Royal Reviews: ‘House of Cards’ Season 3 Episodes 1-8

 

Spoiler alert: story contains plot details from seasons one and two plus insight into the new season of “House of Cards.” 

Now that I have that disclaimer out of the way, let me give you another: I have not finished the third season. Sadly, adult responsibilities took up my weekend, allowing me only eight episodes of Frank Underwood’s wicked dance of corruption.

It has taken 26 hours of television for Frank to attain the highest office in the land without a single vote and, to me, the show now has a “West Wing” vibe to it. The plot moves from the excitement of impeachment to Frank having to deal with all the responsibilities of Commander in Chief.

Review by Michael Riley Editor in Chief
Review by Michael Riley
Editor in Chief

If the first two seasons were a chess game, Frank and Claire seemed to plan almost five moves ahead, but this season shows a more vulnerable pair. From the U.N. Ambassador nomination blunder  to troubles with Russia, the tension grows as Frank must try to maintain the craziness while not holding all the pieces on the chess board.

It is worth mentioning Robin Wright, who plays Claire, has done an incredible job so far. She has already won an Emmy for the role and remains one of the best characters. She has partnered with an evil man and must accept all the risk that comes with it.

As much as I knew Claire would be intriguing, I did not expect Douglas Stamper to be one of my favorite characters this season.  I still cannot tell what side he is on and that makes me even more frustrated.

One thing that is undeniable is the dude has a brass pair of bowling balls between his surgically repaired legs. The spine-tingling scene when he falls in the shower made me cringe but I
could. not. look. away.

Either Doug is going to go down in an alcoholic blaze of glory taking Frank with him or he might just be the ‘knight in dark armor’ the POTUS needs.

And let me make one thing clear: I would stand and applaud if Frank pulls a Peter Russo on Jackie Sharp. Although all the characters are selfish, when Jackie does anything, I feel personally offended. Maybe it is her face or it could mean she is a darn good actor.

Aside from the acting, the writers seem to be playing with the timeline more this season than previously.  There are more flashbacks and the story telling is not chronological. For example, the end of one episode leaves us only knowing Claire did not get enough votes to become the U.N. Ambassador and Frank planned to appeal. The next episode opens with her as the ambassador.

These aren’t plot holes by any means, but writers rely more on the viewer’s imaginations to fill what  is not shown on screen.

While I would rather see these developments play out, there are only so many minutes per show. It gives me hope that there is so much more in store in the remaining episodes.

I have a feeling someone will die. My money is on Remy because he has been playing fast and loose too long for my taste. My predictions have been no where close when it comes to any of the big plot twists in two and half seasons, so Remy will probably become president, right?

If you have not started the show, just go on a binge before midterms and thank me later.

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