Upon the hiring of a new consultant named Regus Patoff, who has been brought in to bolster the fortunes of the app-based gaming enterprise CompWare, the company’s employees find themselves confronted with a range of unfamiliar and daunting demands that cause them to question everything, including their very existence. As Regus begins to take over the reins of the company, his enigmatic and manipulative persona gradually reveals itself, driving the workers to the brink and leaving them struggling to maintain their sanity amidst the chaos. With their personal and professional lives thrown into turmoil, the employees must navigate a treacherous landscape of uncertainty and suspicion, where nothing is quite as it seems, and the only certainty is that their future hangs in the balance.
Credit is due to the team behind “The Consultant” for selecting the perfect lead in Christoph Waltz. With his intense gaze and loquaciousness, Waltz, a two-time Academy Award winner, portrays a malevolent mastermind in business and manipulation in the Amazon Prime Video series. The script’s meticulousness is exemplified by the name of the app gaming company, CompWare. After the founder’s tragedy, Waltz’s character, Regus Patoff, comes to the company to restore order. While his claim to the company remains uncertain to the employees, he manages to occupy most of their thoughts. Through either his magnetic personality or a form of mind control, he pressures them into answering invasive personal questions at all hours.
Nat Wolff and Brittany O’Grady play two of the employees, and they showcase their impressive talents in their respective roles. O’Grady, who was previously seen playing a scornful character in the first season of “The White Lotus,” exudes intelligence, and her character appears to be as manipulative towards Regus as he is towards her. In the case of Wolff’s character, Regus invites himself to join him for a drink and proceeds to scrutinize every aspect of his life, causing him to question himself. O’Grady’s character, on the other hand, manages to maintain a façade of being agreeable, even as she becomes increasingly suspicious that something is amiss.
While “The Consultant” possesses a disquieting and beguiling allure, I cannot ignore that there were moments when I yearned for it to be more thought-provoking. It’s no surprise that Regus’ manipulations take hold so effortlessly, given that the show’s writing frequently stacks the deck against his victims. Additionally, the show’s use of flashbacks and plot twists is engaging, but it doesn’t entirely mask the fact that the narrative is, at its core, an anecdote extended across eight episodes.
Nevertheless, “The Consultant” remains a captivating watch, with Waltz delivering a compelling performance. The loquacious actor’s best moments come when he emanates a refined hostility during the lulls between his lines. Although Regus’ shenanigans become increasingly tiresome as the show progresses, the excellent performances, as well as the sharp direction and editing, keep the show engaging. The series’ theme, which explores the workplace’s intrusion into every aspect of one’s personal life, is especially relevant in today’s world. Though the show’s approach to the theme may be whimsical and at times downright silly, it provides just enough intellectual heft to counterbalance the show’s general whimsicality.
“The Consultant” is scheduled to debut on Amazon Prime Video on February 24th, which falls on a Friday.