TV

Agent Doug From ‘McMillion$’ Is The Best Character On TV Right Now

Until a few weeks ago, the happiest person I had ever seen was a baby who was running through a sprinkler. He was young, probably under two years old, wearing nothing but a supremely waterlogged diaper, and just cackling like a maniac as he darted back and forth through the thin streams of water. Every time, too. It didn’t get old. He ran through that sucker a dozen times and would have kept going until his wobbly legs gave out on him if his mom didn’t scoop him up and take him into the house to get dry clothing on his pudgy little body. He was even doing that thing babies do where he smiled so big his entire mouth was wide open. He was really happy. That’s what I’m saying.

But now, in a shocking upset, that baby has been bumped to second place. The new happiest person I have ever seen is Agent Doug from McMillion$ whenever he starts talking about taking down the fraudulent McDonald’s Monopoly ring at the center of the show.

Are you watching McMillion$? I hope so. It is a wild ride so far, with crooked former cops named Jerry and crooked mob figures also named Jerry and Monopoly game pieces stored in freezers and mob wives named Robin who look almost exactly what you’d expect mob wives named Robin to look like. But the star of the show is Agent Doug, the person who ran point on the investigation in 2001 and whose full name and title is Special Agent Doug Mathews but will always be Agent Doug to me. He’s such an excitable goof, such a gung-ho maniac, such a Doug, that it’s kind of like he watched Point Break as a kid and locked that idea of law enforcement into his head forever. He’s like if I had become an FBI agent at age 13. I love him. Despite being a real person who is appearing in a documentary, he is still somehow the best character on television.

My favorite thing about Agent Doug is that he can’t help himself. He just loves talking a little shit. He always looks over-caffeinated and ready to burst out of his suit. Here he is in the very first episode talking about his job before stumbling upon the McMillions scam.

HBO
HBO
HBO

And here is Agent Doug a little later discussing the McMillions scam.

HBO
HBO

Those screenshots alone tell you almost everything you need to know. You can almost feel the “cut me loose and let me do cool stuff, come on, come on” vibes pulsating off of him in the still images. I say this with all due respect as he is a decorated federal law enforcement agent, but he has the most Puppy Energy of any grown man I’ve ever seen.

If you want the full picture of Agent Doug, though, you need to watch and listen when the other people on the show talk about him. Especially his superiors in the FBI or the attorneys who worked on the case. They each have their own little tell, usually a deep sigh or a knowing chucking, that they let out just before they say something about Agent Doug. And then they say things like this.

“You could let him run with things a bit and then bring him back to reality. Okay. ‘Yeah, that’s great, Doug.’”

“Doug was almost brand new at the time and he’s been given a badge, a gun, and some credentials, and now he’s got a superman’s cape, right? And away he goes.”

“There’s a stringent process of school, testing, all these things that didn’t exactly match with Doug’s concept of being undercover.”

“Doug was a professional but he also did like to have fun.”

“Obviously this was Doug’s very first undercover and so you’d wanna try to keep him under control, keep him sedated, so to speak.”

It’s the best. They come off like high school teachers discussing a gifted but mischievous student. Even better was the string of quotes about his idea to lure the fake winners to Vegas for a big reunion and party.

“No.”
“No way in hell.”
“No, Doug.”
“Not gonna do that.”
“Get him out of here.”

My apologies. I got too far ahead of myself and really just glossed over the Vegas thing. Agent Doug pitched a kind of sting operation where the FBI and McDonald’s would lure the fraudulent winners out to Las Vegas for a huge, all-expenses-paid getaway that was, in its entirety, a law enforcement ruse. Incredible. Just incredible. I believe, with all my heart, that if this had been approved he would have asked to go undercover as a professional gambler and international playboy named Victor Casino.

Other stuff Agent Doug did:

  • Showed up to a meeting with the McDonalds brass in a bright gold suit
  • Pitched himself as an undercover operative so many times that his supervisor started going nuts
  • While pretending to be the director of a commercial about the winners, chased down and tackled a drunk guy who tried to run off with the big fake worthless prize check

The thing is, there’s such a fine line between all of this being fun and this being, like, a gross depiction of law enforcement. (“That healthcare shit,” as Doug described it, is, uh, pretty important.) Somehow, at least from what we’ve seen, Agent Doug always ends up on the right side. You just want to look at him like a hopelessly charmed adult who is trying to scold a harmless rascal child, like “Doug.” The best way I could describe him is kind of like Jake Peralta from Brooklyn Nine-Nine crossed with Andy Dwyer as Burt Macklin on Parks and Recreation, but very real and somehow even more excitable.

I can’t wait to see what else he gets up to. I hope he convinces his bosses to let him drive around in a Ferrari that was seized from a drug dealer. I hope he gets to wear a fake mustache. I hope he gets to wear a cowboy hat and pretend to be from Texas. I hope he gets taken off the case and has to turn over his badge and gun but keeps investigating it anyway and stumbles upon a huge break. I hope, just once, someone in a position of authority calls him “a loose cannon.”

Long live Agent Doug.

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