Emmy Episode Analysis: Don Cheadle (‘House Of Lies’) tries to close the deal with ‘Wreckage’

Seven-time Emmy nominee Don Cheadle returns to the Best Comedy Actor race for the third consecutive year for his portrayal of Marty Kaan in Showtime’s “House of Lies.”

Ben Schwartz, Don Cheadle in ‘House of Lies: Live’ (Video)

SYNOPSIS: In Cheadle’s submitted episode, “Wreckage,” Marty enters his office to find his former colleague and lover Jeannie (Kristen Bell), but just as they begin to kiss, there’s an earthquake and the building collapses around them. But it was a dream; Marty wakes up to turbulence during his flight to China.

On his way to a meeting, he passes through a bazaar where odd foods are all around. After Marty eats something he doesn’t like, time freezes and he delivers a monologue directly to the camera about how things would be better if the economy were on an upswing, but instead he’s stuck with potential client Robert Tretorn (Daniel Stern) of Free Range Foods, an organic company nipping at the heels of other grocery giants. Marty is trying to land the account, but he doesn’t really want to be there. Marty breaks back into reality. He advises Robert to abandon his 20-year expansion plan and begin the process now. Robert seems to agree, and they high-five.

Watch: Ben Schwartz on doing double duty on ‘House of Lies’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’

Marty returns to the US and is greeted at home by his son, who tells Marty he’s going to try out for the basketball team, so Marty challenges him to an imaginary basketball game there in the living room. Then at the office, Marty begins his plan of action to close the deal on the Free Range Foods account, while also getting leverage to deliver Free Range competitor Colossal Foods to Jeannie.

Later that night, Marty shows up at Jeannie’s home. She asks Marty what he really wants and Marty confesses that he misses her at his company and wants her back. But as she’s about to leave to meet the CEO of Coke, he offers her Colossal Foods in the hopes of playing Free Range and Colossal against each other. Jeannie is on board with the plan, but reminds Marty that their romance is over.

Will Emmy voters finally side with Cheadle and award this past Oscar-nominee? Let’s analyze the pros and cons:

PROS

Cheadle has a strong monologue while in China, breaking the fourth wall to explain his plight.

Cheadle is a seven-time Emmy nominee, a Golden Globe winner for this role, and past Oscar nominee. Voters could feel it’s time to award him his first Emmy to go with his many other accolades.

CONS

There aren’t many laughs coming from Marty. He’s more of a cunning salesman than a funnyman.

There are no showy, emotional scenes for Cheadle to shine in. A lot of his performance is reactive except the last scene with Jeannie, which is mostly dramatic.

Just like the last two years, Cheadle is the only nominee for “House Of Lies” in any category, indicating limited TV academy support for the show.

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Cheadle currently sits last in our Comedy Actor predictions with 100/1 odds. Are we wrong about his chances? Make your predictions below.

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