Feb 17 2014
So the second season of House of Cards premiered on Valentine’s Day this year and it did not disappoint. Neftlix’s pride comes back with twice as much political ruthlessness and I managed to devour in in two days. I could have done it in one day if I didn’t have work. Initially, I wanted to take my time and watch the second season gradually but it proved to be a difficult task. I enjoyed the show so much that it was hard to abstain from it.
Netflix literally gives you less than a minute to decide to live your life or watch another episode. Most of the time, choice is thrown out of the equation and I am drowning in the abyss of binge watching. This is not a review of the show, but simply my thoughts on the show and the experience. Consider yourself warned for spoilers.
So the season starts exactly where we left off. Frank Underwood is now VP of America and Peter Russo is dead among many other things. I blazed through so many episodes quickly that I only remember the moments that stood out the most. Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoyed everything but it’s just hard to remember everything in one swoop. However, let me get straight to the main highlight of the pilot. The death of Zoe Barnes.
Yes, every online publication who reviewed the pilot were talking about Zoe’s horrific end. The interesting thing about this is that most of us saw it coming, but the ruthlessness of it was what made it so compelling. We all knew Zoe was going to die at some point. I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. It had to happen since we find out that while Zoe does have a conscience, her ambitions took precedence and now she has to pay the price.
I don’t think that he went there planning to kill her. However, I believe he had a change of heart when Zoe was having a moral dilemma over Russo’s death. At that moment, Frank rolled his eyes or something to that effect at her naivete. I think that was the moment when he decided to kill her. It’s an important portrayal of Frank’s character because we realize seconds later that killing is nothing to him. It only takes him mere seconds or even less to decide to kill someone. It’s like the time I devote to deciding what sock I am going to wear in the morning.
So, is it bad that Kate Mara is gone? Well, I was a bit disappointed because she is a wonderful actress but I was really glad afterwards when I thought about it. I anticipated that they would kill mid season or so, but I liked that they did it in the pilot. Why? It would have been the first season all over again. The show is making room for newer conflicts and different foes.
Speaking of casting, my only gripe is that Kristen Connolly’s character Christina Gallagher was practically sidelined and eventually written out in the most insignificant way possible. She may not be one of the leads in the first season, but I believed that its end were setting her up for bigger things. If I remember correctly, one of Russo’s old buddies was urging her to continue Peter’s work. In addition, I think Zoe or her friends called her up and told her about the conspiracy. I was hoping that we would see her rise through the ranks, work with Frank, and eventually uncover the lie behind her ex-lover’s death. To be fair, we did see her working in the White House but her storyline didn’t really do her any justice. Perhaps, we will see her in future seasons when Frank Underwood finally falls because of his sins?
Some other things I’d like to talk about are the comments of my friends. Firstly, my friend was complaining about how much Frank got into trouble in the second season and that he didn’t have that much “ownage” this time. I actually like that they’ve made Frank more vulnerable instead of making all the characters oblivious to his manipulations. For example, the POTUS was such a gullible pushover in the first season. He’s still not as cunning as Frank, but he’s more skeptical about things nows. If Frank always had his way, what’s going to make the show exciting?
Secondly, another pal said that Frank didn’t break the fourth wall as much. To be honest, I personally did not notice that at all because the show had me hooked regardless. However, it was a nice touch when Frank broke the fourth wall for the first time near the end of the pilot. He’s toying us deliberately because he knows that we are expecting him to give us his attention. Sure, he may not speak to us as much but I kind of like the subtle glances he makes to the audiences during certain situations. Maybe people don’t notice it, but his facial expressions can convey it better than actual words.
Anyway, I enjoyed the show and it was quite a ride. It basically ends with him at the new POTUS and that’s exactly what I expected. I was joking around after when I told my friends: “What’s next in season 3? Supreme dictator through the next World War?” I doubt that’s going to happen because that will change the tone and focus of the show. However, I do believe that we could see him as POTUS for more than one season.
I know I sound like I’m confident that House of Cards will be around for a long time. Hey, it was already renewed for a third season before it began. It changed how we consumed television and most importantly it’s one hell of a good show. I don’t know about you, but I want more House of Cards. Fast forward to 2015!
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