The Briefcase Recap 6/17/15: Season 1 Episode 4 “Matas/Melansons”

The Briefcase Recap 6/17/15: Season 1 Episode 4 "Matas/Melansons"

Tonight on CBS The Briefcase continues with an all new Wednesday June 17, season 1 episode 4 called, “Matas/Melansons,” and we have your weekly recap below! On tonight’s episode, a Los Angeles family who are passionate about education and their Mexican heritage have student loans and debt hanging over their heads; and a Massachusetts couple who are raising four children on one income are devoted to helping foster kids.

On the last episode a Texas family whose Christian faith had guided them through tough financial times considered how a large sum of money could impact their lives; at the same time, a lesbian couple who took on the responsibility of two children in need were presented with an opportunity to make their dream of having their own baby come true. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.

On tonight’s episode as per the CBS synopsis, “the Matas from Boyle Heights, Calif. and The Melansons from Huningham, Mass. face a difficult decision when they see similarities within each other’s families and must decide whether to invest the money in their own children and homes or share with the other family.”

This is definitely one series that you don’t want to miss. Don’t forget to stay tuned to Celeb Dirty Laundry where we will be live blogging the season 1 episode 4 of The Briefcase.



#TheBriefcase starts in Hingham, Massachusetts to meet Kara and Mark Melanson. Mark is a firefighter and Kara is a stay at home mom. They are struggling financially and one of their cars just broke down. They are also in trouble with their mortgage. Mark has to walk a mile to the firehouse. They are foster parents and have been for six years. They live in a good community but it’s costly and he’s worried that they will lose their home.

The Matas family lives in Boyle Heights, California in East LA. Richard is a teacher and Espie, his wife, talk about the gangs in their area. They have an after school mariachi program to keep kids out of trouble. Espie says they lost a lot of friends to gang death. Espie says her parents had little education in Mexico and it took her 13 years to get her bachelors. She has more than $35k in student loans. They owe roughly $500,000 with their mortgage and school debt.

In California is producer Dave Broom and Faye Stapleton is up in Massachusetts. They each deliver the briefcases. Kara and Mark are shocked at the stacks of cash. They ask what it’s for and then hug her and thank her. Mark says he doesn’t know what’s going on and wonders what’s really happening. Kara says this will take so much stress off of them. Dave tells the Matas to open their briefcase. They are shocked too. Richard says he’s never seen that much money before.

The Matases cry and talk about how much this will help them. Both families are told they can keep it all, share some of it, or give it all away. They find out that whatever they don’t keep will go to another deserving family. They are told how their decision will work. They are then told to take the $1,000 to spend on themselves right now. They also tell them they will get texts about the other family on the phones over the next three days. Neither family knows the other also got a briefcase.

Mark says the family can really help them. They go rent a reliable car with the money they got. His daughter Ella is thrilled with the nice car. In California, the Matas family plans a party with their money. They head to a party store and pick out pinatas. The Melansons go play hockey. The Matas set up a big party in their backyard. All their friends and family show up to eat and celebrate. The Melansons talk about how great it would be to do more things like this together.

They both get their first text that tells them to go to the bank to make their first deposit. Richard and Mark will make the first deposits. Mark says he doesn’t want to touch the briefcase. The men head out to the bank. Richard says they could use all the money to fix up their house and Mark says he needs to think about his family. Mark says he doesn’t like the kids seeing the pressure of their finances and says as the kids get older it’s harder to hide from them.

Both come back from the bank with their briefcases. Mark shows Kara that he decided to keep $75k for the other family and $25k for them. He says he thought that was easiest and doesn’t want her to be mad. He says he feels good about helping his family but also feels guilty about not helping the other family. Kara says she’s shocked he kept that much and thought he might keep $5-$10k and says it goes against her gut to keep that much.

Richard tells Espie he wanted to think about their needs and the other family and shows her that he kept $5k for them and left $95k for the other family. He says he kept a small amount for them and Espie says she knows Richard had good intentions and says she knows other people need it more and worries she’s being selfish. In Massachusetts, the Melansons go through their bills and she says $75k would get them current on their bills so they can keep their house.

He says he can’t imagine them losing the house. Mark says it’s his fault and he’s sorry. He says he wanted to be a firefighter but it’s not a career that pays well and says they can’t take another foster kid because they don’t have enough money. Kara says she knows he feels like he’s failed them. They get a text about the other families. They are told both are teachers that make $78k and owe $490k in debt. IT says they perform with a mariachi band to make extra money and help kids keep off the streets.

Mark says it’s awesome that they help kids too. He and Kara joke about their mariachi skills. She asks if this changes how he feels about the money. In California, the Matas meet with a contractor to discuss the issues that they need fixed. There are two rooms that can’t have electricity running at once. They have roof issues, electrical issue and garage issues. They talk about how they can’t park on the street because it’s not safe and they were almost in a drive by.

The contractor says there are safety issues and says it’s about $50-$70k to fix the house. Espie says they have no financial education growing up as first generation immigrants. They get a text about the other family saying it’s $87k income with debt of $485k. They hear that the wife doesn’t work because she was a realtor and the market crashed. They also hear that they are foster parents. Espie says Mark works at a dangerous job and says it makes it harder for them to decide.

Espie says they need help too and it’s a lot to think about. Kara and Espie then get texts telling them it’s their turn to go to the bank. Espie shows her family that she decided to give the other family $50k and keep $50k. She says it was hard for her to do it. She says the other family needs it but they need things too. The family seems very supportive of her decision. Espie says she wants their daughters to have an education and Richard says it’s great that both families can benefit.

Kara is back from the bank and asks Mark to guess what she did. She says there’s $65k for the other family and she kept $35k for them. He says it caught him off guard that she kept more rather than less. Kara says their financial stresses are hard and she wants to alleviate some stress off of him to show she loves him. The families then get another text telling them they’re going to go see the other family’s home and how they live.

Dave meets the Melansons in LA and they head to see the Mariachi conservatory and he says they will see the Matas but they won’t see them. He has them on a one way mirror and they see Richard teaching the kids. Richard has the kids all playing and singing and Kara and Mark talk about how great it is. Kara says it makes them want to do more and says you would never know they are struggling and stressed out. Mark says he’s teaching the kids more than music. Next they go see the Mata’s home.

They talk about how different it is from Massachusetts and how each home is like a fenced compound. Kara says there is no crime where they live and everyone leaves their doors unlocked. Kara says the neighborhood is run down. They head inside and see the college degrees on the wall then lots of family photos. They note how cramped the house is and that there are no doors. They spot that the girls are both crammed into one tiny room with just one bed and a couch.

Mark says every kid should have their own bed. They look at the bars on the windows and Mark says he can’t imagine that. He says Richard and Espie have good hearts and they deserve better than this. They look through the past due bills, student loans and Kara says she can feel their stress looking at this. She says she can’t imagine the student loans. Kara says they had decided to give them $65k but now she feels guilty about keeping that much for themselves.

Kara says her big stress is that they might lose their house. She isn’t sure what’s the right thing to do. Richard and Espie are with Faye in Massachusetts and they talk about the pretty neighborhood. Their girls are with them. Espie talks about how different it is there and says it’s peaceful. Espie says it seems nice and then says maybe the other family doesn’t need that much help. She’s thinking she should take away more money and tells Richard they really do need the money and could keep it all.

But then they pull up outside Mark and Kara’s house and they see that it’s much smaller than the others around. They see that things need repairs. Espie says their house needs a lot of work. They head inside and see it’s small like theirs. They see toys all over and Espie says it reminds her of when they started their family. They look at the line marks on the walls showing their height. They look at all the stuff that needs fixed and ceiling problems and messed up doors.

Then they look at all of Mark’s firefighter medals. Then they look at the paperwork showing that they’re foster children. Richard says it’s remarkable that they do this. Espie says they need more love as a society. Then they spot their past due bills. She says they have mortgage past due and Richard says it hurts his heart. Richard says he doesn’t want them to lose their home and Espie cries and says they could lose their home and wouldn’t be able to help foster children.

Richard says they’re a good family and they deserve help. He says they’re struggling too and it’s hard to decide what to do. They get another text then. The couples are then told to go to the bank and make the final decision together then fly to LA to give the other couple the briefcase of money. They head to Union Station to meet the other couple. Richard says this is the most difficult decision of his life. They all meet and greet each other.

Then Dave comes in with a briefcase and asks how they feel. He says what they don’t know is that the other family also got a briefcase. Then Faye comes in with hers. Dave says they were both given a briefcase and were making the same decision about sharing. The Matas tell the Melansons that they are impressed with how much they do for foster children and Mark’s hard work as a firefighter. They give them $50,000. Richard says they deserve it and do so much.

Richard says they knew they wanted to share with them. The couple share hugs before they move on to the other reveal. The Melansons show them that they gave them all $100k of the money. They tell the Matas that they know how far it will go in the community. He says if someone needs money you should give it all to them. He says this is the right decision for them. Richard says they had no idea there was another briefcase and says he’s shocked.

Mark says the didn’t second guess it at all. Mark says they don’t even have to thank them and says they feel the same way. Wow. That’s the biggest give on this show ever. The Matas walk away with $150k and the Melansons with $50k which is enough to make a big dent in both of their lives. Mark says not many people can say they gave someone else a briefcase full of money.