A Look at House of Lies- Season 4, Episode 7: “The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass”

“The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass” is a good episode, but mostly setup for what’s to come as Kaan & Associates patiently awaits their big pay day.  Has it come at last?  Let’s dive right in.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Pod presenting to random company

The episode begins with the pod stating their case to a company that they’re convinced can and will grow.  Not only that, they will crush their competition and leave it to be devoured by demons.  Rest assured, Kaan & Associates will change this pod in the same way it changed Gage Motors.  Then we get a time freeze.  Marty explains to us that ever since the success at Gage, Kaan & Associates is back on top and everyone wants a piece of the Marty Kaan magic.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Pod strikes a pose

As we head to Kaan & Associates, Marty is giddy over the upcoming pay day.  The firm will soon be receiving a $9.2 million equity piece.  And how does Marty choose to celebrate?  He fires some of the millenial staff.  Marty has big plans.  He could make millions on the backs of meager associate salaries or hire talent from another firm while he grinds his enemies to dust.  Typical consultant stuff, you know.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Kelsey goes over discrete coding with Clyde and Doug

Kelsey goes over discrete coding with Clyde and Doug, who have their own personal issues going on.  Sort of.  Doug isn’t sure about what to get for takeout, while Clyde needs to pick up his father from the airport.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Jeannie addresses the friction between her and Marty

Jeannie goes to Marty to address the awkwardness between them.  The firm is taking off, but Jeannie wants to stay.  Marty says no, and Jeannie’s hormones kick in as she gets super emotional, asking if Marty can go two minutes without being an asshole.  Jeannie again admits to making a huge mistake, but she is still a major shareholder.  She then calls out Marty for crying loyalty and betrayal when it suits him, but he’s been willing to do unforgivable shit.  Marty doesn’t deny this.  In fact, the people he wronged still haven’t forgiven him.

Hell, maybe Jeannie could buy him out.  Doug enters during this icy moment to let Marty know that the wire transfer will be in by close of business today.  When Doug leaves- he really should have just come back at another time- Jeannie keeps standing her ground.  Even if Marty serves her papers, it won’t matter.  She’s still a shareholder and Marty is still a felon.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Clyde picks up his father, played by Fred Melamed, from the airport

Clyde has picked up his father, played by Fred Melamed, but is allergic to the cat that he brought with him.  He plans to stick the two of them in a hotel.  Dad, though, isn’t too pleased with the fact that Clyde hasn’t seen him in two years.  There won’t be much more time to bond, anyway, as Dad has stage four pancreatic cancer.  Hell, Dad may only have weeks instead of months.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Malcolm shows Marty the money that Roscoe has been collecting

At House Kaan, Marty calls Ellis again about the missing wire transfer, but gets nothing.  He does get something from Malcolm, though- cash money.  He throws a roll of $5,000 to Marty and holds $10,000 in his own hands- all from Roscoe’s room.  Sure, he’s snooping where he shouldn’t be, but Malcolm’s defense is that he’s just looking out for the kid.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Kelsey asks Doug if he likes it when a girl licks his ass

Back at Kaan & Associates, Kelsey goes over the app with Doug, who is trying too hard to be suave.  Kelsey lets him know that he doesn’t have to since she already likes him.  The two go over geek specific lingo before Kelsey casually asks Doug if he likes it when a girl licks his ass.  It takes Doug a second to register what Kelsey just asked him before he gets the hint.

Okay, this entire moment actually intercuts with the next scene, so I’ll talk about them separately.  Doug and Kelsey have their fun for a little bit.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Kelsey goes right back to work after sex

Once it’s over, though, Kelsey is right back to business and ready to talk about fee structures, but Doug is a bit stuck on the magical moment.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Marty confronts Roscoe about his money and selling

Back to Marty.  Roscoe arrives and explains that he’s not selling drugs, but purses and bags.  When asked if this is illegal, Roscoe admits that some of the bags are knockoffs.  Marty comments that this sort of thing won’t help his current situation.  Before Roscoe can say that this is another example of his father making a situation all about himself, Marty shuts him down.  In fact, he’s not even all that angry at Roscoe- he saw a business and decided to take advantage of it.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Ellis finally responds to Marty's call

Marty calls Ellis one more time and manages to get through, though Ellis isn’t all that interested in this wire transfer.  Gage put Kaan & Associates back on the map.  That should be more than enough payment in Ellis’ mind since the firm can book any business they desire.  He also knows that it would take a titan to legally challenge him, and Marty Kaan is not that titan.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Pod visits Gage Motors, finds Monica present

So the next day, the pod pays Gage Motors a visit.  Ellis is in a meeting with some members.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Monica at Ellis' meeting

And who else should be there but Monica?  Monica isn’t worried about Marty’s confrontation either.  After all, Gage Motors could out litigate Jesus Christ if it wanted to.  Huh.  Ellis doesn’t buy that his prison friendship with Marty was genuine, but manufactured in prison just so Marty could get at his business.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Flashback, Monica visits Marty in prison

The episode then flashes back to the prison when Monica paid Marty a visit.  She’s been thinking of taking Roscoe to New York for Fashion Week even though he has school.  Marty suggests that Monica do something that a normal parent would do, like see a movie.  Monica’s behavior is that of a sociopath.  Marty leaves, but as he does, Monica tells him that the next episode title-I mean, next olive branch goes straight up his ass.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Jeannie clashes with Monica

So now it’s Jeannie’s turn, but Monica doesn’t back down.  She calls out Jeannie for defrauding, but we don’t hear the rest of it before Jeannie interrupts.  Just as Jeannie prepares to retreat, she turns and punches Monica in the face.  It hurt Jeannie’s hand more than she would have liked, but she got the satisfaction of breaking Monica’s nose.  The pod retreats, but Marty vows that they will make Gage Motors bleed.  Jeannie, however, can’t help but notice that Marty said “we.”

Throughout this episode, we see various characters trying to build bridges with other people in their lives, though they end up with mixed results.  As we saw with Monica towards the end, it doesn’t hurt to try and throw an olive branch to your enemy, even if that foe ends up burning the bridge while you’re still standing on it.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and make amends, but it just makes the attempt harder when you’re not being met halfway.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Neither Jeannie nor Marty back down

Marty and Jeannie, for example, are at a standstill and it’s clear that neither of them is going to budge.  Again, I get the feeling that Marty does want Jeannie to stay at Kaan & Associates, but his pride won’t let him come out and say that he needs her.  After all, he went out of his way to sit outside the doctor’s office, even though he didn’t need to and figured that Jeannie could handle herself.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Jeannie stands her ground

And credit where it’s due, she can.  It’s interesting how far Jeannie’s power play has brought her.  She’s not a subordinate anymore, but in a position where she can wield great power and use it if she’s threatened with termination.  I doubt she ever thought it would come to this, but she at least knows that she has enough firepower to combat Marty.  And she won’t let herself be victimized because of what she did.  Jeannie regrets her actions, and maybe it’s a bit easy for her to just brush them aside, but bringing them up again would just be a painful reminder of what she did.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Marty after hearing that Jeannie may consider buying him out

But that’s just what Marty is doing because he still feels burned.  Does Marty have a right to still be angry?  Sure, but dwelling on it will just embolden Jeannie’s desire to stay and fight as opposed to making her pull away.  And as much as Marty cares for his firm, both Jeannie and Roscoe had him pegged right when they talked about how much he makes a matter all about himself.  However, he’s not making himself out to be perfect, as he notes that he still hasn’t been forgiven by the people he’s burned.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Marty gives Roscoe some advice

Marty is a complex man with a multitude of issues that mostly stem back to something that he did.  His relationship with Roscoe is strained, but the two are at least working on their communication.  Rather than come down hard on Roscoe for selling bags, Marty seemed pleased that his son took advantage of a business situation.  He even had a brief moment of fooling around when he ‘threatened’ to take some of Roscoe’s money, when he was only joking.  I do think Marty has Roscoe’s best interests in mind and this was an example of him trying to be more of an understanding father instead of just barking orders.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Marty on the phone with Ellis

The truth is that Marty is losing influence.  He can’t contain Roscoe, he can’t push Jeannie out, and he can’t receive that massive bonus yet.  He got the firm’s reputation back, but without the large pay day.  I figured that, after his stint in prison, he would do all he could to reestablish himself and the firm.  That’s exactly what happened.  The money just seems like a bonus.  Keeping the money out of Marty’s hands will force him to work harder.  Had he received the bonus, he probably would have gone back to the same Marty that we known him as.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Monica got the pod

But that’s where Monica comes in, as she’s one step ahead of Marty.  She’s now a part of Ellis’ inner circle and that works to Gage Motors’ advantage since Monica knows Marty so well.  She knows what makes him tick and the right way to get under his skin.  Not Jeannie, though.  While Marty may be unwilling to be aggressive in certain circumstances such as this one, Jeannie isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Monica's broken nose after being punched by Jeannie

I sort of feel bad for Monica, though.  She got stabbed leg last season, and now she’s had her nose broken.  Maybe she should take up some kickboxing lessons.  It would save her a world of trouble with proper training.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Clyde with his father

As usual, Doug and Clyde don’t have much to do, but have their moments.  Clyde’s relationship with his father is strained, but we also learn that his father’s life is on a clock, so here’s hoping they get some time to bond.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Doug after he and Kelsey bone

And hopefully Doug doesn’t try and get too attached to Kelsey, who just looked to be in the mood for a quick fuck before going back to work.  I did find it funny how she just casually asked Doug about a girl licking his ass, but as soon as playtime ended, she went straight back into serious mode.

The Next Olive Branch Goes Straight Up Your Ass- Valorie Curry as Kelsey

Brief aside, I’m enjoying Valorie Curry’s performance thus far and it’s a nice change of pace to see her in this type of role compared to the more serious stuff we saw her do on The Following.

So as it stands, it looks like we’re headed for war between Gage Motors and Kaan & Associates.  This looks to have united Marty and Jeannie since they have now share common enemies to combat.  Will this be what ultimately convinces Marty that Jeannie is worth keeping around?  We’ll see.

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