Jay and I finished watching Season 3 of “House of Cards” on Netflix this past weekend. Jay loved it. I had mixed feelings. Let me start with the good: I was enthralled the entire time and kept wanting to see more of what would happen to the Underwoods. The bad: I had this, “I’m not sure if I like this…” feeling the entire season. I think the payoff was both satisfying and unsatisfying. I don’t want to be too spoilery, so the rest is after the break. If you’re reading this from the direct link, SPOILER ALERT!
The Underwoods – For the first time, Frank and Claire were in over their heads. They weren’t the Underwoods that we came to know and love in the first two seasons. I know, the show is called House of Cards for a reason. The first two seasons, Frank & Claire were building up their house of cards and now that they’ve reached the top, everything has to come toppling down at some point. I appreciate that, actually, and it doesn’t really bother me. What I didn’t like was what they did to the characters to show their weakness, particularly to Claire. Mrs. Underwood has always been portrayed as a
strong woman bad ass bitch. Seeing her completely crumble with the UN storyline felt like the writers were doing her a terrible disservice. Watching her become affected by the “blowjob in exchange for building a crib” woman and just giving up was disheartening. Even the scene in the Russian jail was disappointing. I totally called what was going to happen midway through. We only got a glimpse at the Claire that we know and love one time: when she essentially whipped her dick out to the Russian UN rep during the bathroom scene. And even that was ruined after we find out that the entire thing could have been a long con. Claire’s decision to leave Frank after their big fight was both disturbing (how could these two people SO in control let it get to that point?!) and a redemption (you go, girl! I would have thrown a motherf*cking lamp at a bitch Hillary-style if they said that to me). As for Frank? Part of me wishes that we could have seen more of “that scene” with Tom the writer. Meow. He’s always been nasty, and his words to Claire at the end were particularly reprehensible, but we saw him demonstrate his love/affection for his wife the entire season. That dichotomy felt false; we spent 12.5 episodes hearing his honest voice profess his love and protection for Claire, yet in the last 5 minutes, he was a complete and utter bastard.
Doug – I LOVED Doug’s storyline. I thought after the first episode that I was going to hate his story this season. I didn’t want him to kill Rachel, but I get this season was Doug’s personal and professional redemption, and he couldn’t be Doug as long as Rachel was still out there. I loved watching him become close with his brother and his brother’s family, and I was happy that he ended up overcoming his addictions instead of going the Peter Russo way. I cannot wait to see awesome Doug back to being awesome Doug next season.
Remy/Seth – I love Remy. I love his character and I think he’s particularly dreamy. I hope we haven’t seen the last of him. Seth has also grown on me. I didn’t like him during Season 2, but now I find myself rooting for him, as well. I gather he’ll give Doug a run for his money during Season 4, but I hope he doesn’t become too unlikeable when that happens.
Jackie/Dunbar – Interesting that we saw Jackie become a victim of domestic bliss and compassion this season. I didn’t like what she did to her mentor last season, but I grew fond of her this time around. I hope she’s a big player in Dunbar’s campaign next season, but I have a feeling that the Underwood campaign will woo her back. She doesn’t exactly have the most integrity. As for Dunbar? As much as I cheer her for standing her ground against Jackie and Underwood, I think she’s a dumbass for not taking the Supreme Court appointment. Lifetime job security always trumps fleeting moment of power. I’m not a huge fan of the character, but I look forward to what else we’ll see from her next season.
The Russia Plot – Ehhhh. I don’t know if I wasn’t a huge fan because the storyline was lame or if I just didn’t like how President Petrov made my characters lame. It’s probably the latter.
Meacham – We did not have enough Meacham this season. Seriously.
America Works – I’m just happy they created an entire subplot to give us more Freddy. He’s the best.
Overall, I liked the season. I think it’s going to be a two-season arc, and we’ll see the Underwoods get their mojo back soon enough. What happens in Season 4 as a result of the Season 3 set-up will determine how I look back at Season 3. As of right now, I think I liked it. And even if I didn’t like it, I can’t wait to watch more. Season 4 cannot come soon enough.