House of Cards (Season 3)

NOTE: This review contains MILD spoilers for the latest season of House of Cards (Netflix).

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Frank & Claire in front of Air Force One

Well, those two crazy kids FINALLY made it… to the White House!  However, it’s NOT all easygoing at the top for Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), or very exciting (as MANY viewers, including ardent fans, have commented).  A FEW eps were a BIT tough to get through- a rarity for this series in seasons 1 and 2.  There is less scheming, fewer asides to the audience (by Frank), and more talk re: policy changes (this is NOT The West Wing).   

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Surprise: Doug survived the attack at the end of S2!

This is a BIT of a spoiler- Doug (Michael Kelly, slowly being revealed) survived the attack in the woods at the end of Season 2.  A LOT of time is spent on his recovery in this season- TOO much IMO!  Yes, Doug has a lonely life, sleeps w/ pros, and lives for his work (even when President Underwood has NO time for him).  We get to meet his older brother, his wife and kids, and learn more about that aspect of Doug’s life.   

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Frank reaches out to the (Putin-like) Russian prez- a FUN adversary!

I really liked the scenes between Frank and the tough-as-nails Russian president, who is like a taller version of Putin.  This guy is NOT intimidated easily by Frank- GREAT to see!  The actor did VERY well w/ the role.  Forget boring/wimpy adversaries like President Walker and even Raymond Tusk, this prez won’t back down easily!

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Frank & Claire sit for their official portrait

This season is MAINLY about the (worsening) relationship between Frank and Claire.  They’re even sleeping in separate bedrooms (GASP)!  Robin Wright continues to shine, BUT we wouldn’t expect less.  Claire has a new role (aside from First Lady) this season, as you will learn.

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Frank drinks & talks w/ his (potential) biographer.

Frank recruits a novelist to write his biography, BUT the writer goes off on his own direction.  Sorry, but he’s a boring character.  There is a journalist (played by Kim Dickey, recently the detective on Gone Girl) that is a BIT more interesting, BUT  thought she’d have more to do. 

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Heather Dunbar is a VERY strong counterpoint to Frank!

I LOVED seeing Heather Dunbar (played by the statuesque Elizabeth Marvel) as the total opposite of Frank in her demeanor, morals, tactics!  She takes on Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker, seems underused) in a debate scene (which is quite dramatic).  I’d seen Marvel on several eps of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  Is Dunbar really as clean (moral) of a candidate as she seems?  What’s going on w/ Gavin?  Will Remy be back?  And how will Rachel be dealt with?  You’ll find out… IF you make it through the season.     

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