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House Of Lies Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: "Man Date"

As always, spoilers are ahead, so proceed with caution…

Last week the Pod, thanks in major part to new addition Tamara (Nia Long), almost crapped out when Mr. Pincus rejected her their social media strategy and walked out of a dinner meeting. Though a pair of douchebags, aka the Dushkin twins, maybe the key to turning the gang”s Sin City fortunes around. As a heads up, I can”t promise I won”t OD on the Vegas references.

Things start off as usual, with the group ragging on each  other (i.e. mostly Doug, who”s looking like a long-lost Mario brother so he won”t be spotted by security after last week”s shrimp debacle. But of course, they recognize him anyway) and discussing their post-Pincus plan. Which in this case means saddling up to the Duskins, who will lead them to the promise land of a payday with mega-rich Carlson.

Back home, Monica is still on a her vegan kick–as well as her “I”m a good mom now”one–offering up sweetness and wheat grass to Roscoe, who wisely rejects the latter. I”m willing to bet the kid”s peeked at a season or three of Sex and The City by now, and knows that shit is funky. Thank you Samantha Jones. Anyway, Roscoe pops out of his room–I guess his style is bohemian goth now–and rags on Monica about buying him Rite Aid eye-liner instead of the fancier stuff she uses. To her credit, she doesn”t freak or condemn his choice in eyeliner, or his choice to wear eyeliner, and says they can talk about it later.

But Roscoe”s grandfather Jeremiah sees her decision to buy her son cheap makeup products as a subtle dis to his gender expression, and tells her so. To which Monica responds with “I”m not going to talk to you about makeup. Something you know dick about.” Ah ha! I knew the power to summon stone cold bitchiness still coursed through her veins! The two trade barbs, Jeremiah about he how won”t leave Roscoe alone with her until he sees she”s still sober and sane in six months–and when she stops being what he calls a “hungry ghost.” I never pegged poltergeists to have an appetite, but I”ll go with it. Monica shoots back and calls him a  morality Nazi–not the best comeback, given that it pretty much defines the word oxymoron– and tells him he should back off and let her be a mother.

Crazy as it sounds, she may have a point.  Always having his grandfather around

may be keeping Roscoe from seeing Monica and Marty as the main authority figures in his life. He”s clearly old enough and perceptive enough to know grandpa isn”t spending so much time around the house because he”s got a hankering for wheat grass.  On the other hand, Jeremiah, along with Roscoe”s seemingly bottomless supply of self-confidence, may be the only reason he hasn”t totally gone off the rails yet.

Later on, Monica is at the end of what is quickly surmised to be a horrible date, which gets even worse when her escort asks for a quick jerk before she goes inside. Undeterred at her refusal to go home with him, he keeps pushing–even getting more “excited” when she tells she wanted blow both her and his brains out during dinner–until she finally tells him to go screw himself and gets out of the car. Colored me impressed; season one Monica would gone to his house and disappeared into a pill-induced haze of kinky S&M/hate sex for a few weeks. New Monica goes into the house and shares a nice moment with Roscoe over some Dior eyeliner. Oh, and makes out with the nanny. Or is it the vegan chef? I”m not sure.

I can”t say I”m surprised at Monica”s lesbian left turn, since the season preview pretty much gave it away. But this dalliance does seem to have potential–they had a pretty warm and cozy, albeit not overtly romantic, rapport in earlier scenes, and she knows and accepts Roscoe. Or this could be an example of Monica”s impulsive nature destroying whatever strides she”s making in maintaining sobriety and being a mom. Only time will tell.

Back in Vegas, Marty and Clyde head out for their man date while Jeannie invites Tamara for spa time and girl bonding power. Doug wants to join but of course is rebuffed, and goes to a massage parlor off the strip. Everything”s pretty routine until the masseuse decides to add a little prostate massage in the mix, simultaneously freaking out and exciting Mr. Guggenheim.

But back to Jeannie and Tamara. The whole girl bonding power is really a cover for Jeannie to both stake out her territory, which she does by rattling off her credentials (Columbia and so on) and to smoke out whatever trickery Tamara  may have up her sleeve. Tamara eases the tension though, but rightly pointing out she”s already holds a higher position than Jeannie and isn”t here to get in her way. She”s also hip to the lingering awkwardness between Jeannie and Marty, which Jeannie unconvincingly denies before turning the tables. Tamara starts to walk down memory lane but turns back, and says she”s happy with her marriage and husband. But me thinks she may have ruminated just a little bit too much about why she and Marty didn”t work out for something not to still be there. Marty concerns out of the way, talk to turns to family versus work, with Tamara saying balancing the two means devoting all your energy to one while completely ignoring the other. More on that in a minute.

Cut to Marty and Clyde hearing some crappy story from the twins about the one pushing the other off a boat in Cabo, and how this proves they”re always pushing the envelope. Does this remind anyone else of those guys who went around yelling “EXTREMMMMEEE!” in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle?  The Duskins then bring out some fake AK-47s and shoot Marty and Clyde”s mouths full of some type of sugary shot. Of course the twins make the junior-high worthy oral sex sounds the whole time. These dudes are officially the douchiest douchebags in the history of douchebagdom. But egos must be stroked and Marty does so by telling the boys the secret to lasting success is making their douchbag Dushkin brand the center to their business. Things are looking up, but the last hurdle is to see if he and Clyde can rage with the best of “em. Knowing our fearless leader and his most demented sidekick, we know they can, and a night of drinking, girl-on-girl and everybody sexing somebody ensues.

The next morning, Marty and Clyde seal the deal by playing good consultant/bad consultant, pumping the twins” heads up more by cluing them in on the “secret” social media strategy Pincus was too square to embrace. This leads to the meeting with Carlson, who is by far the weirdest client the Pod has run across. And that”s saying somethin”. He”s also the most distracted–first by a remote control helicopter he”s playing with, then other phone calls, and finally Jeannie”s breasts. Marty and the crew get up to leave, but Carlson says he”ll take the deal. But not so fast: he launches into a diatribe against consultants as leeching off the entrepreneurial vision of true innovators like himself, and says the Pod must be available to him in person anytime he calls. Moneymaking is a must and patronizing him a must not, lest you want to be separated from your balls.

The job has been secured, but no one”s in a festive mood, given that Carlson”s a loon and will likely push them all to the edge of their sanity as well. Marty tries a little pep talk about it being a win for everyone involved, which makes them feel a tiny bit better about, in Clyde”s words, “getting drunk to that.” Doug skips the bar in favor of another, how shall I say, deep tissue massage. But quel surprise, most masseuses don”t make a habit of out of doing a little prostate love tap. Security is called, and a butt naked Doug is tackled. He just can”t win.

Now back to Tamara”s earlier comment on family versus work. Clearly this is playing out in Monica and Marty”s lives at the moment. Monica, as far as we can tell, is not very focused on work right now, but is devoting her time and energy to Roscoe, staying sober, and now what may turn out to be a deep, romantic relationship. How this will impact her standing in the consulting world is uncertain. But she may find herself in a similar position to Tamara–i.e. starting over–if she stays out of the game long enough. On the positive side, she may actually be evolving into a more well-rounded person, one who is emotionally mature and responsible while still retaining her tough-as-nails exterior.

Meanwhile Marty”s attention is definitely zeroed in on

work and doubling down on all the flattery, mind games and general insanity that comes with it. Which makes sense, because work has always made sense to Marty; it”s personal relationships that are the tricky part, as the breakup with April, his backslides with Monica and his neglect of Roscoe last season showed us. We haven”t seen him reach out to Roscoe anymore since the season premiere, or even call him to check up on him. Perhaps he”s giving him some space. Or maybe he”s just falling back into old patterns, focusing on winning at work while letting the rest of his life fall to the wayside. But that may get harder to do, once he or Jeannie stop running from the four-letter word bomb they dropped.

 

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2 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by Absurdist posted February 17, 2013 at 19:28

    As difficult as it may be to believe, I know some douchier douchebags than the Dushkins.

    Say that five times fast while contemplating how douchy that really is.

  • Comment by Kevin posted February 19, 2013 at 06:36

    @Absurdist: I feel for you:).