Sunday, July 31, 2016

What I’m Watching: House of Cards

House of Cards: Season 4, Episode 10 “Chapter 49” (A-)

This is easily the best hour this show has produced yet. Everything about it came together in an incredible way leading up to that very powerful last scene. Starting with Wolf Blitzer doing analysis of the election and how things were going to play out made this seem like it would be much more of a clinical episode, but instead it was one that was very emotional. Tom meeting Claire’s mother built a relationship that didn’t last long but was obviously influential, as he was making her laugh and seemed to give her some comfort towards the end. Her offer to end her life just in time for Claire to ride the momentum towards the nomination was surprisingly generous, and it really does represent the best act of repair of their relationship. Claire having Tom there with her is a comfort, and hopefully he understands how well he can do in the world if he keeps that private. Seth made a power play against Doug and it worked, but now it seems like Doug really is losing it, racked with guilt about the man he let die and also incapable of stifling those he finds irritating, namely Seth and Leanne. Tom bringing Dunbar to his home to show her his research hasn’t gotten anywhere just yet, but it’s at risk of seriously upsetting the extreme high that the Underwoods have currently achieved. Frank threatening Durant by confessing to killing Peter and Zoe was pretty surprising, but laughing it off made it seem all the more intimidating. Durant made the expected move and conceded, throwing her full support behind Claire, and what an introduction it was. This is the most honest Claire has ever been, and she essentially admitted both the bad relationship she and her mother had and even confessed to marital troubles between her and Frank. Seeing the two of them holding hands, smiling, and headed towards a very successful run was nice, and it’s rare to feel genuine positive energy towards these two power players. It’s the mark of a truly strong and memorable episode.

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