TV Review: House of Cards – Season 2, Episode 7 – “Chapter 20”

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“Dismiss me or keep swinging, Mr. President.”

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Chapter 20

In this episode of House of Cards, Frank discovers who’s providing money to the Republicans for a scathing midterm election smear campaign. Meanwhile, Doug takes a trip to China and the Underwoods switch communications directors.

Warning: Spoilers Herein

The episode opened with the Republicans’ attack ad and transitioned into a look at the President managing a damage control meeting with his aides. After the meeting, President Walker lashes out at Frank. I loved this opening.

While Frank is facing the tirade of the commander in chief, he’s boiling with anger. Frank speaks out before being dismissed. This develops into Frank becoming more of a confidant for the President. As the episode unfolded, Frank got closer and closer to the President. As a viewer, I felt more and more uneasy.

Outside of the West Wing, Doug travels to Missouri and then to China to uncover who is responsible for funneling money to the Republicans for the ad campaign. Surprise, it’s Raymond Tusk. After last episode, where it was shown that Doug has the hots for Rachel, he seemed distracted and down in this chapter.

Throughout the season, Doug’s sobriety has been referenced a lot. When he was in bed in China, I was convinced the girls Feng sent were going to seduce him into relapsing. Doug, however, sent them away. I want to point out the score in this scene. It took a more haunting tone that carried throughout the rest of the episode. It was a great variation on the show’s normal music patterns.

gerald-mcraney-house-of-cards-season-2Later, Frank discovers that not only has Tusk funded the Republicans, he’s also been behind the Democrats’ funding for a long time. He holds the power to get the Democrats out of Congress. The phone call between Frank and Tusk was another great scene. Kevin Spacey and Gerald McRaney play off each other so well. Their chemistry is explosive.

Elsewhere in Chapter 20, Connor got discreetly pushed out of the service of the Vice President and Claire and replaced by Seth Grayson. Seth, it turns out, has been hired by Remy and Tusk to dig up dirt on the Underwoods. Surprisingly enough, Seth admits this to Frank.

I’m not sure I trust Seth yet. I couldn’t tell if his admission to Frank was sincere or if he’s playing the VP. Frank bought it either way, it seems, and is going to use him to feed information to Remy and Tusk. It’ll be a valuable asset to Frank, if Seth is loyal to Underwood.

punchingbagLastly, the Underwoods invited the President and First Lady to dinner in a very disturbing and macabre scene where both Frank and Claire worked to undermine and chip away at the Walkers’ relationship. When Frank and Claire locked eyes and smiled, I felt uneasy.

The dinner scene reminded me of what Frank said in the opening of Chapter 15. “One heartbeat away from the Presidency and not a single vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated.” The harder the Underwoods work to put a wedge between the President and First Lady, the more uneasy I feel. If Frank’s plan is to ascend to the Presidency, I’ll be very unsettled.

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What did you think of Chapter 20? Let me know in the comments and make sure you check out all my other House of Cards related posts. Also, follow me around the internet with the links below.

CHECK OUT MY EPISODE REVIEWS OF BATES MOTEL AND UNDER THE DOME.

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