Huh. I don’t think I heard anyone say the episode’s title this week. Ah, well. Here we are at House of Lies’ Season Four finale as Marty learns what happens when he takes on Denna. Also, Clyde and Kelsey craft out their future with the app, Doug makes a blunder, and Jeannie gives birth. It’s all happening right here, so let’s jump into “It’s a Box Inside a Box Inside a Box, Dipshit.”
The episode begins with Kristen Bell’s mouth. Okay, that’s one way to begin.
Anyway, we then flash back to one hour earlier at a party celebrating the new and improved Kaan & Associates. Marty heads up to the podium to speak to the crowd until someone in the audience yells out a very vocal ‘Fuck you.’ Next thing we know, a glass is headed Marty’s way.
Time freeze. Marty explains that he’s fucked right now. Not just regular fucked, but triple-decker on toast points. Denna prematurely pulled out of K&A, which has left him in expansionist interruptus. The banks will float Marty if the companies that K&A took over will stay the course, if Marty continues his to have a trusting relationship with the CEOs whose companies Denna ripped and pillaged. Marty is on the verge of making K&A the richest consultant firm on the planet, but he just needs to take a few more steps. Time resumes and Marty takes a glass to the face.
Ten hours earlier, Denna storms into Kaan & Associates to have a word with Marty. She claims that she’s dumping the company, but that makes it sound like she had an emotional investment. Instead, she corrects herself: she’s withdrawing her financial and strategic support. It’s worth the $20 million hit if she never has to speak with him again. Denna’s feelings are hurt- a sensation she hasn’t felt since her high school dumped her. Oddly specific. However, Marty doesn’t back down since he feels that Denna used Roscoe as a pawn.
Three minutes prior to this, Kelsey, Clyde, and Doug discuss their app when Denna storms by. Clyde then receives a phone call from a company that has a major interest in their app. That company? Why, Google, of course. The three are ecstatic and plan to celebrate with a re-launch party, though Doug hopes that this moment of happiness means that he and Kelsey can have sex one more time. Not gonna fly, Doug.
Marty calls the three into his office and tells them that Denna pulled out. The next move involves locking down all of the CEOs of the companies K&A acquired or they’re dead in the water. How? Through a series of letters of intent. Marty reluctantly decides to talk with Grant Stephens himself. Doug prematurely tries to save the day by telling Marty that the revenue from the app will mean that he, Kelsey, and Clyde can grandfather K&A, though Clyde tells him not to get too optimistic just yet. The numbers sound promising, though- the lower end is $400 million and the upper end is closer to $1 billion. As the two get to work, Marty gets a phone call.
Two hours earlier at House Kaan, Roscoe prepares to head out when he’s stopped by his father, who tells him that the school will want to move forward with this vandalism case. Marty will help as much as possible, but the school will either try to kick Roscoe out or worse, such as prosecute him for a hate crime. Roscoe doesn’t think much of this, though.
And this is where Jeremiah enters the conversation and tells Roscoe for not really grasping just what he’s done. He feels that Roscoe put more hate in the world through his actions and has no idea what kind of shit the world can and will throw at him. People have died because they have skin color similar to Roscoe, but also for dressing or acting like him. Now Roscoe went and made a mockery of what people like him have suffered. Roscoe, now in tears, seems to have gotten the message.
Back at K&A, Marty hopes that Grant is happy that his low level firm has now been acquired so it can now suckle at the triple Venti teat of Kaan & Associates. Grant, however, assures Marty that his company was doing just fine before the Global kill team came in and snatched them up. And with Denna gone, Grant isn’t feeling so trusting right now. He has two kids, one of whom wants to be a dressage rider- horse ballet, as it was.
And do you know how much such a horse would cost? $800,000. Get the fuck out of here. Marty isn’t giving up. He has financing in place and just needs Grant to sign the letter, but Grant’s company had been bought out on stock options. If K&A folds, those stocks would be worthless. Ne won’t sign.
Nine hours later at the party, Grant is still fuming and lets Marty know as much when he tries to address the crowd. Grant throws a glass straight at Marty.
At school, John shows Marty and Roscoe the surveillance footage and believes the video shows a clear culprit. Marty decides to unpack this a bit. Is John really willing to do due diligence to prove Roscoe is a culprit? Will he involve forensics and go down the CSI route? Hell, would law enforcement need to get involved? That would mean prosecuting Roscoe, who would be tried as an adult, for a hate crime. How many students would be scared away from attending as a result?
Something like this can drag on in the press for a long time or it could die in this room right now. You’d be surprised how quick people can forget something after a fresh coat of paint. John does believe the school has been through enough, but this is where Roscoe steps in. He doesn’t want to be careful or lie. He was scared, but he’s done with hiding and admits that he’s the one who spray-painted the wall. He won’t live his life as a liar to himself or anyone else. Marty seems surprised, but agrees.
Four hours later, Jeannie gets ready for the party when, all of a sudden, her water breaks. It’s time.
Back at the party, Clyde, Doug, Kelsey, and Marty deal with the negative mood being spread by Grant’s rants. They need Jeannie’s wholesome good looks, but luckily, Jeannie is on the way via her car. That’s important because, speaking of Uber, Doug says, there’s still the matter of that incoming call from Google. By the way, no one mentioned Uber before Doug did.
Then Doug gets the magic phone call from Google. Why he’s the one doing the negotiating is a question in and of itself, but he tries to negotiate for a high price. Something closer to $800 million instead of the lower end $400 million. However, it turns out the representative on the phone only meant a mere $400,000. Clyde takes the phone and tells the rep to shove that offer because their app is off the motherfucking market. Clyde has no intention of being like his father and doing nothing with his life. He tells Kelsey that they’ll launch the app independently and sell it when it’s undeniable.
Meanwhile, Jeannie is at the hospital. She wants her goddamn meds.
At the party, Marty recovers from his head would and readdresses the crowd. He’s been trying to be a nice guy, but he isn’t. He’s good at what he does, which is why he acquired all of these companies. He wants to grow and make these CEOs wealthy. To do so, they must stick with him. They’re hesitant, but Marty asks for at least one year. That they at least agree on.
As for Grant, Marty takes him outside, though Grant blames the alcohol for his behavior.
Nonetheless, Marty presents him with a vintage 275 and guitar. All he has to do is sign the letter or he’ll spend the next five years in court for attempted murder. Grant signs, but Marty borrows the car anyway.
He soon joins Jeannie at the hospital, who eventually gives birth to her child. All looks to be well right now, except for one thing: Jeannie accepted the job offer at Davis & Dexter. Well, then.
After a brief flash back to Season Three’s “Together,”
Jeremiah and Roscoe join Marty, Jeannie, and their newborn child as Season Four of House of Lies comes to a close.
We’ve arrived at the end of the show’s fourth season and the second in which our main pod has struggled to maintain success and productivity with their own firm. It’s been a challenge, but I feel the end result worked in their favor by making the members much more ambitious.
I liked the “Rashomon” approach to this episode because it let us see events play out from different perspectives and time periods, which helped fill in the blanks during certain scenes. This episode could easily have been told in a straight line, but it was something different, I’ll give it that.
Trust has been a constant theme this episode, whether it’s Marty and Jeannie not being able to trust each other at first, Clyde being unable to trust his father, or Doug trusting Sarah at all. The management consulting job looks challenging, but even more so when the pod has to fend for itself. After ending up under Global’s umbrella, though, they decide they still don’t want to play by someone else’s rules, so they decide to play by their own, regardless of the consequences.
This episode in particular dealt a lot with characters accepting their flaws instead of trying to coast through life and imagining that they’re without spot or blemish. We’re dealing with very flawed individuals and I appreciate that the show doesn’t try to make these people seem perfect. If they just try to walk through life acting like nothing can affect them, they’re in for a nasty surprise when life suddenly decides to kick them in the ass.
That’s what I feel made Roscoe’s admittance much more important because he’s been acting like this spray-painting issue wasn’t a big deal. But, as Jeremiah told him, that sort of attitude and action just puts more hate in the world and doesn’t help Roscoe’s case at all. Glynn Turman is usually very warm and reserved in his role, but his rant to Roscoe was impressive. Throughout the season, we’ve seen Roscoe rebel against Marty, Jeremiah, and his school because he felt he could weather anything thrown his way.
But Roscoe is still a kid and still naïve. He wouldn’t be prepared to face a hate crime prosecution or treatment he may receive from others who don’t like how he looks, dresses, or acts. I am glad that he decided to fess up to the crime because he didn’t want to be a liar anymore. He wants to live an honest life, starting here, and I hope he continues on this path.
I think Harvey’s death ended up making Clyde much more ambitious than we’ve ever seen him this season. Clyde isn’t a pushover or a man without a vision, but after seeing how his father ended up with nothing, he aspires to be something greater. He wants to be someone, no matter how challenging, and carve out a long-lasting legacy.
So he decides that he and Kelsey launch the Housecallz app independently because he knows and believes that their product is worth much more than Google offered. I’m glad Clyde is taking this step because he’s ensuring that he’ll help market something that will last.
Side-note, if this ends up being something that Clyde and Kelsey do themselves, I do hope this means that Valorie Curry stays on through the next season. Kelsey is a fascinating character and a much more refreshing change of pace than the previous new members we saw last season. Unlike Caitlin in Season Three, Kelsey knows that she’s smart and confident, and some of that has to do with Curry’s commanding performance. She brings some new chemistry to Kaan & Associates, and given that this is her app, I think there’s plenty of room for her to stick around for awhile.
There’s been a lot of focus on both Jeannie and her pregnancy this season. Well, technically Kristen Bell’s pregnancy, but you get what I mean. She started off getting a lot of attention in the season, but focus slowly shifted away from her as we approached the season finale. She started of reeling from the effects of sending Marty to prison, but she’s put that behind her and is now, like Clyde, trying to focus on her future.
So she accepts the Davis and Dexter job because it’s a great position and opportunity for her. Now, would this mean that the show is slowly phasing Jeannie out? I doubt it and I’m positive the writers will find a way to keep her involved with Marty, Clyde, and Doug, whether at Davis and Dexter or her working with the pod again. Keep in mind that Season Three started off with the four pod members working in different places, but they slowly ended up working together again. Though doing it again next season could be a bit repetitive, in my mind, it could also allow someone like Kelsey to graduate into Jeannie’s spot if Jeannie ultimately leaves K&A and doesn’t return. Again, I’m speculating a lot here, but we’ll see what happens come next season.
Marty hits a low point by fighting back against Denna. I’m assuming Denna withdrawing means that he did end up releasing the information that Joe Gideon provided him. He was willing to fight fire with fire even though he knew he would end up getting more burned by it. He refused to back down from a company that he started or let someone that he knew and trusted to just walk all over him.
The trouble with Marty is that he spends a lot of time putting out fires and trying to make everybody happy. That’s never going to happen because you can’t please everyone, but Marty is certain that he can make this firm flourish with time. It’s all a waiting game right now. He can’t promise security and prosperity right now, but if he can gain the CEOs’ trust for the moment, he’ll try and have something later.
His speech during the party felt very honest and it was a great job by Don Cheadle. Marty knows that he isn’t a nice guy. He’s willing to play dirty or try and sweep messes under the rug if it suits him or those he loves, as we saw with the surveillance footage, but he will not allow himself to be defeated. He has a huge task ahead of him to hold onto all of these companies that he’s acquired and keep himself happy at the same time. It’s an uphill climb, made even harder by the fact that Jeannie may be out of his work life soon, but Marty always finds a way to land on his feet.
This was a good ending for the fourth season and there are a lot of doors left open to explore for the next season: is this goodbye for Jeannie? Will Kelsey and Clyde successfully manage to launch the app? Will Doug eventually get to have sex with Kelsey again? I mean, probably not, but we can wonder. Will Roscoe ultimately learn from his mistakes? And what will Marty Kaan do now? See you all next season.