Unicorn: Episodes 5-6
There never seems to be a normal day at the office thanks to their wacky CEO and his equally odd employees. With a couple of new faces added to the team, things get hectic at the company, and as usual, the CEO only makes things crazier. This week is all about venture capital and robot penguins, which may sound unrelated but are… actually tied together?
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
Things pick up on the business-side of things at Maccom after pivoting their dating app “How Match” to the more senior-focused “Again.” Love, though, seems to be permeating the company as a few employees start to get more familiar with each other. In particular, Carol has fallen for Philip who has recently turned single, and after a humiliating outing with her “friends,” she blurts out that she has a boyfriend. Cue: Philip.
Convincing Philip that this would be good for the company, she gets him to pose as her boyfriend in front of her friends, but Philip is out of his element amidst the uppity crowd. The others set him up to become the butt of their joke, but as they laugh at him, one of the boyfriends passes out. Without missing a beat, Philip comes to the rescue, and Carol falls for him all over again. Beaming with pride, she defends Philip in front of her friends and even yells at the jerk being taken by the paramedics, ha!
Afterwards, Carol tells Philip that he no longer has to play her fake boyfriend, but he turns to her and says, “But it’s just starting for me.” He asks her to date him for real this time, but before Carol can answer, they accidentally hit a car in the parking lot. (It wouldn’t be Philip if he did not make some mistake, heh.)
While Carol’s love life progresses, a few changes occur at Maccom as well. While I’m unsure of their purpose, three new interns join the team: a man obsessed with his flimsy connection to rapper Beenzino, a woman looking for an office romance, and an older gentleman who is here for the “senior” program like the movie The Intern. Out of the three new hires, Steve’s radar hones in on the older intern, Charles, after hearing a rumor that venture capitalists are infiltrating start-ups as spies.
In typical Steve fashion, he takes the most roundabout and absurd way to tackle this problem, and hires actors to make his company look good. From an angry customer who comes to complain about how great their app is to a staged lecture about printing things double-sided to save the environment, Steve makes sure that their interns are there to witness it all. Even during their shareholders meeting, Steve gets one of his plants to ask a prepared question, and things go as planned until their biggest shareholder walks into the room.
The shareholder suggests that Maccom partner with a funeral business and offers to invest an additional 1 billion won (approximately $700k). Despite the enticing offer, Steve shoots it down because their company is about new beginnings and not endings. At that moment, he receives a text from a venture capital firm, and as he predicted, one of his interns was a spy! However, it was not Charles but the young man who kept talking about rapper Beenzino. Congratulating Steve, the venture capitalist promises to invest a whopping… 5 million won (approximately $3.6k). Heh.
Though the spy intern leaves, he was not the only liar in their midst. In a surprising twist, Jay turns out to be a spy for Magenta—the big start-up Steve cofounded and lost. Magenta CEO LEE GEUN-HO (Heo Joon-seok), whose English name is ROOT LEE because his Korean name means radical sign, is a cruel man that belittles his employees. Cornering Jay outside his workplace, he threatens to ruin his friends’ careers if he does not finish his assignment within a week.
As Jay wrestles with this problem, he goes on a work trip with Ashley to interview older people since Steve wants to get a better understanding of their clientele. Filming goes well for the most part — even though all their interviews dissolve into arguments — and these talks of love get Ashley and Jay to reflect on their own feelings for each other. Unfortunately for Ashley, Jesse is here, too, and ruins the mood every chance he gets. He even eats the lunch Ashley prepared, and in all honesty, I would turn a blind eye if she strangled him right then and there.
The last person they interview is an older lady who has found the love of her life with another older lady, and she asks the young interviewers if they know how great love is. On their way home, Ashley and Jay wait for their trains, and he offers to make food for their next outing. Leaving her speechless, he hops onto his train and smiles at her as the doors close. Squeee!
Meanwhile, Carol and Philip are out of the office as well, and they spend the day together with his little sister Bora at her mock trial competition. Despite Carol’s attempts to bond, Bora immediately dislikes her for giggling during the witness’s testimony and assumes she only likes her brother for his looks just like his other girlfriends.
During the second half of the trial, the prosecutor’s closing argument starts to sway the jury, but from the crowd, Carol notices the prosecutor’s mom typing on her laptop. After stepping out for a moment, she returns and apologizes to the mom for hitting her car, and the mom runs out mid-sentence. Without his cheat sheet, the prosecutor stumbles over his words, and the judge declares the defendant not guilty.
Bora recognizes what Carol did for her, and on the car ride home, she slowly opens up. They talk about cartoons, and Carol gasps when she hears that Detective Conan is still a kid. Pfft.
Inside the office, another new face is stirring some trouble within the development team. Through the military service exception program, a young hotshot CEO is currently working for Maccom, and his haughty attitude irks everyone. Even Steve and Monica who intervened to defuse the situation get mad at the young CEO and ask him how old he is. Ha!
Despite their disdain for the young CEO, the others acknowledge his talent and attend his product review meeting with open ears. The young CEO points out all their weaknesses and tells Steve that their business lacks a profit model. He makes a list of suggestions to monetize certain features and offers his own algorithm in exchange for 7% of the company. Steve haggles with the young CEO and manages to lower it to 4.9%, which gets the whole team screaming in celebration over their tiny win.
Their joyous moment turns sour, however, when the young CEO says that they should rank their users. Steve pushes back, but the young CEO scoffs at his naivety. He reminds the group that they are a business not some hobby group, and his criticism silences them. As he continues his rant, Charles raises his hand and tells the young man that it is not wrong to age. For once, the young CEO looks humbled and remains quiet.
Still the outsider, the young CEO eats lunch by himself until Charles sits next to him and asks him for help signing into a website. Steve sees the two of them together and joins their table as well. In the background, a documentary series about the fake penguin plays, and we see how everyone is a bit like the robotic penguin — out of place but needing a home.
This week’s episodes had less laugh out loud moments, but my enjoyment has steadily increased as we get a better picture of the people that make up Maccom. Relationships are developing, and I like how the show clearly makes fun of start-ups and capitalism in general but somehow retains a hopeful message about people. The clichéd adage of “people come first” is a joke the show uses to poke fun at the power-hungry leaders who only pay lip service to the idea, but somehow, Maccom actually embodies it while still making the workplace a complete farce.
In essence, the joke at the heart of this show is that this crazy company is actually more humane than most real-life start-ups and businesses. Despite implementing Steve dollars, hiring actors, and sending their employees on random tasks, the people at Maccom care about others in their own unique way. They are the robotic penguin, yet at the same time, they are also the colony.
It seems inevitable for comedies to include some sort of romance, so while the developments this week were not a shock, I was pleasantly surprised by how invested I became in all of them. I love Philip and his himbo trope so much, but what I love even more is that the women in his life are all so smart and caring. His little sister with her overly strict personality is adorable, and I appreciated the show for still treating her like a kid instead of a mini-adult.
I also think Ashley and Jay’s relationship is moving along wonderfully, and the added twist of Jay’s secret was interesting. In most cases, I would have found the reveal jarring, but the show has already pushed the limits to how insane it can be. Thus, Jay’s spy-status doesn’t feel too far-fetched since it was established in the first episode that he was scouted from Magenta, and in fact, it makes more sense somehow that he’s a spy since we now know what Maccom is like. It also adds a bit of tension to the show, and I’m looking forward to how this will play out in the future.
All in all, the episodes get better with each week as we learn more about these absurd characters and their even wackier company. This isn’t a groundbreaking sitcom nor is it even the funniest comedy show I’ve seen, but there’s something about this little drama that has made me a fan. I find myself rooting for this ragtag team of oddballs, and though the task seems impossible, I hope Maccom succeeds.