All eight episodes of Prime Video’s new show The Consultant made their debut Friday, allowing folks to fly through the entirety of the workplace saga like the levels of an addicting mobile game.
The show about a workplace that gets a bizarre new boss stars Christoph Waltz as Regus Patoff, Nat Wolff as Craig, Brittany O’Grady as Elaine and Aimee Carrero as Patti. I binge-watched the darkly comedic series and enjoyed it, but I felt like the ending kept some rewards just out of reach.
What about Craig and Elaine’s will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic? Is Craig still an employee at CompWare? How does Regus literally have a golden skeleton? Is he even human?
These questions could, of course, be addressed in a second season. While we wait to see if season 2 is going to happen, this is what we did learn from the season 1 finale of Prime Video’s new series, which is based on Bentley Little’s 2015 novel of the same name.
Creative liaison no more
As a refresher, The Consultant follows Regus Patoff, a mysterious stranger who takes over at a mobile game company called CompWare after the sudden death of its CEO, Mr. Sang. Young employees Craig and Elaine subsequently experience new demands and challenges, such as Patoff’s absurd, sincere request to Elaine to release a real-life elephant in downtown LA to promote the mobile game Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey.
Elaine enlists her ex-boyfriend Patrice to do the deed for $20,000, the budget Patoff allotts for her. Then Patoff only gives her half for him upfront. In the finale, Patrice returns to CompWare to collect the other half.
The finale reveals the elephant died after it was shot with tranquilizers. Patoff takes his sweet time to appear at CompWare, which is in full party mode after the release of Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey, and then tells Elaine that Patrice’s money went toward the festivities.
Undeterred, Elaine comes up with a cold plan to trick Patrice into waiting longer for payment while she anonymously tips him off to the authorities.
When Patoff appeared at CompWare, he shook up the company with heartless terminations, rushed game launches and more in order to supposedly improve the business. At the end of the finale, Elaine approaches the boss’ office, seemingly signaling she’s CompWare’s next CEO.
Regus and Craig’s showdown
If Elaine is counted as a winner in this dark tale, Craig is the biggest loser. Though Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey wouldn’t exist without him, at the party in the finale, he’s entirely disinterested. His fiance, Patti, appears to have left him after he lied about being sick to spend time looking into Patoff. But Patoff has intervened in their relationship more than Craig knows. Patti didn’t ghost him — instead, she’s typing up handwritten text for Patoff in CompWare’s records room.
In the finale, Craig finally learns the truth after he and Elaine manage to locate Patti’s phone. It’s not Patti who has it, but Sang’s mother who disappeared some episodes back, and she was given the phone by Patoff.
Craig and Elaine hurry back to CompWare. Elaine goes after Patti and an enraged Craig takes on Patoff. He grabs a large mallet used for an activity during the party and walks closer and closer to his evil boss.
Craig repeatedly hits and cracks the glass beneath the both of them on the upper floor, and it’s reminiscent of Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey, in which glass breaks under the weight of heavy animals. Patoff tells Craig that his targets were met, and costs were justified, gesturing to Craig as a “cost.”
Craig, who’d gotten a tip from the jewelry store owner Frank Florez that Patoff could, somehow, contain a skeleton of solid gold, seems to bet on that as he smashes the glass. And Patoff does, ultimately, fall through.
Craig doesn’t get the girl
Before Patoff slips through the glass, a couple of party tables breaking his fall, he tells Craig “you’re not the hero. You don’t even get the girl.” It isn’t immediately clear who he’s talking about.
Craig’s relationship with Patti appears to end in the finale. We see her with roller bags leaving a key with Craig. We also see Elaine looking at a file in the records room with Craig’s name on it.
Craig’s lies to Patti are no doubt a red flag, even if they weren’t compatible. Patoff also explains in the finale that when Patti was in the records room (and seemingly in some sort of trance), she helped Patoff complete his file. “She’s seen your weakness, your betrayal, she poured it out on every page in her own words,” Patoff says. Could he have done this to ensure Craig never had a shot at Elaine either? If there’s a season 2, we’d need to see these characters return to finish what was started.
Regus’ golden interior
When Regus takes his fateful tumble, one of his big toes is sliced off and lands in a pile of leftover party shrimp.
It’s retrieved by Craig, who freezes it, boils and de-fleshes it to reveal a shiny golden bone.
So Patoff is literally made of gold. Is that why he has so much trouble lugging his body up and down flights of stairs? Does that mean he’s not human? How could he be?
It’s unveiled in an earlier episode that jewelry store owner Frank Florez made the golden skeleton for Patoff, and the experience basically ruined Florez’s marriage. There’s probably some deeper meaning here, but I could also see a character like Patoff getting gold body parts at the expense of a poor man’s happiness just because that’s what he likes to do.
One thing sticks out as hinting that Patoff might not be human. Florez never actually saw Patoff in person while he crafted the bones. However, he did receive checks with Patoff’s signature. How could he have signed a check without a functioning hand?
Regus gets results
Patoff got Mr. Sang to sign off on him taking over by promising to secure Mr. Sang’s legacy. By the finale, Patoff had indeed reversed CompWare’s dire course. Sang’s mother suggests her son is alive through Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey. A naked statue version of Sang watches over a bustling CompWare.
“All I can really tell you about Regus Patoff,” Elaine can be heard saying at the end of the episode, “he gets results.”
Just don’t think about what it took to get there.
Patoff lost a pricey big toe, but it didn’t keep him from taking his services to yet another company, Pterodactyl Robotics. A news report playing at the end reveals the death of its founder, who strived to develop the first humanoid workforce. If Patoff is indeed actually a robot, maybe he’ll finally find some colleagues he can better relate to.