a few too many drinks and the most shocking part – Megan was into it.

The next day at class, she did shut the whole thing down stating “they had to be professional.” What she really wanted to say is that she was breaking her lucrative contract and the Institute would come after her with everything they had. Brutal stuff.

Like the episode title, there was a lot of “temptation” going around and not just with Megan and her new boss. Kyle and his Hollywood co-star Amelia share a moment while he’s re-writing his screenplay but don’t act on it.

Meanwhile, Deann finally reads Anika’s script and is surprised by how good it is. She hands over the notes and then tells her that she thought how she went about getting her attention was sexy. “Let’s keep my husband out of this,” she exclaims, clearly referring to the threesome from the night before. Does this mean she’s trying to gain Anika’s trust before she gets rid of her or is she really into the girl? I can’t tell but dang, Deann is playing with fire here. I don’t think Terrence would appreciate not being the one to call all the shots.

Thoughts? What is Terrence’s agenda for Megan? Will he tell Kyle about her “late baby” exposing the Institute’s spying? Will Megan try to pull Kyle out of IHM? Will she continue having feelings for Nate? Will she tell him about the kiss? Will he come clean about his real father? And will we ever find out what the Institute’s hold is on Kyle? Does he know they have enough evidence to take him down if he ever tries to leave? Does he have a huge secret their helping him protect aside from his estranged family?

 

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