Have you ever been very successful at something, then suddenly come
to the realization that you've lost your touch?
Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) works for the biggest investment banking
firm in the world. She's a
deal maker. She brings the
calloused investors and steers them toward the IPO date, and she shepherds
the nervous entrepeneurs, and she guides her eager but inexperienced team
to do the diligent research, while she still has to wheedle and cajole her
boss about the promotion he's been promising her, the one that would make
her the decision-maker behind the desk, and not the Nervous Nellie in the
trenches, fearing a wrong twitch or one careless slip of the tongue or
some unforeseen shark attack from some margin trader who would love to
swoop in and make a killing, not caring who the carcass is.
Naomi Bishop thinks she's a cougar with a younger boyfriend at her
beck and call, Michael Connor (James Purefoy), but it turns out he's got
friends in the investment business, too, and they love insider
information. Loose lips sink
Naomi Bishop thinks she's a high-powered executive with a competent
young staff, but her main assistant, Erin Manning (Sarah Megan Thomas, who
also wrote the screenplay) is unsuccessfully trying to conceal the fact
that she's pregnant, because it might affect her high-powered career track
perception. Not only that,
she, too, is frustrated by being put off about her big promotion, though
from her point of view she's done countless thankless behind-the-scenes
leg work. She even thinks she
can handle the big client who is obviously hitting on her, but sometimes a
situation like that can get out of hand very quickly.
Naomi Bishop is proud to accept speaking engagements from women's
advocacy groups where she is unashamed in talking about ambition.
And liking money. But
there's an air of desperation lingering over her bravura, and the people
around her are beginning to sense it.
As they did when she somehow dropped the ball on the last big deal,
even though she'd had several big successes prior to that.
It's about “What have you done lately?”
And lately she's been spending a lot of time at her punching bag
with the big boxing gloves. And
flirting with her younger boyfriend, which also makes her feel powerful
and in control. Little does
she realize how quickly it can all come falling down.
It's not that Naomi Bishop's instincts are eroding.
She senses immediately that an old college friend, Samantha (Alysia
Reiner), who used to work drug enforcement and has now moved to white
collar crime, is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and though Samantha's wiles
don't work on Naomi, they do work on someone around her, and the danger is
still apparent. As it should
have been to the young entrepeneur who thought he was invincible with his
own employees, but he's failed to understand the undermining power of the
disgrunted, particularly those who are skilled in silent passive
Yes, Naomi Bishop's been living in a dog-eat-dog world for a while
now, and has enjoyed snarling
over her share of the spoils, but there's always a badder, meaner,
junkyard dog out there. It's
just that you may not find out who that is until you've been attacked from
your blind side.
This gritty corporate competition is told from the perspective of
feminine characters, directed by a woman (Meera Menon), and with a script
written by a woman. The story
is familiar, but the tone is unique. The
context of the world financial markets is a macro perspective, but the
personal point of view is definitely micro.
It's a world where fortunes can be made or lost in an instant, and
so can careers. Just ask Naomi