My favorite part of “House of Cards” season opener

18 February 2014

Very mild spoiler alert. If you, like me, are waaayyyy too busy in your work life to binge-watch and have yet to start the new season, and you don’t want to know even the slightest thing about this first episode — well, you’ve been warned.

house-of-cards-s2-trailerThe season opener is just as chockablock as you might imagine — intrigue undertaken by ruthless people capable of 3-D chess — all of which makes you question whether you can stand watching this level of immorality within government and media organizations.

The one thing missing: those moments when Frank breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to us, sharing his scary brilliant philosophy.

But then, at the very end, as Frank gets dressed in front of the mirror, he says in that voice, “Did you think I’d forgotten you? Perhaps you wish I had,” and he explains exactly why he committed one of the most stunning plot turns of this episode.

Screen shot 2014-02-18 at 9.17.48 AMWhat he says, of course, is chilling; because Frank Underwood (that’s F.U. to you) tells it like it is. And yet. This intimate moment is like all the other ones he shares with us: he takes off his mask, reveals his thinking, rationalizes his moves. But he also frames the whole thing in an elaborate metaphor that — well, when it comes flowing out of his mouth, with all those turns of phrase and that ballsy certainty, us viewers become implicated in the crimes.

How is it possible that when he peels back the safe-for-the-public face and speaks to me directly, Frank makes me feel … relief?

How delicious. Can I also say that Claire’s clothes (and moral ambivalence) are just as gorgeous and watchable as in Season 1? I can hardly wait for more.

8 Responses to “My favorite part of “House of Cards” season opener”

  1. Becky Says:

    These characters are the epitome of those people you love to hate. I can’t look away! I have only watched the first episode. I am not going to binge on these. I want to savor them.

  2. JustMeMike Says:

    Welcome to Frank’s world once again.

    I’m a bit more than half way through Season 2 and have done posts on the first four episodes, but I won’t spoil a thing for you and your readers like Becky who have only seen the first episode.

    Just wanted to say, that when Frank breaks that 4th wall and speaks to us, even though I know intellectually that it is not personal, I can’t help but react as if it were personal.

    Or delicious.


    • Didion Says:

      I’m just about to catch up on my feed for pieces about episode 1 — including at the top of the list your piece. So glad to see Frank and Claire back in my life… And I hope not to find them creeping about my house after dark.

  3. Hattie Says:

    Did you see the original British version?

    • Didion Says:

      Only an episode or two. And now Rachel Maddow tells me I can’t go back to the original after seeing the American version. Did you see the original?

  4. Orlando Says:

    It’s the Richard III dramatic strategy.

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