Incorporated: (S01E01) “Vertical Mobility”


I’ve been super excited for this series to start. The concept of a future USA run by it’s biggest corporations is not an incredibly far fetched idea. The commercials made it seem like the show was going to be entertaining, dramatic, and make you think about current social issues from a different perspective. 

The first episode definitely delivered. 

Ben, we know from the beginning, is not your typical corporation man. He has people on the outside, he knows his way around and he’s searching for a woman he appears to love. It doesn’t look like he has forgotten his original mission, which we are assuming is rescuing the girl, but he has certainly built a life for himself. He has a wife, friends, and is just all around charming. Must be difficult to keep up the facade but his motivator(s) must be powerful. He set up his boss to look like a spy so that he could move up the food chain. Granted, this means he can have access to the girl he wants to rescue, but he did so with such ease that you wonder what else he did to get to his current status. To his credit, he seems upset by it, but some of it I believe was for show, for his wife. Questions I want answered about him: Who is this girl? Did he change his entire life just to rescue her or were they a part of a red zone liberation movement and she just got caught? Does he really care for his wife and his future child or are they just a means to an end? What did he do to get to this point? Is this like Gatacca? (Points if you get the reference.) I think flashback episodes or moments in episodes are warranted. What’s his end game? 

Laura, Ben’s wife, is a part of the corporate world but seems to have a conscience. She sees things that she may not like but at the moment, she’s not really doing anything about it. For instance, an older woman brought in a younger man to have reconstructive surgery to look like her late husband. This would be ok, creepy, but ok, if the younger man weren’t only doing it to simply get out of poverty. He spoke no English other than ‘jes’ when asked questions. She was clearly disheartened by the fact that the young man didn’t really know what he was getting himself into, but she went along with it anyway. Her mother is the head of the corporation and she has a rather tumultuous relationship with her. It looks like she was kidnapped in the red zone once and she’s got all kinds of PTSD related to that. She also wants to have a kid and ‘got the permit’; which is apparently what you have to do under the corporation, you can’t just reproduce when you feel like it. Questions I want answered in regards to her: What’s the deal with her an her mother? Does it have something to do with her father? What happened to him? Why was she in the red zone when she got kidnapped? What happened to her when she was kidnapped? Did Ben rescue her? Is that how they met? Was she his in to the corporate world? Is she ever going to listen to her conscience or just continue on blind? 

Elizabeth, clearly a powerful woman, but a great deal going on behind the mask. She runs a very tight ship. Security going into or coming out of work is very high. If you get caught doing something harmful to the company you are immediately punished; not slap on the wrist or you’re fired punished…sentenced to death punished. She uses her son in law to gain access to her daughter because only he will sit and have a full conversation with her; like he has a choice. Questions I want answered about her: What happened to her husband? Why does her daughter blame her? What did it take for her to get to the head of this corporation? What are her plans for her daughter and son in law? Is she setting them both up for success? Why was she strolling through a sex club at the end scene of the episode? 

Buss laugh moment of this episode: The motorcycle ride up the stairs because there was no electricity for the elevator. Poverty really does breed creativity. (Note the part of the episode where Elizabeth and Ben discuss Picasso.) 

Punched in the feels moment of this episode:  When the older woman explained that it didn’t matter whether or not the younger man understood what was going to happen to him, only that he wants the lifestyle she can give him. It hurt my heart because I know that poverty really can lead to desperation. It also made me realize that this woman was just going to toss him out when he didn’t meet her needs anymore, because there are plenty more starving mouths where he came from. 

Made me ponder for a sec moment of this episode:  The entire episode made me think. I thought about the privileged of the green zone to go back and forth from green to red, but the opposite was not allowed. I thought about the fact that if I existed in this world when I was younger my family and I would be red zoned for sure and if I existed in this world, because we were given the opportunity to be educated we would green zoned. This made me think about whether or not I would acknowledge my privilege and do what I could for the people of the red zone or would I allow myself to be enthralled by the walls around me and just forget about where I came from… 

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