House of Cards

Season 1 Episode 3

Chapter 3

20
Aired Unknown Feb 01, 2013 on Netflix
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
77 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Francis leaves Washington in the middle of negotiations over the education bill in order to take care of a thorny issue in his home district in South Carolina.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • South Carolina as a location contributes to great visuals, while the dialogue is also greatly improving

    7.0
    Surprisingly, since the plot actually got duller, House of Cards improved in its third chapter, and, for the first time in a series about politics, included great conversations. Nevertheless, Frank visiting the place he grew up, Claire trying to convince a young woman to start working for her, Christina thinking about getting a new job, and Zoe having problems with her boss and making television interviews were not at all story arcs I've expected when starting to watch this series.



    In a disappointingly stereotypical fashion, House of Cards continues to pursue smaller plots somehow related to the bigger picture for one episode only and in chapter three, the series's protagonist gets a new chance to show off just how good he is with words, as a fatality in his hometown threatens his political career in the capital. He does so accompanied by beautiful photography of South Carolina, but I wasn't at all excited about it the only really surprising thing about this lengthy trip is Frank breaking the fourth wall being used in an acceptable way for the very first time by the screenwriters. With that, I'm referring to the eulogy he's holding in a church, in which he slyly tells the audience, and the audience only, about his father in fact being someone to be better off under the earth instead of the great inspiration he still mourns about as he claims in his speech, and the talk he shares with the parents of the girl killed in an accident, in which he turns to the side to explain the schemes with which he is oh so persuasive.



    An interesting comparison to gain from watching this episode is that same goes for his wife Claire, whose otherwise forgettable story in these 50 minutes I've already mentioned. There is also some symbolism going on with her that I'm not sure to grasp completely, but I do feel that the series spends way too much time on things as trivial as her running through Washington . (although it includes great views on the city). The most interesting character in this episode turns out to be Zoe, for the first time really being able to stand her ground when talking with her boss Hammerschmidt and Frank. Both of these conversations (the latter entirely held in text messages and facial expressions, which director James Foley captures superbly) are great fun to listen to/read and the two best of the series so far.



    There are additional moments of well-written dialogue to be found (a highly philosophical sphincter/***oris discourse, for one), thus making chapter three of House of Cards a worthwhile and entertaining episode, also indicating how much potential the series has.







    Memoranda:

    - Let's elaborate on the beautiful photography thing I've talked about before: there's one gorgeous establishing shot of Oren Chase's house, another perfectly lighted one when Frank steps on that man's lawn later on, the phenomenal idea of filming Frank from above while lying on a crammed table, and the colourful flowers, positioned in the perfect midst of the Underwoods' black kitchen.

    - Frank licks his fingers when turning pages ain't no sympathy points for that.

    - I love how Frank uses the same phrase ("I can't even imagine") on both his wife and Zoe in just a matter of minutes.

    - I do not love how an iPhone is smiling at me every couple of minutes when watching this series. But if non-stop product placement brings the money in for an otherwise good series, I guess that's fine with me.

    - Best quote: "Move Zoe's piece to the front "Let me think that "You think that over as much as you want, then move it to the front Oh, Kathleen Chalfant, her character isn't needed very often, but when she's on screen, she delivers.moreless
  • Franks eulogy

    8.5
    Franks eulogy in the church was top-notch acting! Definately a memorable moment, by any standard.
  • A detour to South Carolina really sells Frank

    8.5
    It was going to be hard to believe that such a cruel, conniving politician could be continuously elected from a friendly district in South Carolina, so this episode really felt like a brilliant move. If you wait too long in the season to unveil it, it becomes a distraction to the primary plot lines. Instead it filled in the gray areas nicely without losing focus.
Al Sapienza

Al Sapienza

Marty Spinella

Guest Star

Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Margaret Tilden

Guest Star

Murphy Guyer

Murphy Guyer

Oren Chase

Guest Star

Boris McGiver

Boris McGiver

Tom Hammerschmidt

Recurring Role

Sandrine Holt

Sandrine Holt

Gillian Cole

Recurring Role

Nathan Darrow

Nathan Darrow

Edward Meechum

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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