Netflix TV review: House of Cards Season 2, Episode 3 (Chapter 16)
Chris Bryant | On 25, Feb 2014
Tense. Very tense.
Lucas contacts a shady cyber-genius who claims he can obtain proof of Frank’s crimes in Chapter 16 of House of Cards. Raymond Tusk’s hold over the President is tested when the party has a choice between Republican’s grid-locking US finances and offending Chinese trade delegates.
On the other side of the coin, someone desperately trying to get away from the world we watch Frank dictate; Rachel Posner obviously hates her new life, until she is invited to a church by a friendly local. Permanently strewn with a look of regret, the attention to detail paid to her story reminds us that a slow burn can still start fires.
Delivering an episode that takes place almost exclusively behind desks, with no grand events, House of Cards once again proves that quiet discussions can be equally as dark as Frank’s other… activities. Peaceful, in this world, is not tantamount to peace.
A couple of scheming meetings and an excellent move involving laying down the law in congress, as well as a chilling laptop screen, means Episode 3 of Season 2 produces a poignant example of Underwood proving he is dangerous in every situation.
Chapter 16 introduces several new faces: hacker Gavin (Jimmi Simpson), a Moriarty-esque ally in the fight against corruption; Connor Ellis (Sam Page) a smart, young PR genius interested in ensuring Claire and Frank stay out of the public eye; and Hector Mendoza (Benito Martinez), a Republic congressman promised a win by Frank. When an episode is as delicate as this, especially in a series so pressured and note-perfect, new characters always prove nerve-racking: as dominant as VP Underwood is, his list of enemies is growing.
But as Frank states in the opening few moments: “There are two kinds of Vice-President: Doormats and matadors. Which do you think I intend to be?”