House Of Lies Season 1 Episode 3 recap

Okay.  I warned you. This show is too funny not to get specific, so we’re going to be a little more thorough this time.

Marty sleeps while a woman in an ugly sweater rubs his shoulder.   He wakes up all ‘Mom, OMG!’ But of course, as we remember from the previouslies, she committed suicide. So he cries.   

Now it’s morning, and if there’s a tween practicing dance moves (or possibly playing some type of K’nect Sports dance game) in the kitchen, it’s Roscoe.   Who presently asks dad what to do if he likes a girl – AND a boy. Marty just cannot handle this type of question this morning, and that’s because we learn it’s the anniversary of his mother’s death, and he KNOWS that, and stop telling him, retired-psychiatrist Dad!

So he’s all pouty pants, possibly deservedly, but when his son wonders if he can teach Dad to Dougie, dad agrees. It is absolutely adorable and it rings totally true.  Marty’s not made of stone. Except, isn’t made-of-stone what this show is about?

Work. Everybody’s recommending that Marty get out of there, but it’s not clear why…until Greg Germann shows up to grin all super-smugly. Long story short, the company they hosed in the first episode, Metro,  has made an offer to  purchase Gallweather Sterns.  He monologues in a predictably crazy way about how they’re all going to be his new family, and Richard Schiff is ineffectual in pointing out that maybe this hasn’t actually happened yet. Then Greg (who’s character name is Greg) says he’s gearing up to make Marty’s life a living hell.

Thank God our guys can still escape: they’re in a really horrible looking airport, which is an authentic touch for sure. I’m beginning to wonder why Jeannie doesn’t wear suits, though. I know she can look professional without them, but it wouldn’t hurt.  As usual, they’re busting each other’s balls, this time discussing whether or not ‘Doug’ (the one who’s not Ben Schwartz) went home with a trans.  Business as usual.   

Airport lounge.  As Jeannie near-religiously nurses a martini, making her my girl forever,  Marty gives the rundown on who this company is. Something about sodas and a delusional CEO who thinks his ERP will be fantastic, despite the fact that it clearly won’t. The phrase ‘infect the host and bleed them dry’ comes up.

On the plane, there’s a continued discussion of whether Doug left with a trans person.

It’s time for Marty to stop some time!  Getting a tour of the facility which is ‘always Disneyland!’ Also, the CGO is always ‘Rain Man’  and there’s a whole bunch of circles and thumbs-up-and-down graphics. They do a decent job of showing off what they want us to know, and explaining the business stuff in simple terms.  But when another trophy wife ‘Jenelle’ comes coincidencing in, I kind of roll my eyes. Yes, we get that Marty likes sex. Anyway, there’s a lot more physical interaction in the freezeframes this time, so I wonder if they tried something different.  He Zach Morrises time back into place and gets invited to dinner, with Jeannie.

Later, Doug is annoyed that he and ‘Clyde’  - really?  - weren’t invited to the dinner.  Marty points out this is because she wants to f*ck him, and Jeannie is just ‘the beard’. Then they spend more time showing us that Jeannie is ahead of all the others in terms of interpreting the game. And then she gets screeching mad because she really wants Marty not to bang the CFO’s wife.

Marty’s walking down a hall and gets slipped a piece of paper by a desperate worker who says the ERP will take them all down and he needs to stop it.   

CFO’s place. Marty and Jeannie recline on a weird, dubiously ‘ethnic’ couch.  It takes about two seconds for the CFO’s wife to invite Marty upstairs for a ‘tour’, at which point, CFO Spalding says ‘sure, bang her, as long as you get me out of the issues at work’. I mean, I’m paraphrasing, but not by much.

Jeannie, meanwhile, discovers Spalding likes to rub feet. So that happens.

Upstairs, Marty’s in Genelle’s pleasure chest of ball gags and whatnot.  Jeannie gets her toes sucked. This is the point where she says she’s out – and then reconsiders. They say K Bell’s wearing a size 7, but I don’t buy it.

Okay, they’re done. Agreement in the car to not tell anyone.

At work, the next day.  Marty, because he’s a dick, refers to Spalding’s tiny dick (see what I did there?) so that Spalding will cave the way he wants. Anyway, Spalding says he won’t sell himself out just because Marty has some deep, sucking wound, and then tells Marty to go screw himself.  This makes me happy.

So now we have more hallway-striding.  Marty gets the ‘don’t forget who brought you here’ from the CEO, and six seconds later, they’re fired, and the CEO is going to launch his terrible, terrible ERP.  Anyway, Marty fixes this with some insider trading, calling  a contact to tell him to buy the company after they launch the ERP, and to secure work for Gallweather Stearns to fix the place. His team beam at his terribleness.  Well, Jeannie beams. Doug and Clyde seem like they might have some conflicted humanity.  Or maybe I’m wrong, because the scene ends with Doug yelping “Someone just walk me through what just happened!”

Airplane. Clyde is now playing good cop re: the tranny situation. Doug, because he’s an idiot, which is clearly evidenced by his tie, agrees to tell him all about it.  And then Clyde announces it to the whole of first class.

Roscoe is playing video games with a girl and a boy. Who may or may not be the ones he has a crush on.  

Anyway, now Richard Schiff is here to tell Marty, on his really uncomfortable looking balcony,  that Greg wants Marty out, and that it’s going to be really difficult for Marty if the merger happens. Marty’s like “great, just cover my ass” but Schiff says he can’t via a deeply complicated garden metaphor that funnily enough has nothing to do with sex.  But suddenly it’s about whether or not Marty’s been a friend, a good person. This clearly has never occurred to him, and I kind of have to take his side on this. It’s business!   

So Marty calls Clyde, tells him they’re going out. We catch them on the flip side (thanks for that), and then Marty and Clyde pretend to be valets to steal a really hot car from a brash fat businessman.    

And then they’re on a super-fast terrifying speeding ride, and Clyde is freaking out, and Marty is driving like a madman, trying to escape his demons.

I don’t know, you guys.  This show is uneven as hell and usually that’s seen as a bad thing.   But I think this might be the way of the future.  ou can be funny as hell, but still have moments of dark – where people don’t know if you’re good or not. Likeable or not. Kind of like life.  

House of Lies airs Monday nights on The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Movie Central (Western Canada) – check local listings for times.

Attached - Kristen Bell being super precious at Sundance (see? Despite my love for Veronica Mars, that girl still pours acid on my nerves.) trying to conceal her disdain for having to promote so many of her projects.