Friday, July 22, 2016

What I’m Watching: House of Cards

House of Cards: Season 4, Episode 8 “Chapter 47” (B+)

When the Emmy nominations were announced last week, this show received an impressive five mentions in the guest acting races. One of them was for actor Paul Sparks, who makes his first appearance this season in this episode. I couldn’t help thinking of the recent TV roles that the three actors in the opening scene have played, all so different from what they’re doing now. Only Dominique McElligott looked better in her period garb on “Hell on Wheels,” while Joel Kinnaman was lazily disheveled on “The Killing” and Sparks was downright seedy on “Boardwalk Empire.” Fortunately, all three actors are just as strong here in these more polished parts, and I think we’ll see a lot more of them going forward. I can’t quite figure Tom out, but it’s interesting to see how open the Underwoods are with him, not concerned with hiding their manipulative nature since he does know them well. What they did with Senator Austen, on the other hand, was downright deplorable but hardly anything new. Kate is playing right into their games without knowing it, and hopefully she and the intrepid Tom, who had a eureka moment when he realized that the pizza shop owner recognized Meechum, will be able to build a case against the Underwoods without getting themselves destroyed by the power couple in the process. General Brockhart’s resignation and decision to accept the offer to be Conway’s running mate are two things that he’s going to come to regret soon no matter who ends up winning the election.

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