A Look at House of Lies- Season 4, Episode 11: “Everything’s So Fucking Obvious, I’m Starting to Wonder Why We’re Even Having This Conversation”

“Everything’s So Fucking Obvious, I’m Starting to Wonder Why We’re Even Having This Conversation.”  Now that’s a great episode title.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Marty interviewed by Aimee, played by Amy Rosoff

The episode begins with Marty being photographed and interviewed by a woman named Aimee, played by Amy Rosoff, who I swear looks and sounds exactly like Kendra James.  Marty is too focused with this and isn’t even at all bothered when Doug enters to tell him that Denna is in the building.  Neither is Clyde, who knows that Marty has this under control with the press play and corporate intelligence component.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Clyde and Doug talk about Denna, Joe Gideon, and Davis & Dexter

Say what?  Yeah, Marty had Clyde find a forensic accountant who would be willing to look into Denna’s financial history.  This accountant, Joe Gideon, has gathered competitive intel for Fortune 500 companies, conducted opposition research for presidential candidates, and worked in the CIA for 20 years.  Impressive résumé.  At least Clyde is working on something, while Doug is behind on what he needs for the upcoming Davis and Dexter meeting.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Denna and Marty clash during photo shoot

Aimee’s interview with Marty is interrupted by the arrival of Denna, who is already familiar with the journalist.  As Aimee has the two get together for a photo, Denna shares that she has interview requests with Business Week and The Journal.  She also figures that Marty is just trying to protect his ass.  The more publicly associated he is with the firm, the more his ouster would hurt the asset value of Kaan & Associates.

And Marty finds that clever if he was worried about Denna ousting him.  Losing the face of the company at this early juncture wouldn’t be wise.  Luckily, Denna says, she’s not trying to oust him.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Marty, Clyde, and Doug talk with Joe Gideon, played by Kevin Pollak

Marty, Doug, and Clyde then meet with Joe Gideon, played by Kevin Pollak, who is all set to do some human intelligence, but he’s wary because Denna Altshuler is very careful.  Even still, he will find some skeletons.  He’s that good at his job.  For example, he pulls up a photo of a hunky looking man, which may not seem that important until Joe reveals that this hunk is currently fucking Sarah Guggenheim.  More than that, he pulls up a credit card statement and finds a recent purchase for Astro Glide, which is a personal lubricant usually used for anal sex.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Marty joins Jeremiah and Roscoe at school

So Marty, having received a phone call from Marty’s school, heads over and finds ‘Die Tranny Faggot’ spray-painted on the wall.  He heads in and finds Jeremiah and Roscoe, who would rather just head to class instead of going home.  Both Dad and Grandpa, however, are just about ready to torch the school.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Jeannie, Clyde, and Doug get a tour of Davis and Dexter

Jeannie, Doug, and Clyde are given a walkthrough of Davis and Dexter by Brent Keeler, played by Paul McKinney, who speaks of the company’s growth in patents and revenue.  More than that, the company has a goal of reaching greater efficiencies while finding ways to cure the incurable.  Such a goal, Jeannie says, isn’t enough since Davis and Dexter’s high value R&D strategies are out of sync with the lower price point required for expansion into emerging markets, not to mention the blockbuster patents set to expire soon.  But hey, the company is working on a cancer drug.  That’s something.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Jeannie gets a proposition from Teddy Grammatico, played by Simon Templeman

While Doug and Clyde watch the magic happen, Jeannie is pulled aside by Teddy Grammatico, played by Kain from the Legacy of Kain series, better known as Simon Templeman.  Sorry, that’s the gamer in me coming out.  While Jeannie thinks that Brent is passionate, Teddy thinks that he’s a fucking moron who will be fired very soon.  Teddy wants to have dinner with Jeannie to discuss the possibility of talking with her about a soon open Chief Financial Officer position, not to ask her out.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- John talks to Marty and Jeremiah about the spray painting

Back at the school, John presumes that another student is responsible for the spray-painting and has the security footage, which Marty wants to see.  That, however, would involve going to the school’s attorneys.  As for what actions will be taken to make sure this won’t happen again, John has reached out to the Gay Straight Alliance and scheduled a forum on tolerance.  Also, counselors will be brought in if students want to talk.  Given Jeremiah’s reputation as a psychologist, John would want him on board as well.

Marty calls this a bunch of boiler plate bullshit and I can’t really disagree with that.  He’s hearing a lot of talk, but no apology.  This didn’t just happen at the school, but he believes that John let it happen.  A donor said boo and Roscoe suddenly became a pariah.  However, John has talked to Kathy, who has agreed to set aside the expulsion talk for a while.  Marty thinks that everything’s so fucking obvious, he’s starting to wonder why they’re even having this episode title-I mean, conversation.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Clyde finds Harvey at the office

At Kaan & Associates, Clyde tries again to call his father after Doug goads him into doing it.  He won’t have to, however, since Harvey is right there in the office.  The two head off to talk.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Good news for Kaan & Associates, until Denna

Jeannie and Marty, meanwhile, meet with some employees when Denna pops in- her conference call was canceled.  Grant, played by Currie Graham, has great news: he’s this close to reeling in Home Depot.  That is good news, but that would be a conflict of interest since Marty signed Ace Hardware last month, which is their biggest client so far.

Denna settles the dispute by asking about the market caps for the two companies: Home Depot’s market cap is $130 billion, while Ace Hardware’s is a measly $990 million.  Screw you guys, that’s still a ton of money.  Anyway, Rachel, played by Carmella Riley, and her team have returned from Ann Arbor and are set to give a full topdown to Con-way Freight.  Another conflict of interest, due to the involvement of R+L Carriers.  But yes, again, Marty’s selected client has a smaller market cap.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Harvey and Clyde at a cafe

Harvey and Clyde talk at a café.  Well, Harvey talks about Clyde hopefully finding some stability with his job.  He then talks of how he took his wife for granted, but Clyde wants to focus on the present.  His father has good news, though.  He wants to go away for a summer trip now that he’s cancer free.  Yep.  Turns out he’s been seeing an herbalist, but he did go to an oncologist after that.  He can’t remember the name of the hospital, but after a brief description, Clyde recognizes it as Cedars.  The herbalist’s name?  Alphonse.

So yes, Harvey just needed a jumpstart and he knew that Clyde wouldn’t accept him unless otherwise.  Clyde, however, is livid.  Did his father just come to get close?  All he did was sit in Clyde’s apartment and be an asshole.  Not all the time, though.  He also did it as Clyde’s job as well, though.  Harvey is nothing but lies, bullshit, and a man who never succeeded at anything.  Just as Clyde prepares to leave, Harvey feels a twinging feeling in his chest.  Clyde thinks it’s more bullshit from his dad.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Harvey has a heart attack

But then the heart attack happens.  Whoops.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Denna and Marty talk about trust and the company

At the end of the day, Denna concludes that it was a good day for Associates, but less so for Kaan.  Marty is wise to Denna’s moves, though.  His employees couldn’t have landed those particular clients on their own at that moment, but Denna’s name did open some doors.  It helps to have that name recognition, you know?

What is Denna’s play?  Does she want to make Marty so miserable that he walks away?  No.  Denna tells Marty that she can’t let him go since he’s the face of the company.  However, without an actual client base or power, he’s just a figurehead.  No matter how many clients Marty finds, Denna will get bigger ones.  Denna doesn’t see herself as a villain, though.  Marty brought her in for help and that’s what he got.  In return, he says that she rejected her future offers and, as a result, spit on one of her biggest clients on her.

Denna has given Marty more room than she has to most, but she agrees to call off her dogs if she feels that she can trust Marty.  That won’t be hard since he’s already her bitch.

Clyde returns to K&A and gathers his things, but isn’t even in the mood to banter with Doug since it was Clyde’s on ranting that, he feels, led to his father’s heart attack.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Marty tells Jeannie that Denna traded insider information to short the Gage Motors stock

Marty rages against the phone when Jeannie enters.  Turns out that Denna traded on insider information to short the Gage Motor stock.  Denna knew all along.  She’s taking away everything that makes Marty formidable and threatening.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Jeannie knows Denna got her the job offer

Then something hits Jeannie: Denna is also responsible for Jeannie’s job offer.  Well, sort of.  Denna put up Jeannie’s name for it.  Teddy Grammatico is no pushover, though.  He doesn’t just hand a position to someone he doesn’t want.  Jeannie isn’t taking it, nor is she taking any of Denna’s semi-feminism bullshit.  Good.  We could all do without that, really.  Even if this opportunity doesn’t come often for women, Jeannie can get the job of a lifetime herself.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Jeremiah wonders about Roscoe

At House Kaan, Jeremiah says that Roscoe isn’t properly processing what happened to him, instead hiding behind teenage bravado.  Marty disagrees.  It’s just a case of some asshole fucking with him and Roscoe decided to not let it get to him.  That sort of thing doesn’t need to be fixed because it sounds a lot like strength.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Joe Gideon has information on Thomas Altshuler

Joe Gideon arrives with information on Thomas Altshuler: Denna’s father, a D.C. lawyer and advisor to several Presidents.  His honestly has been built on reputation, but everyone steps in dog shit sometime.  This particular pile involves some shady dealings with a Middle Eastern International banking company.  They paid Tom a hefty fee to keep an illegal takeover of an American bank quiet.

When a district attorney wanted to pounce, Denna used her power and influence to ward off an indictment.  Thus, Thomas’ name never hit the papers.  Well then, Marty has himself quite the silver bullet, courtesy of the tooth fairy, as Gideon wouldn’t want to be the person responsible for unleashing this monster.  Marty makes a call to Aimee.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Marty and Roscoe watch the school surveillance footage

He also receives the surveillance footage of the perpetrator spray-painting the school wall.  However, something seems very familiar about this individual, despite wearing a hood.  Marty calls in Roscoe, who notes that the hood brand is Zero, which Roscoe himself also wears.  When Marty asks his son if he knows who that is in the video, Roscoe responds that he doesn’t and heads back to his room.

We’re one episode away from the season finale and seeing Marty struggle to maintain his power after going up against Global.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Denna tells Marty she needs to be able to trust him

What is power without actual power?  Marty grapples with this as Denna exchanges his clients for better ones.  On the surface, it seems like Denna is just helping Marty by providing him with much more valuable clients.  A good idea, but this also robs Marty of his built up clientele base and, as he points out, only makes him a figurehead.  He’s still head of Kaan & Associates, but just in name only.  He talked early on about firms being afraid to break the rules, but now that he’s done that, he has to stay on the offensive and not let Denna walk all over him.

And with the possible exception of the shady bank dealings, Denna has always been one step ahead of Marty and even Jeannie.  Most of Marty’s possible angles have been pre-thought out by Denna.  It’s a near impossible scenario, yes, but I can’t deny how crafty and smart Denna is and how far ahead she mapped this out.  She couldn’t have predicted every single scenario, but she knows Marty very well and could guess how he would act on some of his moves.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Smile for the camera, Marty and Denna

Marty can’t make a move because Denna always manages to outfox him.  There’s a good parallel between this and what Roscoe’s enduring right now.  Marty tells Jeremiah that Roscoe isn’t letting what happened get him down.  The same applies to Marty, as he’s refusing to back down and just give into Denna’s demands, choosing to fight instead.  However, just like Denna reminds Marty, he’s fighting a battle that he himself brought on.  He needed Denna’s help to solve the Gage Motors issue, but that came with certain terms and conditions.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Denna talks with Marty

He wanted her to rape and pillage his company, and while she hasn’t done exactly that, she had managed to take a lot of Marty’s influence away from him.  This isn’t one of the terms that Marty agreed to, but given how well he knows Denna, like Ellis, I feel he could have prepared a bit better for this.  Now, with a smoking gun in his hand, he’s ready to seize the moment that he previously missed.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Clyde tells off Harvey

In fact, that seemed to be a trend with the pod this week, as they grappled with seizing upon an opportunity handed to them or letting life play out normally.  Clyde had his moment by telling off his father after spending so much time holding back.  It’s one of Ben Schwartz’s best performances this season, in my opinion.  He wanted to put his father on the spot for all the bullshit he put him through and he finally did, but it’s because he chose this moment that may have led to his father’s death.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Clyde and Harvey's final conversation

At the same time, Clyde at least had a final moment to be with his father instead of learning from someone else that he had died.  It really does suck what Harvey put Clyde through, past and present, and it’s unfortunate that this had to be the final exchange the two shared, but I’m glad that Clyde put the past behind him and called out Harvey for him being a terrible father.  It really felt like this had been something that Clyde had been holding onto for years and he finally got to let loose.  A very satisfying moment brought down by his father’s death.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Jeannie gets a CFO job offer, possibly

Jeannie also has an opportunity presented before her with this new job opportunity, but she’s not looking for a handout or favor, especially from Denna.  Given how much Jeannie prefers to get somewhere on her own steam, it’s easy for her to turn down Denna putting in a good word for her, no matter how lucrative the offer.  Unlike Denna, Jeannie isn’t looking to be some sort of figurehead for women in the business industry.  Her strength comes from who she is as an individual, not her gender.  Regardless of the nice offer, I still think she’s going to stick with K&A.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Doug learns that Sarah has moved on

And Doug…well, I still say that he should have found a way to stick it out with Sarah since she balances him out, but I do hope she makes an appearance in the future.

Everything's So Fucking Obvious, I'm Starting to Wonder Why We're Even Having This Conversation- Roscoe watches the surveillance footage

Meanwhile, did Roscoe indeed spray paint the school wall himself?  If so, was it to make a statement?  We can’t know for sure yet whether it was really him, but judging from Marty’s reaction, it seems like he already knows who did this.  Whether Roscoe actually did this and what will come of it remains to be seen.

So after reaching one dead end after another, Marty looks to have his smoking gun, but the question is now whether he’ll play it.  After all, Gideon didn’t want to be the one to play that sort of card, and Marty has used up most of his other options, so it looks like he has the advantage.  Even if he does, where does he go from there?  He’s defied Denna once, so chances are she’d be expecting another sort of counterattack.  We’ll see.  Here’s to the season finale.

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