Friday, February 21, 2014

HOUSE OF CARDS - Season Two - Chapter Twenty Four

PLOT SUMMARY: Vice President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) testifies in front of Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) as to how far he knew foreign money laundering into PACs.  At first he denies everything, but then Frank tells President Walker (Michael Gill) that he's going to go public on the back-channelling. This alarms the president because that's an impeachable offence. Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) says he acted without the Vice President or President's knowledge but Underwood takes responsibility for his actions anyway.

Meanwhile, the Japan-China dispute escalates with the USA's Samarium stockpile down to two months. Daniel Lanagan (Gil Birmingham) complains to Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) that he's already been offered a plea if he testifies against Ray Tusk but Remy tries to persuade him not to take it.  Remy investigates Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) on the pretense that his lobbying firm might be about to hire her, and shady PR man Seth Grayson (Derek Cecil) is in cahoots with Stamper.  Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) dodges an investigation by journalists, and she pressures Megan Hennessy (Libby Woodbrige) to speak out to support her floundering Bill.  Finally, investigative journalist Ayla Sayyad (Mozhan Marno)  links President Walker to the money laundering. 

On the personal front, Doug Stamper attends a recovery meeting and Frank becomes suspicious, but remains supportive, just. He then voyeuristically catches Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan) and Lisa Williams (Kate Lyn Sheil) having sex.  And Claire's bodyguard Edward Meechum (Nathan Darrow) instigates a threesome with Frank and Claire. 

COMMENTS:  A holding episode where political relationships realign for the final stretch and the structure of the house of cards becomes evident.  I find the relationship between Stamper and Frank touching, though, and along with his genuine love for Claire, this has been the real game-changer this season in softening Frank, or at least making him feel less like a robo-political-operative. The only other thing of note is that I really now want to see what Grayson is up to. He's proving to be a far more charismatic character than Remy Danton. With the personal storylines,  I certainly didn't see the threesome coming, and I guess that provides some shock value, but it seems to be there more for titillation than anything else. 

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