A conversation about House of Cards, Season 3

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.

9 Comments

Filed under Movie thoughts

9 responses to “A conversation about House of Cards, Season 3

  1. First, I just want to say that it’s nice to see you in front of your bookshelf 🙂

    I just finished the third season of House of Cards last night. What an ending! At first I didn’t love the fact that there was friction in the couple. I always liked when they were a power couple, them against the world, but eventually it did add some interesting storylines so I let that go. What did you think of that?

    The idea of Claire as Ambassador seemed a bit farfetched (but there are so many aspects that are farfetched I suppose. Why I am picking on that one?).

    I loved the storyline of Doug and his struggles. Such an interesting character.

    I could go on and on…

    What did you think of it? I preferred season one but I think they’ve done a good job considering they’ve decided to continue the series. They should probably have just one more season and then end it though. End on a high note.

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    • The U.N. Ambassadorship may be farfetched but Presidents have been known to give ambassadorships in exchange for election donations, or because they are best buddies with the president.

      Season 1 and 2 were about the couple. I liked 1 & 2. I liked 3, but it was different, less on the clawing to power, more on the behind the scenes of governing, so it was more like “Veep” on HBO.

      I disagree, they shouldn’t strive to end on a high note, but go as far as the subject allows and then further. It can be like the Daily Show, offering criticism to power, yet a lot more digestible and entertaining. There’s so much potential here.

      For example, H. Clinton’s press conference today. You could tell she was loving the attention knowing full well they’ll find nothing. They’ve been around since the 90s, they won’t communicate damning evidence online. They’ll have a Doug or two or three, probably a whole platoon of Dougs. House of Cards could totally go this route and take it further to the CitizenFour tangent, maybe with the Gavin character or a new one.

      I liked the Tusk character in 2, and the whole relationship of private enterprise and gov’t. Similarly, I hope they cover the gov’t contractor racket and how that affects policy.

      I loved the Pres. Petrov character and seemed to represent Putin in a very well balanced, yet revealing way. The episode with Pussy Riot was awesome, since I’ve had a crush on Nadya for so long.

      Next season, I hope they cover fracking and deep well injection, since that’s the probably the most relevant issue right now that no body seems to be covering. It would be interesting to see the machinations that go into allowing these procedures in our farm and residential areas. And to follow the money trail.

      I hope we’ll see more of Tom Yates and Remy, since they seem to represent the more sane elements in this seemingly schizophrenic world.

      I didn’t really know why they held on to the Rachel character for so long, I didn’t see her value in the storyline at all. I understand the whole blackmail angle, but they should’ve killed her in season two and let Zoe live for season 3. That would’ve added a more imminent threat of blackmail.

      I think they should expand it, with more characters (then it would be copying Game of Thrones, I know, but honestly I can’t stand the whole Dungeons and Dragon motif, I’d rather get what Thrones is offering in House of Cards format, real life instead of Dungeons & Dragons).

      Lastly, I just also finished watching BBC’s Sherlock Holmes, I’m a big fan of the Holmes short stories (and novels) since Jr. High. House of Cards should seriously think about doing 1 hr 30 minutes or longer per episode.

      And this last critic’s not House of Cards specific but for all online series, they should either shorten the title/intro scene or come up with a way to skip it. It’s not very conducive to binge watching.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “I loved the Pres. Petrov character and seemed to represent Putin in a very well balanced, yet revealing way. The episode with Pussy Riot was awesome, since I’ve had a crush on Nadya for so long.”

        Totally agree with this!!! I really liked both his character and how they included the group.

        “I didn’t really know why they held on to the Rachel character for so long, I didn’t see her value in the storyline at all. I understand the whole blackmail angle, but they should’ve killed her in season two and let Zoe live for season 3. That would’ve added a more imminent threat of blackmail.”

        I mostly agree with this. After two or three episodes, I finally got pissed and had to look up WHY he even had to find her. I literally had forgotten what their encounter had been.

        And then, by the time the WHOLE season focused on it, I was like, “Couldn’t they have put in some dialogue or a flashback to remind folks why this woman mattered so much?”

        And I’ll be honest: It killed me when Doug Stamper went back and killed her (after first letting her go). But as I thought on it, I came to admire how calculating he was. (For example, leaking that info to the opposition so he’d be re-hired by President Underwood.)

        And so in the end, I just came to realize that he’s exactly the kind of guy a Frank Underwood would both have and need working directly for him. So, killing her was in character for him and I ended up being okay with it.

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    • (UPDATE: This comment was in reply to Letizia, and I made it prior to reading LCPL_X’s comment. They just got stacked weird…)

      Well, let me preface my comments by saying that basically, it was awesome and sucked up many days of my attention! lol

      And I agree with you that I preferred it much better when they were a power couple!

      I actually loved the idea of Claire as the UN Ambassador, and it made sense given how low his popularity/re-election chances were.

      What bugged me the most about the season was her weakness in Russia, when she said all that at the press conference. I could not believe they had her get all emotional and say what she said. It honestly pissed me off so much that they would portray her as some weak woman that I nearly stopped watching it. I know they tried to play it as some courageous move or something, but that is not how it came off to me at all.

      I thought they focused a bit too much on Doug, but I loved the Remy Danton/Jackie Sharp love angle. I thought that came across as very real and showed how positioning and strategy doesn’t often mesh with feelings.

      One thing I can’t shake is that Frank Underwood is obviously an asshole who will knife you in the back. (For instance, the brilliant move against Jackie Sharp at the debates.)

      But it seems to me that at some point, he’s simply going to have no allies or friends, and thus no power. I just don’t see how they keep it going unless he seriously changes.

      Would you agree with that? And please, definitely let me know your thoughts on Claire and that press conference. Maybe I’m being defensive since I’m a man or something…

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      • Well, that comment was for Letizia. I forgot how this stacks replies! Now, reading LCpl_X, which I did not read prior to my comment. (Didn’t want his views possibly altering mine.)

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  2. There was something unsettling about Claire’s reaction in Russia. It didn’t fit her character. She could have found a way of protesting but in a different, collected way. Having said that, she did wake up from her nap to find him hanging there so that would rattle anyone.

    I really liked the Remy/Jackie story too – well written, wasn’t it? Complex and thought out. I look forward to see how that will play out.

    I always like scenes with Doug (although I agree with LCPL_X, the Rachel storyline was too long. Thank goodness she’s gone, I thought to myself!).

    Frank is losing all allies, good point…. I don’t want him to become a caricature of his earlier character. That’s why I thought it might be good to end the series soon as I could see that happening.

    It’s been so fun to chat about this with you (and also read what others are saying here). Did you see the original British version? I saw it before the American one so at first the American one seemed odd but now the American one feels like the “real” one.

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    • Yeah, this truly has been great discussing it!!! We’ll have to do this more often, for sure!

      And I haven’t seen the British version yet, though now I’m not sure that I want to.

      “There was something unsettling about Claire’s reaction in Russia. It didn’t fit her character. She could have found a way of protesting but in a different, collected way. Having said that, she did wake up from her nap to find him hanging there so that would rattle anyone.”

      I think it’s this last part that bugs me the most. I mean, they have this crucial treaty on the line and the fact they showed her getting rattled just kind of played into the “we can’t have a woman President; just look how she couldn’t handle it” theme that I often sort of hear implied among some men.

      And besides that, Claire has been SO STRONG this entire time. In so many ways, she’s stronger than Frank and she IS why he made it where he made it. And then to have her crumble like that. It just really bothered me.

      I was hoping she’d prove how great she could be as Ambassador. How hard she studied, the way she deferred to the Secretary of State, the way she refused to just be the President’s wife.

      But then they put that scene in… (Geez, is it obvious how bad it bothered me?! lol)

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      • Lol, I see what you mean but maybe we could see her protest as a strength. Standing up for her beliefs etc. She may be shaking off this cool collected side and we are going to see a new side to Claire, one that doesn’t stand next to Frank or behind him but on her own. I’m excited to see where her political endeavors take her in the next season. Love that it it you riled up!

        I wanted her to slap the Russian president when he kissed her – or react differently than she did but she was still the cool collected Claire….

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        • “I’m excited to see where her political endeavors take her in the next season.”

          Me, too!! She’s such a strong and awesome character!

          “I wanted her to slap the Russian president when he kissed her – or react differently than she did but she was still the cool collected Claire….”

          I had forgotten about that scene!! That scene was sooo strong. As soon as the Russian President started making everyone toast more and more, I was thinking, “I’m not sure what he’s up to, but I like it! Shit’s about to get good up in here.” lol

          Liked by 1 person

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