House of Lies Season 3 Review “Together”

Episode 311

House of Lies wisely centered this week’s episode on its core cast, bringing them “Together” to focus on the relationships they share with each other and those they’re closest to. This resulted in a leaner, more concentrated entry that capitalized on the time this season has spent building and developing those relationships in large and meaningful ways.

None of course were more meaningful than Marty and Jeannie finally consummating their long simmering flirtation. This was a hook up three years in the making, and I was happy to see the show handle it with such delicate care and attention.

It makes more sense to have this connection happen now than at any previous point in the series’ run. Marty is at his most vulnerable. His friend has turned out to be a murderer (great delivery of that line by Kristen Bell) and the progress he felt in his relationship with Monica turned out to be largely one sided.

It’s interesting to note Monica’s hand in all of this, as her words to Jeannie cut deep enough to put her in a state of vulnerability equal to Marty’s (well, that and anesthesia). The opportunity of some private time afforded by Roscoe’s out of town field trip and Jeremiah’s letting Jeannie into the apartment before leaving for the night, combined with Marty and Jeannie’s emotional states, afforded these two the perfect opportunity to speak honestly with each other.

And when they did, we were treated to a brilliantly shot, wonderfully edited, and perfectly acted scene between two actors with amazing chemistry. I loved the quick cuts that allowed for the progression of their evening to proceed over the course of a few hours, but gave us glimpses into the high points. I’ve never been a shipper of the Marty/Jeannie romance, I happen to think they work better as friends, but I appreciate the way in which House of Lies handled this moment. What could have been just another in the show’s long line of casual sex without an emotional payoff scenes was made to be something special that now has me hoping these two can find a little peace with each other (not that I’d bet on it, though).

I thought for a time that Marty may have found some of that peace through his friendship with Dre (Mekhi Phifer), though his obvious hamming it up during the Barney’s meeting made it all too clear he was behind Lukas’ murder and that he and Marty weren’t going to be able to continue their bromance. While Don Cheadle’s acting has been right on target here, I find the whole subplot of DollaHyde to be a little out of place for the show now.

I love the idea of exploring the consequences of being so blinded by greed that you end up in business with truly amoral and evil people, but Marty playing detective (how creepy was Dre’s wife?) just doesn’t fit into the show’s world. That said it has afforded the show some interesting opportunities to explore these characters under a different kind of pressure than we’re used to, and it’s offered a deeper look into the people they truly are (Jeannie telling Marty he’s nothing like Dre was a good example of this).

Another good example of this (though it doesn’t involve drive by shootings) was Doug’s “reconciliation” with Sarah. As Doug, Josh Lawson’s talents as an actor can sometimes be underutilized by scripts that keep Doug as a one note goofball. It’s a tremendous credit to him that he can balance that zaniness with the fear of a man constantly in over his head.

Sarah’s revelation that she’d been “on a bit of a spree” and had an abortion (if true… she’s kinda crazy) gave Josh Lawson a chance to demonstrate that balance so effectively that I didn’t know if Doug’s situation was more funny or tragic. It was a moment very true to life, and he deserves some recognition for being able to pull that off.

Well, we only have one more episode to go. The season has flown by, and I’m eager to see how the writers wrap everything up. Looks like some choppy waters ahead, but when do things ever go well in a House of Lies finale?

Follow me on Twitter @TheApexFan