November 21st, 2011
01:33 PM ET
Time flies when you’re sleeping with cougars, warring with Jamaicans, eating tomatoes with Neanderthals and looking at hard time in a medium security prison.
That’s the past eight episodes of “How to Make It” in a nutshell, as the much-improved, fast-paced adventure that was season 2 came to an end Sunday night.
We kicked things off with Ben and Cam not being on speaking terms. As Cam tells his girlfriend and the show’s nominee for best- and worst-dressed character, Lulu, "Honestly, I have nothing to say to him.”
Cam’s sentiment is warranted when we find Ben going ahead with CRISP by Yosi, and things only got worse from there. Creatively, it sounded more like my attempts at power point presentations in college than a business venture worth throwing away a friendship over.
Ben quickly realizes he’s working for Yosi, which is exactly what Cam was trying to explain in the last episode.
Over on the Lower East Side, Cam meets with Rene to come clean about the Rasta Monsta weed spray and hopefully talk his cousin into sparing Domingo’s life. These cousin vs. cousin scenes brought great comedy to season 1, and though few and far between this time around, they’re always more than welcome.
When the room cleared and Rene barked, "You can’t fix s--! Stay out of it," I got the chills. I’m almost sure Victor Rasuk might’ve peed himself in real life.
Meanwhile, Kappo is in the gym sparring, preparing for his whopping month and some change behind bars. Kappo hits Ben with the second best quote of the night when he tells him, "Money, it matters, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Sometimes who you’re doing business with is a lot more important than the business that you’re doing."
And then it was all clear: Ben realizes building and growing with a team takes priority over getting rich quick.
Meanwhile, Rachel – like a lot of folks – goes back and begs for her old job. Poor Rachel finds out the hard way that business keeps moving with or without you. As Edie tells a crying Lake Bell, "I found somebody younger and I pay her half as much as I paid you." Rachel reminded me in this episode of those friends who are "so over" the city you’re living in, which means more often than not they just aren’t succeeding the way they planned.
But, Tim wants Rachel to be Neanderthal’s PR person. "S-‘s going to get weird," he tells her. As in next season, right? Couldn’t have said it better myself.
At Debbie’s house, Rene makes up a lie to his future baby mama about heading down to Atlanta for work when he really wants to do some grimy business against the Jamaicans out to bring Rasta Monsta down.
Sensing that Rene is lying, Debbie calls BS, and you get the sense he may have lied to her for the last time by the look of inconsolable disappointment on her face.
We go from the scowl on Debbie’s face to the smirk on Ben’s. He heads back to Yosi’s where his tailor Enzo is smoking a cig. Ben sees this as his moment to vibe with the under-appreciated employee and tells him Yosi requested that he help with the new CRISP logo. Ben had Enzo teaching him everything he knows, and swiped a few of Yosi’s ideas.
He then lets Yosi know he’s out, and he’s taking CRISP with him. But after business is over, Yosi has one more bone to pick with Ben. For some reason, Ben admits his error before he’s called on it, no poker face whatsoever.
And yet, Yosi wasn’t asking about how he went behind his back and slept with his wife. Ben took the sucker punch and went on his way.
While Ben was on his mission, Cam and Domingo were taking matters into their own hands and heading over to the East Flatbush Caribbean League.
At Everton’s office, Domingo lets Cam know he has his back with the line of the night (and maybe the entire series): "Just me and my b--!" Word to Christopher Wallace.
Leave it to Cam to convince Everton he can sling the bottles and get him $20,000. Everton seems to bite at the offer, but Rene and his goons are already at Everton’s house looking to kidnap him.
Oh, but wait! That’s not Everton, that’s his intern/gay lover Malik. Whoops.
And so in the car en route to Amherst, Everton gets the call from Rene on Malik’s phone. "I’ve got your lover, now give me my Rasta!" Yeah, he didn’t say that, but it’d be a lot cooler if he did.
The meeting of these NY minds was a great scene, minus the whole Pusha T rap. Call me a hater, but we know he’s a rapper making a cameo, so why make it that much more obvious? As commenters have mentioned, these celeb cameos could be worked into the script with more finesse.
Everton tells Rene if there’s no talk of his gay lifestyle, there won't be any further issues with Rasta Monsta and the Caribbean community. Rene’s back on top of his business, but his personal life is about to take a hit. He comes home to Debbie’s apartment looking rather empty. He calls Debbie, who says she doesn’t want to have the baby with him. Boost your business, but lose your love. We end the season with Rene alone in Debbie’s apartment, heartbroken.
And at Kappo’s after party, Ben does something he's struggled with all series: Finally speaking his mind. In his most honest moment, Ben tells Cam, "I never really believed we could make it on our own.” Folks, confidence is everything they say, but it’s OK to be unsure.
Just when I was wondering where he went, Andy Sussman’s back on board for the Gadzooks deal. Ben not only gave Yosi and Nancy the middle finger, he actually developed a plan, recruited a team and launched a vision.
I must say, I was more than satisfied with this season. Like the characters and storylines, the show is constantly growing, and our writers and creators seem more comfortable.
Whether it was Rachel’s ups and downs played wonderfully through the comedic chops of Lake Bell, or the emergence of Scott "KiD CuDi” Mesudi's Domingo as arguably one of the show’s most liked characters – the folks behind “How To Make It” are on to something.
There may be a few production value issues (as some of you have mentioned), and some plot points (*cough* Kappo going to prison *cough*) that come and go without much explanation. But, there’s always room to improve.
KiD CuDi said exactly what fans were thinking last night via Twitter: "Let’s hope HBO makes the right decision and gives us that Season 3. Im sure they will, aint that right, @HBO? Of course you will >:)"
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