House of Cards Season Two Review/MAJOR SPOILERS: You Very Well Might Think That, I Couldn’t Possibly Comment

MAJOR SPOILERS

He’s going to get away with it, isn’t he?

For the strong willed beings who’ve yet to finish “House of Cards”, I deeply respect you and just want to warn you this post contains some spoilers.  Now onto our regularly scheduled intro paragraph.  “House of Cards” is a strange beast, often ranging from good to weirdly uncomfortable to absolute genius.  Throughout it all though the series is a ton of fun to watch and definitely one of the best offerings television currently has.

The early episodes of season two set up a intriguing premise, the fallout of Zoe Barnes murder and Lucas’s attempts at bringing down Frank.  Quickly that storyline is dispatched and never mentioned again, in some ways that might be a good thing(if the writers were never really going to take down Frank this season, which is likely given it’s pre-premiere renewal, mine as well save that idea for a rainy day).  However having said that it was a bit disappointing seeing such an interesting storyline just kind of get taken out so early on.   This does however lead to one of the most heartbreaking and well written scenes in the series, Lucas is visited by Janine so she can convince him to take the plea, Lucas finally comes to the realization that Frank’s going to get away with everything.   The absolute hopelessness depicted in that scene was heartbreaking.

The cast is still excellent, this years MVP’s have to be Robin Wright and Molly Parker.  Robin Wright’s performance is stunning, her ability to portray things without a single word is breathtaking.  Her standout scene I think has to be the moment she gets off the phone with that girl’s mother who tells her she’s a good person.  Claire breaks down in tears, to see this seemingly cold woman look at everything she’s done and suddenly the guilt crashes down on her, it was beautiful.  I love Robin Wright, and I love Claire, I do believe deep down Claire is a good person, a good person who has done bad things in her shared pursuit of power.  Frank’s a bit of a sociopath, but Claire has always shown some genuine emotion from love to guilt(even last season when she recounts her dream of Russo’s children).

A issue I have with this show is that it seems so unsure of what it wants to be. Does it want to be super dark and serious, or does it want to be all out “American Horror Story” crazy with the MMW threesomes and having Meachum walk in on Frank watching…well let’s just say it’s not the news. Towards the end of the season things got super crazy, but not exactly in the same way as it did with Zoe’s death. I don’t have a problem with the show occasionally getting a bit crazy, but I just hope this doesn’t become a recurring thing. I love “American Horror Story” and they’ve done very similar things, but that’s just part of the show’s charm how strange it can get(although even with that the crazy has begun to be the only thing the show offers), I hope the show stays focused and doesn’t just get strange for strange sake(though no scene in television history will make me more uncomfortable that the one in Season One where Frank is going down on Zoe while she’s on the phone with her father. That was all kinds of f*cked up.). So none of these things really deflect from the enjoyment of the series now, but my hope is that the show just doesn’t let the crazy outshine the story.

Another problem I had with the season is how trivial some of the characters were. As much as I love Rachel(holy shit when she killed Stamper in the finale, what a scene), she was in almost every episode for the entire season, her inclusion in most of the episodes felt a tad forced. Freddie’s storyline also just felt like “why, why is this important(then again we got one of the coolest quotes this show’s ever offered in “They messed with the wrong motherf*cking rattle snake”). Same goes for Stamper who’s just too bland of a character, although one could argue that we would need some more character development so to make him more interesting.

One character who gets the opposite of that treatment is Jacqueline Sharp(Moly Parker), who as I mentioned before is one of this season’s standouts. Jacqueline is such a complex and interesting character it really would have been nice to see some more of her. Molly Parker did an excellent job.

Despite the plot at times sometimes feeling a bit uneven the show ends brilliantly. Practically everyone’s been taken out by the season’s end. The President’s out of the picture, Linda too, Zoe’s dead, Lucas is in jail, Adam’s reputation is tarnished, Stamper is dead, Remy’s lost everything, Rachel is a fugitive, Tusk has been taken out, now it’s just Frank and Claire at the top of the totem pole. The finale was excellent, and I’m very excited to see where the show goes next.

Standout Quotes
“What You’re asking me is just shy of treason”-Jackie
“Just shy, which is politics”-Frank
“Power is stronger than money, but only if it last, which it never does.”(or something like that)-Remy
“He’s going to get away with it isn’t he?”-Lucas

Overall
This season was much stronger than the first one, despite some flaws I thoroughly enjoyed Season Two of “House of Cards”. Now bring on “Orange is the New Black”(which is in my eyes better than “House of Cards” and probably about 99% of other television currently on*)!
GRADE: A 93%
*I haven’t seen “True Detective” though this very well might change by this coming weekend.

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