Thursday, February 7, 2013

'House of Cards' Review - 1.06 Chapter 6

        On the newest episode of Netflix's House of Cards, Francis strikes back at the striking teachers; and Claire is caught off guard by a deathbed confession.

"No more work for tonight."

        Francis and Claire are obviously made to last together because they both know exactly what to expect from the other in terms of responsibilities. Francis is very publicly cruel and undermining of others and is always manipulating people. Claire is more conflicted but when the time comes she can be just as brutal as her husband. Neither of them have the false hope of the other always being faithful or true to their marriage or even honest with one another. But they both remain together because they are content with the life that live together. As long as they come out ahead in the end, they both are pretty lax about whatever the other one needs to do to get there. Francis clearly points out that his romance with Zoe is purely work and thusly is so easily capable of tossing her aside when he has that quiet and personal time with his wife at the end. Likewise, Claire is able to prove her cold hardness when their former bodyguard admits his true feelings to her and she explains the entirety of their relationship. Their marriage continues to be very profound and one of the most exciting elements emerging from this series so far.
        One of the things that this series has proven to utilize exceptionally well is the perception and length of time. The plot through this first six episodes has been very linear and yet there have been huge time gaps spread throughout them. The premiere closed with the President's inauguration; a few episodes later the first 100 days were almost over; and this episode opened with three weeks going by filled with the teacher's strike. And yet, those swift movements don't change how this story is told. They are used well to give more momentum to the various stories without any one being too bogged down by focusing on the little twists and turns. The teacher's strike could have been the focus for much of the drama moving forward as it goes through the day by day of those three weeks. And yet, it is quickly summarized here to be just one obstacle Francis must overcome in order to get to his endgame. It has been his largest and most difficult hurdle to overcome but he continues to emerge as the most cunning person in the end. He is cleverly able to tell every single person just enough of the information for them to react without giving them the grand plan. I feel like that same characterization could be said for House of Cards as a whole. Each episode has given us a separate and different piece into Francis Underwood either as a character or his motivations and his endgame plan. Where these characters imagine ending up is still very much a mystery. And yet, that also seems less detrimental to the overall entertaining quality of these episodes simply because of how unique each individual story is and how wonderfully acted and well-rounded the characters are.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Didn't Peter's stuff with group and the program feel exactly the same as every other show that depicts that story? Share your thoughts in the comments.

As I noted in my previous reviews of this series, every episodic review is written without me having seen anything that happens in succeeding episodes. Similarily, in the comments, it would be much appreciated if you would only discuss the show up to this point in its run - even though you may be further ahead.