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Sister Carmel: Do you believe in God?
The Man: I believe in the details.
A mysterious Man sits at a booth at the end of a diner. People approach him because they've heard The Man has a gift. He can solve their problems: A parent with a sick child, a woman who wants to be prettier, a nun who has lost her faith. The Man can give these people what they want. For a price. The Man makes a proposition. In exchange for realizing their desires, these individuals must complete a task, return to The Man, and describe every step in detail. The trick is that these tasks are things that would normally be inconceivable to them. But The Man never forces anyone to do anything. Its always up to the individual to start - or stop. The Booth at the End asks the question: How far would you go to get what you want?
Hulu has the entire series collected into five 23-minute episodes.
This series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Allen, the detective, was one to his son and deeply regrets it.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Oh boy, the Man. Who is he? Villain, victim, hero? Well-Intentioned Extremist or Satan himself? A Trickster Mentor or just a Trickster?
- Babies Ever After: Sister Carmel and the artist.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The Man doesn't grant wishes, he just lets you know how to get what you desire. How the fickle finger of fate chooses to provide, however.....
- Blue and Orange Morality: possibly the Man, who reacts as a human would in some situations-- for instance, getting irritated when people accuse him of manipulating them, or being surprised and horrified at Willem's...interesting strategy to accomplish his task-- and strangely dispassionate and uncaring at other junctures
- But Thou Must!: Not exactly. You COULD get what you want without him, but the only guarantee is to do what The Man says, and he only gives you one path.
- The Chessmaster: Played with in that The Man knows EXACTLY what the game board looks like, but his level of control is questionable at best, possibly even nonexistent.
- He is accused of this trope several times, but is quite insistent that he is not a Chessmaster/Puppeteer, but merely a "messenger of opportunities"
- Cliff Hanger: The ending of season one.
"It can happen."
- Deal with the Devil
- Decoy Protagonist: At first, Willem's job of playing guardian angel to a litle girl is pretty cut and dry. But when he kidnaps her to hide her from her tormentor, with permission from no one, he veers wildly into this territory.
- Dirty Cop: Allen has to protect one.
- Flat What: When The Man hears Willem's reasons for kidnapping the girl.
The Man: Why did you kidnap her?
Willem: So I could be the hero.
The Man: What.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: every episode is named after something the Man says in that episode
- Literal Genie: You must be precise about what you want, or you will not be happy with the result. Other times, what you say you want and what you really mean/need/want are two separate things. The Man occasionally gives people what they really want under the guise of giving them what they say they want.
- Morality Pet: Doris serves as a semi-version to "The Man", as she is the only person who comes to him without greed, only curiosity. Similarly, those people with more selfish or greedy desires tend to end up with what they want... but rarely are very happy in the end while those with desire more based around personal growth tend to be both be happy and get what they want. One 'client' starts off greedy but ultimately grows as a person and so ends up both happy and getting what they want (or rather, what they realized they wanted).
- Men Act, Women Are: Richard quickly absorbs Jenny's plot line, even making his own deal to make her change her mind about hers.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Melody makes good on volunteering for shut-ins, helping her father, and, much later, bringing a serial killer to justice. She ends up dead for her trouble.
- No Name Given: The Man
- The Omniscient: The Man is either a Type I associate, or a Type II who has achieved beyond the mortal pale.
- One Degree of Separation:
- James and Willem are Working the Same Case, with The Man having assigned Willem to protect Elizabeth and James to kill her.
- Jenny's new boyfriend Richard is police detective Allen's estranged son, and also happens to be the bank robber that Allen is searching for.
- Melody reports the serial killer to Allen. His brushing her off is what prompts her to take desperate measures, which in turn leads Allen to his Heel Realization.
- Simon is Chekhov's Gunman for Sister Carmel's story, helping her to conceive the child needed to fulfill her deal with The Man.
- Mrs. Tyler's story is the only one that is self-contained.
- Red Herring: Told to protect a Dirty Cop in his department, Allan starts covering for a homicide detective who steals valuable items from murder scenes. But Allan eventually realizes that he himself is the Dirty Cop, abusing his authority to fulfill his self-serving deals with The Man.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Inverted. It's only a prophecy if you choose to do it.
- Show, Don't Tell: Inverted. The audience is never shown ANYTHING outside of the diner setting, and instead relies on character dialogue to convey it. Depending on who you are, this serves as either an egregious violation of the rule, or helps the audience relate to the otherwise inscrutable Man.
- Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: As of season 1, this series looks to run somewhere in the Type III zone.
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: Neither James nor Mrs. Tyler go through with their grisly deals, but get what they want anyhow.
- Trickster Mentor: The Man. Good sweet googly-moogly, The Man. He'll help you figure out what you have to do to get what you want, no problem...
- Turned Against Their Masters: Willem tries to mess up The Man's system. This does not end well for him.
- Wham! Line: In response to what Gerald wants: "That can happen."
- What You Are in the Dark: A part of The Man's modus operandi. Even if people get what they want, doing what The Man asks (or going through a large part of it) tends to make people confront themselves. Most aren't exactly very happy at what they see... but blame The Man.