REVIEW: House of Cards – “Chapter 30”

I'm Jeffrey Rex Episode Review - Netflix - House of Cards 30The following is a review of the fourth episode of season three. Expect spoilers in the plot description.

I’m back with yet another episode review of House of Cards. In this episode Frank feels what it’s like to have no power as a President, and seeks God’s ear. So without further ado, let’s get to the plot description:

This episode opens in the Supreme Court – we’re finally getting to the bottom of Mr Mahmoud’s case, the one that Frank wanted them to be honest about. At this moment we learn that Frank is at Arlington National Cemetery for a military funeral. While Heather Dunbar is presenting what actually happened when Mahmoud was injured, we are informed by Jackie Sharp that Dunbar might be the one to redefine the Democratic Party – Frank, however, thinks she isn’t experienced enough. Jackie, however, points out that she could finance her own campaign.

Meanwhile, Claire is defending the plan that she and Cathy Durant had convinced Frank of to the UN. The Russian Ambassador is of course vehemently disagreeing with Claire. The draft resolution comes to a vote. 13-1 in favor. But, since it’s Russia saying nay – it cannot come to pass. As expected. Claire starts to lobby the French Ambassador to circumvent the security council. He informs her that if Israel approves, France approves. Now they just have to convince Israel, and keep them convinced.

We then go to the Oval Office, in which Frank is reading the Quran. He is interrupted by his own meeting with Heather Dunbar. He informs her of the Supreme Court member who has Alzheimers, and tells her that he wants Dunbar to take over in the Supreme Court. She accepts, happily.

Frank meets with Mahmoud, who is quite hostile towards him. Frank makes use of what little Quran knowledge he has, but Mahmoud brushes it off – he is not there to forgive the President, not there to make it easier for him to sleep at night. The day thereafter Frank informes the ailing Supreme Court-member of his decision. But… Now he doesn’t want to step down. Frank tries his hardest to make him reconsider. We are then informed that a U.S. citizen, a Gay Rights activist, has been arrested by the Russian Federation. They plan on prosecuting him.

When Ayla Sayyad disrespects the President at a press conference, Seth Grayson makes sure she loses her credential as a result. She crossed a line. We’ll see if she attacks the President from afar now.

On the steps of the Supreme Court, however, Heather Dunbar is announcing that she’ll run for office. Frank is pissed. Dunbar and Underwood go toe-to-toe in the Oval Office. She always knew that the Court-member had Alzheimers. She walks out on the President.

Meanwhile, Gavin Orsay is meeting up with Lisa – a friend of Rachel’s – in an attempt to gather more information about the lost girl. Doug Stamper then contacts Heather Dunbar, telling her that he wants to be a part of her team – is he really turning on Frank?

In the final minutes of the episode, Frank meets up with a Bishop. He wants to talk to him about justice. The Bishop tells Frank that a commandment can be read in a million different ways. There are only: “Two rules: Love God, Love each other.”

As Frank goes up and spits at a Jesus-statue, it falls down and breaks on the ground. Much to his surprise. He grabs the ear of the statue and claims: “Well, I’ve got God’s ear now.”

Kudos to Elizabeth Marvel – she was magnificent in this episode as Heather Dunbar. She went toe-to-toe with Spacey, and she felt strong all the same. Masterful performance. Let’s also praise the Bishop in this episode, he was frank with Underwood – I appreciate that in my shows featuring a villain of Shakespearian proportions.

I really liked this episode. I appreciate when a character stands up to Frank, and can rival him fully. We got that in this episode – as well as some action in the search for Rachel. The stand-out scenes in this episode were, of course, the spitting-scene at the very end, but also the scene in which Doug asks for a spot on Dunbar’s team. Doug was painted a villain in that shot, you almost expected a supervillain walking up to Dunbar – beautiful shot.

B

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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