House of Cards Season 2 Recap

By Sean Glendon


“HOLY FUCKING SHIT ARE YOU SERIOUS? DID THAT ACTUALLY JUST HAPPEN? IT MUST’VE BEEN A DREAM SEQUENCE. IT HAD TO HAVE BEEN.” is a summary of my (and I’m assuming most) reactions to a certain event that occurred during the House of Cards Season 2 premiere. Spoiler alert: it did actually happen, and it was not, in fact, a dream sequence. SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t seen House of Cards, skip this article, finish reading this magnificent publication, and then don’t leave your room until you’ve seen the first two seasons. FROM THIS POINT FORWARD THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. The premiere was just glorious. Frank Underwood, the legend himself, has the threat of reporter Zoe Barnes to deal with, so how does he do it? He throws her in front of a god damn train (knowing there would be cameras out of course), and makes it look like an accident. We’re talking about the man about to become Vice President of the United States. For those who thought Claire wasn’t as ruthless as Frank, seeing her threaten a former employee’s unborn child (“I’m willing to let your child wither up and die inside of you, if that’s what it takes”) likely changed your mind. Now their marriage makes perfect sense. To end a near perfect episode, Frank breaks the fourth wall, welcoming the audience back. When this happened, I knew binging was mandatory. After complete viewing, I could almost see how one could argue that House of Cards is the best show on television. But it’s not, because (1) HBO’s True Detective on HBO is (This is not debatable. Go watch it.), and (2) House of Cards is a Netflix show so it technically isn’t on television. Okay, that second reason was kind of B.S. but the first one is still valid. Overall the season, which ends with Frank Underwood becoming President, is fantastic aside from a few missteps. They could be addressed in Season 3, so it might be a bit preemptive to criticize them too harshly. I pretty much blinked and Jackie Sharp was the Majority Whip. I was expecting an awesome political battle of wits to determine the whip, ending with an inauguration, but that never happened. The Freddy storyline was just heartbreaking, mostly because you knew from the second his son was introduced, that he would be a complete fool. We need more Freddy in Season 3. It’s a must. The weird threesome thing with Meechum, foreshadowed by him walking in on Frank watching MMF threesome pornography, was very odd, and seemed a bit unnecessary (but there were similar undertones in Season 1, so hopefully this is addressed going forward and isn’t just random storyline). Lucas and Janine pretty much disappeared, but I doubt that their characters will just disappear from the series come season 3. Similarly, what will happen to the Walker family going forward? Will they be disgraced and disappear from the public eye? Another note: President Walker won in 2012, and it is implied that he did steal the nomination from an incumbent Democrat, so who was President for the 2008-2012 term? This is a small detail that needs addressing, just to understand the chronology of real life presidency. Things obviously move absurdly faster on the show than they do in real life, which can be fine. However, the fact that President Walker was impeached so quickly for a campaign financing scandal (although it is obviously a big deal) doesn’t seem realistic when Barack Obama has been the topic of larger scandals and is sitting pretty in his throne. Obviously, Doug’s death will be addressed and Rachel won’t disappear so quickly. She could run to the media, who knows? But most of these issues can be addressed next season, and I am looking forward to seeing how they play out, and I’m sure most viewers feel the same way. So where do we go from here? My prediction is that there are two seasons left, since both seasons have been 13 episodes each (and 26 is the equivalent of half a deck of cards), and the “House of Cards” that Kevin Spacey’s character has built is bound to collapse. I don’t foresee him going to jail though. If need be, I see him planning his own assassination or something like that to preserve his legacy. He’s too smart to go down with a tarnished legacy. In recent years, TV shows have made viewers fall in love with the antihero. Throw Francis Underwood right up there with Walter White and Nicholas Brody. With that being said, I’m very glad that we don’t have a President Underwood. As much as I love rooting for him as a fictional character, I’d hate to have a leader that was able to manipulate his way to the Oval Office without even earning approval from the American public.

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