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'House of Lies' finale fan recap: Happy endings (not in a gross way)

Season 4 | Episode 12 | “You’re Safely Suckling at the Triple-Venti Tits of the New Kaan & Associates” | Aired Apr 5, 2015

This season of House of Lies had the Pod positioned in a familiar place: down but not out, in need of a way to pull (or claw) their way back to the top of the ol’ management consultant game. I pointed out that it wasn’t just a familiar place for the start of a season, but the only place that House of Lies had started each of its three seasons. Massive disruption was the only constant.

This season is different. Kaan & Associates is left afloat—not without at least a season’s worth of work to ensure a future for the expanded version of the company—and Jeannie has her baby, bringing the Kaan clan together and amplifying Marty’s need to address his very real attachment to her. There are more ties that bind in the season finale than ever before.

K&A need their newly acquired boutique consulting firms to stay on and trust them. Marty and Jeannie both seem thrilled at the birth of their daughter, an event that will force the two to manage a relationship with one another. Clyde, Kelsey, and Doug’s app doesn’t receive anything approaching the type of offer they were hoping for, and they decide to launch it themselves. (Which means not only that they’re set up to work together for an extended period of time, but that they will probably be holding on to their day jobs in the meantime.) The only outlying event is Jeannie’s post-birth confession to Marty that she’s going to take the CFO position at the pharma company. And thank gawd—the logic behind her refusal to accept the offer (because Denna had set it up) was seriously pushing the boundaries of who we can believe Jeannie has become. Sure, she’s repentant, she’s loyal to Marty, but … add two or maybe even three extra digits to a salary, and it is simply ridiculous to think that this woman wouldn’t take it.

Apparently, Marty’s efforts to expose Denna’s past dirty deeds (covering up for her highly regarded lawyer father when he was involved in a politically messy banking scandal) worked just as he had hoped, because she backs out of all involvement with K&A. Which means that she’s just gifted them with the $20 million she invested. But because they’ve expanded substantially since her backing provides some solid financial padding for the whole enterprise, it’s a big problem. Companies like to be acquired by billionaire business mega-sharks! Companies do not like to sign their futures over and then have the mega-shark swim away, leaving them with one Marty Kaan.

So the new Kaan & Associates is throwing a weird soirée in an effort to persuade the smaller firms it has acquired that losing Denna Altshuler’s backing doesn’t mean Marty can’t make things work.

Everyone hates Marty, which wouldn’t really be that notable—but this time someone, Grant Stevens (Curry Graham), throws a shot glass at him while he’s addressing the crowd. It hits him in the head so hard that he’s knocked over and bleeding. Which … really works to his advantage! Once he stands back up, his audience has softened significantly. Probably because he’s bleeding, but who cares!

K&A needs every single firm it has acquired to sign a letter of intent stating that they’re staying on with the company in order to ensure backing from a bank, now that Denna’s backed out. And since everyone is so seriously pissed at Marty, that shot glass to the head (thrown by the biggest holdout and Marty-hater of all) and the softening of the crowd are a crucial opportunity. Marty, bloody-faced and swaying, grabs the moment (his specialty!) and tells the crowd that he just needs them to give him a year. There’s plenty of drunken “I’m in”s from the crowd—what a beautiful group of friends they all are now! The day is saved. Grant Stevens is threatened with attempted-murder charges and finally signs his letter of intent. Hooray!

Marty is also dealing with the consequences of Roscoe hate-criming himself. Roscoe initially denied that he wrote the bigoted graffiti that appeared on the wall of his school, despite the fact that the school’s security footage made it pretty obvious. It seems that he’s owned up to the deed, but Marty tells him to keep quiet when they meet with the school’s principal and let him handle it. Jeremiah is far more concerned with what Roscoe has actually done—perpetuated the historical cycle of hate and violence directed at people who are different—and his words definitely hit Roscoe hard. Jeremiah’s speech places him as the moral center of the show more squarely than anything ever has. It’s a moment that possibly over-delivers on the potential for character development that this season seemed to promise, and it’s awesome.

When Marty and Roscoe go to the school, Marty works his litigious, bullshitting magic, and it looks like Roscoe is off the hook. But Roscoe decides not to stay quiet, and says, “I did a thing because I was scared. It was wrong. … I’m not going to live the rest of my life as a liar, to myself or to anyone else.” WHAAAAAAAAAT? Roscoe has fallen far from the tree! Marty just nods and says, “Okay,” but REALLY. Look in the mirror, Marty. Because if your teenage son is willing to be vulnerable in order to make things right, you should really do A LOT of thinking.

Marty gets a call during the party and drives away in what was meant to be the shot glass thrower’s original bribe: a brand-new car! Jeannie is in labor and he speeds off to the hospital. The final scene shows Marty and Jeannie with their brand-new baby girl, and Jeremiah and Roscoe arrive in short order. Marty looks at the camera skeptically, but the show has morphed: Season four of House of Lies has a happy ending! And not in a gross way!

Season five has so much potential. We really know the Pod now. They have real-life entanglements in ways that they never have before. House of Lies could become an entirely different animal next season. Whatever scary, dangerous animal it becomes, it’s poised to be one that actually thinks before it attacks and maims, which is exciting. Not that it won’t attack and maim. But maybe in a way that doesn’t leave everyone in its wake completely morally compromised. And figuratively bleeding to death.

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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