House of Cards Series 3 Review: Chapter 28

It’s Claire Underwood’s time to shine

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Jonathan is watching and reviewing every episode of House of Cards series three in one epic binge. Follow his progress here.

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OK, one slowish episode in, let’s get this going. Frank has his own Boeing 747 and theme tune every time he enters a room, now it’s Claire’s time to shine.

Lest we forget she’s an intimidatingly capable woman in her own right (global charity mogul, prospective Democratic frontrunner, qualified life guard) her path to ambassadorship was a pop quiz about mineral rights in the Congo, aired on live TV. Of course she nailed it, batting back senators’ questions like Bill and Ted presenting a history report, until a slip of the tongue spiraled into a nightmare.

“The military is irrelevant?” crowed the chief Republican haircut. “You said verbatim the US military is irrelevant! And you’re naked! And your teeth are falling out! Why are you getting angry? Stop hitting yourself!” 

Back in the Oval Office, Frank took a break from imitating Richard III to imitate Julius Caesar. The Democrats, convinced he will lose in 2016, ganged up and asked told him to bow out. Et tu, Jackie?

Kevin Spacey’s reaction to the betrayal, a reptilian stillness, was mesmerising. Either that or my Internet connection stalled. Frank agreed not to run on the condition that the leadership at least f*****g tried to push through his ambitious employment scheme America Works/AmWorks.

The result was a couple’s game of telephone, a split screen set–piece as both Underwood’s tried to shore up their personal support. How nice that they finish each other’s sentences, even when they’re not in the same room.

(Incidentally if you’re playing the RadioTimes.com Power Drinking Game –where you drink every time Frank says power– the speech about money and power will knock you out faster than a prostitute with a syringe full of bourbon. Oh Doug…)

The award for heavy-handed symbolism would probably go to Claire’s black Easter egg and midnight fry up –a heady mix of career woman anxiety, Lady Macbeth’s “unsex me here” and breaking eggs to make an omelet– if it weren’t for an absolutely classic House of Cards gothic sex scene. Where most couples will slip on some Barry White or Massive Attack when they’re feeling frisky, the Underwood’s need a full choir and church organ to set the mood.

Their exhausted quickie on the floor of the residence is the first time the Underwoods have been in control since the series started. And Claire’s on top, of course.

The Quotable Underwood:

“I can’t fault you for being shortsighted. I hope you won’t fault me for having a long memory.”

“Let me be clear: you are entitled to nothing. You are entitled to nothing.”

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Claire: “We don’t go in for soundbites”/ Frank: “That’s penny wise and pound foolish.”