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House of Cards

Season 1 Episode 2

Chapter 2

23
Aired Unknown Feb 01, 2013 on Netflix
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Francis seizes an opportunity to use an inexperienced reporter in order to spread a story to put the White House on the back foot. Meanwhile, Claire gets ruthless at work.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • unoriginal

    5.5
    oh look, gratuitous naked woman, crooked politicians, amoral politicians, politicians doing drugs and visiting hookers, lobbyists corrupting the process, scandal-eager media, an over-eager reporter willing to compromise her principles to get ahead... Yawn. Been there done that. I've given it 2 episodes, but still rather luke-warm on this.



    How is Kevin Spacey's character the only one shown as supposedly intelligent and able to manipulate things/people to his advantage?

    He's shown as this great Puppet Master, when I assume there have to be other people trying the same thing.



    I love Kevin Spacey, his character's asides are pretty funny (I liked this weeks derision at someone who chose money over power). I admit I'm a little intrigued at what "Lady Macbeth" is up to as she heartlessly purges the idealistic staff of her NGO... but over all, not interested enough to keep watching.moreless
  • A slight drop in quality

    7.0
    House of Cards doesn't exactly incur a collapse in quality in its second chapter, but it does lose some of the appeal it previously had, as the general course of the Netflix project becomes clearer. Nevertheless, David Fincher's second and (presumably) last directing effort on the series is fine work and an interesting look at politics, just one that could benefit from some more vigour and spirit.



    The opening scene, kicking in directly where chapter one left off, assures us that Kevin Spacey's weird unfitting monologues aren't something House of Cards is likely to drop very soon, and thus smashes the feeble hopes I've had after watching the pilot. The good-looking visuals may not be a proper compensation for that, but I did again find numerous praiseworthy things in the work cinematographer Eigil Bryld and his crew achieved, such as Frank smearing blood-reminiscent sauce on the President's picture in a newspaper in just that opening scene, so the look of the series stays one of its biggest merits.



    Another, slightly shrinking pro in this episode, is the script great with characters and plot (I'm unaware how much of that was taken from the British original, though), but disappointing with the dialogue, an equally important matter for a series about politics. Especially, but not only in Spacey's one-sided conversations with the audience, the words are unrealistically grandiloquent and delivered faster than I could read them out loud, while they at the same time lack something to make them worth listening to. Due to the series making Frank seem to be the only intelligent politician in the whole . of there isn't any room for heated or thoughtful debates, and whenever you may feel as if a clever conversation is in the offing, the scene is cut after two minutes, for whatever reasons.



    Let's not get too negative though, since House of Cards is still a good series, upholding a sort of look on politics that's exceedingly rare in mainstream media, knowing how to use the talented actors it has got, and giving a wonderful lot of focus on little details. I want to see more of it after this episode, but that's mostly because I want to see it become better.







    Memoranda:

    - I forgot to mention it in my review for the first chapter, but the on-screen text messages are looking really great, even if House of Cards isn't the first to have that sort of idea.

    - The six education experts Frank convenes not showering for a week or so is something I don't suppose to be anywhere near reality.

    - Realism issue again: Who would ever nominate someone with that bad of a rhetoric for Secretary of State?

    - Claire at the coffeehouse and Frank with the homeless man are two utterly useless scenes without any significance for further episodes that shouldn't have made it into the final cut.

    - Best quote: "When it comes to your life and what I know about it, you should assume that there's no such thing as a I'd rather have chosen the one of the pilot again, since it is repeated in this episode, but this one shows first signs of Doug Stamper being a bad-ass and thus had my esteem for him rising instantly.moreless
  • A Congressman does drugs.

    10
    My Favorite scene of Episode 2: a congressman goes to a counter-culture conspiracy theorists house where a young woman doesn't wear a bra, and the drugs are easily available. the congressman rolls his own marijuana and snorts a white powdered drug, and comes back to DC where his secretary says "you look high I can see it in your eyes, I hate it when you do . Great Scene, Made me really like the show. I wonder how they did the white powder getting snorted looked very graphic.moreless
  • This is the episode that sold me

    9.0
    The pilot had to get a lot of exposition out of the way. This episode is where it really hit its stride. The release of Zoe's story really put the political wheels in motion.



    Claire's ridiculously cold demeanor is starting to make sense. I'm eager to see where they take her and if the eery Lady MacBeth vibes continue.
Reed Birney

Reed Birney

Rep. Donald Blythe

Guest Star

Kevin Kilner

Kevin Kilner

Michael Kern

Guest Star

Jay Edwards (I)

Jay Edwards (I)

Roy Kapeniak

Guest Star

Sebastian Arcelus

Sebastian Arcelus

Lucas Goodwin

Recurring Role

Boris McGiver

Boris McGiver

Tom Hammerschmidt

Recurring Role

Constance Zimmer

Constance Zimmer

Janine Skorsky

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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