Just finished HOUSE OF CARDS Season Three. Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed. This season had a lot fewer dramatic highpoints than the first two and felt more like a transitional season between the first two more action packed seasons and next year’s potentially powerful fourth one.
It felt far less dark and complex and more trivial and about the daily grind of politics both being the president and campaigning. Frank and Claire Underwood felt less like Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and more like Bill and Hillary Clinton or dueling Lyndon Johnsons.
A few thoughts.... (SPOILERS below)
1.) I was surprised to see Doug Stamper at the beginning of the season. I’d figured they would kill him off after the cliffhanger at the end of last season. He is a repellent ugly character and making him even more a focal point was a mistake. It was also anti-climatic to have him kill off Rachel as he should have done that last season.
2.) I also didn’t get the writer character Thomas Yates except as a potential homosexual liason for Frank (which he doesn’t follow through on when he has the chance). It seems like the point of the character was for the audience to have eyes on the Underwood’s relationship but I don’t pick up any extra insight into that.
3.) I don’t understand Claire and Frank’s falling out. They have done and been done much worse and Claire was equally on board. I have a hard time believing she would bail like that.
4.) Frank himself was not so infallible this season. Many times he was reactive or not in control. In particular when dealing with the sinister and clever Putin-like Russian President Petrov.
5.) Regarding Petrov, Lars Mikkelsen turned in a really deep, multi-layered performance as the deceptive Russian leader who outfranks Frank several times.
6.) The disappearance halfway through the season of Majority Leader Mendoza I can only assume is because the actor got another gig as it was handled really awkwardly. The victim of a speaker fee scandal no one mentioned before, one day he’s there, the day he’s gone
7.) The appointment of the feckless Donald Blythe as Vice President was a nice touch.
I am not going to make any predictions for Season Four as the ones I made last year were almost all totally wrong (Only exceptions were Frank getting involved in an international incident and Remy and Jackie turning against Frank). http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-few-thoughts-and-predictions-on-house.html