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September 1, 2015

The Riches: Slums of Bayou Hills

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 8th 2008 11:03PM
The Riches(S02E04) Use any cliché you want: this is the episode where the chickens come home to roost, the shit hits the fan, the bill comes due, the Malloys have to pay the piper, etc. etc. What we do know at the end of this episode is that Wayne is starting to get in over his head, and even he knows that his conning skills are only going to get him so far. He's been able to dig himself and his family out of the messes they've created to this point, but this one is a doozy. Not only is he going up against a guy that's probably an even bigger con artist than he is, but also this guy doesn't have any semblance of a conscience. Talk about a deadly combination.

Gallery: The Riches

Minne Driver as Dahlia MalloyEddie Izzard as Wayne MalloyMinnie Driver and Eddie IzzardTodd Stashwick as Dale MalloyNoel Fisher as Cael MalloyShannon Woodward as DiDi MalloyGregg Henry as Hugh PanettaAidan Mitchell as Sam MalloyMargo Martindale as NinaEddie Izzard as Wayne MalloyEddie Izzard as Wayne MalloyEpisode Gregg Henry in the episode Aidan Mitchell in the episode

You know, looking at Felix Minkov, you wonder how Hugh could have ever entered a deal with the guy in the first place. He just looks like he's up to no good. But we all know what Hugh sees: dollar signs. So it doesn't matter if the guy he's golfing with looks like he just came off a Russian fishing barge; all he's hearing is the song of $150 million. Little does he know that Felix wants to not only screw Hugh out of the deal, but do so by sending him to prison, as well. And he's going to want Wayne's help. Check that, he forces Wayne to help him, because a con man knows another con man when he sees him, and could sell out Wayne in a heartbeat. Eep.

But there are more layers of deceit in this Bayou Hills deal. Felix's lawyer, Barry Stone, could sell Wayne out, since he went to college with Doug Rich. But the patented Malloy Dirt Search(tm) took care of that quickly. Also, Felix not only wants to cut out Hugh, but he also has Hugh believing that they'll be able to build Bayou Hills and somehow sidestep the federal government's low income housing requirement. See, they're counting on the rich tenants objecting to living near poor folks who were displaced by Katrina. Peachy guys, aren't they?

Wayne has to be the most naive con man on the planet, because he not only promised Aubrey that he wouldn't sell out the Katrina victims, but he had no idea that Felix would "make" him, so to speak. Anyone who's been watching the show since day one knows that Aubrey's been suspicious of "Doug" for quite a while, but didn't call him on it until now, when she realized he was going to sell out. Since Aubrey's been his law lifeline all this time, Wayne knows he can't lose her. He must have freaked out inside when "You're not really a lawyer, are you?" appeared on his BlackBerry screen after Aubrey transmitted all that law info during the investors' meeting.

Before we get to Dahlia, lets talk a little about DiDi and Cael. We know Cael wants out; he even camped on the lawn because he didn't want to stay in some "rich asshole's" house any longer. But DiDi likes this world, despite the bitchiness of her classmates. She truly was embarrassed that her classmates saw her and Cael play street musicians at the mall. The scene where the two of them sat at the mall, discussing about their diverging interests in Eden Falls, was short but sets up a nice storyline that I hope is explored later in the season.

Now, Dahlia. I'm amazed that she was genuinely surprised that the parole officer cuffed her and yelled at her. The man's seen far too many people skip out on their parole to trust anyone, even someone who's saying that she's tired of running. I'm also surprised at her shock that she couldn't find a job because of her criminal record. It's probably a function of the fact that Dahlia's never had to honestly look for a job before. So, now she has to live even more of a double life; stay in a crummy apartment and gut fish to stay out of jail, work at Panco and live in the Riches' house in order to help Wayne score the big deal. When is she going to crack from the pressure?

Other interesting stuff:
  • Always nice to see Curtis Armstrong on TV. Of course, even twenty-plus years later, I can't see him without thinking of either Booger or Bert Viola.
  • Dale's still trying to weasel himself into this deal, which is hard to do from the mailroom. The look on Hugh's face when he saw Dale in a suit in his conference room was priceless.
  • Eamon Quinn is still lurking. And now he has an education to back up his villany, courtesy of the University of Phoenix. Did the school pay for that product placement? I can see the slogan now: "Teaching con men in prison since 1996." Who knew they even let maximum security prisoners use the internet?
  • Still, Quinn's speech to Ginny about the value of education made him even more creepy. Wayne always felt he was better than the rest of the Travelers because he had a bit of education. Now, he's going to meet his match in Eamon.
Things are getting serious at Eden Falls. Like last week's episode -- and, admittedly, the entire second season so far -- the show's going in a direction that's obliterating pretty much any of the lightness we saw in the first season. I can't imagine that the remaining three episodes of this shortened season are going to get any lighter. That's too bad; I really liked the more whimsical elements that this show displayed last year. Oh, well. Time to buckle up, as things look like they're just going to get darker from here.

Will Wayne dig himself out of this mess?
Sure. He always does.38 (31.9%)
No. This is too big even for him.2 (1.7%)
Maybe. If he does, he'll need some help.79 (66.4%)

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This show is unbelievable. I love watching this show, it completely draws me in.

My feeling is that Hugh has to know that something's up with Doug. Just like Hugh has a sketchy past with a strange personality, he can sense people that are like him. Hence, he likes Doug so much. So therefore I think that eventually Hugh will get drawn into Doug's schemes, because really Hugh is pretty similar in that he has all his own schemes anyway.

April 11 2008 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone else think this is the best acting Minnie Driver has ever done? I started watching this show because I was a fan of Eddie Izzard (and he hasn't dissapointed me a bit) but Minnie has been outstanding!!

April 09 2008 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's great to see that Hugh got his mojo back. Now he can 'go Hugh' on everyone's asses! I just hope they don't do anything stupid and kill him off or send him to prison. I think Wayne will probably frame the Russian. I wish they would clear up all that drama and just have money problems so they could go around doing some Traveller schemes. I think they could get more comedy out of it that way. And bring back short-handed Sweet Dee. She was great.

April 09 2008 at 5:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Although I do like this show a lot, I'm afraid that it falls victim to the same affliction that shows like Huff, Lost, and Weeds all suffer from - the spinning of untangle-able webs.

As you've stated - there are so many issues right now that there's little chance that any of them will be resolved in a whole new season of episodes. This means that unfortunately the rest of this season will lack the much needed gratification of even partial resolution.

Sad. I'm going to keep watching, but I just don't know how many more problems one family can have.

April 09 2008 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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