Dee Discusses: House of Cards Season 1

Posted: December 21, 2014 by Dee in Dee, General Media, House of cards, Television
Tags: , , , ,

As I said in my review of the pilot, I know I’m behind on watching the show. I got called out for it on Facebook, usually because I’m on top of popular shows. I decided not to review chapter by chapter, because it’s old news, and also due to me going through the season so fast. I ate up the entire season in only a few days, and I had to stop myself from going to season two immediately, so I could write this first instead. Needless to say, it grew on me. I still want to see the UK version so I can understand how they wrote it with their government as opposed to ours. By the end of the season, I found myself strangely rooting for both sides. I wanted them to figure out the snake Frank was, but at the same time, I didn’t want him to be caught, because then where would the show go? I assume he’ll get out of it in season two, although I’m not sure how.

The show started out with Frank being angry that he got passed over as Secretary of State, and I was intrigued by the fact he destroyed the person who got chosen for it instead, but then offered the position to another. I assumed that he was trying to be the President eventually, but now it makes sense he had to be Vice President first. This season was packed with a lot of plot for 13 episodes, so I’m going to do my best to summarize what happened.

Frank plotted out a way for him to be next in line for the Vice President. He used Peter Russo to get rid of the Secretary of State, and then set him up as the next Governor only to intentionally throw him off the wagon. I wasn’t sure if that was always his plan, since he only seemed to take Peter out once he threatened Frank. But considering Peter’s failure led the Vice President to run instead and step down, it certainly seems like it was all according to plan. Frank had a big victory with the education bill, all leading to him having the influence to get the position he wanted. The episode when he intentionally pushes the guy in charge of the teacher’s strike to hit him, wow. I knew that’s where it was headed, but I still winced, because can anyone really blame the guy? I already was aware that Frank planned the brick through the window, because he’s basically Machiavelli, and it was all part of his plan to win.

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This actually leads me to Raymond Tusk, who Frank thought he was vetting for Vice President, but was in fact vetting him. I really like that character, and his perspective on Frank was interesting, pointing out that his single minded focus to win led to a lot of things happening in his favor. Obviously Frank has come up against an equal in Tusk, or perhaps even a master over him, since Tusk managed to out check him. Knowing Frank, he’ll find a way to get the upper hand there. I enjoyed Claire’s storyline when she got pissed at Frank’s priorities always being himself, and she messed up her own clean water bill. What did he expect? He married a woman who’s just like him. Their marriage and relationship fascinates me. They genuinely love each other and I’m not sure if they bring the best or worst out in the other. Both? They’re a perfectly matched pair. I wanted them to work out their differences, because as a team they are so much more interesting than apart. Claire’s calm exterior means that I really wish I could get in her head, we got a tiny glimpse when she ran off with her lover, but even there it feels like she was playing the part of a different woman. I want her voice over, please!

Meanwhile Zoe and Frank broke things off and her journalist friend Janine is the one who started putting pieces together about Peter Russo. Because Frank killed him. That made me gasp, but it wasn’t that he killed him, it was how brilliantly he did it. I mean right now Zoe and co. think that Peter still killed himself, probably because of his guilt over doing whatever Frank wanted. At least on screen I haven’t heard anyone specifically claim he murdered Peter. It was a genius plan. Claire came back to him after that, and I think she doesn’t know he did it? Or does she? That woman is hard to read. I wonder if she’ll care when she does find out. I feel like she won’t, she hasn’t really shown much interest in worrying about moral problems in their relationship. She definitely knows their schemes have destroyed lives and hurt people in other ways. I can’t figure out how he’s going to get away from Zoe and co. right now. Doug also fascinates me as a character, since I know so little about him, outside of him being in AA and absolutely loyal to Frank.

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At the end of season one, Frank made a deal with Tusk in order to get vetted as the new Vice President. He got what he wanted, but not the way he wanted it, since Tusk has the upper hand still. Claire is being sued by her protege because she made a deal with their enemy to push their side project forward. So the woman Gillian is suing her, claiming she fired her because she’s pregnant. I doubt that’ll stick. Claire was looking into fertility, but didn’t she go through menopause? And I don’t know that Frank will be for that. Zoe and co. are zooming in on Frank, having found Rachel the prostitute and know she’s working with Doug. I have to say that I never cared much for Peter. I feel like we were supposed to be sad he died and/or root for him a little more, but I really didn’t. I can’t say that I like anyone in the show. I find Claire and Frank interesting, I think I would watch them sit for an entire episode in silence. There would be so much going under the surface.

Walker better watch himself, that’s all I can say. Frank wants to be President. It’s possible he’ll wait it out, but I wouldn’t say so. He gets what he wants, like Tusk mentioned, and we already know he’d kill for it. Overall I give the season an A. The acting is beyond good, the story was well paced, and it all added up to a strong arc. I can’t say I think the characters are changing, like their growth isn’t quite as important, but I’m okay with that in this case. It’s the story that matters. And like I said before, I almost don’t want the pair to get exposed as evil. I want them to keep rising from the ashes. It might be horrible, but damn is it entertaining.

Time to start season 2. See you on the other side.

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Comments
  1. […] laughable that what I talked about in my House of Cards season 1 review was 100% right in some ways, and also I was unprepared in others. What’s impressive is this […]

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  2. […] you haven’t read my season one and season two reviews of House of Cards, there you go. Watch me fall in love with the show and the […]

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