September 28, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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House Of Cards “Chapter Nine”

Season One, Episode Nine

I’m so used to seeing Frank Underwood basically keep pushing towards his nebulous goal, it seems weird to see most of the rest of the characters seem to push ahead of him this time around.

I mean, let’s take stock for a moment…

Frank is pushing for this watershed reclamation act that would push through money for Claire’s organization and help pad out Peter’s electoral chances for the governorship of Pennsylvania. He seems to have things well in hand, but loses the vote at the end of the episode. Now, that’s bad news for Peter, too, but it shows Frank isn’t all powerful. Let’s look at how other people are doing while he’s slipping behind…

  • Zoe learns from an older co-worker the perils of sleeping with a source. You can, she explains, go far up but not all the way up. Zoe tries (and ultimately fails) to quit the sexual aspect of her relationship with Frank, but she does shout at him later about how neither of them really enjoy that part of what they do. Ouch.
  • Claire needs leverage to get some water filters to a poor country, but the president has just cut diplomatic ties to said country, so there’s nothing Frank can do, and he does snap at her over that. But his usual method of corralling errant Congressman (he does the hard sell and then Claire does the soft sell) doesn’t work because Claire decided to take a favor from Remy Danton, the former staffer of Frank’s who now works for an energy concern as a lobbyist. So, she doesn’t do the soft sell on two environmentally-concerned Congressmen and the watershed bill fails.
  • Peter gets a bit tough with Vice President Matthews and earns the man’s respect.
  • Heck, even Frank’s staffer Doug Stamper is keeping that prostitute employed through threats to her creepy manager.

If there was something else here that caught my eye, it was early on. Frank tells the camera unequivocally that he hates children, but Claire keeps making these small faces saying she really, really would like some of her own, but it’s not going to happen while she’s married to Frank.