In the age of social media, many people are looking for a way to escape from their screens and live a more authentic life. There is no better way to do this than by immersing yourself in an immersive story with a new identity.
I Want a New Life is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from October 3, 2017 to December 20, 2018. The show follows the lives of three women who meet at a weight-loss retreat and decide to start their own business together.
In episode 4, Byron and Hazel test out the girl/boy buddy experience by hanging out with a same-sex acquaintance. Actually, Hazel spends the day with her childhood bestie, Bangles, getting drunk, so Byron decides to imitate the experience in order to better understand her. Bennett courageously steps in as a stand-in for his closest buddy. The episode also flashes back to Byron and Hazel’s initial meeting, followed by their first date, and then Byron’s marriage proposal, all in the same evening. Byron also imitates how he imagines a human being would behave in such situations.
I’m still certain that Byron is either a robot or was reared at the ocean’s depths. He might be a total amnesiac or a hallucination that was brought to life by chance. I’ll get to it later. For the love of God, he doesn’t even know what a doughnut hole is, and he’s supposed to be an American! Even Diane, I’m sure, knows what a doughnut hole is.
The episode begins with a flashback to Hazel’s time as a student and con artist at Desert Rock Community College 10 years ago. Later that day, Byron, dubbed “The Man Who Knows the Future,” would deliver a speech. At the talk, Hazel will be selling $20 raffle tickets for a chance to win an unreleased Gogol phone 5, which is a very amazing phone that can keep a charge for 48 hours and can withstand a journey underwater. Because everyone wants a G-phone 5, her tickets sell out quickly.
Hazel throws her placard in the garbage and dashes out of sight after she’s sold enough lottery tickets to reveal her cunning disguise. She gets a call from Byron, who informs her that the G-phone 5 has yet to be developed. As he comes up behind her, he puts his phone down and asks whether her con works often. She claims to only utilize it on a case-by-case basis. She currently has an outstanding speeding ticket.
Byron seems unconcerned that she exploited his product to defraud prospective customers—after all, everyone is a potential customer or a mark. Instead, he inquires as to whether she has enough money to pay the ticket. She went ahead and did it. He informs her that his lesson will focus on what she has just done. Young people constantly ask him what it takes to achieve when he talks to them. The key, according to Hazel, is to be born wealthy. “It’s being able to identify opportunity and comprehend human desire,” Byron says, laughing.
He claims she did the same thing with her raffle con and that he is doing the same thing now: recognizing opportunity and comprehending desire. After the presentation, he invites her out to dinner. “I am in Rome.” As he anticipated, she is overwhelmed and informs him that she does not have a passport. When she’s with him, he says she doesn’t need one. He just wants her to give him two hours of her time. She’s curious whether he owns a supersonic jet. He just instructs her to check her phone for the location and addresses her by her name without her having to say anything.
It’s undoubtedly thrilling and romantic right now that one of the world’s wealthiest men has been following her. That’s exactly what Byron is relying on, just as Hazel exploited the other kids’ enthusiasm about getting a new phone and meeting Byron to keep them from questioning her about her phony raffle.
Byron established control in their initial chat, saying it’s acceptable and usual for him to engage in stalking behavior. He accepted her little transgression and equated it to his far more serious offenses. That manner, everything he does is simply a continuation of what she did initially, giving her no grounds for complaint.
A raffle ticket fraud is well-known as a stepping stone to abduction, illicit brain surgery, and other crimes.
Lyle Herringbone is standing guard outside one of Byron’s biosphere cubes from the Hub, which is placed on the back of a truck, when Hazel comes for the date in her sparkling green outfit. The eatery Alfredo’s is located within the cube, according to Lyle. Hazel wonders whether Byron will murder her in there. Byron, according to Lyle, never kills himself. He doesn’t say it as if it’s a joke, but he attempts to disguise it as such.
With the ventilation and tight seal, the cube may easily be used as a mobile death chamber or drug lab. I’m curious whether Byron killed himself in the start.
Because Hazel isn’t leaving the parking lot, she doesn’t require a passport. Her romantic rendezvous in Rome is in the back of a truck, and she refuses to leave the parking lot. Byron and Hazel don’t need a passport because they’ll never travel anyplace, not because he’s so sneaky, rich, and powerful that they can slip in and out of nations undetected and bribe any official who does notice them.
Dating Byron isn’t all that unlike from dating one of the townies at the Spotted Rose, except they’d probably take her to Third Saturday Ride Night every now and again.
Byron is inside, dressed in the white tuxedo from the display case. As they settle at a table, he tells Hazel that she looks beautiful. She’s taken aback by how lifelike everything within the cube seems. He says he’ll explain how the cube works and why he created it, and that she may ask him anything. She inquires about the restaurant’s menu.
She’s on a date right now and simply wants to enjoy the illusion. However, the terms of their partnership were set on that day. She’s a decorative element of the illusion, one of Byron’s inventions, and he’s the puppetmaster. He offered her the opportunity to ask questions, but she declined. Never mind that only another techie would have inquired about the cube’s specifications at that time.
Hazel comes out of the shower and joins Herb and Diane for breakfast in the present. Diane is sitting at the table, her plate piled high with food. Hazel sees that her synthetic stepmother is dressed in the same clothing as her deceased mother. Hazel’s complaint about his new lover wearing his deceased wife’s clothing, Herb believes, is trivial.
He’s got more important little matters to talk about. He’s made an itemized bill to start their conversation about how much Hazel should pay for her rent, since she’s not living there for free, even for a few days. “All of my ketchup- $5,” “3 rolls of toilet paper- $4,” and “44 minute shower- $8.15” are among the things on the statement. The goods and prices are all over the place, most likely depending on how much money he required for whatever he desired at the time he added it to the list- a pack of smokes here, a couple of beers there.
She tells him she doesn’t have the money or time to look for work because she has to divorce her husband and locate a neurosurgeon to remove the chip from her brain. He tells her that divorce attorneys and neurosurgeons don’t work for free, so she’ll need money in addition to rent to pay for them. She agrees to rent to him for $200 per month. He also wants her to offer Diane and their relationship greater respect. Diane is now considered a member of the family.
Hazel is certainly right in ridiculing Herb and Diane today, given how he treated her as if she were an inanimate object when she was a child. After all, Diane has a complete, healthy, nutritious meal in front of her, something Herb didn’t provide for Hazel when she was a kid and didn’t prepare for her today when preparing his and Diane’s breakfasts.
Hazel inquires about their connection. Is it true that he eats the meal for Diane while pretending that she ate it? Is the illusion shattered if Hazel instead consumes the food? Diane’s toast is consumed by her. Herb adds toast to her list of things to do. Hazel inquires about Diane’s rent.
While Byron and Bennett test scents for the smell cube he’s creating for the Hub, Byron watches HazelTV. Bennett tells him that he is acting in the best interests of Hazel. Byron’s voice shakes as he attempts to convince himself that Hazel would understand why he had to covertly implant a chip in her brain so he could track her every move even more precisely than the Hub’s 24/7 monitoring would allow. He knows her so much better now that she’s fled and he has those emotion lines! To Byron, it’s a fair trade: she gets to smell the insides of her cage and see inside her head.
A handful of helpers hand Byron vials with smells to sample, while Bennett records whether or not the sample passes. Hazel is allowed to have scents, but only those that Byron desires. Bennett proposes that they let Hazel conduct the odor sampling when Byron reacts strongly to the scent of cinnamon. Byron responds as if including Hazel in the process is a strange idea, but he goes ahead and does it. Glass, which is chemically inert and has no odor, is the only odor he approves of.
I can definitely connect to Byron on this one as someone who is chemically sensitive. Glass is nearly the only scent I can tolerate now. He also informed the staff that he didn’t want any food odors, confirming my twin hypotheses that he’s either not human or has serious health problems. I swear he’s impervious to everything, was reared in a bubble, and was created the Hub so he could live in the greatest bubble ever.
Hazel reverts to type to pay her rent, standing outside a yoga class at the community college and informing the students that the class is undergoing a digital detox today. They all drop their phones into her basket, dutifully. She brings them to her neighborhood pawn shop, where the pawnbroker (Brandon Morales) looks through them and assigns value as soon as she has enough. Hazel inquires as to why the Gogol phone is more than twice as expensive as the other brands ($45 vs. $20 or $10). He claims that the G-phone will survive indefinitely.
Hazel is certain that it won’t happen (and she should know). She’s standing in front of two mirrors, repeating to them that the G-phone is a bad phone. Bangles, her old buddy from the back room, sees her before the pawnbroker can give her any more odd glances. Hazel attempts to flee, but the pawnbroker uses the automated front door lock too quickly.
Bangles informs her that she will not leave until they have caught up. Then we cut to the Bangles reminiscing about Hazel and Byron’s first date. Bangles’ final project for her fashion degree at DRCC was a green dress, and it was due the day after the date. Hazel said that she would return it in time for Bangles to submit it, but this clearly did not happen. Bangles failed since the outfit constituted the whole grade for the class.
She now tells Hazel that she can’t believe her best friend would do anything like this to her. She had no idea what had occurred until she saw Hazel in a magazine with Byron a few weeks later. Hazel attempts to explain that she intended to call but couldn’t since she didn’t have a phone. Nobody will believe Mrs Gogol doesn’t have a whole drawer full of them. Bangles begins with telling the tale of how Hazel changed her life—unwanted pregnancy, abortion, and drug trafficking to pay for the abortion.
Bennett’s presence interrupts her thoughts. Hazel panics, believing Bennett is being pursued by security and that they’ve arrived to return her to the Hub. Bennett assures Hazel that Byron is still giving her space while she brandishes a sonic screwdriver cordless drill at him. He’s just there to collect scent samples for the smell cube. Bennett was dispatched by Byron because he is non-threatening. Despite Hazel’s protests, the pawnbroker buzzes him in.
This has to be one of the most intriguing days at the pawn store recently; the surveillance footage will almost certainly be up on Youtube or for sale on another site soon. Perhaps it will assist Bangles in recouping her lost earnings.
Even when Bennett limits the smell test to three sniffs to get them started, Hazel refuses to participate. He says he’ll inform Byron that Hazel shouldn’t be smelling anything right now. He already knows since Hazel reminds him that Byron is monitoring them. Bennett is aware of this, therefore he is deceiving her. Or he was thinking normally for a while and forgot that it’s typically his duty to act as a go-between and smooth up their interactions.
Bennett is thrown out of the store by Bangles.
Bangles is thanked by Hazel for assisting her in getting rid of Bennett. Bangles is curious about what Byron did to Hazel, since the Hazel she remembers would have easily defeated Bennett.
That, however, would be equivalent to kicking a dog. Still, it’s a persistent puppy who is dedicated to an evil genius. Bennett is one of Byron’s most powerful allies.
Bangles is brought back home by Hazel so they may chat and rest. Bangles claims that the location hasn’t altered in the ten years since she last visited. Hazel believes it has become more gloomy. Bangles knows Diane from the chatter she’s overheard and hurries over to inspect her, but as Herb opens the front door, he runs to a spot on the sofa.
Instead of greeting Bangles, Herb insults him repeatedly. Hazel pays him rent with money from her pawn business. Bangles can’t stay for dinner, he says after looking about the home to make sure she didn’t pawn anything of his. He ordered three pork chops, but Diane refuses to share hers with Hazel’s friend.
Fiffany checks in on Byron, who is breaking glass scent vials and throwing a tantrum because he is certain Hazel will not return to the Hub. Fiffany attempts to comfort him by telling him that Hazel just needs time to return on her own terms.
Fiffany is more concerned about not being able to locate Zelda, who should be swimming in the pool for her noon swim. Zelda’s pool rights have been withdrawn, and Byron intends to devour her, probably because she revealed the hidden escape to Hazel. Fiffany attempts to get additional information from Byron by telling him she needs to retrieve the data from Zelda’s chip, but Byron has already moved on to his next target, Lyle Herringbone. If Lyle isn’t already dead, he sends an aide to locate him and send him to the pasture.
Byron keeps one eye fixed on his Hazelvision monitor. As he rushes up, Bennett apologizes for not obtaining enough information from her. Byron, on the other hand, has already moved on from the scent cube. Now he thinks that he must imitate Hazel’s experiences in order to comprehend her. That’s what he has to do since she’s getting drunk on beer with a buddy. Bennett, who likewise sounds like an alien reared in a bubble at the bottom of the ocean (together with Patrick and SpongeBob), eagerly agrees to hang out with Byron and pretend to be his drinking friend. Bennett dashes out to get some beer when Byron accepts the offer.
Who are these two, really?
Fiffany returns to her pink cube, which serves as her workplace, and instructs it to enter private mode. She then leaves Lyle a note informing him that they need a fresh strategy.
I’m certain it was a safe move, since Byron is known for respecting his workers’ privacy just as much as he does his wife’s.
Fiffany then looks via the dolphin tank cameras for Zelda. There hasn’t been any trace of her. Each dolphin is so unique in Fiffany’s eyes that she identifies them right away.
Bangles and Hazel consume copious amounts of beer and shots in a short period of time. Perhaps Herb is correct. They agree that seeing one other again is odd, yet they are glad to see each other. Hazel expresses her regret for retaining the outfit and betraying Bangles. Bangles forgives her, claiming that if their situations were reversed, she would have done the same thing. Hazel admits that it has been ten years since she has seen a friend.
The beers are served in brandy snifters or other outrageously unsuitable glasses, according to Bennett. When he pours, he holds the beer can excessively high, resulting in mainly froth. The two gentlemen take sips of foam and compliment each other on how good it is. Byron spits out the most of his. Bennett assures him that Hazel will appreciate his efforts on her behalf.
Bennett: “I believe she simply feels homesick now and then.”
“What do you mean?” Byron asks.
Bennett: “Well, she once requested for doughnut holes, which I’m assuming she liked.”
“What are doughnut holes?” asks Byron.
Byron thinks Bennett bought them for Hazel after Bennett explained what a doughnut hole is. Bennett assures Byron that he didn’t do anything. Bennett, according to Byron, should have received them! If Hazel returns, he tells Bennett to fetch her as many doughnut holes as she wants!! Bennett apologises for not realizing that doughnut holes are an exception to Byron’s healthy living guideline. Bennett is partially to blame for Hazel’s departure, according to Byron.
While blaming Bennett, Byron seems sad and guilty, as if he has finally heard some of Hazel’s concerns now that they are coming via Bennett’s lips. Hazel was homesick, Bennett said, and she had no control over her life. She didn’t even have access to the little, familiar things that might have helped her feel better. Because Byron has full control over his own life and often refuses to travel or even leave the cube, he can certainly connect to those concerns if he pays attention to them. But, as usual, Bennett was required as a filter.
In a totally false note, inebriated Bangles plays with the idea that by mooning him and pulling her top up, Byron can see whatever Hazel sees. That’s a masculine fantasy of how women respond when their privacy is violated: they give up even more privacy via nudity. In fact, Hazel would do things like wearing heavy wraparound sunglasses all the time to restrict her eyesight while still moving about.
Bangles gets yelled at by Herb, who tells her to avoid Byron since he’s a narcissist. Without a doubt. Women are so stupid that they can’t figure out what’s best for them until a guy explains it to them.
Bangles has another thought, but Hazel intervenes since Byron is still listening. Bangles reverts to the code language they used to communicate as children. It’s not quite Pig Latin, but it’s close. And it’s enough to throw Byron for a loop as Bennett sprints for the “interpreter pad.”
Bangles informs Hazel that she knows a divorce lawyer who owes her cousin a favor and is willing to work for a low fee. Herb agrees that Hazel should see an attorney. She’s taken aback by the fact that he comprehended what they were saying. He admits that he has known the language since they were in sixth grade and has always been able to understand them. That is why he dislikes the Bangles.
He was interested enough in little Hazel to learn her secret friend language and listen in on every chat she had with her best friend, but he couldn’t be bothered to keep food in the house or come home at night? When he got home, he gave Bangles a lecherous once-over before insulting and attempting to eject Hazel’s sole friend. Herb is an abhorrent human being. Ray Romano’s casting irritates me because it misleads viewers into believing he’s someone we should like or warm up to.
Later, Bennett contacts Fiffany for assistance with Byron, who is crying uncontrollably. If Hazel does not return after 48 hours, he has chosen to combine with her. He gets a no from Fiffany.
Take a look back at their first date. Byron, as usual, eats nothing while Hazel puts her dessert into her lips. He expresses his desire to know what she wants. “What would you acquire if you could snap your fingers right now and obtain whatever you want?”
She demands a million dollars, which he has instantly put in her bank account as soon as she snaps her fingers. He proposes they go somewhere else after he has persuaded her that the money is genuine. With a snap of her fingers, she says the Eiffel Tower. The holographic picture shifts to the city of Paris. Hazel is overjoyed. They see Antarctica, Egypt, and the South of France in quick succession before Byron returns them to their date.
They never left the table, of course. It’s impossible to say how long each illusion would last if they went for a stroll.
“I knew we were similar animals from the minute I saw you,” Byron says Hazel back in the restaurant illusion. You are not at the correct location.”
“Where am I meant to be?” Hazel wonders.
“Somewhere you can have everything you want and go anywhere you want,” Byron says. I’m with you. “At the Crossroads.”
“Are you asking me to work for you?” Hazel inquires.
“You’re funny,” Byron says. I’d want to ask you to marry me.”
Hazel’s grin fades as she points out that he is unfamiliar with her. He rattles out a few facts about her. She goes on to say that she doesn’t know who he is. He assures her that getting to know each other will be fun.
He thinks she’s thinking about saying yes since she seems thoughtful. She confesses to him that she despises her life and her hometown. He claims this is due to her boredom with the things that most people want. No one has ever looked after her. She inquires as to how he knows this. Byron claims to be the same way, so he created his own universe, complete with all of the greatest things. He just wants to tell her about it.
Yes, Hazel says.
Byron leaps from the table, announcing that it is time to go. Hazel wants to see her father and collect her belongings, but Byron argues there isn’t enough time. They must immediately begin their new lives. She agrees, trying to comprehend. Byron pulls her up to his chest and pretends to kiss her on the lips, but actually kisses her on the nose. With both of them still inside, the Tardis Cube departs.
Back in the present, Fiffany informs Byron that he won’t be able to merge with Hazel since their link can only last 11 seconds. Because Hazel was chipped first, she will die. Byron replies quietly, fidgeting with his wedding ring, that she will not die. In his imagination, she will continue to exist.
It’s the masculine gaze carried to its logical conclusion. No one else needs her as long as Byron has access to her in his mind’s eye. Hazel doesn’t even need to know who she is.
Since the lecture poster refers to Byron as “The Man Who Knows the Future,” I suppose I should add extraterrestrial and time traveler to my list of possible explanations for why Byron is Byron. The shattered Tardis, which he repurposed as a prototype for the rest of the Hub, may be the cube on the truck.
Actually, I believe this episode demonstrates that he is patterned after one of the first tech millionaires, such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Byron is germophobic and efficiency-obsessed, perhaps autistic, possibly homosexual and in the closet, and possibly health-challenged. He has a secret, but it’s impossible to determine what it is, or if he has several secrets. Jobs was a truly visionary designer/inventor, but not a particularly talented engineer himself; ruthless, but serially loyal to a select few; charismatic, with a savant level talent for understanding how to build bran (no matter how long he lives, it will never be enough to accomplish all of his goals, but Jobs truly did die young after a long struggle with cancer); a truly visionary designer/inventor, but not a particularly talented engineer himself; rut
My greatest, most ridiculous idea is that Byron is really Grimsson, one of Billy Magnussen’s Maniac characters who mistakenly walked into the wrong world and now has to pretend to be someone else. Grimsson appears in Maniac as a recurrent hallucination in Owen’s head, and he looks exactly like Magnussen’s other character, Owen’s wicked brother Jed Milgrim. Owen’s mysterious covert agent-handler is Grimsson. Whenever he exits a scene, he takes a step out of reality right before the screen’s edge, similar to how the Hub’s doors open and shut. Owen’s reality might have occurred in a bigger Hub.
Bennett and the pawn shop owner are on their way. Also, Bennett and Byron, who, in the long term, are a more probable combo.
The more Hazel and Byron are away, the more they return to their pre-marriage personalities. Hazel returns to her old ways of conducting small robberies and getting into problems with Bangles. Bangles is who Hazel would have become if she hadn’t met Byron, and who she will become if she doesn’t return. Except for what Hazel did to her by forcing her to screw up her degree, there’s nothing wrong with being a Bangle.
Byron wants Hazel to perceive him as someone like Bennett on their date, but he also wants her to feel frightened enough to do what he says. He employs the same tactics she does, presenting some too wonderful to be true aspects of what their life will be like, keeping her too dazzled to ask any practical questions, expressing interest in her instead, and pressuring her to seal the sale with a fake limited-time offer.
I’m wondering whether there was also a figurative wall full of spouses and girlfriends after witnessing that wall full of dolphins and hearing him threaten to eat Zelda. Perhaps Hazel wasn’t the first female he brought inside the Hub. I’m not sure whether she was supposed to be one of the chip’s many disposable test subjects, but he fell for her nonetheless. I’m not sure if it happened before or after he proposed. As he demonstrated by basically kidnapping her in the restaurant/truck, he didn’t need to marry her after he’d enticed her into the cube. Is it really legal for them to be married, or does he simply want his chip back?
When Lyle stated that Byron doesn’t do his own murdering, he wasn’t kidding; he meant that someone else does it for him. Now it’s Lyle’s time to be “put out to pasture,” a phrase that doesn’t sound promising.
HBOMax provided the images for this article.
The I Want a New Life Recap is an article that recaps the second episode of the show Made for Love. It also includes some information about the upcoming episodes. Reference: made for love episode 2 recap.
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