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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

It’s been awhile since I looked at everyone’s favorite political sociopaths. I had to go back and rewatch so I had this season fresh in mind. This has been a hard season for Frank and Claire. They got what they thought they wanted, and it turned out to be nothing but trouble. Power at this level comes with responsibility. Sometimes I’m curious about Frank’s obsession with his America Works, mostly because if he thinks it’ll get him re-elected, he might very well be wrong. It seems to be tugging him down. So does that mean he stubbornly thinks it’ll work, or because it’s a project he actually cares about? He does seem pretty passionate about it. The question is how hard he’s going to fight. He doesn’t do anything by small measures. This is a previous on  House of Cards by the way: Claire and Frank aren’t getting along for a multidude of reasons. I still maintain it’s because she’s sick of always putting his wants first, and she thought it would be better now. Whoops wrong. Also there’s this writer Yates who Frank picked out to write a biography about him. They have a weird kind of intense connection, possibly bordering on erotic. There’s more tension there because we know well that Frank is bisexual so there’s opportunity.

The main problem in this episode is that there’s a hurricane coming that could do some serious harm. Frank has to decide between America Works or protecting citizens. He grabbed money from Congress in a somewhat illegal, or barely legal, way for his America Works program. Now they said they’d give him the money if he agrees not to take any money from FEMA for it. Which means his project might be dead in the water. But it’ll be worse if the land is ravaged. There is an equal chance it’ll go away. So what should he do? Being President isn’t that fun, is it Frank? There’s some political problems going on too with the future candidacy of his race. He’s purposely having Jackie appear to run, while he fully plans on running and having her as his vice president or running mate. Now they have real competition in the form of Heather Dunbar.

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Dunbar requests that Jackie agree not to campaign and instead focus on the crisis. She wants to donate money to the Red Cross. It’s actually very smart politically, although it could go either way and be dangerous too. Jackie agrees. Doug is pulling some strings here, still in that weird in between place where he wants Frank’s attention but is messing with him too. That’s not going to go well. Remember what Frank does with his enemies, Doug. In the end, Frank takes the money and kills his project, but the storm goes away, so it was all for naught. People are pretty angry with how Frank’s somewhat of a dictator; we all know how manipulative he is so his just rewards are satisfying. All the same, I don’t think it’s always entertaining to see a character struggling this much. As much as he deserves it, such misery and hopelessness is hard to witness. Whatever feelings there are about his murderous ruthlessness, his confidence is a huge part of his appeal as a main character.

There wasn’t enough of my favorite character Claire in this. She’s still on the outskirts a little, although their marriage seems better. On the outside. There’s still a lot being unsaid here. The two of them grow so far apart as partners somehow. They don’t feel like equals or close confidantes anymore. I’ve always found them the most interesting part. I’d like to see them separate because it’d be interesting, while at the same time that’d be taking away such a strong part of the show. In any case, Frank might be hoping a little too hard for his future in politics. It is looking very bleak.

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