I Love You, Marty Khan
House of Lies Season 1 Episode 9 recap
I heard a scandalously good piece of gossip the other day. Or, not gossip, I guess, because it turned out to be true. As I marveled, the story-teller pointed out that in addition to being true and full of juicy details, it was going to invoke a lot of schadenfraude, because people always thought the subject of said gossip was too perfect.
It’s not the kind of thing you admit: that you’d enjoy seeing someone go down. But it is…dare I say …comforting to learn that indeed, nobody’s perfect.
That’s why people want to take down Marty Khan, right? Because he seems to just …get everything? Everything he needs?
Today I’m going to prove why he’s worth it.
After last week, I really wasn’t sure if there was anyone to like anymore, if the whole Gallweather Stearns family was going to be too exhausting to keep up with, what with their not having souls at all. But this week reminded me exactly why I love this show.
Marty is human when he’s powerless
When Greg’s talking about how Marty and his team are going to be eviscerated, Marty is worried, and doesn’t mind letting us know it. But also, he’s defended by his boss. Nobody is all good or all bad.
Marty knows how to use his powers
He could use any tried-and-true management technique to get Greg to back off. He chooses the most unconventional, the last-ditch Hail Mary buddy party – and it’s a gamble that works. Because he knew it would. Because he’s Marty Khan.
He’s smarter than you are
If you picked up a random drug from the floor, would you know what it was? What it’s prescribed for? Marty does. Instantaneously. Fine, so maybe he googled – but he did it before confronting his father, and thus got to have his smart confrontation moment as it was meant to be.
He’s compassionate…when it’s called for
When Jeannie begs and pleads with her eyes for Marty to acknowledge Wes – to pretend that, yes, he knew she was in a relationship, was getting married, that she hadn’t kept this from all of her coworkers for years (and don’t tell me you didn’t see Veronica silently pleading with Keith, there), he sees no reason to throw her under the bus in that moment. It doesn’t mean he won’t, someday, or that she won’t owe him, but he didn’t need to hurt her – and poor, innocent Wes – in that moment.
His family loves him
I’ll admit this is the hardest one to understand. Not because I think Marty’s unlovable, but because they’ve mostly pointed out to us how he sort of operates around these people who have a love of life and a general excitement towards the everyday that Marty’s had beaten out of him.
Now with April on the scene those feelings are more on the surface, they’re bigger, and Marty is delighted; he can’t help but be, when such adorable tin-foil-laden projects are going on in his house. But I will kind of ask whether he used to be a different guy, one who was more open to this kind of stuff? Because Roscoe’s not getting all that adorableness as a genetic gift from Monica
He allows his staff to be idiots
I’m not a huge fan of the interview format in TV shows; it always gets tired a third of the way through, but they feel compelled not to abandon their gag. And I get tired of Doug and Clyde way earlier these days (although the actor who plays Doug is Australian! Way to hide the accent!). But I do like that they’re free to act like idiots when the pressure’s off, because, as Jeannie makes mincemeat of the girl who likes her fiancé, Doug assures them that “he’s the best numbers guy in the game”. Love that.
He wants to be a
better different person…?
I don’t know. I don’t exactly know what Marty wants. But a sh*ttier guy wouldn’t be so upset that he was heading into a custody battle, and wouldn’t be so cool about his son’s experimentations in dress. And he wouldn’t fight so hard to keep his job if it were as easy to go get another one elsewhere, and I can’t think that’s just about money, because Marty has money. He needs a purpose in life, and he likes the one he has, and how can I be mad at him for that?
I’m not going to apologize anymore for loving this show. I haven’t even fully figured out why I do. But the characters feel a lot realer to me than the ones on the doctor-and-lawyer shows that I’m supposed to want to emulate. Maybe that’s why. It’s such a relief to see people on TV make the rest of us look like we’re doing OK…
Attached - Kristen Bell with Dax Shepard at the park on the weekend.