Thursday, August 24, 2017

What I’m Watching: House of Cards (Season Finale)

House of Cards: Season 5, Episode 13 “Chapter 65” (B)

Well, we got here, but I’m not sure this whole season was a real justification for where things ended up. As I’ve written several times, what I liked best about this show this year was when it focused on the election and featured Conway, who I found to be a very believable flawed character. In the last couple of episodes, things have shifted to Frank’s impending resignation since, after everything, his big plan to stay in the White House for decades has suddenly evaporated. Worse than that, Frank has apparently been plotting this the whole time, serving as the leak and setting Doug up to willingly take the fall for Zoe’s murder so that his crimes can be limited to corruption and easily be pardoned by the new president. Frank vowing to kill her if she doesn’t pardon him shows his viciousness, and her ignoring his call suggests that she’s not willing to give him the credit he demands for getting her where she is. Those who came along, like Seth and Leanne, also lost out, with Leanne suffering a far worse fate after Frank apparently independently had her killed. Jane and Mark made it to the top, but it’s an isolating place, as evidenced by the ending shot of Claire all alone in the oval office, declaring angrily to the audience that it’s her turn. So much of this show is over-the-top that it’s hard to take seriously, and I think that there is some sense buried in here that shone at points throughout the season. Overall, this season was fine, but it was the weakest this show has delivered thus far. Maybe Claire can unify it in season six.

Season grade: B
Season MVP: Joel Kinnaman as Conway

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