02x10 - Conspiracy Theory

Life... it's literally all we have.

But is it any good?

I'm a reviewer, but I don't review food, books, or movies.

I review life itself.


[triumphant music]

[parrot squawks]

♪ ♪

Over here.

♪ ♪

Hello, and welcome to Review.

I'm Forrest MacNeil, still reviewing life experiences despite having a real rough go of it lately.

In case you missed it, a viewer recently asked me to kill someone, and... now, a man is dead.

A.J.: But look on the bright side.

You're not going to jail for murder.

Well, I wish that were a bright side that I could look on, but I... I actually... I may be going to jail for murder.

Right now, I'm just out on bail, awaiting trial, so...

Well, okay.

But look on another bright side.

Being out on bail means you get to do more reviews.

Oh, yeah.

Our next review comes from Nicole in Mansfield, Ohio.

"My neighbor made herself an outfit from a trash can and mumbles about the CIA all the time. She seems really happy, but it's hard to tell for sure. What's it like to believe in a conspiracy theory?"


What's it like to believe in a conspiracy theory?

All right.

Forrest voice-over: My first step was to attend a lecture by a controversial author.

I was clearly entering a world of fear, obsession, and probably madness.

man: Airplane mode is a joke.

It is a dangerous time because the Illuminati is coming up with various methods to bring about the Fourth Reich.

Controlling the weather, detonating underwater nukes to cause tsunamis.

Forrest voice-over: Listening to this man ascribe all the word's tragedies to a shadowy underground network, I began to grasp the appeal of believing in conspiracies.

Perhaps it would be nice to think that life's misfortunes aren't simply random, but are instead the work of a villain who can be smoked out and defeated.

Which brings us to the Interdimensional Bigfoot.

Forrest: I understand better than anyone that the randomness of life can be scary.

Thanks to this television show, my entire existence is given over to random chance.

Gina, from Toluca Lake has a question.

What would it be like to kill a person?

What's it like to be a cult leader?

What's it like to be kicked in the balls?

And when you really think about it, things haven't always gone so well.



I am infested with sea lice!



I'm having a heart attack, you guys.

Ow! [screaming]

Maybe it would feel better to believe that the difficult experiences I've had on this show were not the product of pure blind, random chance.

Is there any reason to think that something else might be going on?

Well, let's find out.




That's a lot of dangerous reviews, isn't it?

Look at how many times I've almost died.

I mean, that's really surprising to me.

It's 11 times.

I've almost died 11 times?

Oh, my God. It's so many.

No, that's a lot of times.

That's a lot of times to almost die.

I'm looking at this, and I'm thinking to myself, "When you consider all the dangerous things that I've been asked to do... How can that be random?"

[suspenseful music]

Can that really be random?

Maybe somebody's trying to kill you.

Forrest voice-over: The suggestion was ridiculous and silly.

No, but...

And yet...

What is going on? I mean that's an incredible list.

[Tina sighs]

Josh: I mean, like, maybe it's just, like, cool stuff.

Oh, somebody definitely wants to kill you.

That's a bummer.

Have a good one.

We'll miss you.


Don't do anything dangerous.


Good night.

I'm gonna go too. Good night, Forrest.

My producer, Grant, oversees every aspect of this show, and he has assured me that the Review selection process is totally random, but I'm starting to wonder about that now.

[suspenseful music]

What if Grant has chosen all of the assignments that have hurt me so much?

I need to know if that's true.

[jiggling doorknob]



Come on.

♪ ♪

Well, you certainly learn a lot about a person when you ransack their office.

Grant takes three different kinds of fish oil supplement.

Seems like an awful lot of fish oil.

He also subscribes to a magazine here that seems to be nothing but photos of antiquated medical equipment.

I think that's real weird, but this is what really interests me.

This is called the "Submissions Master List."

Now, this is a list of hundreds of Review topics that have been sent in to the show.

"What's it like to fall in love with a snowman?"

"What's it like to name a dolphin?"

Now, every single one that I have done is circled here.

I believe this is the document from which Grant chose all of the reviews that I have done.

This is the smoking gun.

Forrest voice-over: But the more time I spent looking into Review, the more questions I had.

Okay. Here's the problem.

Grant choosing all the reviews does not explain all the terrible things that have happened to me.

Look at this.

"What's it like to spend a night at a haunted house?"

That got me stabbed in the belly by an old lady.


Why did that happen?

Or this, here.

"What's it like to spend an afternoon on a rowboat?"

Like, that should've been a delightful experience, but I fell asleep, and my oars disappeared.

Where are the oars?

So either I am the unluckiest person in the world, or Grant is not just choosing these reviews.

What if he's orchestrating everything?

And I got another problem.

When I was buried alive here for 24 hours, I almost died because Josh and Tina forgot where they buried me.

How do you forget where you buried a living man?

I got to get out of here!

They're in on it.

And so is Lucille.

Jesus [bleep] Christ.

Holy [bleep].

Jesus [bleep].

Jesus [bleep] Christ!

It's a conspiracy.

Hi. I need a room.

I need a quiet room in the back, okay?

Hey, if anybody calls, I'm not here, you understand?

Forrest voice-over: I could no longer sleep in my office as there was glass everywhere, and I believed my coworkers were conspiring to kill me on national television, so I holed up in a remote roadside motel to carefully think things through over a period of several days and nights.

Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, [bleep].

Oh, [bleep]. Oh, [bleep].

There. See that? See, the fire extinguisher was just out of my reach, just past where I could reach it, and then the house burned down because of that.

Was Grant able to see me as a little person and figure out how high I could reach and then go to my dad's house and say, "Okay, I'll put the fire extinguisher right here so his little hands can only reach that high and not reach it"?

And this is me.

I'm sadder than that.

What kind of a monster would make my dad homeless for a television show? That son of a bitch.

Forrest voice-over: Grant was obviously behind everything.

Every bad thing that happened was him.

Of course, of course.

woman: Forrest, I've often wondered.

What would it be like to kill a person?

My question is what would it be like to kill a person?


To kill a person.

Forrest voice-over: The truth I now knew was so huge, I could not bear it alone.

I would need to visit my ex-wife, Suzanne, at her mother's house.

I would need to get help.

I haven't been to the bathroom in 14 hours.

Don't let anybody in the door.

Forrest, go away!


I just... I have something that I need to explain to you that's gonna change absolutely everything, okay? Just please.

Please, this is the last thing I will ever ask of you.

What is all this?

This is all gonna help you understand what's happening, okay?

Great. Come on in.

All right. There's a lot to walk you through here, and all of it is important, and it's hard to know where to start.

The first clue that I had that something was wrong was this.

This is a list of every single review that has ever been sent in to the show, and all of the ones that I've done are circled.

Do you know who circled them?


Yes, exactly.

He told me it was all random.

Keep your voice down, please.

You're gonna wake up Eric and my mom.

Forrest voice-over: I laid out all of my evidence to Suzanne.

All the pain.

My review of having a perfect body, okay?

Oh, [bleep]. What is this?

And my pen1s has never been the same since then.

No. [bleep]. Is it still like that?

I had the thing taken out, but it's still weird.

It's like there's too much skin now 'cause the implant came out.

Let me just show it to you so you have a sense of...

Move on! I don't want to see it.

Fine. All right. Fine, fine, fine.

I don't think that that was any normal magic eight ball.

I think Grant was controlling it.


Why did a pillow fight have to become so violent?

And it turned into a [bleep] bloodbath.

This was supposed to be a show about life, okay?

Grant turned it into a show about death. My death.

That's what's happening here.

And so I'm gonna tell him I have figured it out.

This is not what I signed on for, and I am out of here, and I'm going back to my wife and my kid, and I'm going back to my old life.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Forrest, I think it's really simple.

You signed on to an insane television show, and then you constantly put that show above your needs and the people that you love.

I'm just not seeing this evil plan.

The only person that you need to be afraid of is yourself.

Oh. [scoffs]

I'm gonna prove I'm right, and then I'll be back!

Forrest voice-over: If I was going to convince Suzanne of my conspiracy theory, there was one more thing I needed to know.

Why? Why was Grant trying to destroy me?

What had I ever done to him?

This question plunged me deeper into the darkness where I made a shocking and upsetting discovery.

I've been doing some research here on HTML, ww.google.com.

There's no trace of Grant anywhere on the internet prior to 1995.

It's like he does not exist.

Now, 1995 happens to be the same year that this woman supposedly married a Chinese guy and disappeared to Hong Kong.

This is Gretchen Edelberg, and she had a really big crush on Suzanne when we were all in college together.

You see where I'm going with this?

Gretchen, okay, Grant.

Gretchen, Grant.

Gruh, Gruh, Gruh.

She didn't move to Hong Kong.

She got a s*x change.

He loves Suzanne so much, after all this time, that he's gone completely crazy.

Get out of here, you son of a bitch!

Forrest voice-over: Now that everything finally made sense, it was time to confront the monster in his lair.

Of course he's not gonna open that gate because he knows that I know the truth, and he's too much of a [bleep] coward.

Hey, you're too much of a [bleep] coward to look me in the eye... oh, [bleep, bleep]!

Oh, God. All right.

Come on. Let's go.

You [bleep] monster.


I know everything now. [bleep].

What a nice surprise.


The guy's will bring it in.

Ah, [bleep].

I've figured it all out, and I'm quitting the show!


Everything you've tried to hide from me is out in the open now.

You've ruined my life for the last time, Gretchen.

You bitch.

This should be good.

Forrest voice-over: I wasted no time unleashing the full weight of all my damning evidence.

Feel the walls of deception that you've built up around yourself crumbling.

You're at your producer's house. I'm Grant.

You remember who I am, right?

[laughing] Oh, yeah.

Forrest voice-over: I forced Grant to come face-to-face with what I now knew.

The submissions master list.

I've seen how all the reviews I've done are circled.

Okay. This is a list I went through last week of all the reviews that we've done already, and I circled them.


So I could tell the IT guys to avoid any duplicates because that time that murder came up again, I felt like we'd let you down.


Are you telling me this wasn't one of your paid assassins?

Are you serious?

How about that?


That one of your paid assassins?


'Cause I know you did this.

What is this a drawing of?

Forrest voice-over: Grant demonstrated incredible cool under pressure, offering sensible sounding explanations for everything, but I saved my most explosive accusation for last.

There's one more picture I want to show you.

Oh, great.

This is the one you really don't want to see.

Oh, I want to see it.

Because it's an old picture.

It's an old picture...

Let's see it.

Of you.

You were so pretty.

Now, who is this?

Ooh, you're good.

Was I cropped out of this picture?

You're Gretchen, and you turned yourself into Grant.

You went from this to this to this.

Forrest voice-over: Finally, the sheer weight of my evidence wore Grant down.

Okay, fine.

I'm gonna tell you exactly what's going on.

No more hiding anything.

Now, have a seat. It's my turn to talk.

Forrest voice-over: What he said next completely blew my mind.

People are constantly asking you to review dangerous things because they already know what the easy stuff is like.

They can do that themselves.

Living on the edge like this, things will go wrong.

People will get hurt, and that is part of what we need you to help us understand about life.

I need you!

Why would I want you dead?

You know what?

Besides all that, I like you, and I know I don't always show it, but the fact is I consider you a friend.

Forrest voice-over: By the time Grant put the final nail in the coffin of my conspiracy theory by showing me a photo of himself growing up as a boy in the delightfully named town of Sandwich, Massachusetts, it was not necessary.

Sandwich, Massachusetts.

That's what they called it.

You were always a boy?

[sobbing] I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

I'm really sorry.

It's gonna be all right.

What are you doing?

It's okay.

I'm just trying to hug you.

Come here. Come here.

I'm sorry.

There we go.

There we go.

Forrest voice-over: Letting go of my conspiracy theory was bittersweet.

It's always nice to hear that you're not the target of a murder plot, but I no longer had an easy explanation for my miseries.

As long as I do this important work, I will suffer, and my old life will remain in the past.

But great men have always made sacrifices, and I know that I, with the help of my treasured viewers and making the world a better place, one review at a time.

People do sometimes conspire and sometimes with bad intent, but to accuse anyone of that on flimsy, outrageous, or bizarre evidence is an act of great cruelty.

So I would like to apologize to my producer and best friend, Grant.

I give believing in a conspiracy theory half a star.

A.J., do we have time for one more review?


And what is that?

This one comes from Miles in Sandwich, Massachusetts.




Hey, Forrest, what's it like to be hunted?

What's it like to be... hunted?


What's it like to, uh... what's it like to be hunted?

I know it's possible I'm just having some residual paranoia from my conspiracy theory experience, but what is it like to be hunted?

And the person asking this question is from Grant's hometown.

Lucille, what is the population of Sandwich, Massachusetts, please?

You probably shouldn't be here, 'cause your hunter knows where you work.

What hunter?

Grant asked me to hire a former Navy seal to hunt you.

What? Why? What do you mean?

You never do anything like that without me specifically asking you to please do something like that.

What is going on right now?

Grant thought it would be best if I hired him so you wouldn't know what he looked like or anything about him.

Hey, Mr. MacNeil, do you want us to help you hide or something?

Or if he gets you, do you want us to bury you in that same spot?

And follow-up question: do you remember where that was?

Oh, my God.

It's all true.

You goddamn bunch of jackals are really trying to kill me.

Well, listen to me.

I survived on garbage in the middle of the ocean.

I scratched my way out of the grave.

You think you can kill me?

Nothing can kill me!

I'm not afraid of anything!

Oh, my God. There he is!



You [bleep] monsters!

I've got to get out of this hell you made for me.

I'm gonna do it [bleep] right now!

Those are my keys.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

Suzanne, I know now for sure.

The show is definitely trying to kill me, and I'm leaving it for real, for good, and I'm coming to get you, okay?

I will explain it when I get there.

Hey, no! No! No!

♪ ♪

Okay. Are we rolling?

'Cause there he is. There he is.

That's Forrest in the car that he stole from his executive assistant, Lucille, and he's now approaching a cameraman who I positioned there in the road, and hopefully, the cameraman won't frighten him.

He's maintaining his pace, and he didn't frighten him, so we're good.

Okay. I have positioned myself here because I figured this would be the likeliest route to Suzanne's mother's house.

Forrest had a little crisis of faith.

He... he ran away from the show yet again, and hopefully, I'll be able to talk him down, and let's see if we can work this out.

We usually do. Hi, buddy.

Get out of the road, Gretchen, or I swear, I will mow you down!

[laughs] Gretchen. Okay. Calm down.

Let's talk about this.

No. Just move your [bleep] car. I'm out of here.

That's it. No more of this! I'm out of here for good!

Let's calm down. Just take a breath.

"What is it like to be hunted?"

Oh, come on. It's a random system.

Oh, bull[bleep].

You hired somebody to hunt me down!

I think you might be wrong about the details.

Really? Sandwich, Massachusetts, huh?

Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Explain that.

That is a coincidence.

I haven't been there in years.

Oh, really?

I don't know anybody from there anymore, and no one is trying to kill you.

Just another coincidence. You got to think I'm the stupidest [bleep] person in the world!

I think you're brilliant!

Oh, really?

Forrest MacNeil!

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God! Oh, [bleep]!


If I'm gonna die, you're gonna die too!

It's a blowgun!

It's a what?

[gun clacks]


Oh, no!

[bleep] [bleep]

Oh, my God.

man: Oh, no. [bleep]

Oh, [bleep].


And so it seems that another season of Review must end with me, A.J. Gibbs, giving you the sad news that Forrest MacNeil has vanished, and this time, with our beloved producer, Grant Grunderschmidt.

I don't like to be sad, so I like to think they're floating down that river, settling their differences with one another.

And if I'm right about that, I'm pretty sure Forrest would give being hunted six stars.

That's all the time we have.

This is A.J. Gibbs saying, "Life, you're already living it. Ain't it great?"

So long.

man: Extra cheese.

This is a list of hundreds of review topics that have been sent in to the show.

"What's it like to shake hands with an old person?"

"What's it like to see an elephant?"

"What's it like to shop for bathing suits?"

"What's it like to join a club?"

"What's it like to have a yellow house?"

"What's it like to sing all day?"

"What's it like to wear someone else's pants?"