Wow – I’m glad I held off recapping last week’s episode of The Riches; come to find out, the first two episodes of this season might as well be “part 1” and “part 2”. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen last season’s finale, let me get you up to speed:
Hugh Panetta (Doug’s boss) has just been dumped by his new stripper wife and has a massive broken heart, Nina (the neighbor) is all in a funk because her husband just came out of the closet, Dale came to Eden Falls and threatened to blackmail Wayne and Dahlia… and most importantly, Doug Rich’s friend Pete Mincy came to town looking for Doug. Wayne did his best to put Pete off the scent, but Pete just wouldn’t give up. The season ended with Doug walking into his office and finding Pete there. Pete knows that Wayne is trying to be Doug, and he wants answers… now.
So, the season premiere begins with Wayne rounding up the family and getting them out of town ASAP. Not only are the Malloys hitting the road, so too is Doug’s senile mother… and Nina, who saw them packing everything up and demanded to go with them. Meanwhile, Wayne and Dale try to “take care of” Pete. Wayne tries using smooth talk and promises of money to bribe Pete; Dale just kills him. In the middle of all this, who should show up but a drunken Hugh, who has the offer of a lifetime for Wayne: a new real estate deal worth $150 million. Doug’s share will be $13 million. Will Doug take off and join his family? Or will he try to fix things up in Eden Falls and go for the $13 million?
This week’s episode starts off with Dahlia and the kids. Something happened to the Mercedes towards the end of last week’s episode, and they needed some transportation. So they tried stealing a van… only just as they were getting ready to leave, a huge redneck sticks a massive handgun in Cael’s face. He takes the Malloys (and Nina) back to his house, where he holds them hostage. Oh, and then his wife comes home:
It soon becomes obvious to Dahlia that the man has problems… well, specific problems. Problems with money and his wife (also caused by money). She soon offers the couple a proposition: $7,000 for their freedom. The man doesn’t believe them at first – he knows that they’re travelers, and has been screwed by them in the past – so he makes the Malloys leave Nina as a hostage. The show switches over to Doug and Dale’s dealings – which I’ll get to in a minute – but when we come back to Nina and the crazy family, it’s obvious that much of the tension has disappeared. That tension disappears completely when Nina whips out one of her “medicinal joints” and passes it around. As Nina starts telling the couple about her own woes, the guy starts softening his stance towards her. He puts down the gun and starts telling Nina that she’s beautiful (Nina almost cried when she talked about being dumped by her gay husband, and how everything he had told her was a lie). The crazy couple get closer and closer (thanks to the weed), and start having sex… which gives Nina the opportunity to call Wayne and escape.
While all this is going on, the Malloys set up a scam on gigantic proportions on the one-horse town where the Mercedes broke down. A high-school football game is the only action in town that evening, so they set up multiple scams: first they have a fake car wash (they actually wash a few cars, but they’re really only looking for a car to give away). They then start selling raffle tickets to win a Cadillac Escalade (which they washed earlier), which is to benefit Sam – who is pretended to have some tragic form of cancer. It all goes to hell, however, when a waitress from the local café (that spotted Cael stealing money on their first visit to the diner) calls the Malloys out on their scams. The crowd the falls upon the entire family, and Cael gets a right beating.
It’s only stopped when Wayne shows up waving a fake FBI badge and a gun. Wayne, it seems, got the call from Nina and magically: finished burying Pete, got away from Dale, fixed the RV, drove 300 miles, picked up Nina and managed to pull up at the football game just in the nick of time… Riiiigghhhhttt! I did like that the family chose their future together – Mexico or Eden Falls? Eden Falls! I also liked that they went back to the couple and gave them the money just to show them that all travelers aren’t bad.
So here’s the set up for the rest of the season: the Malloys are going back to Eden Falls in hopes of making $13 million. Dale thinks that he’s getting half of that, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see what Hugh thinks about all this. He was passed out in a hotel room when Dale and Doug were talking about burying Pete… if he wasn’t completely asleep, then interesting things might happen. He already thinks that “Doug” is the best damn lawyer in the world – would his opinion really change if he knew the truth… with $150 million on the line? I can’t wait to find out!