313 - Chapter Thirty Nine

Director: Unknown
Writer: Unknown

Comments

  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    My thoughts on the complete season:

    First thing I noticed pretty early into the season was that I was totally on board with Francis and Claire and rooting for them. This wasn't the case in season 1 and 2. I despised them and wanted to see them fail and suffer. Something must have changed and I didn't particularly like whatever that was.

    I also didn't really like that Claire grew a moral compass all of a sudden and started to become an annoying hypocrite. Francis telling her to fall in line was completely deserved IMO and another thing I was on board with. He was completely right that she was part of the team from the beginning and acted like a spoiled child changing her mind on a dime. It detracted from the believability of her character.

    What I liked about this season was the music and some of the performances but the story-lines didn't really hook me, the shock moments didn't really shock me. It seemed spread a little thin and all over the place. It left us hanging on whether he would win the 2016 election (or are we to assume he can't do it without Claire?), so it lacked the payoff season 2 had. My response to Claire leaving Francis was along the lines of "good riddance" so to find out this was the end of the season was disappointing to say the least.

    Overall I liked season 1 and 2 a whole lot better.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited February 2015
    I'm with you on rooting for them as well. A big part of the show is how
    Frank is a fully committed snake navigating a den of partially to fully
    committed snakes, so in that context there isn't anything wrong with
    picking the best horse.

    As far as the ending is concerned it wasn't very good. Easily the least interesting storyline was the Frank/Claire arc, so them going out with that soured an otherwise great season.

    Also, what the hell was up with Doug Stamper, Chief of Fucking Staff for the White House, going out on a several day (if not weeks) tracking and murder mission? Had to suspend my disbelief quite a bit for that one, and that's saying a lot for a show where the President of the United States has two single handed murders under his belt.
    I just want to be famous enough that a porn parody gets made about me.
  • trippytrippy Saint Louis
    Agreed on the doug stamper road show.  That was..... crazy.   I did however find myself saying "oh rachel rachel... why are you walking on the road.  When you saw the van drive away and out of site,  you run and hide in the scrub brush.  What you don't do is just start walking on the road.  Did you really really think all was well?".

    I also grew weary of the Remy/Jackie relationship.  I just didn't care very much.  


    _____
    Nothing says 'This situation is serious' like a corpse on the floor.
    -Anon.
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    @Freddy @trippy Thinking about it it seems the only reason they brought Stamper back was so they'd have another young woman to kill to shock the audience. "People liked this last time, so lets do it again." Didn't have anything to do with the overall plot as far as I can tell.


    They should've had Francis spite-strangle Claire for leaving him. Crime of passion he wouldn't be able to cover up would've been the perfect end of the season.
    AntManBee
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    So I just came here and took everyone on! Ha! Sorry, it's just easier for me to express these thoughts when responding to certain points.

    My thoughts on the season overall: More interesting than season 2, but only because Claire carried it. If Claire wasn't so interesting, I'd feel cheated by the lack of Frank asides. My God this season had a slow start though, but thankfully there wasn't any moment that made me ashamed I was watching the show: no one being forced to bark like a dog. I wish I could forget that, but I can't. I was totally invested in the Rachel/Doug storyline in the last episode, and sad it ended how it did. I agree with @trippy : run like hell. The man just gave you water. You've got options now. Get off the road, wait until nightfall. But Rachel never struck me as too smart.

    I felt sorry for Claire most of this season, so the ending was cathartic and promises great stuff next season. Good stuff.

    Were there problems? Yeah. A lack of scheming from Frank, a lack of asides, and a slow start, as I mentioned, but whatever. It was better than season 2. And I think it sets us up for scheming in season 4.
    Arctor said:

    I also didn't really like that Claire grew a moral compass all of a sudden and started to become an annoying hypocrite.

    Claire has always had a moral compass. The show began with her doing
    charity work and she's always been the more empathetic one in the
    couple. I could certainly cite more things to back that up, but I'm just surprised it's necessary; it's always been so plain to me.
    Freddy said:

    As far as the ending is concerned it wasn't very good. Easily the least interesting storyline was the Frank/Claire arc, so them going out with that soured an otherwise great season.

    I thought it was fucking awesome. The Claire/Frank marriage has always been the most interesting point in the show for me. Besides the gimmick of Frank's asides. And there's still a lot of mystery there: why they got together, why he's not sexually attracted to her anymore, etc. The writer was correct in sniffing out this was the most interesting story. It was so meta, I loved it.
    trippy said:

    I also grew weary of the Remy/Jackie relationship.  I just didn't care very much.  

    Again, I like their relationship. Which is so weird to me, because I don't like any other relationships on the show, yet these are the two under the most attack this season. Remy/Jackie are sweet, and Claire/Frank are fascinating, but I seem to be alone on this front. Well, me and the House of Cards writers, I guess.
    Arctor said:

    They should've had Francis spite-strangle Claire for leaving him. Crime of passion he wouldn't be able to cover up would've been the perfect end of the season.

    And miss all the fallout of her leaving him? Seriously? I still want to know what makes them tick, as a couple, and that's going to come next season. I can't wait.
    ArctorUnderwood
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    @JaimieT Interesting, I thought this season was actually the last one. I thought the British version was a trilogy but it seems that one had 4 seasons as well... Knowing that sort of changes how I feel about the season's end, it'll be interesting indeed.

    Odd that we have such different views of Claire. I thought her charity work was just one of the clever ways she presented herself to hide the fact that she was just as much of a psychopath as Francis. Just like everything Francis does (including the Work program) is to win votes. I really regarded those two as a team and assumed she knew exactly what she got into when she agreed to marry him. He mentions that she knows him better than he knows himself a couple times! I thought her moral growth occurred right at the moment she decided to change her speech in Russia about the kid who hung himself with her scarf.
    steph_b
  • I have the DVDs of the British version and it is a trilogy, three seasons of 4 episodes each. The first season is FU's rise from Chief Whip to PM, the second focuses on a conflict with the king, the third is FU's descent. The American version is dragging for too long IMO. They should've stuck with the three season format, maybe add a few more episodes per season to allow for the subplots focusing on Claire.

    Regarding Claire, I don't think she realized how powerless and dependent on Frank she would be as First Lady. She sees herself as essential to his success, but lacking any real power or significance once he reached his goal. Of course, Frank's power is also limited  - this season he failed at pretty much everything he tried to accomplish.

    Arctor
  • I pretty much enjoyed the Season as a whole, but I couldn't get over Francis' plan, as a *Democrat* President, to gut Social Security and other entitlements to pay for his America Works program.  It seemed way too drastic and unrealistic to me.
    And the book author and his journalist girlfriend seemed like just another version of Zoe and that blond curly haired guy she was dating (sorry, can't remember their name). 

  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Boston MA

    I pretty much enjoyed the Season as a whole, but I couldn't get over Francis' plan, as a *Democrat* President, to gut Social Security and other entitlements to pay for his America Works program.  It seemed way too drastic and unrealistic to me.  


    It does seem a bit of a stretch; nobody who is hoping to get re-elected to any office would propose it IRL. I hope that it's an exaggeration to demonstrate a) what a Snake Charmer Frank is and b) how powerful his campaign rhetoric is. (Jobs, support for troops, God, jobs, and folksiness and jobs.) People in America want to work, and a large portion of them don't want their tax dollars to be given as "handouts," as they might say. A simple catchphrase (You are entitled to NOTHING) and a charismatic president might actually take the America Works plan pretty far. 
    AntManBee

    I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is."


  • PoppyPoppy England
    I've really enjoyed the season as a whole but i must say I'm pretty fucking disgusted with the whole Stamper killing Rachel thing. It just seems to convey the message of young women being completely disposable and constantly overpowered and by their male oppressors. Doug was a control freak and has succeeded in controlling her to her death. Not that I'm against sick and twisted things happening in hocs,  I kind of liked the other murders for the shock value but this was something else.
    ArctorUnderwood
  • ArctorArctor The Netherlands
    Poppy said:

    It just seems to convey the message of young women being completely disposable and constantly overpowered and by their male oppressors.

    Couldn't agree more. You don't have to be a Sarkeesian to see that's a huge detrimental trope that needs to die.
    Poppy
  • MarkMark Phoenix
     The Grantland Pop Culture podcast had Dan Pfeiffer on the show on March 12. He is the former adviser to Obama and gives his take on House of Cards and West Wing. It is an interesting listen. Basically he knocks HoC for realism but does keep on watching it. Oh, he also explains the mysterious "invisible" doors on HoC.
  • To me, this season was just way too damn slow. We barely made it past the Iowa caucus, which in itself had way too much riding on it. I feel like episode 13 should have been episode 4 or 5. I was expecting the show to run through the 2016 elections, but instead we got a series of mired plot lines that ultimately went nowhere. Did we really need 12 episodes to track down Rachel? 10 episodes to research a book that was never written? 8 episodes on a Russian plot that ultimately went nowhere? There were no stakes to this season. Instead, we got a neutered Frank, an aimless Claire, a broken Stamper, a Bond villain, and a cadre of ridiculous characters that aren't even relevant enough to mention (but I'll do it anyway Remy, Seth, Jackie, Kate, and even Dunbar). 

    Ultimately, this season came down to a bunch of characters who were tired of doing their jobs and wanted to move on to something else. It makes me wonder if this sentiment was echoed in the writers room. 
  • trippytrippy Saint Louis
    @April_May_June

    I agree.  I realize that it from a writing perspective it may have been difficult to explain how exactly Social Security was being done away with,  but I really did want to know exactly how that was going to work.  That is a BIG deal.  Is it simply going away entirely?  is there an, ahem, grandfather clause that everyone currently of age X or older will still get their payments, but anyone younger will never see it?  

    There are many that don't like Social Security, but it is a train that is difficult to stop.  I for one would be asking for a refund for all the Social I've paid in since I was 14 (yes yes I know I pay for current retirees, and its not a government bank account,  but selfish me would be still be wanting it). 



    April_May_JuneAntManBee
    _____
    Nothing says 'This situation is serious' like a corpse on the floor.
    -Anon.
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    edited March 2015
    I liked this season as a whole, but I have some complaints like everyone. Lack of Frank scheming yada yada... One thing I think we can all agree on is the breaking of the forth wall with Frank talking to the camera this season was fantastic. The "slit her fucking throat" from last episode was absolutely brutal. Music was great too.
    "The mouse lady had kind eyes"
  • I also liked this season as a whole and I have similar complaints like everyone else, but I was particularly disappointed with this finale. It didn't feel like a finale. I was underwhelmed by Claire leaving and WAY too much time was spent on Stamper stamping out Rachel.

    And I agree with @HolyBlotterBatman that they treated the Iowa caucus with too much importance. It would have been more interesting to see Claire abandon Frank during the DNC while he accepts the nomination. That would have been some serious high stakes drama right there.

    Whoever said in the podcast feedback that the show would last four seasons so that the 52 episode run would symbolize all the cards in a deck should get a gold star. What great insight and I hope we get just one more season so that exact thing happens.
    All the nightmares came today, and it looks as though they're here to stay...
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