The Toy Job - Recap

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At the Risk Management office of Poggio Toys, an intruder sets off the alarm hacking a computer. The intruder takes a briefcase out of the desk and slips out past the guards. Later, the intruder, Eldon Marris, meets with Sophie and Nate and explains that their newest product is the result of years of research. Eldon shows them Chubby Snubby, a stuffed dog, and explains that he was the executive in charge of overseeing its safety report. When it came back with a level 3 choking hazard, the CEO of Poggio, Trent Hazlit, told him to cook the books. Eldon refused and Trent fired him. Hazlit thinks a few deaths are acceptable and is waiting to release the toy from warehouses for the Christmas season in time for the Pacific Toy expo.

The team reviews Trent's history and Alec explains that he's a ruthless CEO who came from defense contracting. Twenty years ago he was selling arms to both sides in Central American conflicts. Nine years ago he took over Poggio and buried lawsuits and increased security. Trent uses high-security precautions at Poggio, changing codes directly, and keeps the safety report in a special safe in a special room protected by a special security system. Parker is confident they can get in and Nate figures that they can steal the security report and release it to the public, forcing Trent to spike the launch.

That night, Parker breaks into Poggio while the rest of the team sits at base and discuss giving Christmas presents. Nate insists that they're not going to exchange gifts but Sophie finally convinces him to go with $50 a person. Meanwhile, Parker gets the vault open and accesses the server with the report. She downloads the files and departs.

The next day, Nate shows the report to Eldon and he confirms that Trent doctored the information. A bunch of doctors on Trent's payroll have given the toy its okay and Eldon explains that certain companies won't let the government inspectors in and the safety inspection program is voluntarily. Much to Eliot's surprise, Nate promises Eldon that they won't let Trent release the toy.

The team figures that they have to trick Trent into buying a toy company with enough liability to bankrupt him. Alec checks out a company that sells failed toys to third-world companies. Nate notices the Whirlie Glee Glee and figures that it's bland enough not to raise attention but quirky enough to seem novel. Now the team needs to get the kids to go crazy for it. It's being shipped to Africa in 36 hours and Parker heads to the company's warehouse. As she checks the boxes, she notices another toy, Baby Joy Rage, which has a two-faced baby doll. Intrigued, Parker decides to take that instead and Nate figures that they can create a craze from any toy because it's all a con. Now they have to get Trent to notice it.

Nate and Alec approach Trent at the expo as he shows his assistant his new app to measure toy popularity. Sophie is on the floor posing as a rep and assuring, Gil Barton, the head of the largest department store, Joylandia, that she has a guaranteed hit on her hands. As she leaves, she bumps into Trent. Gil assures Trent that he'll get the shelf space as always. Nate assures Alec that the whole thing with Sophie was just to get Trent's attention.

Back at the conference room, Alec runs algorithms to determine the most influential families to start fads. They all have one thing in common: they gather at a weekly farmer's market. He plans to start a grass roots craze but Nate says that they're going to something more effective than selling.

At the market, Eliot shows off the Baby Joy Rage toy to an uninterested girl. She only takes it when it's free and the kids start running when they get the news. Alec realizes that Nate is using the drug dealer approach, and Nate says that they need a celebrity. They come up with the star of a teenage TV show, Sandy Matteo, who will give them a major boost if she promotes Baby Joy Rage.

Sandy is coming out of her trailer and arguing with her agent when Sophie comes by and slips the doll into her purse. Alec secretly takes photos of the doll sticking out of Sandy's purse and then puts it out on the Internet. Next, Nate needs to create scarcity. He puts Sophie's acting team to work calling stores and demanding the toys while Sophie provides acting tips.

Trent soon notices the campaign and calls in his assistant Pantani. He wants to know why Sandy is pushing the toy when she has an exclusive with them. Alec has planted a story about Sophie in connection with the toy and Trent tells Pantani to set him up with a meeting with Gil.

The team watches as the saturation figures on Baby Joy Rage only reach 62% when they need 89%. Parker insists it was the best choice and she explains that she picked the toy because it reminded her of the one that her social worker did when they were performing emotional identification exercises. Nate realizes that if they can't con kids then they need to kid their parents. Eliot will get on the mommies and Alec will cover the lecture circuit. Nate explains that parents are afraid that their kids will be left behind, so they'll pitch the toy as a child development tool. Sophie suggests they rename it Baby Feels-A-Lot, much to Nate's surprise. Parker worries that it's wrong messing with parent's fears during the holidays, and Nate explains that people give gifts because corporations program them to do so, and that's what Christmas is really all about.

Alec starts broadcasting lectures about how Baby Feels-A-Lot lets children communicate and become emotionally articulate. Once the video is done, he starts uploading it to blogger mom sites, starting with Allie Stanbrook, a major blogger in Portland. Alec sets up Eliot's background and he heads out to the miniature golf course to talk to blogger moms. He lauds the virtues of Baby Feels-A-Lot and assures them that it helped him bond with his son. Allie assures him that she knows how he feels, gives him a hug, and assures him that he has the support of every blogger mom in the state.

At the expo, Trent approaches Sophie and tells her that he's onto her game. He warns her that her approach is out of style but Sophie boasts that her toy saves lives. Gil comes over and Sophie manages to convince him into giving her a few minutes before Trent.

Alec puts together Eliot's new blog about his imaginary child and starts going overboard. Nate gets him to focus on what Allie and the other mothers are saying and Alec brings up a complimentary article from Allie about Eliot and the toy. The saturation index is going up and Nate checks with Sophie, who is still with Gil. As she leaves, Trent comes over and wants to know why Sophie is bidding on the same shelf space he's competing for. Gil takes offense and tells Trent that he'll call later, and Sophie approaches Trent and asks if he's worried. Trent tells her that he's dealt with Honduran rebels and learned from them. If Gil doesn't take his $80,000 then Trent will release blackmail photos of Gil with his mistress.

Back at base, Sophie tells the others what she's learned. Nate figures they need to become more of a threat and determines that they have to up pre-sales on the Internet. When the figures go through the roof, Trent will want in and Nate will pose as the owner. Alec hesitantly points out that Parker thinks that they're ruining the holiday, and Nate tells him how Christmas start as a pagan pre-Christian sacrifice of children and then walks away.

Soon, Pantani warns Trent that Baby Feels-A-Lot pre-sales are up even though it hasn't hit a store shelf yet. Trent tells him to set up a meeting with Sophie. They get together at a hotel bar and Trent buys her a drink. He offers to let Sophie be his back channel in return for a quarter point off of the gross. Sophie agrees but warns that the owner, Nate, can be eccentric. Trent figures that Nate will cave when he sees the money and Sophie agrees in return for a VP position. The CEO agrees and asks if she's available, and Sophie tells him to stick to business... for now.

Alec tells Parker that Baby Feels-A-Lot is doing well and her instincts were good, and she points out that even he doubted her. She then calls Lucky Beans Toys Company pretending to be a gas inspector and orders everyone out because of a leak. Nate sets up an office there and Trent comes in to meet with him. The mastermind spins a story about his son in prison and how he made Baby Feels-A-Lot because of what he thought his son needed growing up. Pantani assures him that they plan to promote the toy as a developmental tool, but Nate starts rambling about how the doll talks to him and doesn't want him to sell to Trent. Outside, Sophie tells Trent that if he makes a quick offer before Nate realizes that there's a craze and he'll accept. Trent asks for a sample of the toy to run an expedited safety check and Sophie hands one over. Trent then goes to ZDR Risk Management and puts in an order for a 12-hour turnaround on the report.

Later, Sophie meets with Trent to make a deal. However, he tells her that he only wanted the toy so that he can make a cheap knockoff and undercut her by 40%. He's going to announce his new doll, Baby Happy Mad, when he releases Chubby Snubby Dog, and assures her that his fungineers are hard at work pumping more happiness into the toy. Trent invites Sophie to share a toast with him, saying that he's the male version of her, and a disgusted Sophie walks away.

At the expo, Trent gives a press statement but the reporters ask him about the failed safety report from the government on Chubby Snubby Dog. Trent is unaware that when he turned the doll to ZDR Risk Management, it was Alec. Once he had Trent's signature on the request for a safety report, he turned it over to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission along with the Chubby Snubby Dog. Eliot gave the safety report to Allie and she got it out on her blog. Gil threatens to sue Trent and storms off, and Trent wonders who did it to him. He sees Nate and Sophie at the door and watches as they walk away together.

Later, Eldon visits the team at the restaurant and thanks them for their help. Sophie tells him that the safety commission is looking for a new chief examiner and wants the guy who helped take Trent down. Eldon wishes them a Merry Christmas and leaves, while Parker tells Eliot that she collected all the dolls and has them lined up at her warehouse.

Sophie talks about how cynical they are about gifts and how she loved Christmas as a child. She says that what is genuine is trust, and suggests that they give each other trust by telling the others a story or a secret. Surprisingly, Nate starts by telling them how he wanted a trumpet for Christmas when he was a boy but all he got was a pack of baseball cards. However, a few days later Nate woke up and found the trumpet at the foot of his bed. He played it for a few years and later, gave it to his son Sam on his eighth birthday. His first trumpet lesson was scheduled for the day he went into the hospital. Nate admits that he kept the trumpet on his boat and it's the only thing from his childhood.