‘The Company You Keep’ episode 9 ‘The Truth Shall Set You Free’ brings together many of the threads weaved across the previous eight episodes and introduces new dynamics, as well as opportunities for several characters to consider different, perhaps ‘better’ futures.
As I mentioned last week, family has always been a key factor of the show, and in ‘The Truth’, that trend continues. While Simon and Ollie continue to bond, a family that could have been comes into focus with the appearance of Frankie Musso, played by Tony Shalhoub, who was engaged to Fran before she met Leo. Relationships can teach us a lot – both good and bad – and an important point Frankie raises is how Fran ditching him forced him to “grow up, make something of myself.” While I personally have always been single, I do believe that the best relationships make you want to be the best version of yourself possible, not just for yourself but others too.
Like as is happening in many towns and cities across the US and around the world, redevelopment and societal changes are making big waves and the Collar Bar, as Frankie points out, is one of the few remaining ‘old’ properties in the area. “All the coffee shops and yoga studios can’t keep up with charm and a stiff drink” Charlie quips when Frankie hints to the Nicolettis that they should consider selling. “This place is a part of who we are” Fran adds with a reminiscent smile. I live in one of the oldest houses in my village and I very much consider my home a big part of who I am. The thought of selling it or seeing it redeveloped in any way makes me shudder so I really connected with the truth and reality of Fran’s comment in particular.
The idea of living, or wanting to live, a different life is something I’m sure many of us have thought about at some time or other (who doesn’t want a better paying job or be able to do whatever you want for instance?!) and Frankie’s hints get both Birdie and Charlie thinking about the lives they lead, though Birdie in particular seems settled how and where she is now. “I tried a different life,” she recalls to her brother, admitting the truth as she reflects on her past. “I always felt like I was running a long con…”
Whereas the Nicolettis have always stuck together, tension and division is rife among the Maguire family. They hold a meeting with their partners, with Daphne attempting to take (rightly, imo) centre stage, but Connor isn’t happy and unprofessionally keeps interrupting, to the point where he’s sent out of the room by Patrick.
Work trouble hits Emma and Mason, with any movement on the Maguire investigation now having to go through numerous bureaucratic channels courtesy of the FBI. However, their supervisor thinks up a workaround by taking into account something the team at Langley don’t know about – Charlie. Sometimes it works to have a secret and not tell EVERYONE the truth about what’s going on it seems…
Charlie meets with the Maguires and Daphne informs Patrick, with considerable confidence that: “I’d like to run what I built; handle all of our US operations”, something he agrees to, but not before wanting to meet with her arms supplier, something which unsettles both Daphne and Charlie, as well as Emma, who learns of it once Charlie returns home and finds her waiting for him, having still got the key he gave her.
The stakes on this show have been getting gradually higher and higher, and in ‘The Truth’ they hit the highest point yet with Emma wanting Charlie at the meeting. “I get caught, they’ll kill me – you do understand that, right?” Charlie asks when it becomes clear she needs and wants him to gather the necessary intel for her to strengthen her case. Meanwhile, the Hill family are facing problems of their own, as it’s discovered David’s political opponent Landry has something on the family that he plans to use against him in their upcoming live TV debate. Everyone believes it’s regarding the Claire Fox affair and Grace goes to see her. Fox assures her she’s only wanting to help David and Grace seems convinced – to the point where (surprisingly) she asks for her help.
One of the things I’ve loved most about ‘Company’ are the cons which seem to get more and more complex with every week that passes. In ‘The Truth’, the family outdo themselves as they work to keep Daphne – who wants to be the only one meeting with Brad Wilford – out of the picture, but still get both her and Emma what they want. To do that, they bring back ‘The Two Jeffs’ – and plan two meetings at the same time. The idea is made even more complicated by Wilford wanting the meet to happen on the metro so the usual CIA surveillance won’t do – they have to go old school. As Emma wires Charlie up, the #Hiletti heat sparks up again – I ship these two SO hard!
With Birdie and Emma watching and listening via two cameras, one of which Ollie has hidden on the side of her backback as she sits on the train near her dad, Simon plays the role of Wilford and meets with Patrick and Connor, while the real one does business with Leo and Charlie, Charlie of whom rocks some rather nice neck ink and the pair pull off impressive Irish accents too.
It’s been common knowledge, certainly to the audience anyway, that there’s been a divide in the Maguire camp for some time, but in this episode, it becomes abundantly clear. “From now on, you’ll be dealing with me and my son…not some overpriced consultant” Patrick informs Simon’s Wilford. OUCH!
When someone nudges Ollie’s bag, shifting the camera to reveal Simon posing as Wilford, Emma learns that she hasn’t been told the whole truth about the plan, and it’s only Birdie’s quick thinking that stops her from blowing the job. “You put my entire family, including my daughter, who are all doing this for you, in danger” she reminds “Logistics”, just as the deals are done – with the evidence caught on audio and video. Kudos for pulling it off everyone!
As he and Connor exit the train, Patrick spots Emma making her way out and I for one took great pleasure in seeing him pin Connor against a noticeboard and threaten him about cleaning up the “bloody mess.” Elsewhere, the pressure and stress of the job he just helped pull off sees Charlie get genuinely irritated at Emma when she arrives to collect the wire he wore. “I have risked everything to help you. EVERYTHING. I’m done…I’m out…I want my life back” he snaps; any and all of the sexual tension from earlier long gone.
While Emma believes she has enough to get Maguire, her new boss/supervisor has other plans and wants to hook the “bigger fish.” Charlie plays Daphne the recording of Patrick cutting her out of the business, and she once again shows her vulnerable side when she tells him: “…I think on some level I always knew…” It’s sweet of Charlie to reassure her by saying: “…If he can’t see you…appreciate that, I say screw him” and it’s not surprising – or at least it wasn’t to me anyway – that she then proceeds to kiss him. To his credit, Charlie breaks it off – it’s obvious where his heart is.
Grace has been working on her memoir and it’s revealed that someone has leaked it – complete with the full truth and details of the Fox affair. Grace has a smirk-like smile on her face and isn’t all bothered by the chaos the leak is causing, notably because she leaked it, with Claire’s help. “It’s time to face our fears instead of running from them,” she informs her family. “It’s time people know who we really are” she comments to Emma a short while later.
Birdie has very much wanted to keep the truth of what she and the rest of the family do from Ollie for as long as possible, but, having allowed her to be a small part of their recent job, the highlight of the episode comes when she and her daughter walk down to the basement, where all the rest of the family are waiting. Birdie hands her a box with a key (to said basement) inside. “For real?” Ollie signs, genuinely stunned and touched. “Welcome to the family business” Birdie signs back. The sight of everyone watching Ollie explore her ‘new’ surroundings, taking in all the disguises and equipment, with genuinely happy looks on their faces and sparkling eyes melted my heart.
In a move that many might have seen coming (myself being one), Emma goes to see Daphne who is quick to catch on to the fact Charlie’s been working for her. “I’ve got you,” Emma warns, referring to all the intel she’s been able to gather. Then she makes a proposition regarding Patrick and Connor’s business. “We both want the same thing. Help me burn it to the ground – and I’ll let you go.“ Daphne later tells Charlie to tell her she’s in.
‘The Truth’ returns its focus to living and making the life you want as it draws to a close. Leo and Fran receive another visit from Frankie who passes on a bid for the bar from an interested party – $4.5M! “As much as I love this bar…” Leo muses to his wife, admitting he’s scared about the future, particularly given his diagnosis. “It’s just you and me,” she tells him, softly. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Challenged on having a legacy to live up to by his rival during the debate, David makes a bold move with a powerful statement. “Politics has become performative – and I for one am done putting on a show. I’m done.” With that, he walks off – much to the shock of everyone watching, including his family. Wanting to get out of the building, Emma gives him the key to her car and he and Jennifer head out. “What now?” she asks him as they get in. “I don’t know. But for the first time in my life, I’m excited for whatever it is” he replies. As he tries to start the car, Jennifer becomes aware of a whirring sound, telling him to get out moments before the car explodes.
If the penultimate episode ended with such a bang, I can only imagine how explosive the finale next week is going to be. BRING IT ON!