American Auto (2021) s01e10 Episode Script

Profile

1 So as most of you know, the news show "Contour" will be in the offices today shooting a segment about Katherine.
It's officially about Katherine, but it's actually about all of us.
It's focused specifically on Katherine.
Yes, it's ostensibly about Katherine.
That's what I just said.
At any rate, let's all just be professional and positive.
Do not do or say anything that you would not want to see on national television, okay? Remember, reporters are snakes.
If you give them an opening, they will slither in and pounce and bite you with poison until you're dead.
I thought this was supposed to be just, like, a puff piece about Katherine.
- About both of us.
- Oh, Jack.
That's how they get you.
They promise you a puff piece.
"Oh, this'll just be a lovely profile.
" And then it's gotcha question, gotcha question, gotcha question.
We have let the fox into the henhouse, okay, and the vultures are circling.
You have way too many animal metaphors happening right now.
That's fair.
Yes, I was gonna mention the frog and the scorpion, but I backed out of it.
So if Katherine looks bad, do we really think that the board is gonna fire her and hire that astronaut? Charlie Altman? Yeah.
They've already been talking to him.
Why? Just pointing out that our CEO who doesn't know cars and can't even drive might be replaced by a former astronaut who's passionate about technology and literally been to the moon.
Just so we all know what's at stake here.
That is not gonna happen.
This is just a positive profile piece.
They literally killed the Princess of Wales, okay? They murdered her, understand? And if they could do that to her, then what are they gonna do to this guy? Nothing good.
- How's it going? - Great.
She's like a engineering textbook.
Well, I've been studying all morning.
I am not about to let the board replace me with some space jockey.
At least not before my stock options vest in two years and eight months.
Really tracking that.
Look, the most important thing today is conveying passion.
That's what'll make people love you and the board want to keep you.
You don't need to know the specs on a 1984 Payne Chimera.
You just need to show people that this is where you shine.
So I shouldn't mention that the '84 Chimera was the fastest in its class and had over 350 horsepower? Ooh.
Someone's been doing her homework.
Don't look so shocked.
It kind of activates your worry lines.
What are you oh my God.
And if you get in a jam, you can always bring up the woman thing.
Yes, you're the first female CEO of Payne.
Oh, God, no, the woman thing is so played out.
The glass ceiling, I heart Hillary, what if the Ghostbusters were all ladies? You know, the revolution's over.
Why do we have to keep waving around our vaginas? I wouldn't want you expressing that particular opinion on camera today.
You know, these are getting really bad.
You should have somebody look at them, for this and maybe this.
- Alan Strom.
Wesley Payne.
- Oh, yes.
Hi.
Just want to say no hard feelings for what's to come.
I know how this goes.
How what goes? You come for me, I strike back, you counter, and so on.
It's how the dance is danced.
But if you come for the king, you best not miss.
We're an interview.
That's a rap battle.
Okay, well, the day is young.
So these are the talking points you might want to hit.
Feel free to ask her about this charity work right there.
Also, I'm gonna nix her taking you for a drive.
Feels a little first-thought.
It's a car company.
You don't want to show the CEO driving a car? It's a cliché, isn't it? Also, can you tell your sound guy that sometimes, her voice can go high, and I just don't want the audio to peak and for her to sound shrill? Got it.
I will convey that immediately.
- Thanks.
- You okay? - Mm-hmm.
- You seem a little I don't know if bonkers is the most helpful term.
Ouch.
Yeah, I'm a little stressed.
- Mm-hmm.
- Normally I am the filter between the company and the press, and today, we're all just out there.
Just raw-dogging it.
- Raw-dogging it.
- It's an industry term.
Well, you know, you don't gotta worry about that.
I think we can all handle it ourselves.
Yeah, I'm not really worried about you.
It's some others.
Uh-oh, looks like it's Matthew McConaughey calling.
See? Look at that.
Matty! All right, all right, all right.
He's laughing.
So are you guys Are gonna cue me, or should I just walk out or - Whenever you're ready.
- I'm sorry? - Whenever you're ready.
- Ah, okay.
Got it.
Got it.
Hi, I'm Ka you know, I'm just gonna just give it one more.
I'm just gonna here.
Just sorry.
Sure.
Yeah.
Great.
Alan, welcome to Payne Motors.
Katherine, thank you so much for inviting us.
Today, I'm gonna give you guys a little peek behind the scenes, as it were, of what makes Payne tick.
- That would be great.
- Yeah, it's wonderful.
This is the nerve center of operations.
It's really where it all happens.
It's a great group of people.
Diverse, of course.
That's always been a priority for me personally.
And honestly, it's really more of a family than a bunch of employees, I would say.
Very nice.
Could you introduce us to a few of them? Yeah.
Specifically, you mean? - Ideally.
- Sure.
Sure.
Sure.
Where to begin? Hi.
Hi there.
Hi, guys.
How are we today? Yeah, that's, um Yeah, I don't wanna embarrass anybody by putting them on the spot.
Oh, oh, there's Dori.
Yes.
We've got Dori.
Dori.
This is my secretary.
Well, my assistant.
My assistant.
- Yes.
- Really more of a friend.
- Oh, yes.
- Good friend.
Yes.
We are super close.
Just like sisters.
- Yes.
Yes.
- Go to church every Sunday.
- We do.
Big church friends.
- Wow.
- Thank God for that.
- For that, yes.
So that's the bullpen.
And now if you follow me, I'm gonna let you guys see just what makes Payne Cars the best damn cars on the market today.
- So should we go or - Oh, yes.
I just thought you might wanna cut there.
Great.
Yeah, let's Let's keep it moving here.
Lead the way/ Hi, Dan I'm gonna go this way.
- It's Joshua.
- Joshua.
So you guys all work with Katherine day-to-day.
We just want to hear a little bit about what that's like.
And just to reiterate, I'm also here to step in if required, and I'm also recording all of this.
So there won't be any creative editing from our friends in the fourth estate.
Okay.
So who wants to go first? - I will.
- We can.
I've come to like her, actually.
When she was first made CEO, people wanted me to take the job, - and there was all this drama - What drama? Well, you know, there was that hashtag, #WesNotTheDress.
Totally offensive, but it went viral.
I never saw that.
Well, Twitter shows you different trends based on your settings Katherine is very smart.
And when she first got here, we were able to solve lots of big problems.
No.
No big problems.
She didn't mean to say "big problems.
" No, just issues.
Not issues.
No, we all agree there were no issues.
Yeah, Katherine? Katherine's amazing.
She's friendly, but also a leader and a real motivator, yeah.
That's Jack being a kiss-ass.
- Seriously? - I'm so sorry.
A kiss-tushy? Can we say tushy? - You can say kiss-ass.
- See? It's fine.
You can say kiss-ass.
And this is just a taste of all the details that go into designing a car.
I mean, it really is more an art than a science.
And how involved is Katherine personally in the technical aspects of design? - Oh, not too - I'm extremely involved.
Extremely involved.
Yeah, I'm kind of a nerd about this stuff.
I mean, not that level, but I just love all of the components that go into making a car.
You know, I mean, like, I love the design of this.
This component.
It's just gorgeous.
Cyrus, what is the technical name for this? Espresso machine.
Yes, but you were thinking of repurposing it as - As a - As a - Cappuccino machine? - Right.
And when my grandmama was about to pass away, I was holding one hand, and Katherine was holding the other hand, and she put Katherine hand in mine, and she said, "As long as you guys are holding hands, I'm not really gone.
" Wow.
- Thank you for that.
- You're so welcome.
I think we all have stories of ways that Katherine has inspired us to varying degrees.
Without Katherine I wouldn't even be here.
I was just a guy working on the assembly line, and she really saw something in me and gave me an opportunity.
She promoted you all the way from the factory to the C-suite? That is Katherine Hastings.
She sees potential in people.
But how did that work? She's the CEO.
You're on the assembly line.
How did you come across her path? - What did you say now? - That's actually off-limits because there's an NDA, so there's - Oh.
- There's there's There's an NDA? Yes, but not the kind you're thinking of.
It's nothing sexual, which is what everyone always thinks, don't they, when they hear that, NDA.
They're like, "Oh, who did that guy have sex with?" In this case, it was no one.
- Well, Sadie.
- Why would you bring that up? - Oh, come on.
Seriously.
- 'Cause it's the truth.
You can't lie to the press.
It's illegal.
That's the FBI, you -wit.
You can lie to the press as much as you want.
To be clear, nobody's lied to you today.
So we won't be recording sound for this part.
We just want to get some B-roll of you helping Cyrus with his design.
- Helping? - Yes, absolutely.
Got it.
- Okay.
- Okay.
All right.
- Ready? - Ready when you are.
Okay.
Let's see.
This looks like it could be an interesting blippity-bloop-bloop and What? Why are you making that face? What face? It just looks like you're confused or something.
So sorry, I didn't realize I was doing it.
Oh, okay.
Great.
So anyway, brippity-boo and peas and carrots and chocolate ice cream And so on and so forth.
And so Why are you trying to make me look bad? I don't know what you're talking about.
Yeah, if Charlie Altman became CEO, I wonder who he'd want as his lead designer.
The man who's been working with him for the past 20 years designing all of his jets and rocket ships and who's also his brother-in-law, or the guy who designed that turd over there.
Uh-huh.
Uh-huh.
Uh-huh.
Katherine has a vision.
It's just sometimes, you have no idea where she's going with something.
And then it's like but then you're like, "Okay, yes.
Yeah, I definitely had never, ever thought of doing that.
" My point is that Katherine didn't have sex with anyone.
There's no MeToo situation here.
Well, she's an executive and he was a factory worker.
- Does that count? - No.
No, there's no direct line of power there.
I mean, there's multiple layers of authority in between them.
Actually, realizing that makes it sound worse.
- Why are you here? - To stop you guys from talking yourselves into trouble.
Guys, let's not make this into something it wasn't, okay? It wasn't like I was coerced.
Exactly.
None of us were there.
We don't know how it went down.
For all we know, he was just as into it as she was.
We were both into it.
Exactly, and no one can prove otherwise, so I'm on your side.
Anyway, I think you've probably got everything you need from us.
We're still on the first question.
Good.
This can keep going.
You guys, listen, it was all mutual, okay? I wasn't pressured.
I wasn't coerced.
I was totally into her.
I'm still totally into it.
- I just wanna - Both: Ooh.
That's a spicy meatball.
I think you've achieved perfection.
Well, I'm extremely vain, so I just don't want to look too shiny when you start grilling me.
There will be very little grilling, I promise.
This should be 99% stress-free.
What do you got for me, torque versus horsepower, or a carburetor versus fuel injection? We're already above my pay grade with that.
No, no, I thought we'd start with something easy.
- Okay, great.
- I want to know, what does Katherine Hastings love about cars? What do I love about cars? What do you love about cars? I mean, I guess You know, just everything.
- Everything.
- Sure.
But what comes to mind specifically? I'm curious.
I mean, there of specifics, in terms of I mean, besides, you know the mechanic You know, mechanicals, you know, that's You know, I mean, people think that women don't appreciate cars as much as men, but, you know, as the first female CEO of Payne And by the way, fewer than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
- Sure.
- And Hillary was at the glass ceiling, but that was now It's now the glass floor.
If you want to think about the Ghostbusters, okay Okay, but Katherine The Ghostbusters are all women, and they deserve to be.
Sure, and I do want to get there, but Katherine, you're the CEO of a car company.
Can you name a single thing that you love about cars? They're cars, you know, so they're just cars, right? And they're amazing.
You know, how they just They go, you know They go when they You know, just "nyoom.
" Nyoom? Yeah, you know, just "nyoom.
" - Yeah.
- Interesting.
- Mm-hmm.
- Huh.
"Cars go nyoom"? Mm-hmm.
What does that even mean? Well, to be fair, we probably all said things that we didn't actually mean.
Like me.
I was just talking out of my ass half the time.
Probably wasn't making any sense.
I warned everybody there would be gotcha questions, and I hate to say it, but I told you so.
I don't think you do hate to say it.
It wasn't a gotcha question.
They asked me what I love about cars.
It wasn't even a softball question.
It was a giant beach ball, and I whiffed it.
Let's face it, I shouldn't be running a car company.
This isn't where I shine.
Now, hold up.
Just 'cause you can't describe what you like about something doesn't mean you don't like it.
Like sex.
It's so good, but there's no words to describe it.
It's, like, orgasmic.
I once saw a Whitney Houston documentary, and she said singing was indescribable, cut to her singing, and it gave me freaking goose bumps.
You're gonna tell me Whitney Elizabeth Houston doesn't shine? Except they can't cut to me driving, so it's really not quite the same thing.
Yeah, well, what if they could, though? They wanted you to take 'em for a drive, so take them for a drive.
Except I can't drive, which brings me right back to, I shouldn't be running a car company.
Well, driving's easy.
It's two pedals and a steering wheel.
Anyone can do it.
That's not crazy, actually.
'Cause you wouldn't be on a highway.
You'd just be on a wide-open test track.
Yeah, if you go slow enough.
I mean, it's not like you're gonna crash.
So what's the worst that could happen? Oh, I don't know, I could look unbelievably stupid on national television.
Stupider than "Cars go nyoom"? So the gas is my right foot? - Yes.
- And what about the brake? It's also your right foot.
What the hell's my left foot doing? It's just sitting there.
Yeah, it's just sitting there.
That's the design? And you let this slide? It predated me by a bit.
- This was a mistake.
- It just seems scary.
Once you get moving, it's nothing.
It's like riding a bike.
I don't know how to ride a bike.
Hey! I've never actually seen her do anything.
Have you? Not really.
So first things first.
Everyone got their seat belt on? I'm all about the safety.
Always.
Seat belts.
I think we're good.
I think we're ready.
Great.
Great.
You're ready.
I'm ready.
We're all ready.
So I guess I guess, yeah, we'll Did someone fart? I think I just rubbed against the leather seat.
Oh, well, if you need to use the facilities, we can wait.
Because, you know, you don't want to hold it in It could get impacted, and then where are you? You know, you're in trouble.
That's where you are.
It was just the seat.
Just the seat.
It's just a drive.
It'll be fine.
You don't know that.
Bad things happen all the time.
Just look at history.
Terrible.
"It's just a drive.
It'll be fine.
" I bet that's what Dodi said to Diana.
Now, if you're wondering why the crazy camouflage, it's because we haven't released this model to the public yet, so we're disguising the detail, so don't take a peek.
I'm sorry, is something wrong? Wrong? Is there a reason you don't want to drive? - Are you feeling all right? - Me? No, I feel fine.
No, I'm fine.
If anything, it's Old Farty that we should be concerned about.
How's your stomach? Are you good? You good? - Yeah, I'm good.
- You're good? Okay.
You're good? Okay, great.
So we're all healthy.
We're all healthy.
That's good.
So nothing left to do, I gue Nothing left to do but But drive.
Great.
- Oh! - What? Oh, God.
Uh, sorry.
Saw a squirrel.
I did not see a squirrel.
Yeah, no, he was a big.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
Whoo! No, we're clear.
We're all clear.
So we can drive.
Guess we can go.
We can go.
Real grandma energy, huh? Hey, so some of that stuff in your interview might have come out a little wrong.
Oh, those things are weird.
Yeah, it was my first interview and stuff gets out of context.
- It's fake news.
- Yeah, yeah.
Thanks, Dori.
Is this the speed you normally drive? Oh, I just I thought I should take it easy, you know, for the cameras.
Oh, I think it'd be fine if you picked it up a little.
Oh.
All right, sure.
Whoa! Oh, oh! Just shot forward.
- Mm-hmm.
- Like a bullet! I wonder if us all standing here watching is kind of revealing how terribly we think this might go.
Yes, it is a trifle conspicuous, isn't it? I don't want to miss a crash, though.
It's fun, right? You always get this excited driving 30 miles an hour? Oh, yeah, 30.
30! Dirty 30.
God.
I love driving! That thing flies! It's like you just touch the pedal, and you're like a bat out of hell! - Told you.
Cars are fun.
- Fun? I mean, fun doesn't even come close.
It was, like, orgasmic.
And it was so responsive.
I mean, it just felt like it was an extension of my body, you know? Whose department is that? That would be mine.
Oh, well, good job 'cause I felt like an armored ballerina out there! God, I'm buzzing so much, I'm horny.
Do you guys feel horny after you drive? - Oh, always.
- All right.
I am gonna go finish this profile, I am gonna go home, and I'm gonna my husband raw.
You guys coming? Just for the first part, right? So how often do you walk the building like this? Oh, as much as possible.
Yeah, I'm always out here talking with the employees, joking around.
Hey, how you doing? Good to see you.
You know, you can't really do this job sitting up in a tower like some astronaut from outer space.
- Oh, snap.
- What do you think would surprise people about your job? - It's looking good.
- Yeah, looks good.
Worked out.
I would just say that it's not that surprising.
I think there's this image of executives as these kind of selfish, conniving villains, but we're just regular people doing our best.
Sometimes we make mistakes and you learn from them and you move on.
By mistakes, do you mean defective locking pawls, for example? Um, I'm sorry? There have been reports of Payne Hydras rolling out of park due to defective locking pawls, even an allegation that you knew about the defect - and covered it up.
- Really? Do you know anything about that? - Ah, locking locking Pauls? - Pawls.
- Did you say Paul? - Pawl, with a W? Oh, no, at first, I thought you were saying some guy named Paul, and then I'm like, "What's this Paul guy do that's supposed to be locking?" Sorry, just to be clear, you're denying ever knowing anything about defective locking pawls? Well, obviously, I will look into it, but yes, this is the first I'm hearing about it.
Okay, Katherine, thank you so much.
I think we've got everything we need.
- Thank you.
- It's my pleasure.
Sure.
Thank you.
Does everybody remember how I said, "Watch out for gotcha questions"? Yeah, her door is still closed.
She says she's thinking, but you don't think that she, like Do you? No, she loves herself too much.
So what happens now? I don't know.
I've never been involved in a massive scandal.
I mean, national humiliation, prison time? It's all new to me.
I'm the one whose family company is about to go up in flames.
What am I supposed to do, just live off my wealth? - How's everyone doing? - Fantastic, thanks.
- How are you? - I'm good.
Come on, everyone.
Off your asses.
We've got work to do.
This is our response plan.
All right, Elliot, I need a risk assessment.
Where are we vulnerable? - Okay.
- Sadie, build a response team.
I've got a crisis consultant I've used in the past.
He's expecting your call.
So you've been through something like this before? You don't spend 20 years in pharmaceuticals without dealing with a scandal or two.
Jack, I want a list of who knew what, who they talk to, and who those people talk to.
- Got it.
- Cyrus, find out, were the pawls defective, yes or no? "Maybe" is no longer a part of your vocabulary.
I've never even heard that word before.
What should I do? I don't have anything for you.
So just bird's-eye everything, cool.
Look, guys, things are gonna get rough.
And I know you're scared.
I know you feel lost.
But if you follow my lead, I will get us through it.
You think Whitney Houston is a star? Just wait.
This is where I shine.

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