Finished binge watching the first two seasons of HOUSE OF CARDS and here are some of my thoughts as well as predictions for season three.
1.) Kevin Spacey has long been one of my favourite actors and he is great here after a lull in his career. He fills Frank Underwood with enough mystery, enough menace, enough sexual ambiguity to dominate the show.
2.) In season one, Corey Stoll turned in a great supporting performance as the weak, doomed Peter Russo. I was sorry to see him die not logically because it made perfect sense to the story but because Stoll was so good at bringing this character to life.
3.) Season one was much more energetic and more in your face. Frank was following a plan he and his wife Claire had devised after he was cheated out of the Secretary of State position and watching him execute it as it was revealed to us bit by bit was thrilling. Season two was partly flying by the seat of his pants. It was tenser (Frank sometimes reacting to events rather than causing them) but also more arcane and more about politics rather than the dark side of the human soul.
4.) The three way sex scene in season two? It made sense. We already know Frank is bi-sexual from the Citadel episode in season one. We’ve seen Frank and Claire romantically involved with other people but we’ve never seen them make love only hold hands and kiss almost chastely. What about Frank and Zoe? Well, as Zoe said, Frank gets aroused because he sees her as his bitch, his whore not because she’s a real live girl. I thought the three way with Meachum the secret service agent made sense as they get closer to their goals, the peak of their power they begin to lose control slightly – Like Caligula or any perverse dictator.
5.) Re: Frank killing Zoe? It also made perfect sense, one of the few things retained form the original British series. I never liked Zoe anyway. She had low morals and was the typical rude, immoral millennial.
6.) Breaking Bad similarities? Well Walter White rises to badness. He is a frustrated man who is given the chance to feed his huge ego as well as the catalyst to do so (cancer) and becomes bad. Frank on the other hand is rotten from the get go. The provocation of being denied the Secretary of State job pushes him to a new level of badness. The thought put into the story arcs and their patient execution does mirror Breaking Bad at times.
7.) This show has powerful theme music, pulsating and rising, like a gentler Nine Inch Nails, something off the Fragile perhaps. I also like how they use different versions of it as theme music for different characters throughout the show.
A few predictions....
1.) Frank will select Catherine Durand as his vice president. I believe he already hinted at this during his last meeting with her prior to Walker’s resignation.
2.) Orsay, the hacker, will get Lucas out of prison and they will find Rachel Posner.
3.) Frank’s main adversary in season three will be whichever Republican steps up to run against him in the next presidential election (which may not occur until season four). Raymond Tusk will also still be around as a thorn in Frank’s side.
4.) Jackie Sharp, Frank’s replacement as Democratic house whip, will turn against him possibly aided by Remy Danton.
5.) There will be an international incident that will result in civilian deaths that Frank will have to explain.
6.) Claire will have another affair or continue to see Meachum.
7.) There will be at least one murder directly committed by Frank (and possible Claire).