Critical review: House of Cards Season 5 Episode 3 (2017)

House of cards is a drama Netflix series that revolves around two protagonists; Frank and Claire Underwood, a congressman and environmental activist. The married couple is two manipulative and intelligent partners who seek to take what they want with an iron fist but gentle in outward appearance, the couple is very honest with each other and very secretive to others. The series shows the type of corruption, deceit, and greed that takes place in American politics and small examples for other nations politics. The Underwoods plan to take revenge on all those that have done them wrong and from there carry out their desires. House of Cards primarily takes place in the United States forefront for politics, Washington D.C.

Tension, stress, and anxiety are at an all-time high in this episode as the 2016 presidential election is less than 24 hours away. A stressed Frank Underwood continues to campaign although his health is questionable. Due to Frank’s transplant, the country has already been quite skeptical on whether his fitness would be able to sustain him through 4 years of presidency and with him coming down with what looks like from the episode, a cough, skepticism rises, within his campaign team and outside it.

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Frank, a man who displays power and strength refuses to allow the negativity get to him and wants to press forward. This power that Frank displays also damages him, for example in this episode when Secretary of Defense Cathy Durant recommends plans to Frank he lashes out at her, and from viewing the show you can easily tell by Cathy’s expression that she is upset and this worsens their relationship, due to Frank’s attitude those who should be serving him with loyalty and integrity seem to be undermining him and proving to be loose allies, with all the chaos happening around him Frank tries to stay composed as election day is almost here.

Meanwhile, his opponent in the race Will Conway, the Republican nominee who uses social media to his advantage with his better looks and appeal in age by being much young, holds a live questionnaire with the nation to ring the hearts of more citizens onto his side by showing his honest and will answer any question given. But tension arises in the air on his side as well when citizens start to ask him specific questions about his days in the army which seems to be an alarmingly sensitive topic for him. As election day is soon upon them, the confident candidates have a lot on their plates, both going in with high hopes leaving no room for doubt or lack of faith.

The aesthetic qualities of the episode and show, in general, are professional and sharp, as one would expect from a top rated show on Netflix in its latest 2017 season. The show emits real life scenarios with superb editing and production, utilizing news network like CNN, CBS and their stars like Wolf Blitzer and John King. House of Cards primarily communicates with dialogue and also breaks the fourth wall usually at least once every episode, but this concept of utterance is restricted to Frank Underwood only. Whenever Frank is up to something, lying, angry, upset, joyous or simply wants to talk, regardless of the situation he’ll turn to the fourth wall (the audience) and have a few words or so.

Frank and Claire have quite a complex marriage, Claire has an affair with Tom Yates, a novelist who now works for the couple, although an affair Frank has full knowledge of how the two have sex and sleep together in another room just about every night, Claire is a strong woman who gets just about anything she wants and stops at nothing (sometimes bad) to get it, including marital happiness which is something she felt she wasn’t getting from Frank and instead felt this happiness and love from Tom so she accepted it with open arms.

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House of Cards is an impactful show that gives a sense of the corruption and underlying truths in the government, it may not be 100% accurate but as members of everyday society and not the government one may never fully know. The series has an immense sense of courage and individuality and also shows a journey of those aiming for power.


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