House of Cards S2E6 “Chapter 19”

5 Overall Score
Story : 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Anticipation: 4/10

Mean Girls: Washington D.C. | Claire's subtlety

Raymond Tusk subplot is deemed more important than Lucas Goodwin subplot

It’s been a while since we’ve really talked about Lucas. The poor dude’s in prison, looking at life if he doesn’t take a plea bargain and say he’s guilty. Naturally, he refuses, much rather willing to report on this story through prison. He enlists his old editor, Tom Hammerschmidt, to continue writing the story and investigating Frank Underwood, but is ultimately dissatisfied when Tom’s “most toned-down version” makes Lucas look crazy.

No one really wants to be a part of this, especially Janine, who’s dealt with crooked FBI at her mother’s house, threatening her with jail time if she tries to help Lucas. Frank has a tight grasp on Lucas and his circle, ensuring that they won’t do anything that will harm his public image. Unfortunately, Frank wins again and I’m disappointed to see that this show didn’t press harder on the Lucas subplot.

Instead, the focus on challenging Frank lies on Raymond Tusk, who in this episode, continues his back-and-forth scheming against the Vice President all over loosing his Best Friend Forever, the President of the United States.

Raymond and Frank meet at Remy’s BBQ Joint to discuss their issues, but it doesn’t end as well as last season.

“I was not put on this earth to be your best friend, or to share every piece of information I have with you,” Raymond tells Frank. “We agreed to a mutually beneficial partnership, that’s all.”

But Frank sees no benefit to this partnership. I don’t think the word “partnership” exists in Frank’s vocabulary outside of his marriage. Ultimately, he’ll use people until he’s got what he wants from them – no one excluded.

In the midst of an energy crisis, Frank naturally makes this all about him. His petty fights with Raymond led them to meet at Remy’s after Raymond shut off the power at Frank’s opening pitch at an Orioles games. The last time Frank made an opening pitch, he flopped and the ball went straight down, so you can imagine what an embarrassment this was.

They’ve largely been able to keep their little rivalry away from the president, who’s also just a puppet for the two men.

Meanwhile, Claire’s on the opposite side of the spectrum, making friends with the First Lady. Her actions are so subtle and inviting, which makes Claire a dangerous character. She hints her concern over Christina working so closely with the president after her office relationship with Peter Russo. Gossip in small doses and kept light has the power of building friendships by forging a false sense of immediate trust and fraternity. We don’t know what Claire’s long term goals are, or even if Frank knows about them, but she’s definitely up to something.

The episode seemed like a hurdle. It wasn’t great, but not totally boring either. Of course, these instances can work in a show like “House of Cards,” partly because the next episode is a click away but also because the slow-burn ultimately makes this show what it is. Nearing the end of the season, we’ll see the entire puzzle come together and every piece will make sense. In an age where TV spoon-feeds viewers plots and explanations, it’s nice to have an epiphany once in a while.


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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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