REVIEW: House of Cards – “Chapter 31”

I'm Jeffrey Rex Episode Review - Netflix - House of Cards 31The following is a review of the fifth episode of season three. Expect spoilers in the plot description.

A surprise guest appearance? Executive Orders? Yup, House of Cards is back. Let’s get to the plot description:

The episode opens with Underwood trying his hardest to get America Works through, by any means necessary. He strikes up a deal with the mayor of the District of Columbia, who’s extremely positive about the AmWorks plan. They’re launching AmWorks in D.C., with hopes that Congress will take it nationwide as a result.

While Frank is all over D.C. looking for AmWorks-help, Dunbar is on talk-shows with the husband of the Gay Rights activist arrested by Russia. They both attack the President and his government for inaction with regards to the activist, Corrigan.

Frank wants Sharp to announce her running for office, he wants her to attack AmWorks – and pull voters away from Dunbar. Only to then flip-flop and jump on Underwood’s ticket in 2016. At Dunbar’s campaign offices, Doug is hard at work – negotiating his way onto her team. Meanwhile, the Israelian Ambassador informs Claire that Israel is bailing on the deal to circumvent the security council.

The reporter to replace Sayyad is attacking the government hard, contacting Arnie Silva of FEMA, contacting Homeland Security – the paper is fighting back. The President is fuming about the new reporter. Meanwhile, Dunbar is being briefed on the Jordan Valley-tactics… In the Oval Office, the leaders of both parties are attacking the AmWorks-tactics. He is declaring war on Congress – like it or not.

Doug Stamper is becoming dangerous for the President, he is revealing secrets to Dunbar – dangerous secrets. And by doing so he is finally given a job. Meanwhile, Jackie Sharp accepts the President’s offer to campaign. Over at the UN, Claire is informing the Russian Ambassador of the executive order by the President to bring troops to the Jordan Valley. The episode ends with the Fourth of July speech – as Petrov has invited Underwood, and agreed to release Corrigan when he arrives. And who’s there to line up for a job? Freddy.

Please tell me you all cheered when you saw Freddy, played by Reg E. Cathey, in line for AmWorks? I miss him on the show, and I bet Frank really misses him. While a lot of things happened in this episode, I thought it was the weakest of the bunch so far. Sure, declaring war on Congress was interesting – but not surprising, as a matter of fact only Freddy was a surprise in this episode.

Which isn’t to say that nothing happened elsewhere. But the great scenes were with Jackie Sharp, and then with Russian Ambassador – and they didn’t have a lot of weight to them.

The new White House reporter intrigues me, she is strong-willed – and this might be the best reporter to target Underwood yet. Also, Frank might be ruining any opportunity of a 2016 2nd term – he seems too aggressive, so if he still wants 2016 to be a thing, then AmWorks has to work. Thankfully, this was the first episode wherein I started to believe in that idea.

B-

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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