Detroiters S2E8, “Hark Motors”

This episode we get the return of Doner Advertising, and Mike O’Gorman’s Ryan Lepchek, who’s apparently decided to respond to Cramblin-Duvet rejecting his buyout offer by poaching their clients. They discover this when they see a commercial for the weight loss clinic Dr. Mayflower, one of their clients– except they didn’t write the commercial. They visit Dr. Mayflower and find out Doner pitched him (with some hilarious notes on why he went with them, including “the commercial has the correct telephone number for my business”). Sam and Tim head into the Doner offices to confront Lepchek (and end up running into Irv and Doris Smith, last seen in season 1’s “Smiling Jack”).

Naturally, Tim and Sam hatch a bunch of incompetent plans to swipe Doner clients, most of which involve hanging out in front of the Doner building and telling incoming clients that Doner sucks (which memorably gets them one response of “You suck”). They enlist Ned and Tommy Pencils in a false flag operation which goes awry when Ned decides to improvise on why he threw Tommy out of the building. (The plan was to show that Doner treats people like crap; it doesn’t work if they have a legitimate reason to throw the guy out!)

But then their prank of altering the sign in the lobby from “Doner” to “Boner” catches the attention of one Allen Hark, automotive engineering genius who (evidently) has left his post on top of one of the Big Three firms to start his own. He gets in Sam and Tim’s car and tells them to drive, then gives them a chance to come to his home and witness his newest invention.

This is where we slowly but surely discover that Hark is a little nuts. His insistence that Sam and Tim take off their shoes is fairly normal, but the alternate pairs he has for them are not. He’s got an automated house that doesn’t work properly but whose decisions he trusts (“my house has decided I want spaghetti for dinner tonight… and I suppose, deep down, maybe I do”), and a robot wife that he insists is lifelike. Oh, and he shows Tim and Sam a photo from the ceremony where he became an “honorary black man.” “That’s why I can say the N-word.”

Tim and Sam get worried, but then they finally lay eyes on his invention: the first truly zero-emissions car. Unfortunately, the process of turning all the carbon-based emissions and waste of the car is to turn it into… physical waste. “So you invented a shitting car.” And worse, Hark’s broke now and has to charge $1.5 million per car, since “they cost $1.4 million to make!”

Great button to the episode, as Tim and Sam lambast Lepchek for recommending them to Hark. “I didn’t recommend you! I said you guys were psycho!” “That’s exactly what he wanted to hear!” And as they leave, Lepchek says to himself, “You know, I actually like those guys.” Tim comes back: “What was that?” Lepchek: “Nothing.”


  • Apologies for both the lateness and shortness: I was in the midst of a lot of work business and travel this week, and by the time I got around to wrapping this up, it was almost time for next week’s episode.
  • Episode still is from the cold open, when Tim and Sam curse Doner’s name, and this mother says “Don’t say ‘boner’ in front of a kid!” This leads to a shouting match where she says much worse things, and eventually the kid slaps Tim. Tim’s right; that kid is going to prison someday. (Also, I would feel bad about obviously ripping off the image from another website, except I’m pretty sure they were hosting an illegal stream of the show anyway.)
  • Dr. Mayflower is played by rapper and Detroit native Danny Brown, perhaps best known for his 2016 album Atrocity Exhibition (also, to my knowledge, the only rap album named after a Joy Division song).
  • Hark gets so desperate for money he pimps his robot wife to Tim and Sam for $1000. They laugh it off in the car, but Sam starts thinking about it and can probably rationalize doing it for $500.
  • Re: The shitting car’s waste product: “Isn’t there anything you can do to change the color?” “No, I tried.” “It smells like shit, too.”
  • “He’s crazy!” “He does not have the right to say the N-word.”
  • Ned, don’t improvise: “He cut his dick off in the break room!”