Dee Discusses: House of Cards 3×05

Posted: March 3, 2015 by Dee in Dee, General Media, House of cards, Recaps, Television
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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

I’ve mentioned before that the Underwoods have a big blind spot, and they’re too clever for their own good. They were used to being the best players of the game before, but now they’re in the big leagues, and they’re finding out that it’s not as easy to control the board anymore. I did think that this season was going to end up being a humbling experience for the two of them, but I also don’t think either of them plan on being humbled. Instead they’re going to show increasing difficulty letting go of any of their power, and it’ll probably end in disaster. Which just makes for amazing TV, let’s be real. So previously in this season Frank’s obsessed with his America Works program where he wants to get more employment out there. It involves getting rid of Welfare (seriously isn’t he a Republican at this point?) and he says he doesn’t plan on running again, but no one’s really fooled by that. He managed to alienate Heather Dunbar to the point where she decided to run against him in the next election, and she’s picking up steam. She’s also picking up attention from his former BFF Doug Stamper, who has been ignored by the Underwoods since recovering. Also Claire is a UN Ambassador¬†and having some trouble getting respect, and tensions with Russia are high. They arrested gay activist Michael Corrigan who is now being held as a political prisoner of sorts.

This episode Frank decides to declare the unemployment in the US as a national emergency and grab funds out of FEMA to put into his program. Whaaaaaat. It’s apparently not illegal (?) since he manages to push it through despite everyone and their mother going THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA at him. He’s determined that if he gets America Works going it will prove that he’s an amazing leader, and all of his mistakes so far will be forgiven by a happier country. Since it’s Frank Underwood, it could very well end up happening, since he has a talent for saving the day at the last second. Still, they are clearly setting up here that when a disaster comes, everyone’s going to be screwed without FEMA’s money. He’s of the YOLO mindset at the moment. He hires a¬†respected novelist Thomas Yates to write about America Works, having come across a video game review he liked. I feel a bromance coming on. He needs one of those since Doug’s gone, Remy generally hates him, and we don’t get enough Meechum these days. Seriously, no mention of the affair? Come on, show. Claire and Frank aren’t sharing a room anymore, something that has apparently been going on for awhile now. Our favorite evil couple are getting farther apart with each episode.

netflix_house_of_cards_a_lHowever Claire does manage to successfully get her way through to the Russians. She is disrespected earlier in the episode Russian ambassador, although it was a subtle one, commenting on her dress. Indicating that she’s just some pretty piece of fluff married to the President and nothing else. She has the strangest power play scene of all time when she makes him come into the ladies room and talk to her while she puts on her make up, pees, and washes her hands. It’s all intentionally marking the fact she is a woman, yes, and he has to uncomfortably stand there while she tells him in no uncertain terms that Russia was going to get its ass kicked if it didn’t fall into line. He definitely seems to have gotten the message, because Petrov agrees to let Michael Corrigan go if the Underwoods come to Russia to meet with him. Success! Good job Claire. I always appreciate her more subtle political games. She managed to win over Kathy with a game of beer pong, and beat a sexist by using the weapon he tried to use against her. And she does it so quietly and neatly. Claire’s been my favorite character since day one, so I delight in watching her continue to excel. It probably won’t be great for her and Frank long term, but that wouldn’t be surprising. He’s used to always being #1 in the house.

Other side plots include Jackie pretending to be Frank’s running mate, and she agrees to marry her current boyfriend because it’ll put on a good family face. She does seem to genuinely love him too, although she and Remy still have really strong chemistry. He’s the one who suggested it, but it’s clear he isn’t 100% comfortable with it either. Also the Telegraph sends a new writer, bureau chief Kate Baldwin, to the White House. They kicked out a good reporter last episode when she questioned Frank ignoring the gay marriage situation. Now they’re going to regret it. I really love how this season is all about consequences. You can definitely tell that every choice the Underwoods make have repercussions. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The question is how and if they’ll be able to get themselves out of trouble.


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