REVIEW: House of Cards – “Chapter 34”

I'm Jeffrey Rex Episode Review - Netflix - House of Cards 34The following is a review of the eighth episode of season three. Expect spoilers in the plot description.

All’s good in the Underwood household following last episode’s renewing of the vows. But will things stay calm in Chapter 34? Come find out. Let’s get to the plot description:

Say welcome to Faith – a hurricane very much going towards the U.S. is compared to Francis J. Underwood in an opinion piece by the savvy replacement reporter. Meanwhile, Frank’s author is finishing a draft of the prologue to the book on AmWorks. Frank is worried about the hurricane coming towards the eastern seaboard, knowing fully that FEMA doesn’t have the funds to protect the U.S. Citizens.

We learn that Mendoza is out of the Republican picture, having made a couple of mistakes too many. Congress is trying to force Frank’s hands. They’re willing to fund FEMA appropriately, if, and only if, it comes at the cost of AmWorks funding. Former VP Jim Matthews is even demanding that Frank does this. While in the Oval Office, Seth Grayson informs POTUS that Freddy is one of the 10 daily case studies gathered for him from AmWorks. Freddy is now washing dishes.

In an interesting turn of events, Doug calls up Seth Grayson and tells him the truth – that Jackie and Dunbar are meeting about suspending their campaign during the hurricane – he wants the President to know. Where does his allegiances lie?

Jackie has accepted the offer from Dunbar – much to the displeasure of POTUS. Meanwhile, Freddy might be in trouble – due to the problems with AmWorks funding/FEMA funding his employer might have to let go one or two of the three washing dishes.. Things are falling apart for both the President and his true allies.

One day, Frank has invited Freddy over to the White House, and he even brings his grandson. Frank tells Freddy that he intends to sign the deal that Congress offered him (which he does), and that he’d like to offer Freddy a job – and he accepts a job working outside of the White House as a greenskeeper.

But would you look at that? The hurricane turned, like Frank had hoped. Sadly the money had already been appropriated – AmWorks is falling. As is the opinion piece the reporter wrote, and even the book the author was writing seems lost. Or is it? Hint – it’s not. Frank is announcing that he’ll run – a vote for him is a vote for AmWorks. They proved that it works, but now they need to make America believe.

It was great to finally see more than a glimpse of Reg E. Cathey again – he did just fine, though I didn’t care for the little speech he gave his grandson. The whole plot seemed too inconvenient, too ‘make believe’ – it seemed imaginative. Though some would argue that that was the entire point of Chapter 34.

This episode wasn’t a masterpiece, though the narration did have me hooked – it won’t be that memorable because it’s all about the what ifs.

C+

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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