Marty’s (Don Cheadle) bullshit Trojan Horse party doesn’t quite go as planned for anyone as a sober Clyde (Ben Schwartz) struggles with both his intense dislike for Will (Ryan Gaul) and trying fit in at a pretentious gala where alcohol is a necessity for enjoyment, Dre (Mekhi Phifer) performs a loyalty test on Marty that isn’t appreciated, accidentally murders Lukas’ (T.I.) new dog, and Jeannie (Kristen Bell) resents being sent in to feel out Lukas when Marty begins to consider jumping sides to go with the other brother who thanks to a drunken Caitlin (Genevieve Angelson) has already started putting the pieces together.
Overall it’s a fun episode but I could have done with more of Clyde spending time with Marissa (Eliza Coupe), who doesn’t appear in this episode, rather than his attempts to suck up and win back Marty’s good graces. That said, his jealousy of Will is quite entertaining. Along with the various maneuverings at the party, “Middlegame” also further suggests Doug (clad in his ridiculous plaid suit while making drunk racial insensitive statements to a gangster whose dog he just killed) may have feelings for Caitlin.
When the party turns into an all-out brawl between the two brothers Marty and his team sidestep the issue but the preview for next week suggest Marty and his team have chosen to go with the more unpredictable of the two brothers rather than the more vindictive one. Marty and Jeannie’s relationship doesn’t soften, but she does use her feminine wiles on Lukas for perhaps more than just business.