House of Lies Season 3 Review “Power”

Episode 302

House of Lies continued to build on its impressive season premiere this week with “Power”. The episode focused on the members of the splintered pod as they desperately attempted to regain some measure of control over their lives, with results ranging from bittersweet to hilariously violent.

Powerless was exactly where Marty found himself. In every situation; the bedroom, his son’s life, the basketball court, even in his dreams, he was unable to take the control he’s so used to having. Speaking of his dreams, I’ve got to say how much I’m enjoying this season’s use of dream sequences.

One of the show’s strengths has always been its ability to make Marty, a character with many unsympathetic qualities, sympathetic and relatable. His fourth wall breaking soliloquies have always done a great job of letting us in on his thoughts, but he’s always been in control of them. Being able to see Marty’s dreams gives us a look at the man unguarded and vulnerable, allowing us to eavesdrop on his true mental state. They’re beautifully shot and as delightfully frakked up as Marty is. They’re also an amazing example of this show’s evolution, one that’s been a pleasure to watch.

Another example of the show’s evolution can be seen in the risks they’re taking with the story. When a show is based on a team working together week in and week out, breaking that team up and focusing on them at different junctures jeopardizes the dynamic of that show. Not only is it working so far, but the show has never been better. The individual misadventures of the team have been extremely entertaining so far.

Jeannie, for example, has really come into her own as a character in a way that she couldn’t have if her role was still that of Marty’s number two. Her power play this week; manipulating Julianne in order to get the DOD account was a great reminder that though she may have lost her heart to Marty, she doesn’t need him in order to thrive. It was also nice to see her capitalize on the same insecurities we saw last season from Julianne.

Jeannie wasn’t the only one using the insecurities of someone to gain more power, as Sarah played on Doug’s in order to push him towards the couple having a baby. I felt both sorry for, and angry with Doug. On one hand, he continues to be in way over his head with a woman who makes life changing decisions without consulting him constantly; and on the other hand, he allows it to happen. Is there ever going to come a time when Doug actually steps up and tries to take some power for himself?

Clyde certainly did. In what for me has been the best storyline of the season so far, he took a stand against Monica (who continues to be played to insane perfection by Dawn Olivieri) at Kinsely. But that only came after his utter lack of power caused an embarrassing outburst at a club with Doug and a bartender who got his drink wrong. Clyde’s struggle this season has really done a lot for his character, who for me was the most unlikable up to this point. It’s hard watching him endure Monica’s abuse and I look forward to seeing him get some kind of retribution soon.

What about you? Are you enjoying this season of House of Lies as much as I am? Did you rewind Monica’s stabbing to laugh again like I did? Tell me about it in the comments!

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The Quotable House of Lies

“I don’t know Jeannie. You know, I was pooping next to him once and I saw underneath the stall that he had an ankle holster. It’s not easy to go when you’re in fear for your life.”

Doug Guggenheim, trying to warn Jeannie not to pick a fight with Gil at Galweather Stearn.