In last week’s cliffhanger, the Malloy’s bougie costume party was once again imperiled as guilt-ridden mama Dahlia confessed her parole violation to local authorities. The rest of the family was also in familiar if unsettled territory, with Wayne faking his way through a crucial business meeting and Di Di and Cael debating the folly of "buffer" life in the burbs. To maintain the status quo, the ever-more-estranged Malloy-Riches must resort to painful, Möbius-strip-like compromises that will naturally take this entire season to work out. And so: On to the Edenfalls Cost of Living Index!
The Edenfalls Cost of Living Index: Labor-Violations Edition
In order to avoid being sent back to jail, Dahlia must get a job and a permanent address using her real name (and by extension, criminal record) within 24 hours, maintaining both for a month. And generally stop lying. After being rejected by Starbucks- and Hooters-like establishments, she gets a gig gutting fish at a seafood hut, and a dingy apartment whose previous occupant was a crackhead who OD’d while watching Survivor. Oh, and she never tells Wayne any of this, even though she so obviously hates lying.
As for Wayne, he's still working on securing that $150 million commitment from a boardroom of investors for his boss’ real-estate development, Bayou Hills, which mixes million-dollar homes with subsidized housing for Hurricane Katrina refugees. One of those investors is an old Princeton chum of the real (and of course dead) Doug Rich — played by Curtis “Booger in Revenge of the Nerds” Armstrong! Booger can sort of tell Wayne’s not really his buddy, but Wayne shuts him up by bringing up an old statutory-rape arrest in front of everyone. Rude! Wayne then realizes that the development, thanks to a secret handshake deal that allows luxury homeowners to veto anything, will ultimately screw the Katrina victims. But Wayne, of course, has a $13 million share in the plan, so he can’t protest. But! Then his disgusted secretary threatens to reveal he’s not really a lawyer. And so Wayne promises to make sure the low-income houses are incorporated into the development. But then! Another investor, named Minkov, puts him in a headlock in a back room: Minkov also knows he’s a fake and blackmails him to falsely accuse Hugh of embezzlement and split the profits. In order to get a larger portion of the $150 million and retain his fake identity, Doug must collude with a sleazy thug to screw over his slightly less sleazy boss — but then eventually placate his secretary and allow the smaller homes to be built.
Cael, who thinks that life as "buffers" (that is, law-abiding, taxpaying marks) is “stealing their soul,” makes his own decision about housing and moves into a tent on the front lawn. Di Di feels guilty about how much she loves standardized tests, high school, and their McMansion. So, to keep it real, "traveler" style, she briefly considers running away with Cael; in order to avoid stealing, she does the busker thing, taking a guitar to the mall with her brother. That predictably sucks, and Di Di parts amicably with Cael and she settles back home on the couch with cross-dressing little brother Sam — he, obviously, has issues all his own. —Justin Ravitz