Thursday, January 3, 2019

What I’m Watching: House of Cards (Penultimate Episode)

House of Cards: Season 6, Episode 7 “Chapter 72” (C-)

It’s strange to watch this episode at this point, just a few days after Kevin Spacey released his very strange video that had him speaking as Frank Underwood and alluding to the fact that no one ever saw his body to confirm that his character was in fact dead. That felt more like the ravings of a madman who thinks this might be a sly way to revive his career, but I can’t imagine it has anything to do with the show that wrote him out of the final season. What’s going on here is just as unfortunate, creatively, at least. The notion that Annette Shepherd would convene a business meeting to unsubtly and directly approve an assassination of the president, with the vice-president sitting there nodding along, is the rare preposterous concept that still seems absurd even compared to what’s going on in the country today. Claire’s pregnancy has progressed considerably since its reveal at the end of the previous episode, and now she’s wielding it as a weapon while already hating the fact that the baby might be slowing her down. What sent this episode over the edge, making me incredibly unexcited about the series finale, is when Doug got out his scissors to dramatically cut his beard before declaring that he’s coming for Claire, to the audience, no less. Adding him as a direct-address figure now feels manipulative since it was such a standard device for Frank and therefore so impactful for Claire to start it when she was coming into power. I’m less than optimistic about this finale leaving me with any positive feelings towards this show.

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