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'House of Lies' recap: Honesty is the best policy

Season 4 | Episode 2 | “I’m a Motherf— Scorpion, That’s Why ” | Aired Jan 18, 2015

Let’s start off with what is probably one of the best House of Lies moments ever: Sarah (Jenny Slate) asks Jeannie (Kristen Bell) for her baby. That’s right. As Sarah explains, Doug (Josh Lawson) doesn’t exactly have “Michael Phelps” swimming around down there, and she is itching for a bundle of joy to call her own. Sarah’s got a void in her heart and her home, one that can only be filled by Jeannie’s bun in the oven.

Meanwhile, Marty (Don Cheadle) and Clyde (Ben Schwartz) immediately pull out their phones, because this has the makings of a great viral video.

Sarah asks Jeannie for her baby, while Marty and Clyde look on, and Doug is, well, Doug

The rest of the episode focuses on that all-important idea of “honesty.” The gang is at the airport, waiting to board a flight to meet with Gage Motors, and slowly—and in pieces—they all start saying what’s really on their minds (including Doug mentioning how his life might be easier if Sarah were dead).

Jeannie is, rightfully, upset about the fact that Marty wants her out of the firm. Marty sees no reason to even be slightly cordial to her, let alone carry on mundane small talk while they wait for their flight to take off. He tells Jeannie that she isn’t an honest person. While you could say that’s the pot calling the kettle black, Marty mentions that while he’s dishonest too, at least he has an off switch. Jeannie doesn’t. This is a perfectly good conversation to have with someone on an airplane, because it’s not like the cramped quarters will make anyone uncomfortable for the next few hours.

In flashbacks—that actually take up most of the episode—we see that Jeannie struggled when she came into power at Kaan & Associates. After the whole FBI thing, and the Marty-going-to-prison thing, K&A is losing clients left and right. She’s even got a nice little act worked up with Doug and Clyde, where they disturb her during a meeting to say that they’re going to be late for another meeting. It’s adorable. But the guy Jeannie is currently trying to dupe, Andrew (Travis Wester), sees right through her tricks. Andrew’s an old B-school buddy, and even though she’s practically begging for his business, he’s not interested.

This, however, doesn’t stop Jeannie from trying to force his hand. Jeannie, Doug, and Clyde basically stake out, and then ambush, Andrew and his boss as they leave the office. When the head honcho immediately dismisses her—citing the company’s longstanding loyalty to DeMark management, whom they’ve been with for years—Jeannie lets him have it. She argues that “in order to get ahead and stay ahead, you have to cut ties.” Jeannie’s a scorpion.

And in Marty’s own flashback—insert your own Orange Is the New Black joke here—he slowly gets acquainted to his new surroundings, complete with an overzealous bunk mate, Gabe (Jon Bass). Honestly, Marty’s time in prison is a lot more like George Sr. than Piper Chapman. He gardens, he reads, and I’ll bet he indulges in the frequent ice cream sandwich too. Also, he’s trying his best to inch closer to Ellis Hightower (Demetri Martin), the incarcerated mind behind Gage Motors.

Gabe happens to be obsessed with Hightower, and Marty casually mentions that the chairman of the board for Gage Motors, Dante Valerio, wants Hightower out. Gabe in turns mentions this to Hightower, who claims that he’s still pulling the strings from inside the prison (oh, so maybe HE’S the George Sr. of this prison gang). However, it’s all a lie. Hightower knows he is slowly being pushed out, and seeks out Marty to help him fight his way through the coup. No one can take the company away from him.

Of course, these two flashbacks overlap. It’s Dante Valerio (Brian Howe) whom Jeannie chews out in the parking lot over loyalty and cutting ties. Could it be that Marty and Jeannie have concocted this whole plan to win over Gage Motors from both inside prison and outside prison? If that’s the case, it looks like it’s working. Marty has got Hightower, and Jeannie has hit the right nerve with Valerio. Good work, you two! Now, let’s all watch it fall apart in the present day.

Back on the plane, Monica (Dawn Olivieri) shows up. She’s on the same flight too, and comes to ask Jeannie a lot of questions about her beau, “Edwin,” and this new baby. Jeannie plays it off cooly, but it’s all leading up to …

HONESTY. Jeannie’s going to try this approach now, and drops a major truth bomb: The baby is actually Marty’s. And she’s really sorry that she lied to him about it, and he doesn’t have to believe her, but it’s true. This is another perfectly good conversation to have with someone on an airplane. Preparing for departure is when I drop all my major earth-shattering news; doesn’t everyone?

Billable Things

  • Anyone else not surprised by Jeannie’s pregnancy reveal? Considering Jeannie didn’t seem too sure about the whole “Edwin” idea anyway, it started to make sense that she had lied about it. But I kind of wish it hadn’t come out in the second episode of the season.
  • But, okay, don’t you desperately want to watch a sitcom about Sarah and Doug raising Jeannie’s baby, and Jeannie’s not allowed to drop by and say hello?
  • “Oh, Jeannie, what’s the big deal? Just give them the baby! It’s not like it’s a baby!”

House of Lies airs Sundays at 10/9C on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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