House of Lies Season 3 Review “Soldiers”

Episode 305

This week’s House Of Lies hit all the right notes of character, story development, and humor to give us the best episode of this season thus far. “Soldiers” continued to push the pod into new situations while incorporating elements of previous ones into an enjoyable half hour of television.

I really like the contrasting of Marty and Jeannie’s relationship with that of Dre and Lucas. The interplay of the characters is interesting to watch, and exploring the recent strain on Marty and Jeannie’s friendship through another friendship on the verge of collapse keeps things a bit more engaging than if it was only Marty and Jeannie each week. Of course, now that things are looking up for Kaan and Associates, Marty’s home life is showing signs of strain. Roscoe is growing into his angsty teen stage, Jeremiah is picking them even younger than before, and Monica (fresh from ruining Clyde’s life) is out of a job.

Ben Schwartz continues his streak as this season’s most fascinating character with his portrayal of Clyde this week. The series has always drawn parallels between him and Marty, but now those parallels are absolutely critical in understanding who Clyde is on his current journey. He truly is a younger version of Marty; driven to achieve the substantiation that he feels can only come with success at the highest levels, but desperate for a love and affection that he can’t bring himself to accept when offered.

This was heartbreakingly apparent in his scenes with Marissa, a beautiful woman genuinely trying to connect with Clyde on a human (and physical) level. But Clyde’s so obsessed with his proposed business deal that he can’t see that the thing he most wants, the thing he says Doug is so lucky to have, is literally right in front of him. For the first time in this show’s history I’m rooting for Clyde to get what he wants, but I also hope he finds that peace he’s so envious of Doug for having.

And Doug! At last he’s given an actual story line! His quest to relieve the mounting sexual tension he was feeling due to “withholding his seed” because of his fear of fathering a child was extremely funny to watch. By finally taking advantage of the possibilities offered by Doug’s recent marriage, the episode was able to tie his incessant rambling to a story that also packed an emotional punch. Josh Lawson excelled in his role this week, and I hope the writers continue to follow up on Doug’s home situation in the weeks to come.

The only thing I’m leery of at this point is Monica. While I love her character (she’s so deliciously crazy), I don’t see anywhere for her to go after Kinsely but to Kaan and Associates. This would be a bad move. While I see the story potential, and some of it is good, I can’t help but feel it would be a contrived move at a time when the story is working out superbly as is. There are many other (and more natural) ways to shake things up. I hope I’m wrong. We’ll see.

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