“The Consultant” has a lot going on after the death of the CEO of a gaming company called Compware. Initially, Sang’s (the CEO’s) death is chalked up to “games rotting the minds of children, and then they pick up guns,” but the emergence of a mysterious individual named Regus Patoff reveals that he’s the reason behind Sang’s death. Regus met with Sang prior to his death and told him that Compware was going to shut down in a few months, and if Sang didn’t die and let Regus take care of things, the company and Sang’s legacy would be lost in the sands of time. Sang evidently agreed, thereby allowing Regus to wreak havoc on the employees of Compware under the garb of “getting good results.” The story largely unfolds through the eyes of Elaine, the creative liaison, and Craig, a game designer, as they uncover Patoff’s backstory while trying to keep a proper work-life balance. There are several things that come to a head before the climax of “The Consultant.” So, let’s talk about them and what the ending actually means.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Regus Patoff Is Literally Made Of Gold?
When Regus Patoff showed up and took control of Compware, I thought he was some scammer who was keeping track of the company, and he took a wild swing to become its CEO, and it worked. And I thought that Patoff’s arc was going to be about his efforts to ensure that his secret doesn’t get out, thereby making the show about how Millennials and Zoomers have become more prone to scams despite having all the technology and information at their disposal. The fact that Regus Patoff’s name is essentially the acronym Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. (Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) fueled the theory that he was pulling a Keyser Söze from “The Usual Suspects.” But the reality was way more weird and leaned heavily towards science-fiction. The first hint came from Milani—who had an artificial leg, an artificial hand, and an artificial jaw—who told Craig to track down Frank Florez in Pomona. Initially, Florez appeared to be a standard jeweler. However, as soon as Craig brought up Patoff’s name, he revealed that, over the course of several months, many doctors came to him to get parts of a skeleton that were made of gold.
Florez kept asking him if Craig knew how much Patoff weighed because if his bones were made of gold, then he’d be heavier than he looked. With this revelation, Patoff’s inability to climb stairs made sense because it must be difficult for him with his heavy bones. In addition to that, the glass-cracking sound in all the scenes where Patoff stood on the glass bridge between the staircase and his chambers attained a new meaning. I thought that it was just a random thing that the sound designers were doing in order to heighten the tension between Patoff and the person he was looking down upon (the person was usually Craig). But it became apparent that the glass was literally on the brink of cracking. You can see a direct parallel between Patoff on the glass bridge and Craig’s game, which was initially titled “Upskirt Jungle” and then rebranded to “Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey” and involved animals being dropped onto a glass platform until it broke. That said, theories and speculations do not amount to anything until there’s any tangible evidence. And in order to get tangible evidence, Craig needed to pry Patoff open and see if there was anything golden under his skin.
Is Compware’s Game Actually Causing People To Rage Out?
While Craig went out to uncover Patoff’s truth, Patoff ordered Craig’s team to complete “Upskirt Jungle,” label it “Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey,” and then send it out for mass consumption. Since Elaine was skeptical about Patoff’s methods, she sent the game out to a focus group to get a better idea of its good and bad aspects before putting it in the hands of the general public. And the common feedback that emerged from those interactions was that level 316 of the game was causing people to rage out to such an extent that they were either smashing their faces into mirrors or punching into windows. It was hard to believe until we saw it in practice with Craig. Even though his work life was in shambles, his physical and mental health were crumbling, and his fiance was on the verge of leaving him, he continued to play that game. When he reached level 316, he kept failing again and again. At one point, it seemed he was going to put it down with the intention of focusing on his life again. Instead, he went up to the window, which had been newly repaired because it had been mysteriously broken earlier, and smashed it.
I think this particular phenomenon that’s shown in “The Consultant” straddles the line between blaming video games for erratic behavior and highlighting the side effects of making a game without testing it out properly. When it comes to correlating games with violent actions, I think it’s absolutely nonsensical. Except for some kind of blatant propaganda, any form of entertainment is incapable of provoking a person to harm themselves or harm another. The ethics of a storyline can be questioned. But it’s really stupid to say that a video game can make someone crazy. Although it might seem anecdotal in nature, an entire generation of people, including me, have grown up playing all kinds of games, and the thought of recreating what we’ve seen in them has never crossed our minds. Blaming games for the problems plaguing our society is easy. Tackling parental negligence, bullying, and having unfettered access to guns in real life is hard. As for releasing games without proper testing, that’s a real thing. Players want their games to be hard enough to be enjoyable but doable enough to achieve success. However, making the process impossible isn’t going to appease anyone and may even cause the core market to review it negatively.
Does The Elephant Symbolize Labor Exploitation?
The brilliant thing about “The Consultant” was that you never knew how a certain plot thread was going to escalate. So, when Elaine thoughtlessly said during a “brainstorming session” to market “Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey” that they should let an actual elephant rampage all around Downtown Los Angeles, it didn’t seem like a big deal. But when Patoff insisted and even forced Elaine to double down on that idea, it became clear that he actually wanted that to happen, even if it caused damage to public property and involved the kidnapping of an actual elephant. Elaine had nowhere else to go, so she followed through on her promise to get the elephant. She even got in touch with her ex-boyfriend, Patrice, because he was the only person she knew who would do anything for a reasonable amount of money. After a lot of back and forth, everyone agreed that the price for setting the animal loose was $20,000. $10,000 was paid in advance, and Patoff said that the rest of the $10,000 would be paid upon successful completion of the task. However, since Patrice fumbled the bag and the elephant was killed while being captured, Patoff refused to pay the rest of the money, thereby getting the job done for $10,000.
In this day and age, I think this move by Patoff will actually be seen as some kind of smart business strategy. Yes, some folks over on Twitter and Instagram will question the ethics of Patoff’s methods. But the people around idiots like Patoff will say that if endangering hundreds of lives with an elephant, which eventually dies, leads to the successful marketing of a product, then it’s all worth it. From a skewed perspective, even you can agree with that notion. However, if you are eventually going to earn millions and billions of dollars (or whatever the currency of your country is), shouldn’t you at least ensure that the cost of labor is equivalent to the physical and mental toll that it takes to get the job done? Patoff clearly doesn’t need to earn. His masters are evidently the benefactors. Since “kidnapping an actual elephant and letting it loose” apparently comes under Elaine’s duties, she doesn’t get anything extra for going out of her way to make it happen. You can hate Patrice all you want for his antics and say that he deserved what he got for being rude to Elaine. However, if we are strictly talking about equity, I don’t think “emotions” should get in the way. All this is a roundabout way of saying that the modern definition of being a smart businessman is synonymous with labor exploitation, period.
‘The Consultant’ Ending Explained: Does Compware’s “Success” Justify Regus Patoff’s Methods?
The threads that “The Consultant” chose to conclude in Season 1 were Craig’s confrontation with Regus Patoff, the truth behind Patoff’s golden bones, the mysterious disappearance of Patti, and Compware’s resurgence. Given the 1 million plus downloads of “Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey,” it was clear that Compware was going to survive. Before the final episode, we were shown that Patti was kept in the record room in the basement of Compware by Regus, and she was being forced to finish typing out the details of Craig’s past. She wasn’t exactly kidnapped. She had suspicions about Craig’s loyalty because of his unplanned trip to Pomona and his proximity to Elaine, which were fueled by Patoff’s showing of a CCTV image of Craig and Elaine holding hands. So, she wanted to get even by cheating on Craig with Patoff. But instead of doing so, Patoff sat her down in front of the typewriter. He took away her phone and kept sending aggravating texts to Craig while pretending to be Patti. When Craig found that phone in Mama Sang’s possession (who was also safe and sound after her meeting with Patoff), he decided to go one-to-one with Patoff, while Elaine rescued Patti with the help of her duplicate records room key.
Craig’s “fight” with Patoff was thematically sound. Both of the characters’ relationships with glass were well established, and Craig taking a sledgehammer and cracking the bridge, thereby causing Patoff to fall through because of his weight, made total sense. But as Elaine started to paint Regus Patoff as some kind of savior of the company, I began to realize that the showrunners were trying to pull off a “Whiplash” effect. What does that mean? Well, there are two kinds of conclusions that are drawn by two categories of people after watching the Damien Chazelle documentary. One section of the audience thinks that Terence Fletcher’s style of tough love is absolutely correct because that’s the way geniuses are made. Another section of the audience thinks that Terence Fletcher is the villain and that no amount of success is worth the trauma people like Terence or Regus inflict upon a person. If it isn’t clear already, I agree with the latter because there’s no tried and tested method for success, but there are very clear ways to function in a healthy manner. I’ll prefer sanity over money. If you are going to make me insane, you better pay me accordingly. Since Patoff doesn’t do that, and we don’t know how long Compware’s winning streak is going to last because the economy is just that fickle, I have to say that the madman’s methods aren’t justified.
What Can We Expect From ‘The Consultant’ Season 2?
I want to state it upfront: I don’t have any news that Amazon Prime Video has greenlit Season 2 of “The Consultant.” Given how that depends on viewership and whatnot, we’ll have to wait for an official announcement. I also want to state that if “The Consultant” doesn’t get a Season 2, there’s nothing to worry about because the showrunners have done a very good job of giving (most) of its plot threads a satisfying conclusion. With all that out of the way, let’s talk about the plot threads that can be continued in this hypothetical Season 2 of the series. The most obvious one is the unfinished rivalry between Craig and Patoff. When Patoff fell through the glass, one of his toes got severed. Craig secured it, cut it open, and found the golden bones in it, thereby confirming that Patoff is indeed made of gold. Now, I don’t think Craig is going to stop there; he’s going to use his detective skills to get to the bottom of Patoff’s origin. Talking about Patoff, we see that he has already moved on to his next mission by getting yet another CEO killed. Since he doesn’t move around a lot, he’s going to be an easy target. If Craig finds out the location of that company, he’ll be able to go after him. I don’t know if Patti will be in the mood to seek revenge for what Regus did to her since she looks like she’s ready to move on. However, if she does team up with Craig to take down Patoff, I won’t be surprised.
However, taking down Patoff won’t be easy because other than the golden bone, does Craig have anything to turn the authorities on him? Elaine has basically given Patoff a clean chit after becoming the CEO of Compware. The employees of Compware probably don’t see Patoff as a villain. The elephant incident will never be tracked back to Patoff because that would jeopardize Elaine as the newly appointed CEO of Compware. Patti won’t be able to prove that she was brainwashed and forced to endlessly type out page after page of information. On top of all that, the company that’s responsible for making Patoff in the first place has to be immensely powerful in every way imaginable. They can easily send Craig to jail for putting a tracking program in the game, thereby making Compware guilty of snooping, if he tries to get too close to Patoff. So, how is Craig going to go up against all that with one golden bone? Well, the hint is right there in the form of the kid who killed Sang in the first place. Given how he completes Level 316 of “Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey” without losing his mind like the rest of the people, he can be the key to bringing Patoff and the organization behind him to their knees. If he can reveal who or what forced him to kill Sang, then Craig can get the upper hand in this nefarious game. That said, if that kid turns out to be the next Patoff in the making, then there’s no hope for our heroes. At the cost of sounding repetitive, I am okay with the story of “The Consultant” ending with just one season. If Prime Video decides to make another season, though, I’ll be ready to stream it as soon as it releases.