At the end of the second season of the hit show House of Lies, Marty Kaan broke away from his massive firm and decided to open up his own shop, forcing the loyal members of his Pod to make decisions for themselves on what their futures may hold, and where they will work.
To start the third season, we are given views into the lives of the different characters in their new (or old) places of employment. Jeannie and lovable Doug are still toiling away at Galweather, while Clyde jumped ship to work with Marty’s psychotic ex-wife Monica. Marty is toiling away at his new place, trying to put Kaan & Associates on the map, while struggling with his new Pod, and dealing with life as a smaller fish in a very big pond of financial consultant firms out there.
Much of the season is focused on how the members of Marty’s original Pod will reunite, and with this comes the usual manipulation (of companies, and each other), blackmailing, and backstabbing that we have become used to on House of Lies.
Many of the usual things are there, even if by this third season, the show has become more serious and seems to have lost a step in the razor-sharp wit department that it was so good with over the course of the first couple of seasons. (I think much of this was due to the primary characters being apart for much of the season, as their interactions with one another are what gave the first two years of the show its best, and most humorous, situations).
While the show always provides interesting stories about the companies they are working for (this season focuses primarily on a couple of health food companies and a new hip-hop clothing line run by friends with past ties to the drug trade), the most interesting part of the show remains the characters.
Season 3 gives us more on each of the primary characters, including Doug and his hasty marriage to his controlling wife, Clyde and his fall from grace, Marty and his dealings with his family, including an excellent look into the often rocky relationship with his son, and the mysterious Jeannie, who remains perhaps the best shark of them all, all while keeping her life a secret from everyone else.
Don Cheadle has garnered much acclaim for his role as Marty Kaan, and rightfully show. But Season 3 signals a bit of a changing of the guard.
In my opinions, House of Lies has become Jeannie’s show. Kristen Bell, still beloved from her days as Veronica Mars, rules House of Lies. She is deliciously manipulative, and knows how to get what she wants. She manages to out-maneuver even the best during this season, showing that she is more than just an associate of Kaan’s- she has become his equal, and in many ways, his superior. Bell plays the role so well, that she is able to keep us adoring her, even if so many of her methods are questionable, and even if we never really know what her true motives are. Is she pushing for the throne in the business? Or just trying to make it rich? Or does she simply want to do the right thing for her clients and her partners? She shows glimpses of all of these things, and she manages to keep us guessing the entire time. In my opinion, the beautiful and vicious Kristen Bell deserves more credit than she gets for her role as Jeannie, who over the course of three years, has far and away become the most interesting character on the series.
Even though Season 3 may not be the best during the show’s run, it is still very good television, and worth delving into a Netflix coma for a little while to pour through the episodes.
Sit back, and watch Kristen Bell take the world of financial consulting by storm.