FREE AGENTS “Dr. Hu” Review

FREE AGENTS “Dr. Hu” Season 1, Episode 3 – I’ve never questioned the masculinity of a man holding an umbrella, but that was the theme of this week’s Free Agents. After Emma provides unwanted commentary during Alex’s pitch to an important client, the two of them butt heads in the office as Emma tries to claw her way out of her assistant position.

There was something about this plot line that felt backwards to me. As funny as she is, Emma is obnoxious and rude. Her character’s attitude would normally make her difficult to root for, but because all the guys in her office initially wanted to “destroy her” I ended up really wanting her to succeed.

Even though Alex wasn’t keen on the destruction plot, he was just as invested in her failure as the other guys. He tells Emma to “cool her jets” and join the team in a respectful fashion, but despite seeing how motivated she was by the new opportunity, he never offered her an option to be involved in that project besides returning to her desk and answering phones. I kept thinking of Ugly Betty as I watched because Emma reminded me of both Betty and Amanda wrapped up into one sociopathic package. Maybe the only difference is that no one has told Emma that she is stuck in a dead-end job.

As Emma cracked under the pressure of her first pitch, Alex stepped in to wow the client with his well researched statistics. It irritated me that last week, Emma prevented Alex from losing a client by reminding the client of his battle-axe of an ex-wife, while this week Alex bested Emma by suavely outsmarting her. Emma is capable and anxious for success so I was disappointed that she was basically being used by Steven to make a point to Alex. Her entire experience ended up being a ploy to send a message to Alex that he should work harder. I’m not normally one to cry “sexism” but this story line felt like it could have been set in the 1950’s with the two boss men laughing at the silly little secretary from the sidelines.

Meanwhile Helen went to Alex’s therapist, Dr. Hu, to confirm that she didn’t need therapy. Helen was a bit much for me tonight. I’m guessing the point of her kookiness was to show that she really did need therapy because she came off as super crazy. Her non stop blabbering gave me anxiety and I felt bad for poor Dr. Hu sitting in that restaurant as he tried to cope with those two “co-dependent whack jobs.”

This was the second episode of Free Agents that missed the mark for me. These past couple of episodes have been somewhat frustrating because I love the cast but I’m not getting the laughs or warm charm that I got from the pilot. I know it’s there somewhere, so I’m going to keep holding out hope that Free Agents will get back on the right track again soon.