Sunday, March 23, 2014

House of Cards, Season 2, ep. 12

So, Frank's finally done what he was tipping his hand to all along. He's warming up the "get rid of the president in front of me" bus. WELL, I'm sure that'll end with him unemployed and doing the speaker circuit or going on Schmox News, and not at all in his oh-so-shocking turn on this president. I suspect the final episode will have the president bleat "I thought I could trust you! I was a fool."

The FBI thing is messily wrapping itself up. The guy whose name no one can probably remember who was the deep plant in the deep web has access to the AT&T grid so the FBI won't... oh who cares.

The Remy vs. Major Dad thing is playing out interestingly because it's not entirely clear just what role Remy will play... 12 ended with him trying to keep a door partially open to Frank, and Major Dad being rightfully upset to learn Remy Martin VSOP was keeping a line in to the guy he was supposedly burying. One can presume this means Remy will toss a juicy steak to Frank and get back in his good graces.

House of Cards, episode 2, season 11

Not gonna say too much about the Meechum scene... It wasn't precisely where I thought they were going, but still... Meh. The similar thing from the service academy reunion last year seemed a bit in your face-ish, and this did too.

 It overshadows what happened towards the beginning, but we're somehow supposed to remember that the guy Remy Martin VSOP is talking to in the beginning is the... former majority leader? whatever it was... that whimpery Marine chick congresswoman destroyed by telling the world he had a developmentally disabled daughter that he was bankrolling but not visiting. (Which seemed a really dodgy storyline to begin with... Expecting us to recall it 10 show hours later is really a bit much)

I like the way the special independent prosecutor is going... While I don't know how realistic this setup is (I doubt they'd ever have the VP and his chief of staff testify together), at least it's logical and a good way to show Frank both trying to plant seeds AND adjust to what's coming at him.

I made the mistake of seeing something when doing a quick bit of looking something up that May have spoiled the end of the season for me... But then they're also tipping they're hand a lot. Frank suuuuure does seem to have a situation where his "superior" the president, could get in trouble instead of him. But that's ok, we know he never has power or self-preservation in mind.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 10

Oh sweet Jesus let this be the end of the Remy Martin VSOP and whatshername congresswoman marine chick's relationship. The upside is in this episode it goes in the shitter. The downside is not until a painfully slow scene of him asking about her tattoo while they're in bed together. Ugh.

The "not-at-all-overly-complicated" Raymond Tusk / casino owning Indian / Chinese investor thing is coming out thanks to he Wall Street Schmournal starting to sniff around it. Frank, it seems, tossed them the scent. Shorthand is it means foreign money's coming into campaigns. The thing seems silly (there are ways to get in of rowing money that are perfectly legal, after all). At least is is moving along some, and with the Schmournal digging it's not as if you can just lean on the next guy at the Washington Schmost. Speaking of which, this seems like several episodes since we were supposed to give two figs about the original paper's investigation, or the guy rotting in "Too Many Characters To Have Moving Around State Prison"

There's a storyline about Stamper guy liking it when the Kristen Stewart chick reads to him. Soooooo that's a thing.

Frank tells the president not to worry when he says he's worried, and the president is apparently back to being Jedi-mind-tricked.

I think this is the first time we've seen a real assassination / terrorism threat in the show, unless I'm forgetting. In a twist, it's someone pissed at Claire rather than Frank.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 9

I don't know what happen to the WaPo recaps, but here's a Baltimore Sun one.

Things went south for Rib Shack Guy, collateral damage in shots taken at Frank Underwood (not literally, at least not yet.) You know he was el doomedo when he reached out to bring in the troubled ex-con son who didn't want anything to do with him and had a hot temper and was only one strike away from going back in the clink... I'm sure there's some name for this meme, but it always reminds me of Goose's wife showing up to surprise him right before the big flight in Top Gun.

Still, they actually handled it well. In retrospect they had to do something with this character, because the alternative was that he was becoming a bit of the "Kindly Wise Poor Black Man" one-dimensional character, and this show's been good about zagging when you expect it to zig... and yet zagging still actually makes sense. Cutting the legs out from under a friend of Frank hurts Frank deep... on a couple of levels: 1) Frank feels powerless to help a friend, and being powerless really bothers him... and 2) The few people he genuinely cares about he does in fact care about.

The other main storyline is that the artsyfartsy photographer guy released a photo of Claire in the shower, and Claire's reaction / response is to hire a model to cut her hair similarly and say it was her. This plan seems kind of fragile --- my guess is the wheels are gonna come off it.

This was the Jodie Foster-helmed one. I kinda braced for it, but it was actually not particularly annoying, which was a relief.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 8

Another case of having waited a bit too long since having watched it (and I seem to be ahead of the Washington Post summaries now), but here are my thoughts...

Love that the Indian reservation gambit isn't necessarily breaking easily or well for Frank. I suppose he'll finally get (most of) what he wants, but especially for those who aren't surprised by his character, such as Raymond MajorDad Tusk, that he's not automatically fooling them or outflanking them is a nice change.

Someone referred to the Remy the Lobbyist and House Majority Whip Whasername "romance" as being high school. I think that pretty much sums it up, it's really a yawner.

Rachel gave solace to her friend from the church and let her crash at her place... and in Hollywood sure enough if two attractive women are sharing a place and not fighting, well surely that's a recipe for the ol' lipstick lesbian thing. And we get a bit of that. At least with Rachel it makes a bit of sense as she's got such a sordid personal history. Still... meh. And her obsessive overseer guy who's also eerily into her told her not to have anyone over --- I hope that's not going to net out how it's being telegraphed (he finds out and beats her up. Or if they want to go the new Hollywood cliche route he starts beating her up which leads again to sex.)

The counterpunches coming in against Claire and Frank now are interesting too... this episode ended with word getting out of her having cavorted around with the photographer for a while.

This makes at least two total episodes where they've completely skipped the journo who's in federal prison but might know some of Frank's really shadier stuff. They'd better get back to that soon or else it'll be too far gone to call up again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 7

There's a lot of moving pieces in this... Like I've said before the WaPo blow by blow helps.

This was probably one of the better episodes for President CardboardCutout, though I still wonder how someone so vacillation could be at that level of success. Still. The scenes with him and Frank were engaging, and I liked the whole punching bag thing. It's not entirely clear what the Underwoods (well, chiefly Claire for now) are gunning for by sticking thorns into the prez marriage and to making Russo's ex-aide/gf into a sore spot. It might just be to loosen one of the legs of the stool on the guy standing a bit higher than Frank.

The story of Rib Guy gives story about how much veep likes his ribs, Rib Guy gets offered endorsement deal is unfolding nicely. It's realistic yet compelling. I hope it they unfold that one well.

Too much on the Chief of Staff's sighing over the HookerWithTheHeartOfGold. I hope they wrap that up.

They seem to be offloading the PR guy they brought in with such promise... but that's just as well, if you keep introducing new characters every so often you have to write one into a coma or else it just gets messy. The other... umm... aide? looks too similar anyway so it was hard keeping them straight.

Good setup and delivery with the casino Native American guy who isn't immediately swayed by Frank's bull, esp. when he already has a sweeter sugar daddy in Major Dad Tusk. They're shrewd in that these situations only stay interesting if Frank's plans don't always play out as cakewalks. 

Sometimes you wanna see someone tell him he's playing too weak of a hand. Kudos that this Lonnigan or whatever it was did so.

The "you want the bridge, you can't have the bridge..." Is it over the McGuffin River?

House of Cards, season 2, ep. 6

Energy prices? Meh. I know it's a big concern but the way they played it seemed very 70s. Of course, not as 70s as the green screen background they used for Underwood "at" the Orioles game. I did like Frank being concerned about the pitch looking bad.

The editor who was following up on Zoe's amateur gumshoeing got thrown in the clink as part of a plan to shut him up... But he's not being kept from calling other editor buddies and telling them the whole story. So it'll just (presumably) shift again to the next editor guy because they don't seem to have a handle not he "shut him up" aspect of this. I guess you could argue Frank and his Franklets can't just go around whacking reporter after reporter after reporter... but it sure does seem like they need to doa. Better job occasionally having someone "fall down an elevator shaft onto some bullets".

We get another "go intimidate Rachel in her squirreled off life" thing. I do like that she's finding some solace in a community church thing, not just because it's actually a respectable portrayal of a positive community group, but because I legitimately can only hazard guesses as to which direction they'd ale things from there.

I feel like this review is a bit more negative than my reaction was... I dunno that that's fair. But the energy thing did have a real "monster of the week vibe"... And oy the green screen.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

If you don't know what JFGI means, JFGI.

There are two types of days... days when I can successfully tell someone JFGI and days that aren't worth getting out of bed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

ANOTHER New German Word...

Clockensqueel --- The euphoric feeling on those rare occurrences when something wakes you up in the middle of the night and you roll over to look at the clock thinking "I bet it's almost 6:30. Please don't be almost 6:30 I'm still so tired." and it's only like 12:45 AM and you still have plenty of time to sleep.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

House of Cards, season 2, episode 5

So it seems most of this season's episodes fall into one of two ends of the pendulum... "OMG I can't believe it" and "then the story moved along some"... It's fair, I mean these people aren't Jack Bauer they're not wrestling a nuclear bomb with their bare hands at the top of every hour.

It was good to see Claire up against it inasmuch as she threw out a story that had some inconsistencies in connecting her abortion to the sexual assault (the timing is off because it was a lie, and even our secret reptilian overlords don't have five year gestational periods). But the conference to review and criticize military policies on disclosing assault after the big public shocker seemed a little like  a class discussing the physics of nuclear fission the day after Nagasaki.

The Washington "Herald" reporter has gotten caught in the FBI net so... That happened. The story moved along some.

I'm not sure I love what appears to be setting up Claire's new press secretary to fail. The idea that he didn't find a 60 year old journal and quash it... Meh. Your hairdresser is not your plumber.

Onward and upward.

House of Cards season 2 ep. 4

It's been a little while since I watched this one...

Firstly, wow. This was clearly the best Claire episode of the season. Do you suppose she really did decide on the fly that she was going to use the public acknowledgement of her abortion as a chance to get out word of the past rape? Or was it a plan?

I suspect it was a bit of both... She was waiting for what might be the right (calculated) time to strike back and saw the scope lined up perfectly.

The Frank / anthrax story was kinda interesting too. I expected them to wrap with a wink that he set up the whole situation so he'd be guaranteed a quarantine with that rep he was trying to move, but they didn't. Makes sense though, it's not as if he could have known for certain when the mail room would get, open the package.

The reporter / secret cloak and dagger stuff... Meh. At least it's progressing. And it's something different from "oh I'll get the bill passed... MY way. Mwahahah"