Recapping The Profit Season 4, Episode 1
[extremely Rod Serling voice] “Ice cream. So delicious it couldn’t possibly be shitty. But what if…it was shitty?”
On this episode of The Profit, Marcus jets (drives? flies? heli-boats? It’s not clear how Marcus gets to each new city. He just appears, like a cool breeze or a UTI) to Southern California to invest in Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour.
Farrell’s is an old-timey restaurant. You can tell by the extraneous letters in “parlour,” their ice cream “shoppe,” and presumably their “bathroooms.”
It’s the kind of place where rude teens will pretend it’s a friend’s birthday so the waiters (also teens) will be forced to sing an annoying birthday song whose lyrics are just the word “Birthday!” shouted 14 times in a row.
The song literally involves a waiter banging on a drum, making the restaurant sort of like a headache that you can sit down inside.
Farrell’s is now owned by Mike and Paul, sleeve garter enthusiasts who bought Farrell’s because they had fond memories of eating there with their families when they were kids.
(If I opened a business based on my childhood memories, it’d be a bed ’n’ breakfast where each member of your family has to sit in their own room reading an old Time magazine in silence. No breakfast would be served.)
Unfortunately, Mike and Paul seem to have forgotten that dessert-related memories aren’t the same as a solid business plan.
Here’s a full list of the many problems Farrell’s faces:
- Fuck it, there are way too many. I’m not going to bother to list them because it doesn’t matter.
Basically, they’re a million bucks in debt, they’re serving Rite Aid’s brand of ice cream (seriously), and they opened too many locations too quickly.
One thing they don’t have too many of, however? Novelty hats:
Marcus offers Mike and Paul $750,000 in exchange for a 51% stake in the company. They take the deal and we quickly learn something SHOCKING:
Mike wears transitions lenses–an ingenious visual metaphor for his weak decision-making skills and, more importantly, an all-around poor fashion choice.
But then we learn something EVEN MORE SHOCKING:
Marcus seems to have a bean stuck in his ear, an even-more-ingenious visual metaphor for getting something–a bean, for instance–stuck in your ear.
(One time, my parents had to take my sister to the emergency room because she stuck a bean up her nose. But have I tried to turn that haunting family memory into a local business? Yes, actually I have—and I blame the failure of No Beans Like Nose Beans wholly on the Great Recession.)
Marcus’ first move is to improve the quality of Farrell’s ice cream. Quick side note–
The Only 3 Acceptable Containers To Eat Ice Cream Out Of:
- A bowl with a cone on top
- A small plastic baseball helmet (minor league preferred)
- The grave of a rival
In short order, Marcus lowers Farrell’s food costs, improves their menu selection, and even makes them take the live drummer out of their birthday song.
But then comes an extremely believable…
UNBELIEVABLE THIRD-ACT TWIST!
Farrell’s is actually in debt $200,000 more than they told Marcus. Here is Paul crying about it:
Hey, it’s cool, Paul. I cry every day, although it’s probably because of a chemical imbalance and not because my restaurant/excuse-to-dress-like-all-four-members-of-a-barbershop-quartet-at-once is a financial disaster.
Marcus and the gang agree that the best way to move forward is to close their worst-performing store. Presumably this is bad news for at least some of the employees, but there’s no time to consider them because now comes a very important…
WHOLLY UNIMPORTANT FOURTH-ACT TWIST!!!
It’s time for the grand re-opening for Farrell’s flagship location and the restaurant isn’t ready yet!
Luckily, Marcus jumps into action with a patented, 3-stage solution:
- Looking around for a minute
- And…then…the problem goes away. The restaurant is ready now. No need for Stage 3!
The re-opening goes off without a hitch. Mike, Paul, and Marcus are happy and Farrell’s many operational and financial problems are solved forever aka completely unaddressed.
As always, we viewers have absolutely no idea whether Marcus’ investment pays off or if Farrell’s even keeps any of his changes in place.
But Marcus is already off to make his next The Profit. And according to the show’s “This season on…” montage, one episode appears to feature comedian George Lopez!
I’m pumped. Marcus is pumped. George Lopez is pumped. Are you?