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Tear Jerker / Inside Job (2021)

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"And I know if it were possible... you'd miss me too."

Inside Job (2021)

Spoiler tags are OFF, as per moments subpage policy.

  • Imagine being in Reagan's shoes in the first episode. You are a go-getter woman that has given years of your life, including your childhood, to eventually run the company that your dad founded. When you're not working, you're keeping snipers from shooting your dad as he drunkenly rambles about real conspiracies. Then your promotion comes up...and your boss (correctly) points out that you have No Social Skills owing to said hard work so yes you are getting that promotion, but you have to co-lead with a Nice Guy NaÔve Newcomer who literally got the job due to his looks and charisma and said guy wins over your abrasive teammates without trying. The viewer can't blame Reagan for coming home in disappointment and actually opening up to Rand about how years of hard work and toil failed in the face of a Yes-Man pretty-boy. She then has to ask herself over the season if she truly wanted this position, or was she just doing what her dad wanted.
  • Tamiko casually cuts down Reagan while the latter is helping her move out Rand's stuff. She wrote an erotic tell-all about her family, and it claims that Reagan had Aspergers. Reagan challenges her on it, only for Tamiko to snark it must be true because Reagan couldn't identify her lying when challenged.
  • We find out that Rand never hugged Reagan when she was a child. She was so traumatized by both this and Bear-o, the robot Rand created to do it instead, that she repressed the memories until adulthood, leaving her unable to hug anyone without punching them.
  • Brett looks like a kicked puppy when he learns that his frat bros never really liked him. They thought he was a suck-up and a fun punching bag.
    • The same episode has him reveal that he's honestly worried that he lays awake at night because he doesn't even know what his favorite color is, leading him to worry whether he even has a personality.
  • At the end of "Sex Machina," Reagan finally works up the courage to talk to Bryan, her "perfect match," and confesses to him everything that's been happening. In the end, Bryan admits that the situation is a little too weird for him to pursue an actual relationship with Reagan, and gently turns her down. Reagan accepts this, but is still clearly disappointed when she calls in an extraction team to pick up Bryan.
  • "The Brettfast Club" reveals that while Brett grew up in a well-to-do family, his parents openly preferred his older siblings to him, made it perfectly clear that they didn't like him and were hardly ever around, even for their son's birthday. That family Brett was shown interacting with in a hologram projection at the beginning? It's the family from his favorite 80s sitcom (with him inserted into the big brother role), which is the kind of family he's always wanted. It really explains why Brett is such a people-pleaser, and when combined with the fact that he's well aware that he's gotten a lot based on his looks and personality alone, it shows that while Brett is a genuinely Nice Guy, he's also a major Stepford Smiler.
    • The fact that the only person in Brett's family who cared about him was his butler. He sincerely apologizes to a young Brett about his family missing his birthday and tries to cheer him up with a giant cake - though said cake has Brent spelled on it.
  • The flashbacks in "Buzzkill" to Reagan as a kid having to put down her pet turtles due to radiation poisoning is absolutely heart-wrenching and really highlights what a terrible father Rand was. Why did she soak her pet turtles in chemicals? She wanted real Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of her own and to go on adventures with them, only to have her father laugh at her and tell her that she's basically given them cancer.
    • It gets worse when you consider what kind of universe they are in, with all the mutants, cryptids, aliens and other species around, and the father being himself a Mad Scientist who manipulated Reagan's genes and created a reality-warping machine. Oh, and they have the cure for cancer as a bagel flavor. Rand doesn't run any test to check on the turtles, nor does he offers to help(which he is very likely able to), he is just immediately dismissive of Reagan and forces her to do the most brutal thing possible.
    • And if it wasn't bad enough, Reagan grew up in isolation because of her intelligence. Even before Rand's intervention, she only had one real friend, with the other people mocking her. Rand was the only intellectual peer she had, and yet not only he was a neglectful and abusive parent, he never gave her any credit, respect or consideration, and even now that she is an adult he doesn't show any respect for her brilliance. Reagan grew up seeing herself too intelligent for the rest of the world, and yet never intelligent enough to deserve recognition.
  • There is something really sad about the fact that Brett is so desperate for parental love that he tries to bond with Rand of all people in "Buzzkill", to the point he almost asked Rand to adopt him.
  • Bear-O reveals himself as The Mole, and has the file on all of the Cognito, Inc. conspiracies. Reagan asks why her childhood hug trauma bot would betray her and sabotage her promotion. Bear-O pulls up the surveillance footage, showing Reagan's unhealthy eating and sleeping habits, plus her Adderall addiction. He points out that this job, despite her ambition, isn't making her happy. Destroying the company would keep her alive for a few more years. Reagan looks at herself falling asleep on her desk, and her own despair.
  • The end-of-season reveal that despite remembering her childhood completely friendless, Reagan did eventually make a friend in fourth grade, named Orrin. However, said friendship also meant she was less inclined to skip grades and leave her friend behind. In his by far biggest Moral Event Horizon-crossing moment, Rand actually erased Reagan's memories of Orrin, leaving her with an infinitely shittier childhood because he wanted her to excel so he could use her eventual position in Cognito Inc. for his own ends.
    • There are two interpretations for Rand wanting Reagan's approval this season. One is that he wanted to use her purely to get back into Cognito, Inc., and isn't capable of true love or affection; any bonding moments were born out of possessiveness that she might attach herself to someone else. The other is that despite himself and his belief that "friends hold you back," he wants that connection with Reagan but is so obsessed with getting his job back that he tanks his relationship with her and doesn't know how to be a good father. Either way, regardless of how season two will play out, their bond is torn apart.
  • In the climax, it seems to be the Darkest Hour. Reagan has found out that her father betrayed her in the worst way possible, and Bear-O prepares to kill her coworkers who futilely try to take him down. All she can do is beg Bear-O to spare her friends because she cares about them and they make her life better. Still, the bear won't back down...until Brett wakes up from falling into the memory vat and shouts the password is "ORRIN!" Reagan shuts down Bear-O with the failsafe and nearly cries when thanking Brett for saving everyone. His response is not that he did it, but, "We did it." which is what she said in the pilot after they worked together to stop ROBOTUS.
    • The ending of the season finale is a major Yank the Dog's Chain moment for Reagan. For context, she's finally realized how toxic and uncaring Rand is and has kicked him out of her house and out of her life. She goes into work the next day, fully prepared to use her new position as CEO of Cognito Inc. to make the world a better place...only to find out that not only has the Shadow Board decided that she's not experienced enough to be CEO, but they've given the position back to Rand. Yikes.
    • Worse. The reason they gave was that the chaos of the mole hunt yesterday proved that Reagan's not ready for the responsibility of being CEO. Said mole hunt was caused by Bear-o, following the prime directive Rand programmed into him to make Reagan happy, interpreting it as needing to destroy Cognito becuase of how unhappy she was becoming from the stress of the job, and escalated by Rand's entry into the building, causing her team to think he was the mole and forcing Reagan to choose between her father and her co-workers. In order words, they turned down Reagan's hard-won promotion and gave it to a man who indirectly caused the whole problem in the first place. It's not hard to sympathise with how Reagan's been screwed over by her father once again even as she's finally decided she needs to cut him out of her life. In fact, he did this as an act of revenge for cutting ties with him.
  • At the start of the penultimate episode of Season 2, Project Reboot, itís believed Rand had activated the titular machine in order to try to get out of trouble with the Robes. When Reagan finds him though, he's disheveled and drinking heavily as he struggles to get the Machine to do what he really wants: Get Reagan and Tomiko back, without them hating him. Marking out each and every failed attempt, which is revealed to be over 100 attempts. Revealing that, despite having power, he actually deeply missed his wife and daughter and just wanted them back. Rand has been the most toxic, abusive person in Reagans life and it's only in this moment that he actually appears to realize as well as admit he's fucked everything up beyond repair between them all.
    Reagan: Dad, you can't fix a relationship by pressing a button and putting everything back the way it was.
  • In the Part 2 finale, "Appleton," Reagan and Ron's relationship comes to head when Ron decides that he wants nothing to do with the shadow government and to erase his memories to get away from that life. Ron then tells Reagan that he loves her, and he wants her to come with him to start that new life. At the same time, the Robes offer Reagan a position as partner, overseeing the entire world for the greater good. Reagan tries to find a way to balance both of these lives, but every simulation shows that the work ruins their relationship, with only one where Ron is living happily with a wife and daughter. When Ron puts himself under for Reagan to implant his new memories, Reagan tearfully sets him up in his new life and then removes herself from it forever, and a flashback to the simulation shows his happy life is one without her. Reagan doesn't wipe her memories, however, wanting to remember what she gave up.
    • The way Ron's happy life is shown; we see him with a wife and child, but his wife is only ever shown from the back... because she isnt Reagan! It's not part of the potential future where both Reagan and Ron wipe their memories, it's the one that ultimately happens.
    • One of the futures where Reagan and Ron stay together at Cognito is just heartbreaking - it shows Reagan brushing Ron off because she's busy with something in her office while he's trying to talk to her, he walks outside with a miserable look on his face, the door closes... and he wipes his own memory right then and there.
    • How Reagan comes to this decision is also quite tragic. She essentially has three choices: accept Ron's offer and start a completely new life, convince him to stay working at Cognito, or let him go. She decides that her work is way too important to give up, so the first choice is out. Then she runs through endless simulations showing how their life will turn out if they stay together and at Cognito. Unfortunately, every version of that life turns out badly, with Reagan eventually pushing him away, leaving Ron completely unhappy. Not wanting to put him through that, she decides that, as much as it breaks her heart, Ron is better off without her and sets him up for a happy life with a different woman.
      Reagan: I searched a thousand lifetimes for the one that would make you happiest. And you'll find it, one day. Just... without me.
    • There is also another level of tragedy to the future where Reagan tries to keep both the job and Ron. As much as Reagan hated Rand, she basically becomes him in all those futures by prioritizing Cognito and what she wants over her loved one, just as Rand did with her and Tamiko. The only way for her to avoid turning into Rand is to take the same advice she gave to him and let Ron go.
  • The saddest part about all this is that Ron will never know what Reagan did.

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