Review: Loaded Ep. 107 – The Expo
The Expo takes all of the subplots that have been developing through the debut season and brings them all to a head. The result is a darkly comic and sometimes painful look at the friendship between Ewan, Watto, Josh and Leon and how money and the expectations of big business can drive people apart.
Leon has reservations about plugging Cat Factory 2 at the Expo but some sage advice form Casey and a generous loan from the head of the company gets him back on track. With the Expo just moments from starting Josh is a ball of nerves worrying about the new game and his future with Abi.
Digby’s death hits Watto hard causing him to reflect on the group’s newfound wealth. In an act of altruism he decides to release their new game online ahead of the Expo to free them from the pitfalls of their wealth. His rash decision angers Josh, Ewan and Leon to the point that they come to blows.
Ewan’s quest for equality in the group hits a severe speed bump when Leon and Josh deny his requests to join them on stage for the launch. Frustrated with being held back Ewan finally takes things into his own hands – on stage during the ill-fated launch for Cat Factory 2. Ewan gets his moment in the sun after Josh angrily storms off the stage when he realizes that Casey has gone behind their backs to produce the sequel. The mayhem crescendos when Watto arrives on stage with Naomi shooting his money into the crowd.
Watto’s generosity leads to a free-for-all as the crowd fights over his money. The group splinters even further when they confront each other over their duplicitous behavior and Ewan’s marginalization. Watto’s worst fears are realized and with Casey steaming over the debacle the founding members of Idyl Hands find themselves at a crossroads. Watto is crestfallen that no one stood up for him, Leon tries to defend himself for following Casey’s orders, and Josh’s relationship with Abi takes a severe hit. Ewan continues to find self worth outside of the group, this time from the head of the company who is impressed with his coding ability in the game Watto released.
Chaos reigns supreme as Loaded heads into the finale. All season long the show has flirted with the effects privilege, big business and wealth has on freedom, creativity and friendship. After the events of The Expo it will be interesting to see if the fallout from this episode has any long lasting effects on the narrative.