Dee Discusses: House of Cards 3×04

Posted: March 2, 2015 by Dee in Dee, General Media, House of cards, Recaps, Television
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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

There were several moments in this episode that led to me clapping my hands in delight. House of Cards is exceptional in that when it does something intense, you want to either scream or applaud or flail about it. It was very on the nose that Frank almost got squashed by a Jesus statue he spit on. And I laughed anyway. Of course he’s not going to learn anything from it, because Frank never stops to think about the consequences of his actions. At least not in the sense he has any real reflection or wonder; it’s only in the idea that he has to make new chess moves because his opponent moved pieces in unexpected ways. The Underwoods have one major problem: they’re too smart. And smart people can be stupid as hell. They can overthink and miss completely mundane details. Or they think they’re smarter than everyone else. Frank certainly has managed to outmaneuver everyone else, so when he finally met his match here, he was temporarily out of moves. See the way they deal with Doug right now: by ignoring him. He’s no longer useful to them. That’s going to come back to bite them in the ass.

Frank is still sucking up to Heather Dunbar, the woman who represents a man who lost his family and legs in a drone strike. He gave her permission to use classified intel before, and now she’s using it in the Supreme Court. She’s doing an excellent job, so of course he thinks this is perfect timing for him to get that Supreme Court position filled. He persuaded one of the justices to stay, despite him having Alzheimer’s, so he could get his America Works program up and running. Now he thinks he has the perfect candidate to put in place who will owe him big time because he got her the job. Sort of the new Jackie, except Heather’s a very dangerous foe. Because she sees exactly what he’s doing. He offers her the position and then swoops around to subtly (not so subtly) threaten the justice into resigning. He’s so pleased with himself that he doesn’t stop to think she might know any of them, and she does, personally. She saw his manipulation for what it was, so her response is to declare herself running for president in 2016. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if Frank had no intention of running, which is what he said, but he does, so he’s in trouble for sure. I still think the logical solution is running as a Republican, and let’s face it,¬†Frank is a lot more middle of the road than left leaning. Or really it seems like he’ll do whatever it takes to win, so he’ll lean with whatever issue stance gives him the most points. I’m not sure he actually believes in anything outside of his own power and winning.


The man who was hurt by the drone strike manages to shake Frank a little, saying he gives him no forgiveness. Frank goes to church, but we already know he isn’t really very faithful. Then a statue falls toward him and hahaha see God is smiting him. You might want to pay attention to omens! I doubt that’ll mean anything to him. He also might have some trouble ahead of him, because at a press conference a journalist pushes him on gay rights. A gay rights activist Michael Corrigan got arrested in Russia, and it seems Frank is intentionally skirting the issue. The journalist gets kicked out of the White House press core. Oh man, that’s going to come back to bite them too. Michael Corrigan was arrested partly because Claire has been pushing Russia. She’s been working to get troops to the Jordan Valley through the UN, so this was retaliation because of her actions. Claire seems somewhat more aware than her husband about consequences for the things that she does. So right now the Underwoods are dealing with Russia, America Works, a new opponent caused by Frank’s own arrogance, and God may or may not be gunning for them.

Also gunning for them? Doug, apparently. He decides to reach out to Heather Dunbar and offer to help her. The Underwoods have ignored him long enough and he wants to get back in the game. This is very, very bad. It’s hard to say if he is doing it to get their attention, or if he plans on turning on Dunbar once Frank apologizes for abandoning him. But he has the worst kind of dirt on the pair of them, so they should be very concerned if they figure out he’s working with the enemy. If they figure it out. I really do feel like Doug is boring me as a character, and he seems to be getting so much story this season. I thought for sure he was dead at the end of last season and was good with that, so now it feels like treading water. He still has Gavin looking for Rachel, and Gavin’s figured out to talk to her ex-girlfriend and try to get intel that way. This was a good solid episode and Dunbar is a really great character, I look forward to seeing what’s coming ahead with her. I think this entire season so far is showing that the Underwoods do better when they are fighting for power, but now that they have it, they’re really all over the place. I have no idea how they’re going to convince us that Frank will win the Presidency; with all the corruption from the former President and the very negative political landscape, I can’t imagine. Plus he’s not particularly leaning toward Democrat these days, so they’re not going to get behind him. He really should have just waited as Vice President and then run afterward, but alas. It’s his own flaws that will get him in the end.


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