Based on the eponymous novel by Bentley Little, Amazon Prime Video’s thriller series ‘The Consultant’ follows Regus Patoff, who joins the video game publisher CompWare following the death of its founder Sang-woo. Created by Tony Basgallop, the series progresses through CompWare employees Craig and Elaine’s attempts to unravel the mystery behind the newly appointed consultant, who brings radical changes to the company and its operation. Starring Christoph Waltz as the titular consultant, the series explores the nuances of a modern-day workspace where competitiveness overshadows principles. The first season of the series ends with astounding revelations one after the other and if you are trying to make sense of the same, you are at the right place! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Consultant Season 1 Recap
‘The Consultant’ begins with a group of middle school children meeting Ah Sang-woo, the founder of CompWare, as part of a study tour. One of the children, named Tokyo, kills Sang using a hidden gun. While the CompWare employees mourn the death of their admired head, a consultant named Regus Patoff assumes Sang’s office with a contract signed by the latter, which gives the new arrival complete authority over the operation of the company. Elaine, the creative liaison at the place, and Craig, one of the senior coders, join hands to unravel the mystery behind the consultant. They find out that Patoff’s previous employer Viktor Kulzer was killed a few days after signing a contract with the consultant, raising suspicion.
Elaine and Craig go through the CCTV footage of the day Sang signed Patoff’s contract and realize that the latter met him without even an appointment, making Sang sign the document within an hour. They also watch Sang engaging in oral sex with Patoff. The consultant continues to puzzle the duo since he doesn’t even leave the office or sleep at night. Elaine learns about a record room that exists in the company, which stores the personal files of all the employees, including her. Meanwhile, Sang’s mother arrives in Los Angeles to visit the company. Patoff consoles the heartbroken woman and offers to take her to a hotel. “Mother Sang” never reaches the hotel and Elaine wonders whether the consultant killed her.
Under Patoff’s leadership, Craig’s ideas are valued. He introduces a demo version of a game he has been developing to Patoff, who encourages the coder to develop the same. He goes to a secret pub with Patoff, only for the latter to kidnap a woman named Milani from the place. Craig releases her from the consultant’s custody and she asks him to reach out to Frank Florez if he wants to know more about the consultant. Patoff tells his employee that he “abducted” Milani as part of an intervention. When the coder returns to the pub, he sees an office running at the place without any indication of a pub previously operated at the place.
Flashback scenes reveal that Patoff met Sang when the latter was losing control of the company due to financial troubles. The consultant let Sang know that he knew about the latter’s suicidal thoughts. Patoff offered to run the company and protect Sang’s legacy after the founder’s death. Since Sang had been considering killing himself, he signed the contract because it would protect his legacy and reputation without the cost of a dime. Patoff then informed Sang that he would die soon. The consultant, in the present time, meets Tokyo in prison, indicating that he is the one behind the child murderer.
Craig meets Florez and the latter reveals that several doctors used to give him orders to create human bones out of gold using cheques signed by Regus Patoff. He lets the coder know that Patoff doesn’t really exist and that the name Regus Patoff is a shortened form of “Registered U.S. Patent Office.” Craig’s fiancée Patti thinks that her partner has feelings for Elaine, which leads her to Patoff as an act of revenge. He locks her up in the record room and Patti works for him without any concerns as if she is under the influence of the consultant. Elaine and Craig find Mother Sang in Los Angeles with Patti’s phone. Craig believes that his partner is abducted by Patoff.
The Consultant Season 1 Ending: Is Regus Patoff a Human or Robot?
When Craig finds out that Patti is locked up by Patoff, he sends Elaine to rescue her while he confronts the consultant. He takes a lesson from the game he created and destroys the glass on which Patoff is standing, only for him to fall and severe a toe. Craig picks up the toe and later dissects it, only to find a man-made golden bone, seemingly made by Florez, indicating that Patoff is not a human being. Florez was commissioned by a group of doctors to create 206 bones, the average number of bones present in an adult human being, using gold. The doctors or even individuals who pretended to be doctors seemingly assembled the parts they bought from Florez to create Regus Patoff.
Patoff has displayed enough indicators for one to correctly theorize that he is a robot. His inability to climb the staircase and understand data instantly and his repetition of certain sentences do indicate that he isn’t necessarily a human being right after he arrives at CompWare. Patoff being a robot also explains why he doesn’t sleep. The only activity he does that he shouldn’t necessarily do as a robot is his food consumption. Patoff must have been using the activity as a way of bonding with the humans around him, which explains the need of sharing a beer with Craig or eating sushi with Patti. He must be removing the food at the abandoned toilet on the top of a hill, which is found and destroyed by Craig.
Ultimately, Patoff can be considered a representative of corporate heads who runs their companies without any human consideration. As a boss, the consultant not only doesn’t mind watching his employees competing and fighting against each other to produce better results but also finds the same amusing. He doesn’t even think twice about firing his employees for ignorable reasons, making the company an authoritarian space, which resembles several real-life corporate workspaces. Patoff also doesn’t have an ethical code. He gets excited about unleashing an elephant in the city of Los Angeles to promote a game for the company and gamers harming themselves when they cannot proceed in the same game.
The robot Patoff is not severely different from human corporate moguls who built their empires above human sufferings. His existence as a robot leads us to the reality of corporate moguls becoming machines without any humanity or compassion.
Why Does Patoff Leave CompWare? Where Does He Go?
When Patoff decides to become the consultant of CompWare, the only objective in front of him was to take the company back to a position of financial security. He achieves the same through the success of ‘Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey.’ He leaves CompWare after changing its entire culture. Under Sang, the company was a friendly space where the employees’ needs were prioritized over the financial or corporate needs of the establishment. Patoff changes the same by instilling competitiveness in his employees and killing consideration for their colleagues. He witnesses his employees fighting each other, which satisfies his need for competitiveness.
Since he is a machine, Patoff doesn’t need money. He doesn’t have any reason to continue staying at CompWare after fulfilling his objective. Thus, he leaves the company for another company in turmoil, Pterodactyl Robotics. Before leaving CompWare, he visits the boss of the robotics company, only for the individual to die a few days later, resembling the deaths of Sang and Viktor Kulzer. Patoff must be aiming to save the robotics company from financial turmoil by implementing drastic corporate measures such as competitiveness, subjectivity, lack of equity, etc.
Does Elaine Become the New CompWare Boss? How?
Yes, Elaine does become the new CompWare boss. After the launch party of ‘Mr. Sang’s Jungle Odyssey,’ Elaine returns to the office the next day, only to see Patoff’s office empty with her name on the door. She gains the position by becoming another Patoff by killing her compassion and human consideration. When Patoff joined CompWare, Elaine was a highly compassionate individual. She raises her voice against the consultant firing employees over ignorable reasons. But gradually, she becomes another version of the vicious consultant. She starts by tricking Iain to gain his office and using Craig’s game to please the new boss.
When Patoff insists that he wants a wild elephant to create havoc in the streets of Los Angeles to promote his game, the compassionate Elaine changes herself and arranges the same. She doesn’t feel any regret or guilt when the wild animal destroys the order in the city and eventually gets killed by the authorities. When her ex-boyfriend Patrice tries to come clean about the same, she plots his arrest by offering an anonymous tip to the authorities to get him imprisoned. To conclude, Elaine starts to prioritize the best for the business without a thought about ethics or empathy.
Patoff must have tried to find his successor at CompWare right after joining the company. He may have also considered Craig, who fails to please him since he frees the abducted Milani against the consultant’s wishes. When Elaine doesn’t show the “weakness” of compassion, Patoff must have decided that she is the right person for the job.
Read More: Where is The Consultant Filmed?