‘Black Monday’ Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Blair's ice-cold avatar is darker than anything we have seen yet
But what catches you off-guard in this episode is not Blair, but Mo's conniving mind and how he makes a comeback with a plan
Spoilers for ‘Black Monday’ Season 2 Episode 9 ‘At That Time’
In the aftermath of Season 2 Episode 8, it seemed impossible that Showtime’s Wall Street comedy series ‘Black Monday’ could get any darker. In the episode, Keith (Paul Scheer) revealed to all that Mo (Don Cheadle) was an FBI snitch, that Dawn (Regina Hall) wanted to use Marcus’ (Dulé Hill) African-American Scholarship Fund to make the illegal Yen trade. And he finally revealed that Connie (Xosha Roquemore) was an FBI agent.
On the other side, after Congressman Roger Harris (Tuc Watkins) won the election, things got the wrong kind of heated up between him and Blair (Andrew Rannells). When Blair asked him when he would bail out the banks, Harris said it would not be any time soon. An angry Blair threatened to release their sex tape to the media. When Harris left, Blair had a meeting with the Congressman’s notoriously homophobic father-in-law, Pastor Newell (Michael Hitchcock), the rich and powerful televangelist.
He blackmailed the pastor to have Harris bail out the banks. He also handed him a copy of the tape. But what he did not foresee was that the Pastor himself would release the tape to the press. When Blair found out on the news, he ran to the Congressman’s home. There he found him hanging from the ceiling. Harris had died of suicide. Dark, right?
Well, Episode 9, ‘At That Time’, somehow ups the ante even further. Its story runs, uncharacteristically, in a nonlinear fashion. But by the end of it, everything becomes crystal clear. First, we see Blair request his wife Tiff (Casey Wilson) to put him on the air in Pastor Newell’s evangelical TV channel, where she had a guest show. While she reluctantly agrees, she was not prepared for what would happen next.
Blair goes on stage and confesses to his homosexuality (as a sin) in front of the audience. But then he blames everything on Harris, reading a fake suicide note from the now-dead Congressman. In the letter, Harris confessed to turning Blair gay with the Devil. And now that he was dead, Blair would be straight again.
Rannell’s ice-cold performance in the episode gives you the chills. But it’s nothing compared to what happens throughout the run. After he gives Newell his gay-conversion therapy, and the conversion therapist Dr Gabe Egon (a surprisingly hilarious pun for “gay be gone”) due credits for him becoming straight again, he announces that he and Tiff were about to become parents.
Tiff left the stage and told Blair that she wanted a divorce. But Blair had other things in mind. His stunt earned Newell more donations than he had ever received, and he subtly threatened the man again, asking him to use his connections with the governor to bail him out. On the other side, we see Dawn apologize to an angry Marcus, promising him that she could get rid of the FBI if he loaned her $3 million.
Then there was the drama between Keith and Larry Lehman (Ken Marino). In the previous episode, Keith accidentally discovered that Lenny Lehman (also played by Marino) was still alive, and Lenny told him that Larry was using him and would throw him in jail again. In this episode, we see Larry, after learning what Lenny did, go and apologize to Keith. They spent the day together, becoming friends again. But soon, Keith told him that not only was the Yen trade illegal but also that the FBI knew about it. Together they decided that they needed a patsy to blame this on.
And finally, the whole story is brought together by Mo. In the night of the all the previous episode’s drama, after everything went down, Mo hatched a plan that would require Blair to have the Pastor in his pocket, Keith to have Larry in his, and Dawn to have Marcus in hers. And suddenly it became clear that not one of these things was random — it was all part of Mo’s plan to save themselves. The final episode of Season 2 is going to be utterly explosive, that much is for sure.
New episodes of ‘Black Monday’ arrive every Sunday at 8 pm EST/PST only on Showtime.