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WeCrashed - Episode 1.04 - 4.4 - Review



Despite Adam Neumann thinking growth is everything, as it turns out, it's definitely not. While WeWork is still opening locations left and right, they're also losing at least one million dollars every day, which is, to put it lightly: insane. Alarm bells are ringing in every investor's ears, as the WeWork business model threatens to, well, crash. The investors (understandably) actually want to know what, exactly, WeWork is spending, not just what they're making, since profit doesn't come out of nowhere.

The Summer Camp adventures (and their expenses, which didn't go down with investors too well either) seem far away already, but Adam doesn't want to hear any of this and any criticism or, really, any attempt to bring him back to reality seems to slip right off him. He's doing photoshoots, being immersed in cryogenic tanks, popping out kids by the handful, and arguing that WeWork should be opening more locations, whil his team tries to explain that doing so isn't sustainable and they're looking at possible layoffs. When his "Head of Leasing" (yes, that is a title, I'm assuming it's about as legitimiate as "Happiness Officer") Javi threatens to quit, Adam does what he does best: he manipulates his team by throwing grandeur at them, this time in the form of expensive Japanese food rolled out by hostesses in fishnet tights and not much else. He never addresses problems, he avoids them by throwing money at them, or threatening to replace anyone who wants to quit, since no one is indispensable. Even now, his reaction to being warned about possible layoffs, is to find yet another investor to inject more money that'll inevitably be squandered just like all the other fundraisings were. "Scaling back" to Adam, means fewer mimosas, not actually building a business model that works.

Even Rebekah, now a full time stay at home mother (with several nannies), seems shocked at some of Adam's decisions, including calling an impromptu meeting on a Saturday night, skipping the costume party with the school organizing committee, and jetting off to India to a conference that's already ongoing, just to meet Softbank's Masayoshi Son, his new, and biggest investor target. Not to spoil anything but considering Rebekah's future involvement in an adjacent WeWork venture, I do wonder if the sheer number of kids they have is her very early attempt to fill out her very own school. In any case, after buying her way into the school committee (she learned from the best, clearly), she still goes to the costume party, in full Avatar gear. Honestly, when the only apparent part of the costume was the pointy ears, I figured she was going as Arwen (which would've worked great). Alas, she went for a blue bodysuit, blue face makeup, including a prosthetic nose... and the ears. Compared to the other, much less elaborate costumes, Rebekah's stands out, and not in a good way, in a "I dressed up as the Babadook" way. Fortunately, some other poor, overenthusiastic soul in a full mummy costume siddles up and they commiserate together.

The newcomer is Elishia Kennedy, initially introduced (to Rebekah) as a divorced (and bitterly so) mom, who also struggles to follow the organizing committee's cliquey codes.

"I want him to die, but I don't want my kids to be sad, so I'm in a real pickle."
Elishia assumes Rebekah is also divorced, which Rebekah balks at, and immediately overcompensates by depicting her relationship with Adam as picture perfect. To be perfectly fair, it's not like they don't have a good relationship. Aside from that weird comment during Summer Camp when Rebekah suggested to the women who were complaining to talk to "their boss", and one of them quipping something about "who do you think we're fucking", but I don't think they were talking about Adam per se, just their supervisors (hopefully even though that's already very dire). Otherwise, it seems like Adam pretty much worships the ground on which Rebekah walks and there's nothing he won't do for her. While Adam is away, Rebekah does some light online stalking and finds out Elishia is actually a brilliant young entrepreneur, and very respected in her industry, and she wants them to become friends. To this end, for the first (and likely last) time, she offers to take her eldest daughter to school, hoping to casually run into Elishia. This works perfectly, and as another mother passing by comments on Gwyneth's latest product line, which Rebekah shrugs off as just another facet of being from the Paltrow family, Elishia doesn't seem impressed. Which only fans the flames of Rebekah initially tiny, yet very real, spark of jealousy as she realizes that despite being divorced and somewhat jaded about love (she does shout at an innocent couple making out next to them, that it'll only end in disappointment), Elishia is highly accomplished and has a job she loves and is passionate about, which Rebekah... doesn't. In fact, she invites Elishia over to the WeWork offices to show her the magic, and Adam is immediately smitten (in a hiring kind of way, not a cheating one). After attending Startup India, talking to Masa (and somewhat sacrificing his relationship with his father in the process), he's in a hiring phase again, despite his team's misgivings.
"I want you to hire engineers."
"...What kind?"
"All the kinds."
After Masa calls Adam, telling him he'll be in their offices shortly, Adam can only focus on making WeWork appear like the Best Place To Work. He starts orchestrating groups here and there, having them fake laugh, fake dance and fake being in a relationship. This happens several times, with Masa rescheduling each time and those elevator doors only opening on disappointments for Adam. Finally, when Masa does show up, Adam is in the middle of an ice bath (a normal occurance at work, I'm sure) so he scrambles to show Masa what WeWork does best... in twelve minutes. Masa's not in it for the pitch though, he wants to find founders: he's known for being an early investor in firms such as Yahoo! and Alibaba, and WeWork is next on his list. To the point of 4.4 billions dollars. Yep, you read that right. Adam is overjoyed, all his funding problems are sure to be solved by this influx of cash! Spoiler alert: they won't be. Including new, but worrying relationship problems with Rebekah. After finally convinding Elishia to join him, and making her "Chief Branding Officer" without consulting Rebekah, it seems like Rebekah has finally found what she wants to do: and that's exactly what Elishia's been hired as. Elishia isn't taking her calls, either, wich only hightens Rebekah's paranoia at being replaced.

Despite this insane amount offered by Softbank, in the WeWork offices, people are receiving "offboarding" emails left and right. 7% of the company has still been let go of, and yet immediately after Adam is celebrating with a live band and a party. Leslie, "woman hired in coffee shop" and one of WeWork's employees with the most seniority at the office, has just about had enough, and unlike Javi, she sees it through and quits on the spot.

All in all, things are truly and inevitably going south at WeWork and the flaws that were covered by extravagant parties and means, are finally pushing through, not to be ignored. We're halfway through this miniseries, and it's only going to get more dire for Adam and his delusions of grandeur. So, how are you guys enjoying the show so far? As usual, sound off in the comments!

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