Dee Discusses: House of Cards 3×01

Posted: February 27, 2015 by Dee in Dee, General Media, House of cards, Television
Tags: , , , , , , ,

house-of-cards-27-underwood

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

If 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 deliciously evil duo that star in it. I did those seasons as a general review, but since I am watching it live this time, I’m going to do episode by episode. So you can OMG with me as I go. I even stopped my Netflix so I could write this before continuing on, so I wouldn’t get ahead of myself too far. This is going to be difficult. So previously on House of Cards, we met Frank and Claire Underwood. They are a power couple in Washington, and they are the Iago and Lady Macbeth of the political world. They manipulate, twist, betray, seduce, and charm their way in and out of tough situations, and their eyes were on the prize: the White House. They came a far way from season one where Frank wasn’t given the position he wanted, so he decided to destroy everyone and take over. He’s killed two people now with his own hands, Peter and Zoe, although both were staged to look like accidents. I’m sure there will be plenty of bodies thrown on the ground by the end of season three. He manipulated the President into willingly stepping down amongst scandal, and the last we saw the duo, they took over the White House. His right hand man Doug was bludgeoned nearly to death by former prostitute Rachel. She was the link they had to Peter Russo’s “death,” and he really should have taken care of her then. But he loved her, so alas.

The show plays time smart here. I thought Doug was dead, but he was only severely injured, and that gives them the chance to reasonably jump forward in time a few months. Frank and Claire are established in their positions, but they are getting nothing but trouble for it. Be careful what you wish for! Frank is desperately trying to start an ambitious jobs program, except the Republicans and Democrats are stopping him at every turn. He used to think it was hard to balance everyone in Congress, this is even worse! Claire is determined to become an ambassador with the UN, stating that this is her chance to get enough credibility and experience she can run for office herself some day. I said before that I thought this season was going to involve the Underwoods crashing together, because Claire gave up everything she wanted on Frank’s behalf. They had the same goal, but now they’ve reached that goal, and she wants the power she was promised. She has always been fiercely independent and an equal to him, and she refuses to give him any ground now. I love that about her, but it’s definitely going to cause conflict. Good. Muahahaha.

house-of-cards-27-claireWe spend most of the episode with Doug, which is an interesting choice. I think it’s smart in the way we get all the exposition we need from the news and Doug learning what’s happened while he was gone. On the other hand, he’s not a particularly likable character, so I found myself getting impatient to see the Underwoods sooner rather than later. I do believe this shows confirmation that Claire is aware of Frank’s murder of Zoe and Peter; she would only really care about Rachel getting away if it damages their reputation. I did suspect she already knew, since the Underwoods don’t have secrets, but we hadn’t really seen it. I feel like in a way Doug’s struggle here is meant to connect with Frank’s own. Frank is the President, but he’s struggling to get power, to keep power, and for the respect of people around him. He survived the situation, but that doesn’t mean he has a good quality of life right now as the President, and the same could be said of Doug. Doug appears to relapse into alcoholism, at least slightly, at the end. He gets a prostitute to shoot a syringe of alcohol into his mouth. That is a weird kink, and not a healthy one for him. There was a scene where he breaks his arm in the shower, and instead of being late to see Frank, he duct tapes it up and goes. Damn. I fear for Rachel if they ever get their hands on her.

So on the whole I really enjoyed it. We jump forward in time so we know that the Underwoods are having trouble keeping their seat of power. They’re fighting the world and each other. I think one thing that’s hard for them is the realization their privacy is limited. They had a problem with that as Vice President/Lady, and this is definitely even worse. Frank takes Claire to see him do a strike on a terrorist, to try and show her I guess that his job is bigger than their ordinary ambitions. He wants her not to push the ambassador job, because he doesn’t think the others will go for it and it will make his job harder. But Claire shows she’s just as cold as him when she really doesn’t care at all. Maybe he killed a bunch of children with that air strike, maybe not; she still wants to be an ambassador. She still wants the power she was promised and for her own reasons. You go, Lady Macbeth. This definitely starts off what I feel like will be a plot line for at least the first major arc, if not more than that. I’m just so glad to have them back!

 

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Comments
  1. justmyinput says:

    This show just makes me bounce and cheer for the bad peoples!

    Like

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