Sunday, February 03, 2013

HOUSE OF CARDS - chapter ten

Kate Mara at the London première
PLOT SUMMARY: In the wake of the failed Watershed Bill vote, chief whip Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) takes the rap, sheltering Linda Vasquez (Sarakina Jaffrey) from President Walker's (Michael Gill) anger, and currying favour by persuading Gillian (Sandrine Holt) to help Vasquez' son get into Stanford.  Frank tells Claire (Robin Wright) in no uncertain terms that her charity is not as important as his political goals. She reacts by visiting Zoe (Kate Mara) before joining her ex-lover Adam Galloway (Ben Daniels) in New York.  Zoe (Kate Mara), disgusted and alienated from her apartment, sleeps with her ex-colleague, Lucas. Meanwhile Frank sets up Gubernatorial candidate Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) with Doug's hooker Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), resulting in him falling off the wagon and blowing a radio interview. In the final scene, Peter goes awol. 

COMMENTS:  A good, tense episode focussing on the emotional fallout from Claire's betrayal in the last episode.  It was obvious that Claire would go to New York, but not that Zoe would sleep with Lucas, seemingly having a change of heart about her nakedly ambitious, heartless career choices to date.  It was also a surprise to see (presumably) Doug and Frank set Peter up for a fall, although one can't yet see to what end. Doesn't it look bad for Frank to have backed the wrong horse - a man so obviously in a fragile recovery?  I guess we have to wait and see who he plans to put into the gubernatorial race instead, and to what end that helps him.  Finally, Frank knows where Claire is.  Will he go and get her? Or just wait for her to return? I thought the acting in this episode was particularly top notch, especially as it didn't rely on zingers, or any dialogue at all, but rather long drawn out reaction shots. I loved Kate Mara's reaction as she does a double-take of her grimy apartment, seeing it through Claire's condescending eyes, tinged with her own bad choices and memories.  And  I loved the look on Corey Stoll's face when he drank his first shot, and I really hope he gets some awards love for this challenging performance. 

1 comment:

  1. I think it was very obvious that Zoe would eventually make out with innocent Lucas. She just needed that after betraying herself for such a long time. There was this moment in Chapter 7 when the two of them met and kissed while being watched from across the street by a jealous Frank, remember? When she realized Lucas had only come for her, with no catch at all? Frank didn't get it wrong, there was this longing in her eyes when it looked like she might ask Lucas to come up, just before she decided to continue with the dirty game for at least one more round.