HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2: What Did You Think? | Give Me My Remote

HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2: What Did You Think?

February 17, 2014 by  

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[Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers for all of HOUSE OF CARDS season 2. Not every single episode will be touched on, but many will, including the season finale.]

I didn’t entirely intend to binge-watch HOUSE OF CARDS season 2 (I watched season 1 over a week, and even felt that was a bit excessive), but after being not-very-subtly spoiled on Twitter by a major outlet first thing Friday morning, I realized if I had any chance of not having the season ruined for me, I had to hunker down. So I did.

(A quick note on binge-watching: I’m not opposed to it — quite frankly, if I stick a disc of a favorite show on, it’s rare for me to just watch one episode — but I do feel like it takes something out of a show to have an entire season released at once. There is so much in this show I would have loved to have had a day, a week, etc. of time to let breathe — especially Zoe’s death — or had night-of/morning after freak outs with friends about. Instead, what the conversation became about was trying to figure out who was watching what, how blurred together everything felt, and then try to not spoil friends who were further behind. Netflix has no reason to change their model, but I did often find myself wishing we had even gotten three or four episodes released in bursts versus trying to navigate talking about all of the season at once.)

Even though the biggest WTF JUST HAPPENED moment of the season — and series — happened in the show’s first episode (Frank pushing Zoe in front of a train, in case there was any doubt), personally, I think I enjoyed season 2 more than season 1. And since everything basically blurs together when you watch so many episodes of a show so fast, there are a few things in particular I wanted to highlight/talk about…

  • I touched upon it earlier, but man, Frank killing Zoe was absolutely brutal. It had gotten spoiled enough that I expected it, but nothing could really dull the viciousness of the moment.  The audience has seen Frank do some completely unforgivable things (Peter’s murder in season 1, particularly was something that was really difficult to watch, and I find to be absolutely inexcusable), but the public, violent way Zoe met her end is still kind of difficult for me to wrap my brain around. But, almost more importantly, losing Zoe didn’t actually hurt season 2. So many shows do go for the big shocks/moments, but then struggle to find their footing in the aftermath, but I appreciated that while the people who cared about Zoe attempted to get justice for her, the loss of her didn’t throw the show into a tailspin. (And the fact that no one spoiled that Kate Mara only filmed one episode HOC? Kind of amazing. I give the producers and Netflix props for keeping that quiet.)
  • For as much as everything blurs together for me, no single episode stood out as much as Claire admitting her rape and abortion on live television. Sure, she lied about the abortion being because of the rape, but my goodness, Robin Wright has never been better on the series. Claire’s quiet, dignified strength almost makes it easy to forget she convincingly threatened to let a pregnant former co-worker’s fetus die inside of her last season.
  • Season 1 ended fairly quietly, and I appreciated season 2 didn’t end on an equally quiet note. Now that Frank has manipulated his way into the presidency, season 3 seems to be clear, and it also becomes so much more interesting. So much of what we’ve seen of Frank has been him trying to climb up to more power/authority — now that he has one of the most powerful jobs in the world, what will he do next? Will his focus shift to trying to maintain the power and make sure the various skeletons from his closet don’t pop out?
  • I don’t necessarily want good things for Frank and Claire, but after seeing how effective they are as a team, it’s hard to imagine anyone really taking them down. The way they manipulate the truth (and lies) is an art. I had a lot of doubts about their marriage while watching season 1 (especially since he claimed he loved her “more than sharks love blood” and then a few short episodes later was sleeping with someone else), but by the end of season 2, there was no doubt in my mind it was true. It might not be an ideal relationship, but they are solid.
  • I went into season 2 really only thinking Doug and Rachel were decent humans. Boy, did that change by the end of the season. Doug’s obsession with her was tragic, but her killing him in the finale broke my heart a little. (And really, how is Frank going to cope without Doug?)
  • It never hit me until Frank got the cuffs as presents that his initials are F U. Yep, that seems pretty perfect.

Okay, enough from me. This is a safe place we can talk without spoiling anyone else. What did you think of HOUSE OF CARDS season 2?

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