That probably should have been the series finale.
I’ll say this for House of Cards: it saves the crazy for the end of any given season. To recount in brief: Frank was the leak to undermine his own presidency without hurting Claire, but he didn’t tell her; he wants to go into private enterprise where the real power is despite having absolutely no known connections to use in that world, but in the meantime he needs a pardon from new President Claire; she’s ambivalent about such things but does confess to kill Tom Yates at Usher’s house; Usher is furious about that but sticks around; Claire wants to declare war on ICO or whatever the ISIS stand-in is; June Davis continues to be mysterious and pointless; Doug will take the fall for Zoe’s death though Hammerscmidt doesn’t believe he did it for a moment; Sleazy Seth is at least temporarily out; and finally Claire doesn’t pardon Frank (or Doug) setting up a war between the Underwoods.
After all, what are their respective last lines, both to the audience?
FRANK: I’ll kill her!
CLAIRE: My turn!
And once again, the presidency seems meaningless. Nobody is affected outside the inner circle. Even Frank’s near boyfriend was somewhat in there, and he’s shot trying to get inside the White House. The Secret Service usually isn’t that lethal for fence-jumpers, so that must be more heavy-handed symbolism.
I’ve long lamented the fact that nobody is good enough to bring down the Underwoods. Hammerschmidt came the closest and theoretically still could. LeAnn? She looks to be dead from a car crash, but we sure didn’t see a body. June Davis is weird. Doug will go to prison for murder before turning on Frank. Raymond Tusk, Garret Walker, Will Conway, that bearded congressman whose name I never learned, the hacker dude whose name I never learned…none of them are worthy opponents. Petrov might be, but he runs a different country and doesn’t care.
Could the Underwoods destroy each other? Frank took Claire for granted way too often, this time to protect her by not telling her he was sabotaging himself because as much as he actually says he respects the presidency (to the audience so it must be true), he respects power more, and political power is fleeting.
I coulda told him that.
Now I need to take a deep breath and wonder: if and when Netflix does a sixth season, do I care enough for this political mumbo-jumbo to continue? I tend to finish what I start, but I really don’t care that much for this House of Cards anymore.
So, with that in mind, what’s taking this show’s place? How about the British original? It’s on Netflix, and it actually ended after something like 12 episodes.
I’m curious how the two compare at this point. At least this one knew when to quit…