House Of Cards Season 2: Frank Returns With A Vengeance

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    Updated: February 18, 2014
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    “Just shy of treason, is politics…” – Vice President Francis J. Underwood 

    If you’ve ever watched House of Cards, then you are aware that you do not need to be a scholar in politics, you just need to understand corruption, , manipulation, and most importantly, how to wield power. 

    House of Cards season two is as perfect a season as there can be in a show. Everything about the 13 episodes makes you truly wonder if there are actually people like the characters in the show, then it makes you wonder if those same people are really the ones running this great nation of ours.

    If so, I am frightened and intrigued by the goings on in the Washington D.C., and I don’t want any parts of that life. 

    Kevin Spacey has been a legendary actor for years, but his portrayal of South Carolina born politician Frank Underwood may be his best role to date, and that’s saying something. Season one was great, but for me season two took this show to the next step towards TV Drama greatness.


    We already know most of the cast of characters from season 1, but in season two we are introduced to some new characters that just add to the intrigue and greatness of an already stellar cast. 

    The most standout newcomer was the character of Jackie Sharp who is played by Molly Parker. She embodies everything that we love and hate about Spacey’s character in the show.


    The Jackie Sharp character wants to do right, and she wants to be able to rise in the political landscape of Washington, but she is aware that at her age and being a woman, she has a long wait ahead of her…unless Frank can speed up the process.

    Her interaction with Frank sets in motion a series of events in Sharp’s life that she was truly not expecting. Her meeting with Frank was a life altering one.

    And from that point on we see Sharp torn the entire season between being ethical, while doing what she must in order to stay at the top of the food chain and on the winning side of politics.

    We know she is a good person at heart, and the relationship or whatever you want to call it that she engages in with Frank’s former under boss Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) makes for some interesting theater, and give the audience a different look not only at Sharp but also of Danton.

    Throughout all of season 1 and most of season 2, Danton is seen as an opportunist/ hired gun that will work for the highest bidder or for the team that will be on the winning side.


    But his interactions with Sharp show that no matter what goes on in people’s lives in business, they are still humans with feelings capable of letting their guard down and letting someone in. Unfortunately in Washington politics, that momentary lapse of concentration will open you up to failure. 

    We are also able to see far more of Frank’s main adversary and Danton’s boss in season two, Raymond Tusk.

    (Gerald McRaney) Tusk is a powerful multi-billionaire businessman that has the ear of the president, and is a constant thorn in Frank’s side.

    Season two presents us with a cat and mouse game between Frank and Tusk that proves worthy of any adversarial drama you have ever been privileged to watching.

    Frank ultimately gets the better of his adversary but any man who can make Frank Underwood sweat and worry about going to prison, is a better man than me. 

    And then we come to beautiful assassin herself, Claire Underwood played by Robin Wright.


    They say behind every great man is an even greater woman. In the case of the Underwood’s, substitute the words great and greater with the words scary and scarier.

    Claire Underwood would be whom you get if you were to mix the beauty and grace of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, with former Soviet Union Czar Joseph Stalin, verbatim. 

    She plays the role of manipulative and opportunistic power wife better than most anyone I have ever watched in my lifetime, and she does it well. For a quick 10 seconds towards the end of the season we see Claire Underwood show a momentary lapse of humanity and she cries, but just as quickly she regains her steely composure and goes back to being the better half of possibly the most ruthless man in all of Washington, D.C.

    Claire Underwood’s character is the necessary evil that any man with Frank’s means needs in order to survive and thrive, and she may be the worst of the two, and that’s amazing.

    There were other bright spots in the season like Frank’s manipulation and ultimately his take down of President Garrett Walker played by Michael Gill. I enjoyed Gill’s portrayal as president, as well as the performance of Joanna Going as First Lady Patricia Walker. 

    Other performances that made season two great were those of Michael Kelly who plays Frank’s right hand man and head henchman Douglas Stamper, and Sebastian Arcelus who played Washington reporter Lucas Goodwin.


    Stamper is almost as important to Frank as Claire is and this season shows just how important Stamper is in keeping Frank out of prison.

    And the character of Lucas Goodwin is seemingly the only person in Washington that is a good guy and wants to bring Frank down for all his corruption, unfortunately being good in this show is the worst possible trait you can have, and he pays the price for it all season long. 

    Season 2 of House of Cards is definitely 5 stars out of 5, and adds to the already growing legacy of this young show. The writers and directors and actors are all going to have a tough time making season three as good as this season, let alone making season 3 better.

    I do not know how anyone can top perfection, but with this cast and these writers, anything is possible. And if this show has taught us anything, it’s that smart people always rise to the occasion, regardless of how they have to do it. Can’t wait.

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