WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Don't Look Up, now in theaters and streaming on Netflix.
In Netflix's Don't Look Up, director Adam McKay showed humanity at its worse. With a comet set to hit Earth and destroy life, all mankind did was make a spectacle out of it, with the rich and the media trying to monetize people's stupidity. However, amid all the jokes and the dark closure, the film never solved its long-running, mysterious gag.
This had to do with Paul Guilfoyle's Stuart Themes, the Pentagon liaison to the White House. The U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General was first introduced when the scientists, Kate (Jeniffer Lawrence) and Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), set up a meeting with the sinister president, Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep), and her son, Jason, at the White House. Rob Morgan's Dr. Oglethorpe, head of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office, was also present at the Oval Office, eager to inform Orlean on the apocalypse.
Themes waited with them while the politicians tended to other issues, seemingly interested in helping the scientists to put America into motion for what was to come. He even cut a sincere figure when he brought them snacks and water, only to charge the trio $10 a head for everything. They were stunned, though, as they couldn't believe the White House would charge guests, but they chalked it up to capitalism, and also, they didn't care as they just wanted to sort the extinction-level event out.
Unfortunately, after waiting for hours, the president left them hanging as she was focused on being popular and maintaining her votes in the media polls. Shockingly enough, Themes left the team to handle other business, appearing nonchalant and wishing them the best. However, when Kate hit the fridge to get some more snacks and water, an aide told her everything was free.
Kate spent a lot of time thereafter trying to figure out why Themes would charge them. She wasn't sure if it was illegal, but she knew it was immoral. While the others let it go, Kate couldn't, with her questioning what the hell went on weeks and months later. Even with her new beau, Yule, she couldn't solve the mystery as it didn't track.
She expected Jason, who was the president's aide, to possibly pull something like this off as he loved lying and exploiting people. But there was no reason for a well-paid, kind guy like Themes to do this. He was aligned with them and came off like a friend, but it reminded viewers that in desperate times, people just can't be trusted, and in Themes' case, they love flexing power just to make themselves feel good before the end of days.
To see how Themes left Kate mystified with his corrupt act, Don't Look Up is in theaters now and on Netflix.
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