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House of Lies “Microphallus” 

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/SHOWTIME

We never see Marty sweat so when he wakes up on the anniversary of his mother’s death in tears, we know just how deeply her absence still affects him. There’s so much we don’t yet know about Marty’s mother. What kind of relationship did they have? When and how did she kill herself? Did Marty have the misfortune of either seeing her do it or discovering her body? Why is he still so deeply affected? How did his mother’s death make him the man he is today?

When Jeremiah mentions – in what he may think is an offhanded way – the anniversary of his wife’s death, Marty isn’t having any of it. He doesn’t need or want to be reminded every year. Marty also doesn’t want to be analyzed by his retired shrink father. All he wants is to get out the door and to work. But his dad is having a very hard time and just wants to make sure his son gets through the day ok.

Photo Credit:Â Richard Cartwright/SHOWTIME

Marty, like most of us, is great at sublimation so he puts it out of his mind and goes to work only to discover Norbert’s making trouble for him there. Well, it’s more like something Marty did is coming back to bite him in the ass, because Norbert wants to take control of Galweather. And if his company buys Marty’s company you’d better believe Marty will be on his way out. But Marty doesn’t have time for that. He’s got to go to Indiana and consult the heck out of a problem the company has there. During the course of the job, Marty learns an extremely embarrassing secret about CFO Spaulding Winter. Marty – of course – isn’t above threatening to leak that secret unless he gets Spaulding to do what he wants. But in response to Marty’s threat, Spaulding says this:

“People in my position wield quite a bit of power. Certainly more than you do as a consultant. And I find that anybody in a position of power is compensating for something and I’m sure you’ve got some deep, primal wound that haunts you and drives you…. If you think I’m gonna sell out my expertise for my pride you are mistaken.”

I love that Spaulding can’t be intimidated by anyone, much less Marty. But more than that, we get a better idea of what makes Marty tick. Maybe I assumed it was the money or the power or the prestige. I knew it wasn’t that simple, but it’s nice to know Marty has a deep well of emotion that he doesn’t really show anyone. We glimpsed a little of it at the end of the pilot and we get another look in this episode. It’s nice to know Marty’s not all bravado and hot air. It’s nice to know he’s got some feelings buried very deep inside him. I never doubted they were there, it’s just nice to see them come out and play every once in a while.

When Marty actually does the right thing for the company and goes against what the CEO wants, there’s a threat of retaliation. But Marty hasn’t played all his cards yet. He calls what we’ll assume is Pepsi and tells his buddy there that IBC will soon be ripe for the picking. And once it’s purchased, which consultant firm do you think will get that account? You guessed it.

But all that wheeling and dealing does result in some ruffled feathers. Marty’s boos Skip doesn’t like that Marty’s created such a wake of destruction in his path. He reminds Marty they’re in the relationship business and Marty tends to alienate people while he’s bringing in the big bucks. While Marty doesn’t view his job as personal, Skip does. And even though Marty’s constantly making fun of what he does, for the first time I think we get an idea of the pride he takes in what he’s able to accomplish. This job provides the necessary stability Marty needs in his life. Without it, he’d be rudderless and we get just a peek of what that might do to him. I think it’s hard to really scare a guy like Clyde and Marty does. I hope we don’t see him go completely off the rails.

Random: I love how Marty’s team calls him “Daddy.” Love.

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

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