The nice thing about working nights: marathon TV sessions on Friday while I wait for the rest of the world to turn into humans at 5pm. And since the boyfriend is out of town, I get many more hours of House of Cards all to myself. This is a relief, because if we tried to watch it together, he might breathe too loud and and then we'd break up.
Season Three dropped this morning on Netflix. I have armed myself with bottom-shelf Zinfandel, peanut butter cups, and two different bags of cheese popcorn (regular & white cheddar) and a sock I need to finish knitting. Now I commence getting my evil nerd freak on.
I am watching on my phone because of complicated geography and data issues. Which sucks hard but what ya gonna do?
Chapter 27 @ 9:30 am.
WHO IS DEAD? Somebody is dead. It should be Doug, right? That's cool. I don't mind.
Not Doug. Dad.
Peeing on the grave, some Frank-talky. I'm cool with this.
What? Doug is alive? Laaaaaaaaaame. Ugh. Is he going to continue being a character? OMG, there is so much Doug in this show still. I hate him. Why are you doing this to me?
The new vice president is somebody I barely remember. The only people I care about are Frank and Claire. I cannot be bothered to remember other peoples' names. Besides, the only real message from this show is that all politicians besides Frank Underwood are lame and boring. I guess I know Remy's name and the dead girl and the other girl but really that's it.
Oh, here's the internet genius creepy dude I remember from other shows. He is slippery, Doug, and not to be trusted, but now I'm confused and I can't remember who I'm rooting for in this situation.
Claire wants to be the UN Ambassador, which is perfect for her. The UN Ambassador should always be somebody who only sort of believes in its mission, which keeps it toothless, the way it was meant to be. This line of thinking is probably why I got a B- in International Org, which I am allowed to tell you because I went to Mount Holyoke instead of Bryn Mawr—shoulda let me in straight off instead of waitlisting me first. Now look at me. I'm the sort of person who talks about my long-ago grades on the internet because of the corrupting influence of South Hadley.
Claire still wants to be Ambassador even though Frank just maybe ordered the deaths of a bunch of kids. They hug and it's a very sweet kind of moral ambiguity.
I am done with the popcorn for now but I need more wine and am wondering if maybe I should have started with the knitting instead of the popcorn and wine because now there's stuff all over my fingers and maybe my stitches won't be very precise because of the $6 zin, which I have been drinking straight from the bottle. I love screw tops.
Chapter 28, nearly 11am now because I started writing late.
God, I love the opening credits. But I have to look away to type. Major problem.
Claire sounds stiff before the Senate, and the toilet seat joke is way beneath her. But I guess good on her for showing she read the CIA World Factbook about the DRC, I guess?
Oh right, AmericaWorks is going to be a thing. I liked Frank's tantrum in the last episode.
"We don't want you to run." Damn! I mean, we knew that was going to happen, right? Because he was going to have to fight for something this season. Even Jackie, who I just remembered I loooove.
IT SHOULD BE CLAIRE. Well, except this isn't Parks and Recreation.
"The US military is irrelevant." She's only pretending to be rattled, maybe? Except maybe not!
Cuts back to the Oval Office, and now Frank knows. But life is crazy for the Prez.
Claire sucks up to Senators after losing her cool in the hearing.
Jackie wants to be Veep. Yeah buddy, I am cool with this.
They make their calls. "I can't fault you for being short-sighted. I hope you won't fault me for having a long memory. Good night!" Frank slams the phone down.
Claire goes for a run on the mall even though it requires a full detail from the Secret Service, which is just so Claire. She comes back to find Frank pouting in his office, so she takes off his pants and does things to him. They emerge looking like they got their swagger back.
The Senate starts voting while Claire picks eggs for the Easter Egg roll, which is so beneath her. 52 to 48 against her nomination. Ouch, Claire—but then, you did push for this, didn't you? There's some metaphor at play here about a black egg. Is this going to be a thing?
Yes, this is going to be a thing.
But now Frank says there's no point in sailing against a gale-force wind, and his henchman are all like, "Yeah, what's that mean?"
Suspense music builds. Frank's gonna do something unexpected to the party leadership. Exciting.
Oh, Jackie is banging someone who is not Remy. Boo.
Frank gives Claire a copy of the speech he is going to give to stick it to the leadership except we still don't know what it says. She is very somber, looks up, and says "yes," all satisfied and stuff. Then in the next scene Frank tells the leadership he won't run. Says he'll announce it as long as they will pass AmericaWorks.
Is Doug doing some freaky sex foot stuff? No, that looks like it's just physical therapy. And he's drinking again, sort of.
Ok, here we go, Frank is about to give his speech.
"You are entitled to nothing."
"Not handouts. Jobs." Underwood is going hard against entitlements. He can do that because he isn't running for the Democratic nomination.
Interesting word choice, given that he's espousing a Republican philosophy; that it's the damn dirty old people trying not to starve to death that are the root of the problem in America.
So he's going to switch parties, right?
Now Frank is singing to himself and making PB&J. Claire tells Frank she wants a recess appointment. She starts to lay out her case, and he says ok before she can finish. Then she throws up in the sink. And then starts frying eggs. As one does.
Chapter 29, noonish
President Petroff is coming. This is a plotline already established in the other two episodes. They namedrop Pussy Riot. Petroff immediately disses Frank oh-so-diplomatically.
Is Claire trying to suck up to the Secretary of State?
Doug is on a job interview with a congressman. He turns down $50k above the cap, which is absurd because he isn't a moral character.
Frank and the Russian Prez compare dicks and talk surfing. Tells Frank to bring Claire to Russia to surf and to bring Claire because there are artists there she likes. Then he says he won't play ball. He is basically Putin. But he sees through Frank's claim that he won't run for President. Says he came with nothing to ask. But Frank doesn't believe him. Not-Putin says he'll think about it.
Now to computer guy. God, I don't want to work somewhere I have to stand up as a sign of respect to my boss. Then he is bullied.
Now to the state dinner. I love that Claire is in gray. It is so her. Oh, are those the Pussy Riot girls? I don't know what they look like. I only ever read about them. They predictably make a fuss, pour out their drinks, and storm out.
Whatshisface Kissass Press guy swings by to visit Doug. A very telling shot where each of them is in a different room. Press guy is in the light while Doug is in the dark. Doug tells Kissass he got a job offer and asks Seth—oh, that's his name, right—if he or the President arranged it. Says he doesn't want it. He wants to work at the White House.
Petroff is fucking with Claire. He really shouldn't do that. Or is this the episode where I have to remember that she's a villain and that the Underwoods aren't getting by on mastery, but on luck?
She insults his cock, but diplomatically and with charm, because this how it goes at a state dinner.
Then a piano player convinces Frank to sing. You really can't trust a politician who sings. Petroff decides to sing too. And then he kisses Claire full on the mouth for a beat and a half too long. Frank pretends not to notice. Petroff is really trying to show he's The Man. Frank says he'll walk him out. Will he turn this around or will he end up sputtering like a little man?
Frank and Petroff go off to talk while while Claire and the Secretary of State go off to drink. Frank takes Petroff to the basement. The women bond over beer pong, of all things. Frank outsmarts Petroff, which is good to see. I like it when my favorite bad guy wins.
Chapter 30, 1pmish
I am long overdue for a swig of wine. Also, where is my knitting? Typing this interferes with my knitting.
Oh, this is going to be a Supreme Court episode. Cool, this is a new look on House of Cards.
Meh, I'm kind of bored.
And now I'm entertained again. I liked this plot device in the West Wing, too, where the president uses Supreme Court Justice retirements and other nominations to get rid of pesky political problems. But it fails.
It's interesting that Frank is capable of tremendous cruelty, but I don't think he actually likes hurting people. Well, maybe as revenge or when hurting someone is part of winning, but not as a general impulse.
DOUG turning traitor? Is he scheming? Or is he desperate and bored? I hope scheming.
Frank is feeling remorse and regret and tries to tell Claire and she's all "GROSS! Feelings! Get off!" So then Frank goes and has his own Two Cathedrals moment. Except Frank has questions about faith and Bartlett knows it all. Familiarity breeding contempt. Oh, oops, it looks like Frank has some contempt after all. What is with him needing to spill bodily fluids on——lmao omg. AWESOME. You need to see it.
"Well, I've got god's ear now."
Chapter 31, 2ish
Frank still hasn't slept in Claire's bed. He just plays games on his tablet.
Then the grand plan to declare unemployment a disaster begins in DC. It's scandalous and clever and I love it.
PAUSE: had to rearrange extension cords to be able to watch my phone right next to my laptop while both charge. I wish for the 100 thousandth time that I could get cable internet where I live, but that's smack dab in the middle of the rural Midwest, so no luck. My dad blames Clinton, I think.
UGH this whole scene is just black. Outdoor nighttime scenes are the worst when you watch on a phone.
Meh, I'm not really feeling the whole "Here's how we'd fix the Russia problem" plot line. Whoa, Claire just got harsh criticism.
OMG Claire is talking to the Russian Ambassador while she pees. That is effing glorious.
And now Frank is seducing a novelist to tout the AmericaWorks program. Is he going to be Frank's artist? That's what I want to know.
As the camera was panning during Frank's July 4th speech, I knew we were going to see someone we recognized. I thought maybe it would be Rachel, but no, it was BBQ man. Whose name I can't remember, because he isn't Frank or Claire or Doug or Remy or Rachel.
Chapter 32, 2:45ish
An unnerving conversation about marriage.
Is the girl Computer Guy is conning Dakota Johnson?
The activist guy is going to have killed himself..... yup.
UGH, Claire. Don't go rogue. Ugh. Claire. You're killing me. Frank's gonna have to fire his own wife.
"I should have never made you ambassador."
"I should have never made you president."
Chapter 33, 3:35
Oh my god I'm so tired. You know what takes the fun out of binge-watching? Feeling like you *have* to binge watch. I still haven't picked up my knitting needles.
Ok now Claire's hair is dark and they're renewing their vows? Is this a flashback? or a flash-forward?
Well, it then says "one month earlier" so it's a flash-forward. Ok.
I like the new reporter. She's cool. I can't remember who she is (the actress).
Eleanor Roosevelt and some monks make Frank and Claire decide to fix their marriage (and dye her hair). The first lady changed her hair. The world will explode.
Frank sorta bonds with the novelist, who is a fraud, which he should not have confessed to Frank, but this show wouldn't work if people weren't tripping over themselves to tell him their secrets.
And the First Couple are finally sharing a bed again. Happy endings? Except this season is only half way through. I think I'm bored.
Chapter 34, 5:30
Ok, hurricane problems. Which was expected, for plot reasons.
I take it back about liking the reporter. I am not loving her voice-overs. They feel cheap, amateurish.
I feel like this Dunbar/Sharpe conversation is a little bit a direct appeal to the Bechdel test, except I think talking about motherhood is only half a beat off from talking about men.
Doug tells Seth that the two are talking about suspending their campaigns, and I'm all, "What are you up to, Dougie?"
This is so cheesy. The two writers reading their stories about him. OOOOooo Secret Service man (Meechum? Beacham? Creechum?) throws down a little bit with the novelist. Jealousy!
BBQ man Freddie visits the Oval Office. And then he breaks my heart by telling his grandson he can't be president.
When Claire comes in to say she's sorry about AmericaWorks, I have an "Is the dress blue and black or white and gold?" moment.
Oh man, that damn dirty traitorous hurricane.
"Imagination is its own form of courage." See, I can't hate the show quite yet even though I'm not as invested in this season.
Chapter 35, 6:30ish
I like Jackie's dress.
Doug just found out Rachel is dead (maybe? probably?) Jumps off the wagon. I don't understand why I'm supposed to care about Doug.