The Cleaning Lady: Season 1/ Episode 2 “The Lion’s Den” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

As Luca takes a turn for the worse and the FBI approach Thony, she finds herself more reliant on Arman despite being uncomfortable with his line of work.

Aired 1/10/2022
Network FOX
Directed By Jon Amiel
Written By Miranda Kwok, Melissa Carter
Introduced This Episode
Hayak Barsamian Navid Negahban
Councilman Eric Knight Jay Mohr
Nadia Eva De Dominici
Marco Ivan Shaw
Mateo Ivo Nandi
Dr. Daniel Saroyan Antonio Leon
Renee Lawson Esodie Geiger
Garrett Oliver Hudson
Carlos Harold Nieves Fisch
Viktor Vick Sabian


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Meet The FBI – Garrett, Renee, Fiona, Thony, Chris

While cleaning a bowling alley, Garrett decides to corner Thony in the bathroom, under the guise of him just being in there to change his child’s diaper. This makes Thony uncomfortable, but Fiona shows up, which leads to Garrett retreating. But, with his partner Renee, he introduces himself properly while Thony is away cleaning for Arman. This leads to him scaring Fiona since she initially thought he was part of an ICE raid, and with him pressing her, you can see her beginning to panic.

Luckily, Thony quickly handles the cleaning assignment and finds herself there in time to shame Garrett and Renee for preying on the vulnerable and get her sister-in-law out of that situation. But, despite Renee not liking Garrett questioning Thony in the women’s restroom, he is undeterred since he has a history of going too far.

However, after all of that, this forces Fiona to reveal Chris is undocumented, to the shock of Fiona. Though the person really shocked is Chris, and of course angry. For on top of not being able to get his driver’s permit and live out his life without fear, now he sees the trajectory of his life to potentially become like his mom’s – which is the worst thing he can imagine.

Wheelin and Dealing – Arman, Viktor, Mateo, Carlos, Hayak, Nadia, Eric

So, what is Arman’s business, or rather Hayak’s? Arms dealing. At least, that is one major component, and for their Armenian clients, such as Viktor, their business is essential for his country’s future, which makes there being a thief within Hayak’s organization a major problem. In fact, a shootout happens due to Viktor feeling like he is being stiffed, which leads to Mateo being killed, and thus Carlos has to step up.

Councilman Eric Knight (Jay Mohr) chilling in Hayak's club
Councilman Eric Knight (Jay Mohr)

But, if that wasn’t bad enough, the corrupt politician Eric Knight, a local councilman, has to be wined and dined to help Hayak purchase a hotel he already has a club in. This is where we see Nadia become useful since she makes an excellent partner in situations like this. However, you’d still be hard-pressed to see her and Arman be partners for anything beyond business.

The Price For Loyalty – Luca, Thony, Arman, Hayak, Dr. Saroyan, Garrett, Renee

As established, Hayak doesn’t care for Thony and thinks she should have been left to die in the warehouse. This especially becomes true when she comes to Arman, with Luca in her arms, since he is dealing with an adenovirus. Which, by the way, when Arman takes her and Luca to Dr. Saroyan, she diagnosis.

But, with Thony using resources meant for the family, Hayak is upset and ready to handle Thony himself. However, with her seeing the person who was stealing from Hayak, so comes him growing a liking to her or a willingness to not kill her, at the very least. Thus, there is no leaving for Thony with how things are now. That is, unless she decides to now work with Garrett and Renee, who now have pictures of her and Arman together – so there is no denying association.



Thony Showing She Is Equal Or Better Than An American Doctor

If you have watched any show focused on someone who immigrates to the United States, you’ve likely come across a few where, in their home country, a person was a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or other high-status position in society. Yet, because their credentials aren’t recognized in the US, they cannot practice, and thus they make ends meet the best they can.

Dr. Daniel Saroyan (Antonio Leon) noting Thony saved her son
Dr. Daniel Saroyan (Antonio Leon)

I feel with showing Thony on par, if not surpassing Dr. Saroyan, that was to show to viewers that just because someone may clean your home, drive your cab, and exist in a position that might be seen as invisible, that doesn’t mean they don’t hold a world of knowledge. It’s just because of how society is, they don’t have the opportunity to continue the life they had in a new country. Even though they are on par, or even surpass, those who do have accreditation from an American institution or recognized institution.

Arman’s Reasoning For Working For Hayak

In the last episode, we noted we might see Arman through Luca, in terms of why Thony means so much to him. However, I’d like to add in Chris to get a clue into how we should see Arman without being given a flashback. Take note, Arman saw his mother struggle cleaning houses, and his father nearly die of a heart attack, and then the family being in Hayak’s debt for getting him the surgery he needed.

Chris mad at his mom

Now, put yourself in Arman’s shoes, if not Chris’ in extension. You are an immigrant, possibly without citizenship, at the mercy of a society that has many people dedicated to your expulsion from the country. Even those without such authority would snitch on you no matter how good of a person you are. If not, as shown by Thony and Fiona, use your status to try and exploit you.

Arman is a proud man, and being vulnerable, having that be something someone can snatch and make into leverage against him? That wouldn’t do. Never mind, to owe another person to take care of him and his family? Again, that is not acceptable. But, what are his options? How could he gain prominence, money, security, and plug up vulnerabilities considering everything he is up against?

The idea of picking yourself up by your bootstraps is very cute and ideal, but even those born in this country can barely adhere to those principles and make it to a notable tax bracket. So, as unfortunate as it might be, Arman made his choice based off the viable options available to him and, from what it seems, while his choice was dangerous, it seemingly got him some semblance of what he wanted as a child.

On The Fence


A barely off-the-bench male cop and a female cop with a watchful eye since she knows her partner is a screw-up? Sound familiar? Add in Garrett being charismatic and charming while the woman is straight-laced and lacks the same shine as her partner? I don’t know about you, but Garrett and Renee seem very familiar, and it makes me worry they’ll become a liability.

Eric And The Political Angle

Can you focus on a criminal organization of Hayak’s magnitude without involving politicians? Probably not. However, Eric is the kind of politician who seems like he is low on the totem pole. Maybe it is because he just seems happy someone asked him to do something corrupt? Either way, there has yet to be a government official introduced we’re excited to see. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean, as they become more prominent, we should expect to start rolling our eyes on a regular basis.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Do you think Nadia is a beard? Most shows have at least one gay character nowadays, and one hasn’t shown up yet so, Arman would make sense. Plus, considering he says his dad doesn’t talk to him, who is to say it isn’t because he went against his mom and dad’s wishes, never mind didn’t live up to their dreams for him? It could be him being gay.
  2. Where are Jazz and Chris’ father(s)?
  3. Did Arman choose Hayak’s organization because he was familiar with it and saw it as an easy way to move up the social order? Did Arman seek other avenues, and they weren’t lucrative? Could it be his other options led to encountering racist or required a longer timeline than he wanted to get to where he felt he needed to be?

What Could Happen Next

Nadia (Eva De Dominici) questioning Thony showing up
Nadia (Eva De Dominici)
  1. Fiona following up on why the FBI have an interest in Thony and a man Fiona never met.
  2. With us learning how Arman got involved in Hayak’s business, hopefully, we’ll learn how he met Nadia and why he married her

[ninja_tables id=”62762″]

Arman talking down to Thony
The Cleaning Lady: Season 1/ Episode 2 “The Lion’s Den” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
While Thony continues to hold it down as the lead, and Arman is starting to catch up, as the FBI gets a proper introduction, and those who employ and interact with Arman, The Cleaning Lady does experience some shaky moments.
Arman's Reasoning For Working For Hayak
Thony Showing She Is Equal Or Better Than An American Doctor
Eric And The Political Angle

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