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WeCrashed - Episode 1.05 - Hustle Harder - Review

We are now in 2017 and several things are happening all at once in the WeWork world (WeWorld? Is this something that exists in their little universe becaus if not, it should).

Adam has made the Time 100 list, he's also opening a line of credit to the likes of fifty million (and has become a "UHNWI" - Ultra High Net Worth Individual" in the process. I was not aware this acronym existed, but that's the life of the rich and famous for you), and now flies private. Based on the helicopters from a few episodes back, the only surprising element about this is that it didn't happen sooner. Sure, when Rebekah said "Manifest the power to fly" I did wonder for a second if Adam was going to start a new airline, or maybe try and build some self-flapping wings, but alas, the reality was far less creative. He and Rebekah are also shopping for a new beach house, "nothing too crazy" though, 5 million is the limit. On the company front, they're opening new locations left, right, and center over seemingly all continents. I haven't yet recovered from seeing the very literal translation of "Hustle harder" (one of WeWork's mottos, along with "Thank God It's Monday") from the French location as "bougez-vous davantage" which more accurately translates back into "move more" but hey, it's the sentiment that counts, right?

Now, while it may seem like WeWork is the only coworking space company out there, they aren't. In fact, Adam finally, after eight reschedulings, meets the "Five Families". If this sounds like some Game of Thrones King's Landing thing, it's because it is. All the companies in the land are trying to find a way to incorporate WeWork's devastating (to them) success, by forming a new alliance rather than being competitors. They want to share best practices, which is understandable from their point of view, but not aligned with Adam's vision AT ALL. Adam wants to annihilate them and become the only leader in the industry.

Thanks to those 4.4 billions from Softbank, the pressure is actually on for WeWork to expand at an even crazier rythm. While Adam tries to wow Masa on a conference call (to which we only hear periodic "yes" answers from Masa, with a considerable delay), Miguel seems to have a much more accurate measure of the task ahead of them. Masa never took the pains of wading into their financials, but if he had, he'd have realized that while they do grow at a rate of 1.8 billion dollars per year, they also lose 1.9 billion in that same timeframe. Which is certainly not sustainable, and definitely won't get Softbank any kind of return on that 4.4 billion investment.

Meanwhile, Rebekah is slowly yet surely unraveling. After having yet more children (twins!) she's feeling adrift, always on the side of everything that's going on with Adam. While he's buying planes, she lives with the children's day to day wonders, including one daughter who comes up with the brilliant theory that when you whisper "olive juice", it sounds just like "I love you". Adam isn't convinced at first, and neither am I. First of all, what the hell is even olive juice?! At first I thought I must've misheard "orange juice", but no (and also where would you even get the "l" from). Adam and Rebekah murmuring "Olive juice" to each other quickly becomes as incredibly irritating as Joe and Love's "I wolf you" from You. Except I want to believe it was ironic on Joe's side, at least. Safe to say, their daughter probably won't be becoming a poet any time soon.

On the Time 100 red carpet, while Rebekah is posing for pictures alongside Adam, she is quietly asked to leave (after bumping into one of the actual stars, and humiliating herself yet again) since she isn't one of the recipients, just the wife. This does not go over well, and neither does her reapparition in the WeWork headquarters, where her office is being used as a meeting space. Since it exists but obviously is never used by her, this makes sense. Adam may have leased what seems like half of Manhattan, office space is still office space, and those square feet cost a lot (especially when they're covered in what I assume is...vegan fur of some kind? In any case, shoes off, just like on Mad Men). Rebekah's sudden return to the office stems from the insecurity of only being known as Adam's wife. She wants to take a more active part in WeWork, so as to avoid staying a +1 to Adam's "supernova" starpower (yet another Rebekism that quickly becomes insufferable). Speaking of supernovas, guess who's the last one in date? Elishia! it doesn't last long though, because Rebekah was fine with pushing Elishia to achieve her potential while Elishia was safely tucked away at her own company, but now that she's at WeWork and Rebekah realizes she's being outshone at every turn, Elishia suddenly becomes The Ennemy. Elishia being a generally great person though, at first, she tries to help Rebekah find herself, because she believes Rebekah deserves to shine on her own. Enter the goals guru, which gives us Rebekah's even more ridiculous version of "consciously uncoupling".

"So, are you a muse, a maverick or a magician?!"
"I have decided for now, to consciously contain my answer in a crysalis."
However, after watching Rebekah go on several "offboarding" sprees (do they think this makes the firing easier on people, since it makes it sound like they're just taking a beat from an exciting space odyssey?), and witnessing Rebekah's reaction to being told that her WeWork tagline wasn't appropriate, Elishia quickly realizes that the problem of Rebekah's bruised ego isn't caused by Adam, or her, or poor Jeff who was just trying to have a meeting. Rebekah's ego problem is Rebekah.
"It's not Adam that's making you feel small, it's you. You're small. You're worried he outshines you because he does. You have no light of your own."
The last straw comes when Rebekah steals both Elishia's "Chief Branding Officer" title, and her Vanity Fair photoshoot. Elishia left her own company for this job, only to be thwarted by an untalented, egotistical, spotlight stealing, praying mantis who has never worked for anything in her life. Everything Rebekah gets is from manipulation or by associating herself with people who will bring her more fame. I'll admit, I went into this series expecting to feel this way about Adam, but at least Adam has his own ideas, and a vision he'll see through no matter what. Rebekah is just a reflecting shell of a person, and a hateful one at that. Anne Hathaway does a fantastic job at expressing Rebekah's barely diguised greed, all while initially making her seem more grounded in reality than Adam. Hell hath no fury indeed...

I'm excited to see what's next, and with only three episodes left, the end is surely nigh. What did you guys think? It's one thing to hear/read about what went on at WeWork, but seeing the sheer scale of insanity and spiral into delusion is truly something else. As usual, sound off in the comments!

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