A Look at House of Lies- Season 5, Episode 9: “Violent Agreement”

So, despite Marty learning that Skip has elected to go with Monica, he still has a backup plan in the form of Cuba.  But is that enough to ensure that his company wins the good graces of the Kohl brothers?  And even if it does, where do he and his pod go from there?

Violent Agreement- Clyde has good news for Doug

After a brief close-up of Jeannie’s face, the episode begins proper with Clyde arriving at K&A and entering Doug’s office with good news: Seth Buckley is ahead in the polls and, by extension, so is Clyde’s penis.  Turns out that slapping around D’Ream Out Loud has turned Buckley into a social media sensation.

Doug advises Clyde to proceed with caution when it comes to social media. And Doug knows about this because someone named VagBreath69 has said things about him.  Said VagBreath69 is Clyde.

Violent Agreement- Marty wants an in-person pitch from Doug and Clyde

Marty enters the office to demand where the Power Point presentation is on the Cuba pitch to the Kohl brothers.  Clyde emailed it to Marty, but the internet in the building is shitty.  With no support from IT yet, Marty wants the pitch made right now. Doug and Clyde start: with the trade ban in Cuba lifted, demand for hotel inventory is about to shoot through the roof.

That means millions of Americans spending their hard earned dollars on hotel rooms in Cuba.  But resort development is merely the tip of the spear.  If the Kohl brothers plant their flag in Cuba, they can extend into areas such as agriculture, energy, and paper.  Cuban bureaucracy will be tricky, but Ron Zobel hopefully has that covered.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie tells Marty that she'll be staying at home with Phoebe

Then Marty gets a call from Jeannie, who is at home because the nanny is sick with a stomach flu.  With no babysitter replacements, Jeannie is going to take a Mommy-Daughter day.  Marty asks Ron about his Cuban contacts and a possible meeting, and Ron confirms that he’s had preliminary discussions with Orozco.

Violent Agreement- Ron tells Marty that he wants a larger equity piece

The talks are so preliminary that Ron hasn’t even brought up K&A’s interest in Cuba yet. Even though Marty wants something fast to show Skip, Ron is taking his sweet time.  It’d be a huge win for K&A and even bigger for Ron since he’d be in charge at that point, but if the sale fails, he needs guarantee.

That guarantee translates to a larger equity piece.  And this is when Ron cuts the shit and gets serious with Marty.  He’s been a good soldier and tells Marty not to treat him like a patsy.  Cuba will move forward on Ron’s terms or not at all.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie and Phoebe exercise

We cut to Jeannie getting her exercise on, going through her wardrobe, and putting Phoebe down to rest before she settles in with a good book…for a few seconds.  Safe to say that Jeannie is bored.  I mean, how many parents actually try to wake up their child?

Violent Agreement- Jeannie takes Phoebe with her to run errands

So Jeannie decides to bring Phoebe with her to run some errands and do God knows what else to occupy her time.  Phoebe then dares Jeannie to drink at a bar until she passes out.  If this was Rugrats, I’d buy that Phoebe actually spoke, but this isn’t, so it’s just Jeannie doing her best baby voice.

Violent Agreement- IT employee, played by Scout Durwood, tries to help Doug with the server

Back at K&A, an IT employee, played by Scout Durwood, tells Doug that there’s some gnarly malware in their system. She can’t do much, but she does tell Doug that the entry point came from a computer registered in his name.  Also, this person is sending sexy pictures not just to him.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie spots old man feeding pigeons

Okay, Jeannie doesn’t go to the bar, but she does chat up some other moms at a playground.  She then spots an old man feeding pigeons and becomes transfixed with him.

Violent Agreement- Skip tells Marty that Monica already proposed Cuba

Marty meets with Skip to ask him for a meeting with the Kohl brothers. Instead, Skip brings up an episode of Gilligan’s Island where a Japanese sailor gets washed up on the island.  The sailor was played by a White actor and he imprisons the castaways because he thinks that it’s still World War II, even though it’s 1965.

What Marty needs to do is take off the goggles and realize that the war is over, but Marty is confident that the Kohl brothers will like his pitch.  Skip tells Marty that this wasn’t a real competition.  Whatever Marty has won’t change a thing because Skip has his thumb on the scale and doesn’t want Marty to win.

All the sweet talk wasn’t bullshit.  When Marty wanted to win, Skip couldn’t resist picking up the football.  Yes, Marty is Charlie Brown.  The discussion, as far as Skip sees it, is closed, but he stops once Marty mentions Cuba. Interesting proposal, but Monica has already brought that up- resort development and everything.

Violent Agreement- Clyde, Doug, Marty, and JR lay waste to Ron's office

At K&A, while Doug brings Bruce, played by Jack De Sena, in to work on his computer, Marty enters with a set of golf clubs and begins wrecking havoc in Ron’s office. He invites Doug, Clyde, and JR to join in when Jeannie suddenly arrives. Marty tells her that Ron has apparently given Monica K&A’s plans on Cuba, so the pod is trashing his office.

Jeannie arrives and, after seeing the carnage, thinks that Ron backstabbing Marty doesn’t make sense.  If Ron gave Marty the keys to Cuba, why would he just turn on him and give the plan to Monica?  Well, yeah, but Monica’s plans were almost word for word what K&A had planned.

Violent Agreement- Bruce, played by Jack De Sena, reveals that the company server has been compromised

And that’s when Doug speaks up and tells everyone that he may know how Monica got access to their plan.  Bruce reveals that the company’s sever was compromised.  Marty has Bruce leave the malicious files in place.  After all, Monica doesn’t know that Marty knows.

Violent Agreement- Roscoe thinks that Marty and Jeannie are watching porn

That evening, Marty learns that Ron was able to get him five minutes with the Kohl brothers.  And then Roscoe strolls in on a hoverboard.  When Marty and Jeannie suddenly stop doing work, Roscoe suspects that they were watching porn.  He leaves to do his homework.

Turns out that Marty is worried that Monica could get inside information from Roscoe. Jeannie talks about her day and spotting the old man who was dressed in an amazing suit, and yet, he didn’t go to work.  He just sat down and fed pigeons.  Jeannie finds it a bit sad and wonders about her future.

Marty isn’t worried, though.  If they get bored, they can just go back to work. Jeannie is surprised, given how Marty’s plan was to not jump right back in after leaving the company. Okay, so they won’t.

Violent Agreement- Clyde gives Doug a snatch alert

The next day, the pod discusses the trip to Cuba.  Clyde would be joining late because he has campaign business with Seth Buckley.  Also, since their emails have been compromised, Clyde hand delivers Clyde an envelope with ‘Snatch Alert’ written on it.  He leaves the letter on the trash.

Violent Agreement- Pod meets Sean, played by Stacy Hinnen, and Garrick, played by Michael Cudlitz

The pod then meets the Kohl brothers: Sean, played by Stacy Hinnen, and Garrick, played by Michael Cudlitz, who look like they’ve just been in a fight. Garrick tells the pod about a time his father locked him and Sean in their room when they were young.

See, there was only one candy bar and whoever was still standing in an hour got the candy bar.  This happened every night for a year.  Dad wanted Sean and Garrick to understand that humans are animals and that the world is a jungle.

Violent Agreement- Skip interrupts Marty's proposal

Marty knows that Monica made promises to the brothers, but she doesn’t have an actual Cuban contact.  And then Skip strolls in, confident that he has Marty beat.  But why?  See, Skip thinks that Marty is an asshole and it’s a dick move to play with other people’s money just to best Marty.

See, Skip doesn’t believe that Monica is the smarter play, but he’s just upset that Marty hurt his feelings long ago.  Garrick doesn’t give a shit about Monica, but he does give a shit about Cuba.  Garrick and Sean’s grandfather has holdings there that were repatriated after the Revolution. Now it’s time to reclaim their birthright for Paw-Paw.

And the Kohl brothers will buy the firm that has both the balls and brains to make that happen.  Marty plans to make that vision a reality.

Violent Agreement- Clyde thinks that Skip is going to make him executive director of his economic council

Later, Clyde meets up with Seth Buckley to talk post-election strategy, and he doesn’t have to worry because Seth will offer him a job.  However, Clyde first has to meet with Josh DuVall, who will be the executive director of Seth’s economic council.  Clyde is upset at this news, but Seth tells Clyde that he has no experience in politics, while Josh has 30 years.

Clyde thought that Seth would pick him to help shake up the establishment with his bold vision.  With that, Clyde flies away.

Violent Agreement- Clyde tells the pod that he wants to be with them instead of Seth

In fact, he flies all the way to the airport and meets up with the pod just as they’re in line. How did he get through security that fast and the team just happened to be at this point in the line?  Okay, never mind.  Of all the things to question, this shouldn’t be one of them.

Anyway, Clyde’s version of what happened is that he had an epiphany: just as Seth was about to offer Clyde a job, he realized that, at the end of day, all he wants to do is be with the pod.  Yeah, no one is buying this bullshit. At the very least, Marty is glad to see Clyde.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie discusses her future

On board the plane, Jeannie tells Marty that she might want to take Phoebe to Rome or Denmark if the sale goes through.  Whatever she chooses, she and Marty will need to discuss their co-parenting in the future.  Marty isn’t paying attention because he’s too focused on a big pay day.  He doesn’t want Jeannie to sidetrack him by scurrying down the rabbit hole.

But Jeannie feels that thinking about her future isn’t scurrying down such a hole.  Even still, Marty needs Jeannie’s head in the game if they’re going to win this thing.  Jeannie then asks Marty what he thinks their lives would be like if they make this sale.  Jeannie feels that the only thing that would change is that the pod would not have their company.

After everything the pod has endured, Jeannie just wants to slow down and think about this.  Marty, though, does not want to slow down, so he asks what Jeannie wants.  For that, she has no response.  She just sips her drink.

Violent Agreement- Pod arrives in Cuba

The episode comes to a close with Kaan and Associates arriving in Cuba to embark on what might be their biggest challenge yet.

As we approach the series finale, there’s a real sense of both optimism and destiny as the pod heads not just for hopefully a huge pay day, but a major move that will redefine their lives going forward.  Given how far they’ve come and what they’ve accomplished at Kaan & Associates, it’s hard for me to not share their optimism that, despite the hurdles, they will come out of this with one final win.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie and Marty talk about their lives after the Cuba mission

But even if they do win the backing of the Kohl brothers, what happens next?  Life doesn’t stop for them just because they make a ton of money.  They keep living and having aspirations, but they just won’t be working.  And that is Jeannie’s main fear.  Here, she couldn’t even spend a few hours at home without becoming restless.  When a parent wakes up their child instead of enjoying some peace and quiet, something is wrong.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie is bored

Jeannie here reminds me of what it’s like to not have a job, no matter how brief.  Your days are wide open and you grow restless.  Hitting the ‘Refresh’ button on your computer, feeding pigeons, books and entertainment can only provide so much solace, and you’re just looking for ways to pass the time until night falls and you get ready for bed.  Then, you wake up the next day and do it all over again.

Violent Agreement- Jeannie surfs the internet

I can relate to that.  No matter how much free time or money you have, I find that doing something is much better than doing nothing.  You can’t stay cooped up in your home all day while life passes you by because you’ll wake up and realize that you haven’t achieved much.

Violent Agreement- Marty and Jeannie work

Granted, the pod will have achieved something big by having the Kohl brothers buy the company, but Jeannie still has plenty of time to live her life.  Not to mention she has Phoebe.  Much like the previous episode, Jeannie isn’t letting herself be fully motivated by money.  And it’s nice that she isn’t staying silent about this, even with Marty pushing her to focus on the Cuba mission.

Violent Agreement- Marty needs Jeannie to focus on the job, not her future

And I would wager that Marty might be thinking about this in the back of his mind.  He does still have Roscoe and Jeremiah in his life, after all.  Even if he believes that the point of it all is money, he’s still a father and wants what’s best for his family.

Violent Agreement- Marty makes his case to the Kohl brothers

Plus, he’s as resilient as ever.  Even when learning about Monica presenting his team’s idea, he never backed down or rolled over for Skip.  I like how, despite the uphill climb and short window of time, he’s pushing to make sure he comes out on top.  It shows his commitment to the job and why he’s clashing with Jeannie right now.

Violent Agreement- Clyde learns that he won't be getting the position he wants

Clyde, meanwhile, reminds me of the graduate right out of college.  He’s proven his worth and thinks that he’s about to walk right into a cushy job, but he lacks the proper experience necessary for the job he wants.  And it’s understandable why Seth wouldn’t hire him.  In time, Clyde could have worked his way up in Seth’s administration, but because he doesn’t get the job that he wants now, he falls back on the pod.

Convenient, yes, but it would have been odd to have the pod go on one final mission in Cuba and one member not be there.

With all that said, “Violent Agreement” was a good episode that showed the pod making their case while still fending off the likes of Seth.  And with the series finale upon us, Marty, Jeannie, Doug, and Clyde enter Cuba for one final adventure in the world of management consulting and hopefully earn that last win that will catapult them to a prosperous, but eventful future.

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