House of Cards: S2E2 “Chapter 15”

7.6 Overall Score
Story : 6/10
Acting: 9/10
Anticipation: 8/10

Robin Wright's performance | Jackie Sharp's struggle with her rise to power |

A little boring this episode | Confusing foreign policy subplot

­­­Allow me to introduce you to Jackie Sharp – a Congresswoman, pretty, relatively young, war veteran who takes over Frank Underwood’s seat as Whip.

This is a big deal – presumably following the real-life parallel of Nancy Pelosi. But forget real life. This is “House of Cards” and its version of Washington, so don’t be that person who gets their medieval history lessons from “Game of Thrones.”

Sharp was briefly introduced last episode as Frank’s choice as successor. Against the odds, Frank set her on his path to the position and we all know by now, what Frank wants, Frank gets. He knows Congressmen Howard Webb and Wes Buchwalter are fighting for the seat and uses Jackie to distract members from the quarrel and to someone who seems to have it all together. A classic underdog story, if you will. She plants the idea with her friend House representative Ted Havemeyer and he promises to fund her run with his political action committee money and swayed votes. “It’s not a Christmas present Jackie,” he tells the seemingly naïve Congresswoman, reminding us of the politics. Since Wes hates Ted and wants nothing more than to see his nemesis “politically dead,” he decides to opt out of the race and back Howard with his voters. Seeing as this is a major threat to Frank’s plan and knowing how to strike a deal, the real loser here is Ted, whose reputation is about to be shattered by none other than his protégée Jackie.

Jackie was the only person who knew about Ted’s illegitimate daughter with cerebral palsy. She would often to him the favor of checking in on her and putting his money in her fund. She offers him camera-phone pictures like a proud parent, but Ted observes the room before taking a momentary peek. The only way to secure the Whip position is to oust Ted and his illegitimate daughter to the media, by orders of Frank.

Guilt-tripped into being the ruthless and pragmatic candidate Frank thought she was, she decides to tell Ted to his face, ruining their near-familial relationship.

Jackie soon learns the realities and loneliness that comes with political rising.

But enough of Congress, since Frank’s promotion, matters move toward the White House. Frank and Raymond Tusk are in a familiar situation of “Who’s the president’s real BFF?” Tusk, a billionaire businessman, advises the president on business and commerce matters, however it’s clear to see that Tusk is in charge in these sessions. Since Frank wants no one to puppet President Walker except for himself, he tries to sabotage Raymond’s self-interested plans. Frank plays the president and tells him that he should consider the Secretary of State’s position to stay firm with China in a matter of cyber attacks or something. This foreign policy issue is murky, but you just need to know that Frank is going to play the fool, urge the Secretary of State to make things worse and effectively anger Raymond Tusk.

In keeping up with appearances, Frank and Claire are scheduled to attend a ceremony in the evening debuting themselves as the new Vice President and Second Lady. Frank’s swearing-in ceremony was conducted in the semi-privacy of his townhouse amid the clamor of construction to secure their fortress.

The morning of, while Claire is looking for a new public relations person, she’s notified of her calendar and asks about the event. It’s a ceremony that would present an honor to General Dalton McGinnis, who is revealed to be Claire’s ex-boyfriend and rapist.

McGinnis has the audacity to approach Frank and Claire, rubbing it in that they dated for “about five minutes.” Claire, unable to compose her usual icy demeanor, escapes to the bathroom where Frank finds her in tears. She lets him know who the General is in context and Frank explodes with anger. She begs him not to make a scene and they can do nothing but put up the appearance they set out to do.

At the end of the night, Claire recalls the rape.

“Every time I think of her, pinned down like that, I strangle her Francis, so she doesn’t strangle me.”

She tells him to channel that hate, like she’s been able to do, secretly vowing to do something about it.

And in the other side of the world, where the poor people live – ahem journalists – or many not poor, they just look it, Lucas is told to get his act together. “We can’t have an editor, looking more disheveled than his reporters,” his boss tells him.

“Whatever,” Lucas probably thinks. “I’ve got more important stuff to do like write the next great Watergate story – because I want to avenge my girlfriend (any maybe win a Pulitzer, who knows?).”

In editing a story about China and the cyber attacks in the news, he asks a reporter to explain to him the concept of DEEP WEB.

Don’t even go there, buddy. If it’s not on the first page of Google, it’s not worth it – Ha … just kidding. Man, I don’t know, I’ve never had to go there, it sounds scary.

“Child porn, bitcoin laundering, mail-order narcotics, hackers for hire …” 8th grade embarrassing Facebook videos of you, your secret Neopets accounts, I don’t know – stuff, or 96 percent of the Internet.

Upon discovering this, Lucas does deeper (Heyoo!) into the web of truth (I’m so good, you guys.) and ends up shaping his plotline by looking for a hacker that would hack the VP of the United States.

If you think you can do the job, hit him up at his username Data_Crusader (I’m sorry, I didn’t make that one up.).

 

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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