House of Cards: Season 1, Chapter 3

SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen, or don’t want to know, details from this episode.

Since Steve suddenly took ill, Frank gets a young new driver/body man, Edward Meecham (Nathan Darrow, who was part of the company of Richard III w/ Spacey).  Darrow has a tough job, communicating w/o saying much, as his position requires.

Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) at the pulpit.

Truth be told, I never really knew him… or what his dreams were.  He was quiet, timid, almost invisible.  …The man never scratched the surface of life.  Maybe it’s best he died so young…  Frank talks about his father (in an aside)

This ep takes us to Frank’s hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina-shooting was still done in Maryland.  (Yes, the peach statue is real!)  We see a different side of Frank, as he talks w/ regular folks: the mayor, town council, a pastor, and the grieving parents of a teen girl (who died while driving and texting about the statue).  The speech in the small, simple church was both self-serving and compelling!

Frank still conducts meetings (via phone) with Marty Spinella (Al Sapienza), lobbyist for the teachers’ union and various others.  The education bill Frank wants to take to Congress needs some revisions.  Controversial issues like performance standards and teacher tenure come up.

Zoe is praised by the owner of the newspaper, much to the dismay of Tom.  He doesn’t like Zoe’s (ungrateful) attitude, plus the fact that she’s becoming a media darling.  

I know what it’s like to be beautiful and capable and ambitious…  What I see in you is a woman I admire, which doesn’t happen often.  I want to enable you.  I want to clear the way, so that you can achieve what you want to achieve, on your own terms.  -Claire says to Gillian

Claire uses a soft sell to recruit Gillian Cole (Sandrine Ho), the founder of her own start-up (World Well).  Gillian is smart, young, and idealistic, but lacks health insurance (coughing through the job interview).  Claire insists that Gillian see her GP.  Though she’s still a bit skeptical, Gillian agrees to a trial run at CWI.

Peter dumps out the little bag of cocaine (great bit of nonverbal acting from Stoll), and gets to work, even on a Sunday.  Christina is surprised, pleasantly.  Though she got a great job offer, Peter needs her more, we can sense. 

What did you glean from the scene with Claire jogging through the graveyard?  That old woman’s comments affected her somehow. 

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