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House of Lies Season 3 Ep. 10 Recap: ‘Comeuppance’

Photo Credit: Showtime

After the zany fun and games of the Pod’s trip down to Compton last week, things take a decidedly darker, more tragic turn in this week’s “Comeuppance.”

The dark, tragic turn I’m referring to of course is death of Lucas (T.I.) by way of a drive by shooting that comes at the episode’s end. When I first saw the teaser that included the scene, my initial reaction was “really guys? A drive by shooting?” The whole idea felt so out of House of Lies’ realm, I thought it had to be a dream sequence. The show has had its share of devastating moments–Marty being haunted by his late mother who committed suicide (a plot point the show has left twisting in the wind for ages now) or paying his brother Malcolm to go away, or more recently, the crushing reveal of Roscoe’s now ex-boyfriend Lex’s home life– but they have always been emotionally, not physically brutal. To have the show suddenly pull a stunt straight out of The Wire or The Sopranos’ playbook didn’t feel like the smartest move.

I’ve watched the episode twice, and to be honest,  it still doesn’t have the impact the writers intended it to, other than the jarring “oh shit, they shootin’!” effect you experience on first viewing. All that being said, just because the scene is problematic, doesn’t mean it’s implausible. While the show has played Lucas’ drug dealing past largely for laughs, working the hoodrich buffoon/wannabe gangsta angle for all its worth, it did lay the groundwork that there could be serious ramifications for him if Dolla Hyde’s illegal origins came to light. There were also instances, like when Lucas dropped the big pimpin’ act and threatened Marty, or the sadness with which he recalled witnessing a friend get shot during the trip down memory lane, where you could see glimpses of who this guy used to be. It’s a credit to T.I.’s performance those moments resonated instead of falling flat, as it would have been so easy for them to–losing a friend to gun violence and selling drugs have practically become prerequisites in the rags to riches hip hop mogul biography.

The circumstances of Lucas’ death are also a pretty plausible conclusion, or comeuppance if you will, for the woman indirectly responsible for his demise: Jeannie Beannie. She and Marty have always had a complicated, combative relationship, but they’ve never gone to war quite as much as they have this season. Whether stealing business out from under his nose by masterminding a hostile takeover of one of Kahn and Associates’ clients, advising Lucas to ask for buyout Dre can’t match, or just questioning Marty’s every move, Jeannie has undermined and schemed against her former mentor whenever possible, without having to deal with any real consequences. So when an old school chum tells her the only way to secure a lucrative contract with the Department of Justice is to drop Dolla Hyde, and Marty doesn’t budge, she opts for subterfuge again–giving the friend documents proving Dre and Lucas’ illegal connections–only to have it horribly backfire. The question now is will she feel guilty enough to confess, or find a way to shirk responsibility and compartmentalize her feelings (the teaser for next week implies she’s trying out the latter, allowing and encouraging Marty to cast his suspicions on Dre).

Doug was at his absolute worst this week, shamelessly playing on Caitlin’s vulnerability over a recent break up so he can take her out and have a shot at scoring.   Things seem to be sickeningly going to plan, until Caitlin reveals she slept with Will during the Pod’s Chi-town trip, the same one where he ignored Sarah in an attempt to woo her. Once he realizes Will “hit it first,” however, Doug drops all pretense of being an empathetic co-worker, and Caitlin tells him where to go before storming off.

We’ve seen Doug be a shallow cad before; but the sheer callousness with which he trotted out his separation from Sarah (calling her “an emotional terrorist” was the rotten cherry on top) to get sympathy and a date put him at a new level of douche nozzle behavior. As bat-shit insane as Marissa is, it’d be hard to imagine Clyde treating her as badly as Doug treats Sarah. Though Clyde would do well to get the hell away from her, as she’s clearly a bad influence on him. You could write his off him doing coke with her after she passively-aggressively threatens to pull her business from the firm as taking one for the team–Marty and Co. have regularly banged strippers and knocked back untold amounts of alcohol to lock down clientele in the past. But he quickly spirals out of control, launching a misguided campaign to destroy Monica’s relationship with Vincent, owner of protein shake giant WON.

Monica wins Vincent back, and rubs her victory in Clyde’s face, advising him to step his game up if he’s going to come to work sky high. Clyde reacts by shouting at random office folk and doing more coke with Marissa. Comeuppance is destined to happen to everyone at one point or another. Jeannie seems to have realized she’s gone too far–though admittedly she has a more dramatic example to drawn from than her co-workers. But as Doug and Clyde prove just because you get what’s coming to you doesn’t mean you get how you contributed to your own misery.

 

 

 

 

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