TV Review: House of Cards – Season 2, Episode 12 – “Chapter 25”

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“‘Cry havoc,’ said he who fought chaos with chaos, and let slip the dogs of war.” 

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Chapter 25

SPOILERS AHEAD

I have to admit, in my last review I was confident that the thing the prosecutor found in the President’s travel log was evidence of Walker’s relationship with Christina. However, in the opening minutes of Chapter 25, it became very clear that it was the first couple’s discreet, off the book marriage counseling sessions. There was egg on my face, especially when the more personal counseling scandal proved to be more compelling than an affair would have been.

ep252I’m also pleased to say that I completely underestimated the President. The opening scene between Frank and the President was incredible. I loved seeing Frank called out for the way he manipulated Walker throughout the season. It really through a wrench in the drama and proves the show is really quite unpredictable.

Speaking of unpredictable, the development between Jackie and the Underwoods in this chapter was really unexpected. Seeing Jackie’s reaction the article with Megan in the NY Times, I was sure she was out for blood. And maybe she was. The way she cut into Megan’s television interview was abrasive and, given how dangerous and powerful the Underwoods are, reckless. She put herself into the cross hairs but lucky for her (right now, at least) the Underwoods need her.

ep251What they need her for is a treasonous coup. Frank’s apparent collusion with Durant, followed by reaching out to Jackie, was surprising considering the context. His rationale for wanting Jackie to deride the President in the press made sense in the context of protecting the party and the party’s majority in the Senate. But stop just short of outright telling Durant everything about his schemes.

I couldn’t make sense of this sudden trust. I’m so accustomed to Frank playing people and manipulating them into doing what he wants that I’m thrown aback when his tactics involve the truth, or some altered version of it. If he is allowing Durant into the plot, is she trustworthy? Is he doing this to ensure his advisors when he becomes president will be in line with his agenda?

In either case, it’s a very bold move. Unless I’m misreading things, it’s a play that’s completely dependent on Durant’s trust and ambition. More importantly, it’s a gamble contingent on her silence and compliance.

Elsewhere in the episode, Gavin made a big move against the feds. He is now in the business of blackmailing the agent who was handling him. It’s a funny development. For some absurd reason, I imagined he’d go after them by threatening to expose the bigger conspiracy. That would have been repetitive. Instead, his main concern is money and his friends’ freedom. Considering how powerful the feds have proven themselves to be, I’m curious how this will play out.

Tusk caught some heat in this episode, himself. Frank successfully got him to cast Remy out of his inner circle. Or should I say,  sucSETHfully, since it was Seth who facilitated things. Right? I loved the exchange between Seth and Remy as Seth was leaving them to speak privately.

Seth: “Should I hold the elevator for you?”

Remy: “Go fuck yourself.”

Seth: “I guess you’ll take the stairs, then.”

house-of-cards-binge-viewing-on-the-up-420x215As for Remy and Tusk’s conversation, I knew he’d be too smart not to let Frank and Seth play him. But it’s not enough to give Remy a second chance. Tusk looked pretty haggard this episode. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it feels like a purposeful change in his appearance to convey the stress his feud with Frank has caused. Or maybe I’m imagining things.

Doug’s weird obsession with Rachel reached a turning point in this chapter. He slyly helped Lisa out and warned Rachel to kick her out. Doug’s creepy delivery of the line “I hope it’s only a dead battery” made me feel uneasy. I don’t know where this storyline is going to lead in the finale. Seeing how Rachel acted when she kicked Lisa out, I’m wondering if she’ll kill herself, or try to kill Doug. That may be extreme.

With the end of this chapter, I have only an hour left before I close the book on season 2 of House of Cards. The Republicans are pushing for the impeachment of Walker and the Underwoods are urging Jackie to help them “finish” this thing. The thing, of course, just happens to be a treasonous political coup that’s been in the making ever since Frank was snubbed for the Secretary of State appointment.

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What did you think of Chapter 25? 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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