Episode 413 - Chapter 52

Open thread for discussion.


  • edited March 2016
    [Edit: Dishonored my family by neglecting to adjust the formatting when lazily pasting my Reddit comment.]

    Just finished. Didn't mean to, I should have been busy with other things, but here I sit with my to-do list as full as my satisfaction.

    To be quite honest, Season 3 had left me anticipating little desire to binge this all the way through in one sitting. Just a couple, just a taste. Let's say- yeah- I'll just stop after the first four!

    I say this in the most endearing way possible- I have little difficulty believing some slimy, grimy, no-good rotten nincompoops from Netflix somehow anticipated (perhaps by wading through countless gigs of Poly Google metadata from last years fan reactions?) that placing the assassination attempt in that exact moment in the season where it would ensnare viewers into eagerly binging the remaining 8.5 episodes.

    Man alive, that caught me off guard. I'm not the keenest at predicting where a show will lead from one episode to the next, but they certainly disguised that one very well. I assumed they were once again highlighting the uniqueness in Frank and Meechum's relationship, the complete control contrasting with undying loyalty. (Fictional character doesn't make me any less of an asshole for my insensitivity. For shame!)

    The sequence leading up to "it" actually rustled my jimmies for a moment. We've seen this before. I get it. You share a secret history. OK, now you're making hand-turkey's on the wall of the White House. Quick, Meechum- shoot Frank a passionate gaze, draping your eyes knowingly on his for a brief second longer than you should! Hurry! We need more lustful ambiguity to continue matching Fincher's suspenseful lighting! Stat! Mainly, it was Meechum's screen-time while Frank was speaking at that University that made me scratch my head. I think it's absolutely amazing that they were able to make me feel... almost uncomfortably confused, and less than a minute later the show pulls off something that not only explains away my brief skepticism, but leaves me bowing to the writers every whim while I enthusiastically drink in the remainder of the season with no regard for human life. my aforementioned to-do list.

    The word "cuck" has made a huge comeback recently, used just as much as a verb as it is an insult. It's meant to belittle the powerless, those who lack spine and who have been obliterated by the dominant. As I think about it, I realize that the show that's about power, the perception of power, and the utilization of power as an instrument has managed, in a certain way, to assert it's power over me!  I was done! Yes dear, I'm coming to bed, as soon as this episode's over- be right there. Christ, I'm going to hear it in a few hours, and I don't know what to say to my wife without spoiling the surprise.

    >"I thought you were coming to bed, but instead you stayed up? All night? And finished? Without me!?! What changed? Don't you love me anymore?! Fine, I'm heading to Texas to stay with my mother until you figure out what this partnership means to you!"

    It seems I have some 'splainin to do. Yes dear, I was cucked by House of Cards. I'm sorry.

    (This should have been my title, but I think it deserves the finesse of context first.)

    I'm impressed that there weren't any leaks regarding this, at least, none that I saw. I am not the type that actively avoids spoilers by installing Chrome/Firefox addons and defriending everyone with loose-lips for "ruining the experience" (because I don't have Facebook, checkmate Zuckerberg!) In fact, I've groan/grown tired of the "spoiler police" admonishing anything and everything that's even remotely spoilerish, but this is an instance where I feel like spoilers would have absolutely ruined the effect it had on me. Whether Netflix succeeded in deceiving everyone else is still to be determined, but for now all I have is my anecdotal appreciation for the job they've done at leaving me speechless.

    Maybe none of this makes sense, maybe this wasn't that impressive and I just got wrapped up in the moment. I'm no Doug Stamper, I cannot maintain my edge after a half-marathon viewing of Doug Stamper's own tireless binge on life (even if I try his secret technique of "having a bite to eat"), so maybe I just need some sleep?

    At any rate, my apprehension for a fifth season has been impeached- see you next March.
  • Just finished the Season, and all I can say is: Woah.
    Not very articulate, but there you have it.
  • edited March 2016
    I found this season to be garbage. Schlocky garbage. Moments of interest in between long stretches of really really boring story. Hey what do you know episodes 1-6 didn't matter and neither did the clair vs frank story line.

    Plus, this show is soooo formulaic. 
    Step 1 Frank/Clair have a plan
    Step 2 Someone fucks with that plan and it looks like they will lose.
    Step 3 Something happens which delivers Frank/Clair a victory and puts in an even better position than before. 
    Step 4 Repeat. No matter what happens nothing hurts them at all.

    Nothing changes. This show is boring. Just make Frank emperor of America already. Really I would love the end of this show to be 30 years later and frank is serving his 12th term in office for some reason that they people in this crazy fictional universe will accept.   

    This is a dumb show pretending to be sophisticated smart one. 
  • I just finished the season, and have to say I liked it much better than the previous one. I love the writer angle, because happy(ish) Claire is my favorite Claire, and I've liked the actor since Boardwalk Empire. I think Joel Kinnaman also did a fine job of portraying Conway, and is a far more interesting opponent for Frank than Heather Dunbar or whoever else there ever was.

    I also started listening to the podcast, and I'm surprised how much Jim and A.Ron debate that having Claire as VP is batshit crazy, and that it couldn't ever happen in real life. Frankly, I think the writers did a good job with introducing and executing the idea, but more importantly, to the best of my knowledge, that clown Donald Trump has never held elected office either and he's running for president. And that's real life. So, yeah, there's that.
  • I finished binging this on Saturday, but haven't been able to get this question out of my mind: Did I understand correctly that the Underwoods were planning on using the terrorism that happened at the end of this episode to delay the election, and buy themselves more time in order to win at a later date?
  • There's the abuse of power, then there the UNDERWOOD's abuse of power, I'll take the former thank you very much. It was to be expected, back these UNDERWOODS in a corner, SCORCHED EARTH!!!!!!, the literal perhaps more than the the figurative.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    We're getting closer and closer to Frank pushing the nuke button. Come on Netflix! Don't hold back on me. We need to see nuclear fallout before all this is said and done.
    Frakkin T
  • All in for a military coup to bring down the Underwoods!!!
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    Very happy with this season. Liked this ending a ton more than last years. One thing I would have changed is to have Claire also say something during Franks last " talking directly to the camera" moment. She does look at him, so it seems like she knows whats happening, but it would of been cool to see Claire join in on that too.
  • AshleyAshley Atlanta, GA
    Underwood said:

    Very happy with this season. Liked this ending a ton more than last years. One thing I would have changed is to have Claire also say something during Franks last " talking directly to the camera" moment. She does look at him, so it seems like she knows whats happening, but it would of been cool to see Claire join in on that too.

    I really liked the way they did it, I was like, "Did she just look into the camera, too?!" It was kind of chilling that she didn't say anything.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I finished it over the weekend, and I think this is stronger than seasons 2 and certainly 3, but not quite as good as one.  I was very impressed by how they roped me in and got me to care about the goddamned Underwoods again.  I'll remember this season for the assassination attempt, for the moral decline of Claire, and for the sheer audacity of ending it with a President declaring total war as a way to escape a scandal.  Which will no doubt be doubly tragic, because I can't foresee a way he can avoid his downfall now that the Herald post is out.  Too many threads for people to unravel, and it just keeps getting worse as they pull the threads.
  • Ashley said:

    Underwood said:

    Very happy with this season. Liked this ending a ton more than last years. One thing I would have changed is to have Claire also say something during Franks last " talking directly to the camera" moment. She does look at him, so it seems like she knows whats happening, but it would of been cool to see Claire join in on that too.

    I really liked the way they did it, I was like, "Did she just look into the camera, too?!" It was kind of chilling that she didn't say anything.

    I think it would have been out of character for Claire to break the 4th wall and talk into the camera in that chilling final scene. As ruthless as Frank is, he is also a kind of court jester; breaking the the 4th serves a court jesters purpose. As the ice queen, Claire is more focused on the task at hand, not basking in it.
  • I would say however if they had Claire break the 4th wall once the whole series, that final shot in the situation room would have been perfect. They might have missed their window for that possibility.
  • brewseveltbrewsevelt Boston, MA
    adobo1148 said:

    I would say however if they had Claire break the 4th wall once the whole series, that final shot in the situation room would have been perfect. They might have missed their window for that possibility.

    Or it could be a prelude. Underwoods get elected due to the potential Conway scandal and not voting out sitting president during a war. Frank dies or gets impeached (dies so we don't have another potential impeachment in back to back administrations) and Claire becomes president. Taking over the 4th wall in the process.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I wouldn't mind if Claire breaks the fourth wall in the fifth season.  Her staring us down in the finale I thought was the perfect way to handle it.  If they want to go there, they can, but just her holding the audience's gaze and daring us to jeer or judge I thought was powerful.
  • Is there any moment in the series where Claire is around Frank while he is breaking the 4th wall.  I think it would be cool to think that she had been aware of "us" the whole time, just letting Frank do his thing and speak to us, and just now decided to make it a point that she knew "we" were there the whole time.
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    edited March 2016
    Guys, the new Threecham  is clearly called the Triumviryate.

    Edit: Just listening to 410-412 podcast now, so my apologies if you already stumbled on this! :D
  • DrewDrew indianapolis
    edited March 2016
    Damn what an ending. Awesome season, can't wait to see war time Frank and Claire!

    Also want to say to @jim and @A_Ron_Hubbard the three episode podcast was perfect for the Netflix format. I liked watching the three episodes chunks instead of just binging like I do for other Netflix shows. Are you thinking of doing the 3 episode podcasts for OitNB?
  • UnderwoodUnderwood Philadelphia, PA
    From reddit user beewestonhttp://i.imgur.com/2JnpVFQ.png
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Damn... am I going to have to start watching this show?  I'm always reading these threads, but never got into the show (political stuff sort of turns me off sometimes), but this just sounds like something I'm missing out on.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    That's a tough call, Michelle.  I like it, but the third season is pretty bad.  The first season was really, really good, as is this one. It's got a slick visual, and the performances are very well done. It's pretty easy to watch as well.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @A_Ron_Hubbard thanks for the insight - I think I might binge S1 this weekend and see how I do. I've always admired Kevin Spacey's work, and I really like Robin Wright. Plus, I made it through season five of Game of Thrones, and if I can make it through that sucky season then I can make it through season 3 of this show. :)
  • DrewDrew indianapolis
    Just listened to the finale pod, I do have to agree that Claire might kill Frank to take over as President, imagine if they save her first time talking to us for after she kills Frank.

    Also I've never met you guys but I have been around since the beginning with you. The 3 episode chunk was great because I personally could just say ok I'm staying and just watching these three and then watching the next 3 when the podcast comes out.

    I'm only going to watch Daredevil as the podcast goes instead of binging because you kind of lose that discussion. Even though we have the forums not everyone is discussing everything at once and the podcast kind of does that for you.

    Last year during OitNB I was done the first week so I only really listened to the podcasts for episodes I knew had something interesting. I guess it's personal preference really.
  • What about the possibility of the Hammer sinking to despicable depths to reveal the truth about Frank, I'm not saying he'll commit murder, but blackmail or extortion, I could see the Hammer showing some flexibility there if it meant taking down Frank. Also I think this would keep in sync with the overall theme of the show, to do the right thing, you will have to take a roll in the mud.
  • edited March 2016
    To be honest I am a little embarrassed that J&A used my comment on the podcast. I've mellowed on my opinion of this season and I don't think its as bad as I did immediately after viewing it. I was going to amend my comments but never got around to it. Oh well. 

    I still don't think its a good show and I do still have issues with its structure. It just reminds me of the Big Bang Theory. A less than intellegent show about smart people. 
  • DrewDrew indianapolis
    You know one key thing that will take out Frank everyone has forgotten.

    Last season when Gavin the hacker left town he was talking to Rachel's lesbian lover, he gave her Dougs name and number. She's seen Doug before, she knows his face but not his name. So if she's ever in trouble and calls his number or the Hammer finds out about her while looking into Rachel Doug is fucked.
  • The Underwoods are in the most precarious situation thus far and the stakes have never been higher. Seth doesn’t know what to say. Creepy Doug doesn’t know what to do. The walls are closing in. They are in jeopardy on multiple fronts.

    So, Claire and Frank double down. In fact, they double down twice– once on the impending war on terror and again with Yates. Both are equally desperate moves and both are equally dangerous courses of action. The war on terror is what it is– a sorely needed and highly sensationalized distraction. Still, they need Yates to pull this off. This could be more risky as the military action itself.

    The Underwoods need Yates far beyond fulfillment of the emotional and physical marital voids. Yates fictionalized his current “needs a new ending” book, which foreshadows him spinning the public reality for the President. Of course, he likely won’t agree to it, but I expect the relationship between Claire and Yates to grow. I don’t see the Underwood influence, pressure or leverage diminishing anytime during the coming season so Yates will be forced to create the public-facing stories needed.

    I expect Yates will succumb to the same fate of the souls used and abused before him. Still, I hope both he and Hammerschmidt share a scene.

    Hammerschmidt’s career has been about the truth– from day one. Yates’ rise to prominence was founded on a lie.  This needs to play out. Why? Well, they are both named Tom and they are opposite sides of a single coin. I look forward a battle waged between them. More importantly, I am hoping that the “Battle of the Toms” was planned all along.

    This is so Shakespeare.

  • Just got around to finishing the last 3 episodes and some general thoughts:

    1) Really loved how Freddy's character ended with him telling off Frank once Frank asked him to make him some ribs but at the same time, he wouldn't snitch on Frank when given the opportunity.

    2) I wasn't into the whole Claire/Yates relationship angle.  Mainly because we've already seen this with the photographer.  Fortunately, it was down played a little because Frank was basically cool with it.  Although, my fiancé and I were debating about whether this was a true act of love by Frank (to tell Claire to go get Yates back) or not.

    3) My initial reaction to the ending and Claire was to think it would have been cool to have Claire break the 4th wall and have a 1 liner to end the series.  To me, that would truly put her on Frank's level and show how ruthless she now has become (especially with her announcement that she's done trying to be loved).  In my opinion, if she had broke the 4th wall, then she wouldn't necessarily need to continue to do it in Season 5 but just show us that it's possible.  However, I can easily see the other side with people saying that she shouldn't have broken the 4th wall and maybe do it only in season 5.

    4) How in the world did they not have a translator in the room who would have immediately told Frank and Claire (in her location) what Ahmadi said?  Additionally, why not have him on a 5 second delay so you could somewhat control what he was saying just in case he "went off script"? 

    5) What's up with Doug and the widow?  How did she just fall for Doug that fast and why?  Because he donated $5,000?  Yes, that's a very generous donation but slow down a bit.  It's not like he donated $500,000.  Just thought that whole thing came out of nowhere.

    6) With the ending of this season, it should be interesting to see how this "war" will impact the election.  Also, loved how the general was realizing that Conway wasn't exactly the person he thought he was.

This discussion has been closed.