‘House of Cards’ Season 2 Finale Review

Published 10 months ago by

Kevin Spacey in House of Cards Season 2 Chapter 26 House of Cards Season 2 Finale Review
[This is a review of House of Cards season 2, chapter 26. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Now that season 2 of House of Cards has existed in its entirety for a full week, chances are most viewers (other than those who binged the whole season over the first weekend) have had the time to move well past the season premiere, and perhaps even witness Frank Underwood’s swift and decisive rise to becoming the 46th president of the United States.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that the final image of season 2 is that of Frank Underwood resolutely knocking his class ring (a replacement one, given to him by Claire (Robin Wright), after he ceremoniously buried the original mid-season) on the desk of the Oval Office before the screen cuts to black. Unless House of Cards was going to somehow venture into a discussion on the penal system, via a crossover with Orange is the New Black, the early announcement that the series had been renewed for season 3 took some tension out of the finale’s climax. That is to say, it seemed unlikely that Frank Underwood was in any real danger, and that his efforts to clutch the highest office in the land would be anything less than fruitful. Perhaps there was some middle ground there, and Frank’s attempt to see President Walker impeached and subsequently removed from office (through his own resignation, of course) could have fallen flat, leaving Vice President Underwood to roam the halls of the White House as persona non grata for the rest of Walker’s term.

As interesting as that might have been, it was never going to happen; and had the series ended with ‘Chapter 26′ (as many initially believed when House of Cards was first announced), a few unresolved plot threads aside, there was no more indelible moment to conclude on than that of President Underwood’s aforementioned desk knock. In order to get there, though, the episode had to generate some tension between the president, Frank, and Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney), while also offering up the predictable sacrificial lamb of the season – which, in this case, appears to have been Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly).

Michael Kelly in House of Cards Season 2 Chapter 26 House of Cards Season 2 Finale Review

After being spooked by hacker activist (hacktivist?) Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson), Doug scrambled to move Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), his unrequited love interest and one of two people capable of linking Underwood to Peter Russo’s murder way back in ‘Chapter 11,’ to another location. Understandably thinking she was about to be done in Adriana-style, Rachel turned the tables on Doug in the woods, brained him with a rock and left him to die. With season 3 now in the works, perhaps we can expect Rachel and Jimmi to become D.C.’s newest power couple – considering they could topple a standing president with charges far more deliciously sinister than being linked to a money laundering operation being run by a corrupt Chinese businessman, funneled through a Native American casino, and ostensibly spearheaded by a billionaire with the ear of President Garrett Walker.

But if that last scenario is any indication, the citizens in the world of House of Cards take such financial matters very seriously, as demonstrated by President Walker’s approval ratings dropping into the single digits (well below what Nixon’s rating was just before he resigned). So, if Frank just continues killing young, influential journalists and South Philadelphia congressmen in the most conspicuous manner possible, he’ll likely hold on to his presidency for a second term. And that’s as easy as it was for Frank. For all the supposed tension and bold power plays there were between President Walker, Vice President Underwood, and blandly villainous Raymond Tusk, the pinnacle of the season boiled down to a soupy and earnest multi-page letter, written on the old Underwood family typewriter, in which Frank solemnly recounted his father’s history of drunken abuse, and lack of conviction in taking his own life. After that sorrowful account, Frank offered, in the form of a signed confession, to take the fall for Walker, thereby regaining the president’s confidence and ensuring that Raymond Tusk would not be afforded the presidential pardon, he’d hedged all his bets upon.

As the audience has already witnessed the extreme lengths Frank is willing to go to achieve his single-minded goal of attaining power, having a letter read by an embattled president who is hiding out at Camp David, become the impetus for him to bring a venomous snake he’d rightly seen as duplicitous back into the circle of trust is about as dramatically inert as things can possibly get. Not only does it not require Frank and Garrett to meet face-to-face and have, you know, an actual dialogue, the best the audience can hope for from the president is a series of vaguely dissimilar facial expressions in which he appears to be struck by the awe and wonder that is Frank’s heartfelt letter written on a typewriter that may as well have been enchanted, since it apparently wields more power than the president’s wife, his advisors, or members of staff.

Gerald McRaney in House of Cards Season 2 Chapter 26 House of Cards Season 2 Finale Review

It’s easy to understand Frank’s manipulation of others around him based on their fear or avarice – Catherine Durant (Jayne Atkinson), Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali), and even Jaqueline Sharp (Molly Parker) among them – but when the manipulation is of an entirely emotional kind – especially of someone with an established reason not to trust him – the payoff and, more importantly, the credibility of such a thing becomes far more tenuous. Most egregiously, though, it makes President Walker possibly the most feckless, susceptible individual on television (Netflix or not) today. And that spineless incompetence, in turn, makes Frank’s dual conquests of a sitting president, and, in essence, the construct that is democracy (considering he rose to the highest office without winning a single vote to do so) resonate with the authoritative timbre of a stifled cough.

If a hero is only as good as the villain he faces, then what is the standard of measurement for the anti-hero? Does he not require an adversary or obstacle of considerable power through which he can test his mettle? Many would argue that he does, and in the case of House of Cards, such an entity wound up being woefully absent. In the end, neither President Walker, nor Raymond Tusk afforded the narrative the kind of adversarial component that would have brought weight to Frank’s accomplishment. As a season finale, ‘Chapter 26′ wound up being so focused on the foregone conclusion that Frank would wind up looking the audience in the eye from behind the ultimate seat of power to literally become The One Who Knocks that it infrequently stopped to make it feel as though he’d earned the right (underhandedly or not) to do so.

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Seasons 1 and 2 of House of Cards can be seen in their entirety on Netflix. Screen Rant will have an overall review of House of Cards season 2 soon.

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  1. I liked season 2. Not as much as season 1 but it was a fun watch and I’ll binge watch season 3 when it’s available next year.

    My only real issue was how easily it seemed for Frank to reach The Presidency.
    With every shady move Frank made it seemed as if only 3 or 4 people got in a room and talked his plans should have been thwarted. But that never happened and in a world that was full of so many cut throat politicians The President seemed to be the most clueless of the bunch.

    That last scene was pretty stellar though. I loved Frank practically throwing the chair aside and then the 2 knocks were pretty great.

    • lol this is just remix of the movie “Casino Jack” played by kevin spacey

  2. “One heartbeat away from the presidency and not a single vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated.”

    I really enjoyed Season 2, although I agree Season 1 was better. The first episode of Season 2 was almost too good and because of that, the rest of the season seemed a tad disappointing. A lot of my friends who finished the second season before me said the finale was “crazy”. I found the finale to be very overhyped. The presidency was obvious at this point. We all knew it was going to happen. I expected someone to die (and no, I do not believe Doug Stamper is dead). I just felt this season was too much focus on politics and not enough on Frank’s actual ladder of revenge.

    Also, I really like this series but I want to point out my issues:

    - There is no possible way that anyone with the claimed or “rumored” rap sheet like Frank Underwood’s would still be in any office.

    - The threesome was by far the most shocking moment of the season. It really competes with Zoe’s death.

    - My issue with Season One was Frank never had a worthy adversary, but Tusk did a good job of filling that role in Season Two.

    - In Season Three they should attempt to lessen the list of story lines.. too many characters.

    Can’t wait for Season 3. Even though I didn’t LOVE Season Two, the final scene in the finale was freakin’ epic. Perfect ending.

    • @ Big Fudge

      I had heard the same thing about the finale. I saw tweets and comments saying how crazy and shocking it was so I was waiting for something big but other than Doug dying the finale played out as I suspected it would.

    • i agree that season two was predictable and less exciting than season 1. The performances were stellar although i think the could have made Tusk a little more than the cardboard baddie.
      i am however torn between which i like better. Robin Wright or Kevin Spacey. Regardless of the weakness of the script, the two of them continue to perform with such brilliance that they do make the show.
      heres hoping season three gets the fire season 1 had :)

    • “- There is no possible way that anyone with the claimed or ‘rumored’ rap sheet like Frank Underwood’s would still be in any office.”

      LOL I’m not going to mention any names because I don’t want to turn this into a political debate, but I have to disagree with this statement. Not only have such politicians remained in office, they’ve advanced.

    • Doug Stamper is definitely dead because at the end, Frank Underwood’s secretary “Nancy”, said he’s been gone for “weeks. If he has been gone for weeks in that position they showed him in all bloody in such..it wouldn’t make sense for him to be alive..

      • Nancy said that the AA group leader hadn’t seen Doug for weeks.

  3. It was fun but never quite as clever as I thought it intended to be. To be honest, I thought the death in episode one was very cheap and moments like that and the two instances of sexual perversion (the Chinese delegate and the threesome) simply felt out of place. The manipulation in the latter was indeed sound, but to create a variable like that before you claim the Presidency stretched the credibility and simply leaves too many variables to deal with.

    Also reminded me of ‘Training Day’ in the sense it was always a request to do something followed by 3/4 refusals followed by a final request and then a, “Oh, okay then.”. As for the story strands involving the press and what not, like a lot of the show I found myself comparing it to ‘Boss’ and in some cases beating it but in others being secondary to it.

    But Spacey was magnificent. His best role since ‘American Beauty’ and he is basically treating it like a theater performance with the audience as his accomplices. I would suggest though that it may only have a season left in it. The three stages of his political life, if you will. Perhaps two, with S3 ending on a cliffhanger determining everything has caught up with him. But a full season to follow of him fighting for his career/life? I don’t know. It would require quite a bit to stretch it out.

    But yes, that final shot. That little look and the double knock. It was gloriously communicative.

    “And now the fun begins.”

    • If you follow the BBC Version, Stemper does not survive season 2. In reality, it took them two seasons to get where Urqhart got in one….

  4. Frank Underwood. Villain of 2014.

  5. I agree with this reviewer: HOC diminishes its own potency by making Frank’s ascension so easy. How in the world do you go from the President accusing Frank of duplicity and endless behind-the-scenes manipulation to a pre-resignation fireside embrace at CAMP DAVID? Besides being unbelievable, it violates the rule of all drama which is conflict. And it’s boring.

    Richard Nixon never wanted to give up the Presidency and neither should this man. You needed someone to remain clear-eyed about what a danger Frank represents besides a lovesick journalist. At the very least have the President or First Lady give him the cold shoulder or refuse a handshake. This President needed to be a much better judge of character and much more suspicious of Frank’s motives. Less Richard Crenna and more Richard the III. And he should have sabotaged Frank’s succession instead of all this twaddle about “serving your country”. It’s a TV show for God’s sake, not a civics lesson.

    Finally, is anyone else unsettled by a parade of every single prominent TV journalist making an appearance on this show. What does that say about the nature of TV News that all of them, including Morley Safer of “60 Minutes” fame are willing to take a check and play a role for a TV Series about the abuse of power? While I understand this provides verisimilitude for the show, what do the journalists get in return except a diminishing of their stature as truth tellers? Money buys everything is Washington.

    Methinks Fonzi is revving his motorcycle and the shark is circling the tank.

    • “Less Richard Crenna and more Richard the III.”

      You win this discussion thread for that line alone…

    • I like the Happy Days allusion, but Fonzi jumped the shark on waterskiis.

    • The president was always portrayed as being indecisive since season one. I agree frank’s rise to power was easy this season, but dont forget he already laid the ground work to get to where he is now. I don’t think he intended to go for the presidency but he had to keep moving forward after everything that has happend. And why not ascend to power if it is there for the taking? No one knows exactly who frank underwood is. We, the audience, know him because he tells us his desire and motives to our face, being that we aren’t in a position to do anything about it. Frank is always playing the political game and the people that surround him do not know the extent to which he will go to attain power. Season one was better but I see season 2 as the set up for next. Stampton always says that he will take the blame and be the buffer between frank and his actions. Now stampton is gone. Frank is at the top without protection. He literally pulled every trick to get to power in the quickest possible way. Sitting at the top and no where left to go and a trail of destruction behind him. Tthe next season will be something to watch. Truely.

      • Stamper.

  6. If you watch all 3 seasons of the original house of cards (BBC version) which is also on Netflix you can see where this may end up.

    If they keep the same ending which they may considering everything so far people who haven’t watched the BBC version are in for a big surprise.

    Sort of like people watching Game of Thrones not knowing the about the Red Wedding

    • @ fidorulz

      I haven’t watched the BBC series and I’ve purposely avoided reading anything about it but unfortunately I read a recap of season 2 of this version on another site and the author there wrote what happens at the end of the original.
      So I’m pretty bummed that I now know how it will probably end. I assume some minor points will be changed but if I had to guess the outcome will be the same. Never the less it will be pretty shocking.

  7. The barrage of real-life news anchors was very odd and seemed completely misplaced. Cheap excuse for suspension of disbelief. I’d rather be moved along by the storyline so that I’m entangled in the plot, not the gimmicks.

    But what about the photos of Claire. The idea that this sort of photo scandal would disappear because of one politician’s word is simply absurd. And given Frank’s long list of offenses, I highly doubt the media would have dropped such a story.

    Not as good as season one, but I will watch season 3, with a hope that it is the last.

    • They media show little but obligatory interest (if forced by the embarrassment of new media covering what they wont)in aggressively going after a fellow progressive–so Frank could get away with a lot as long as he’s on the blue team.

      • Steve – exactly.

    • For sure, it really annoyed me to see the real life journalists on the show. I understand that they are literally paid talking heads, but – like someone pointed out – it’s makes them seem so ingenious. Maybe others won’t feel the same, and it’s not like I respect those people, but it distracts a lot from the story in that it’s a kind of jolt of “this is just a TV show”. I praying to jebus that Obama doesn’t make a cameo in season 3, apparently he is a big fan.

      • ‘makes them seem so ingenious’? ingenious means ‘clever, original and inventive’…

  8. I see many people commenting about some out of place scenes. There were quite too many in S2. I personally disliked the threesome and thought it was worst scene of the show so far. While I love the show, that undoubtedly lowered my overall grade and general perception.

    I thought all the TV Show scenes were pretty cool. The show would make them a lot more money on a big TV network, but it’s also unique and realistic.

    As for Frank and Garrett..his ascension to the presidency was simple, but it was also obvious it wasn’t going to end much differently. Walker was never power hungry and ruthless. He was going to get impeached and convicted. Frank would become president then, and if he brought Frank down with him we would ruin both of their families. He for the most part kept both in tact. His presidency and in result his party would be in ruin had he done anything else, even if he used the letter. For all Frank has done, he’s kept anything serious that would harshly harm his public opinion from reaching the public and Congress. Thus he never had the dilemma Garrett was in, though he was close many times. That and Garrett never seemed too interested in revenge, aside from being easily manipulated.

    • KW-Big networks are where shows go to die.

  9. IF they’re following the BBC series… Stamper seems to be a blend of Stamper and Corder from the BBC series. Meechum could end up being Corder… but that isn’t for sure. Stamper is likely dead, and Meechum is likely the Corder character, which means Meechum will be a large part of season 3.

  10. I see this complaints, and while I agree with many of them, I still think this is an excellent show, and I liked season one better than season two, even if their was no Pete Russo.

    Killing off Zoe did seem a little cheap, but I was glad they did it. As much as I love the character and am IN LOVE with Kate Mara lol, I thought her arc had ended, the whole thing was getting kind of annoying. The way they handled it was cheap, but it allowed us to move past that whole journalist plot.

    And most everyone is correct, Frank needs a true foil. Walker’s character seemed like such a punk form the start, I’m amazed how he was able to be elected president in the first place within this universe. Tusk was OK, and Remy was OK. Also thought that Jackie Sharp was underutilized.

    All in all though, I loved the season, especially a few specific scenes. Additionally, I didn’t believe there were any throwaway episodes like the Peach one or the college one from season one. It really has just become a horror fantasy of sorts, and I’m looking forward to more.

  11. Can someone explain the meaning of the 2 knocks at the end?

    • I quote ( beware the one who knocks for he has true authority)

      more or less

      • You want to source that quote? Even a google search doesn’t turn up anything.

        I don’t think there’s any particular significance to the knocks.

        • It’s from Chapter 12, at 19:34.

          Tusk: “Can I ask why you do that?”

          Frank: “Do what?”

          Tusk: “Tap your ring like that. I’ve seen you do it on TV. Two taps every time you get up from a table or leave a lectern.”

          Frank: “Something my father taught me. It’s meant to harden your knuckles so you don’t break them if you get into a fight. It also has the added benefit of knocking on wood. My father believed that success is a mixture of preparation and luck. Tapping the table kills both birds with one stone.”

      • Absolutely right about the lack of an adversary really reducing the dramatic tension in this show.

        I also think that the appearances of tons of real-world news anchors was not only unnecessarily jarring, but reveals that those news anchors consider themselves to be more entertainers than journalists.

        They did it in the Iron Man films, too.

    • Just found this from a subreddit forum…

      It’s from Chapter 12, at 19:34.

      Tusk: “Can I ask why you do that?”

      Frank: “Do what?”

      Tusk: “Tap your ring like that. I’ve seen you do it on TV. Two taps every time you get up from a table or leave a lectern.”

      Frank: “Something my father taught me. It’s meant to harden your knuckles so you don’t break them if you get into a fight. It also has the added benefit of knocking on wood. My father believed that success is a mixture of preparation and luck. Tapping the table kills both birds with one stone.”

    • see Breaking Bad. Provides a far more compelling story-line for such an ego to arrive at that dizzying point…

  12. I dunno, I liked it. You’re making a good point. It’s true that Underwood has lame adversaries. Maybe it’s more compelling when you see it as the Underwood’s, not Frank Underwood, against the world. It makes their victory seem more artful when you notice how they work together to manipulate appearances, which they do better than anyone else because their union is so strong. Frank wouldn’t have beaten President What’s-His-Name if Claire wasn’t working behind the scenes – beyond just with First Lady What’s-Her-Name.

  13. ‘The one who knocks’ eh? Nice Breaking Bad reference there.

    Like everyone else has said, S2 wasn’t quite as exciting as S1, and it did seem implausible that Frank had such an easy ride to the top. But still a riveting watch, and I wish we didn’t have to wait however long for S3.

  14. Yep – totally agree. I kept hoping some twist would happen as the season ground to its predictable conclusion. I enjoyed season 2 much more than season 1 (I was so bored with the reporter storyline in season 1 I cheered when Zoe got thrown in front of the metro) until the finale of S2. Too predictable and unrealistic. I hoped maybe frank and Claire would go after each other. Or the hacktavist would signal his intentions to the new president just as frank was enjoying the Oval Office. My favorite part of season 2 was the (hopeful) demise of Doug. He was so annoying (almost as annoying as the simpering frank Russo) that I shuddered whenever he appeared on screen – esp with the ridiculous read-to-me story line. What a groaner. I have a feeling he’ll be back but am glad Rachel finally grew a pair! Anyway I give seqson 1 a b and season 2 an A- (Oh almost forgot – do we have to have the gratuitous gay sex scenes.? Meechum is hot but seeing him kiss underwood made me puke in my mouth a little. So unbelievable. I think a more interesting line would have been the hot first publicist having a fling with Claire. Any way we’ll see what season 3 brings!

  15. I’m so disappointed in the Finale that I had to read other people’s opinions for comfort. They resignation of the President was shockingly weak & predictable. I’m baffled by the relevancy of marriage counseling in bringing down the president & the whole debate about him waiving the doctor-patient privilege (maybe because I’m an atty). After 24 episodes, the Underwoods have not faced any really adversaries or atonement after killing 2 people & it’s becoming boring. Now I have to wait a whole year to see if there’s anybody bad enough on the planet to boldly attack Frank & Claire

  16. Lack of an adversary? I partially wonder if the reviewer even watched this episode, or the entire season for that matter. Frank was constantly riding the line between failure and success, and was basically headed towards jail until he masterfully lured Walker back in with that letter. Yet you say there was no adversarial component to bring weight to his accomplishment? Really? After Tusk smeared Claire’s name, ruined Freddy’s life, plus his relationship with Frank, and all season long, and Frank just barely scraped by? Really?

    • Thank you so much.
      This is the only intelligent perceptive comment in this entire thread. Did any of these people actually watch this program?
      They don’t remember why Frank knocks with his ring? They haven’t noticed any adversaries??? The biggest problem with a 25 hour series is that Rachel Maddow et al made a couple cameos?

      If there was a problem with the last episode, and the show overall, it’s the weak and inconsistent writing. That is, weak relative to other formidable aspects of the series – acting, sets, lighting, story, etc. The hallway confrontation between Tusk and Frank should have been powerful and pivotal, but it was terribly written and Frank’s lines were utterly out of character, esp given the critical moment in his long term scheme.
      An infusion of new writers could make for a brilliant Season 3, even if they simply follow the BBC story line.

  17. While I liked this season,I found a lot of things in it to be too predictable.From Zoe’s death,Remy and Sharp’s hook-up then later break up,Lucas’ set up and later fall,and finally,the Underwood/Meachum threesome,a lot of things seemed to obvious to me.

    I thought the first episode was fantastic,but something felt off once Lucas got sent to prison and they had to shift the focus of Frank dodging Lucas’ investigation of Zoe’s death,to making Frank have to navigate and battle Tusk and the President.They basically switched gears very abruptly mid season and it felt very jarring.

    I feel like the upcoming season now is going to be more of the walls closing in on Frank with Stamper dead and Rachel on the loose,Gavin Orsay will now be the new Lucas Goodwin trying to expose Underwood,They will probably find some sort of way to not let Tusk go to jail,and I have a feeling that Jackie Sharp and Remy Danton will be at odds against the Underwoods as well.All of this will create attacks from basically four sides that the Underwoods will try to weather.

    So the theme in the first two seasons is Frank’s ascension into the Oval Office,and I think the next two seasons will be is rapid decline and ultimate fall from grace followed by his ultimate comeuppance.

  18. While I still have 2 more episodes to watch(spoilers don’t bother me)I wanted to comment on what I feel was the massive amount of gratuitous sex in Season 2. Showing a scene of a couple in bed is one thing, talking about “making me wet” and having an orgasm on screen (Remy and Jackie) is more than I need to know for entertainment. Nor did I need to see the 2 girls getting off while Doug watched through the window. Not to mention the 3-some of Frank, Claire and Meecham. I wanted to poke my eyes out after seeing that. Totally unnecessary. If I want to see that, I’ll watch porn on my computer.

  19. Stellar production, acting, score and cinematography but I regret to say things drifted off-track in season 2. I was riveted by the stunning start, but soon after, episodes began to wane. Once they killed off Zoe Barnes, I worried that writers bit off more than they could chew in to sustain the show’s vitality. After making it through, looks like it. The show lost its true dramatic element once Frank Underwood’s was left to manipulate dubious, less than credible opposition of any sort. Repeatedly running rough-shod over meager, vanishing adversaries just didn’t cut it for me this year.

    Moreover, newly injected subplots seemed contrived, bordered on irrelevance and in my opinion only served to undermine any growing momentum of the show. The three-way sex scene reached epitome status of this for me. Finally, the entire ascendancy to the Presidency was absurd for me in light of the preposterous premise of a Democratically controlled House voting to impeach a Democratic sitting President on such a mundane matter as campaign contribution funding. Ultimately I applaud Netflix for the novelty of its unique in-house production. But for season 2, I found the plot to be stretched thin, based on implausible plot-turns and ultimately killing time until the real drama returns where the past may or may not catch up to F.U.

  20. One thing that bothered me. Frank and Claire were supposed to be so clever and calculating, so why would she admit to having had an abortion on camera? They are both ambitious enough to have faked a real marriage for 20 years, and are really good plotters, so they never explained her motivation for doing this. She didn’t seem like the type of person to slip up and do this accidentally, so that was a weird plot point for me.

    I also agree with the earlier poster who is bothered by Rachel Maddow and other current journalists portraying themselves. To me, it diminishes their credibility.

  21. I wonder if the letter president walker gave back to frank had the attached confession in it or not. Frank will never know because he threw it in the fire. I guess it’s safe to say that walker wouldn’t have kept it knowing frank might look for it. But wouldn’t that sort of be something walker could use against frank later just to spite him if he found out about frank’s shenanigans? What confessions exactly were in the letter attachment? I think I missed that. Maybe it’s null at this point but what do you guys think?

    • Fantastic idea for a plot turn next season, Ben. Not sure if writers’ anticipated it, but your idea provides them with plenty of room to maneuver once the chase for Frank is on next season as I sense it will be. As for the letter’s contents, it was a confession, resignation letter. In one of the last episodes, Frank banged it out on the treasured heir-loom type-writer his father had given him long ago. In that scene, if I recall, was a great close-up the keys smacking the page. Vintage type-set stuff.

    • I was going to bring that up too, also the “Bible” he swore on looked to me like a dictionary.

  22. Hokey and contrived, the series crosses the border between entertainment and plain absurdity in the final episode. At the end of the day we are expected to believe that President Walker would be stupid enough to rescind his offer of pardon to Raymond even though he is fully aware of Frank’s duplicity. Preposterous it is, and this last in a series of writers’ stretches is capped by unconvincing performances by supporting characters (esp. Jackie) to fulfill the predictable outcome. The stage is now set for the downfall in the third season (or beyond if Netflix tries to milk it further). It is after all a house of cards.

  23. Agree, I loved season 1. Loved half of season 2. Rachel has big beautiful boobies but that couldn’t save the….come on, really, factor of the second half and ending of season 2.

  24. All these complaints, why would u watch another season? I dont get it. All the comments are ppl whinning about a show they all obviously watch with dedication and fervor. Its a great show, and I’ll praise it as that. If I were as dissapointed as u all, I wouldnt bother with it.

  25. I really loved season one. Although season two was entertaining; I guess it was a little hard following for me. Perhaps to many “sub plots” for a veteran.

    Hopefully next season will return more to season one roots and the one on one conversation will be a little easier to understand.

  26. S1 was better than S2. But it seems many people missed or chose to ignore the motivations for certain actions they are complaining about. President Walker went back on his deal with Tusk because he knew it wouldn’t matter. Even if Tusk implicated Frank, the Democrats were still poised to lose their majority in the House, and his approval ratings weren’t likely to recover much if at all. And trying to pin everything on Frank would have seemed contrived and forced, and made him look even more inept to the public. Keep in mind, the presidency was being tried in the court of public opinion, where facts scarcely matter, and perception is everything. Anyway, with no majority, policy making and therefore his effectiveness as president would have been compromised, and he wasn’t likely to win re-election anyway. And after Frank handed him the keys to his own demise, Walker would have needed to still be motivated by his desire to destroy Frank to go ahead with that plan. And it was well established that Walker wasn’t that type of person. Frank’s letter did just enough to diminish that aspect of the equation. To a man like Walker, what’s revenge against someone who isn’t fighting back. He didn’t anticipate Tusk opting to go down and drag him down with him. He figured he would revert to the initial plan concocted by his army of attorneys, plead the fifth, take it to trial and make a plea. It’s fine if you think Frank’s rise to power was too easy, because by the end of S2 he IS the president. But this is a results driven argument. His road to power was anything but. More so than in S1, the Underwoods were teethering on the edge of complete destruction. The odds were higher than ever and yes, while it’s all too convenient that Frank reaches his goal in the end, you cannot say there weren’t obstacles. Tusk fought Frank to the wire, and was one letter away from completely ruining him. He was a powerful adversary, the most powerful to date and S3 I believe will be even better. But even with the missteps of S2, HOC is head and shoulders above 99% of TV shows out right now.

  27. I’m enjoying the series so far but it is getting a little predictable. Sex sells so I expect some more outrageous sex scenes in season3. (suggestion to the writers. Claire, Jacqie & Remy get it on.) Can some one answer me this though. How is it that there are known hackers and phone taps happening throughout the show and real world but everyone on this show from Frank to Tusk talk openly and freely on their mobiles?

  28. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed Season 2 as much as Season 1. Loved the cameos by the real pundits and news hosts. I loved all the sex, especially the “Underwood threesome.” If I would offer any criticisms, it would have to be that every character, save the “most-powerful-man-in-the-free-world-Walker,” is TOO clever and TOO smart. If I know anything about politics, it’s certainly that politicians are not this calculatingly clever. We have people on the hill that don’t understand that a woman’s body can’t shut down a pregnancy just because she was raped…they couldn’t possibly think several moves ahead like all the characters in this series. Having millions or billions of dollars does not automatically mean you are well-versed in everything and naturally ruthless (like Tusk). I would expect greed, but not with this level of sophistication. I remember thinking while watching that chess is not this strategic. We are watching a story about super-humans who happen to do interviews with Rachel Maddow… and I’m loving every minute of it.

  29. Which opera song is playing when he and Claire walk to the oval office, and she. frank and Tusk meet ?