House of Cards: Chapter 27
February 27, 2015 7:33 PM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Frank wants to introduce an ambitious jobs program, while Claire sets her sights on the United Nations.
posted by zix (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just got to the part where Doug comes home and I am afraid for Cobert's life.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:19 PM on February 27, 2015

Great opening scene! I was shocked to see Michael Kelly's name in the credits, but now we are treated with the friction between Doug's recovery and his seemingly inevitable downward spiral. He's just another casualty in the trail of bodies.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:01 PM on February 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

That scene in the Oval Office was fantastic! Frank was using his insincere voice, and Doug knows damned good and well that insincere voice is the worst form of rejection. I think Doug will pull it out though because without his job, his life is just as empty as his apartment. He's got absolutely nothing else to motivate him to live.

Man, I'd forgotten how much I've missed these scenes between Frank and Claire. She's got all the power in the relationship because Frank gives it to her, freely and willingly. At the end of the day, they really do love each other, in a very unconventional way. But their relationship is also their biggest weakness because it's the source of all of their power.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:17 PM on February 27, 2015

I thought it was a good first episode. It really drove home that Frank needs Doug. I did think the scene with the committee was a bit heavy handed, and I'd expect Frank to be exercising more tact now that he's president. But we got a great reintroduction to the show, and I'm glad for that.
posted by Catblack at 9:24 PM on February 27, 2015

I loved how they used Doug to explain how much time had passed (although six months? really?) although I thought he was going to get put down like Old Yeller throughout the entire episode.

I also like how Frank is struggling. At the end of season two, it seemed like Frank was finally invincible once he was President but that's clearly not the case.
posted by zix at 7:45 AM on February 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love how it's illustrating how unfit Frank and Claire are for the office, yet they truly believe they are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on February 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm enjoying the snappier, more pulper pacing and the series always risked drowning in its own import and losing sight that it is, at its core, a melodramatic thriller. (a telenovela set in a Restoration Hardware basically)

We did mention while watching that Frank's is becoming increasingly Monty Burns-esque and his job plan is like, carefully constructed to piss off every single voting bloc in America. And that's fine.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on February 28, 2015 [7 favorites]

As a teetotaler, what was with the syringe?
posted by books for weapons at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2015

I'm guessing it's an attempt to control the addiction
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:32 AM on February 28, 2015

I figured it was a self-reminder that it is an addiction that is potentially destructive.
posted by juiceCake at 3:26 PM on February 28, 2015

It seemed like he wanted the alcohol to be his replacement for the pain prescription, so he had it measured out like a medication and delivered by a professional.
posted by isthmus at 8:02 PM on February 28, 2015 [4 favorites]

Anybody else feel kind of betrayed by the show because Doug Stamper is alive? He's a great character, and I'm sure he'll be great to watch in season 3, but at the cost of undermining season 2 and any trust I had in the show, I'm not sure the price is worth it.
posted by GrumpyDan at 11:51 PM on February 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

While I can appreciate the creativity in using that high-pitched sound to show Doug's brain injury, those scenes were painful to sit through (and I kept pausing the tv to make sure there was a reasonable, non-tinnitus explanation for it).
posted by casualinference at 8:19 AM on March 1, 2015

I'm glad Stamper is back. I'm enjoying the high slapstick. He was always one of the most loathsome characters on the show, so It's fun to see him getting the Wile E. Coyote treatment.

And have none of you people ever had a hooker squirt cheap bourbon into your mouth with a syringe?

um, me either
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:46 AM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I haven't watched the episode yet, GrumpyDan (spoilers don't bother me, especially for this show), but I am preemptively annoyed that Doug is back. I'd like there to be churn in the sub-Frank level schemers, and I was very tired of his interactions (relationship? obsession?) with Rachel Posner. I hope for her sake that she found a way out of there and never comes back, but I will have to see how I feel about Doug's continued presence in the show post-rock.
posted by minsies at 8:57 AM on March 1, 2015

And reporting back after having watched the episode, I would've much preferred for it to have been Doug's grave Frank was visiting at the beginning (as we were supposed to think) rather than the Doug who falls in the shower and tapes himself back together, &c. His death at the hands of Rachel would've been enough 'oh, how the mighty Doug Stamper has fallen' for me.

The Supreme Court justice meeting was so, so gross.

I miss Remy opposing Frank, too. He needs more to do.
posted by minsies at 11:05 AM on March 1, 2015

Doug is too vital to simply be gotten rid of. Francis really does need him, Remy and the other dude don't have the same type of relationship with Francis. Doug really would help him move bodies.

I'm curious if he and Frank have ever hooked up. Probably not, can't imagine Claire would allow him to mess around with a "weak" person, aka alcoholic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:18 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

My issues with Doug are mainly ones of addiction fatigue - his alcoholism was always lurking, but there was Pete Russo struggling front and centre and now Doug's hitting a lot of the same beats.

I think that the Pete Russo thing feels more recent for me since I watched seasons 1 and 2 back to back, though - I didn't realise, until I checked today, that his whole arc happens in season 1.
posted by minsies at 11:29 PM on March 1, 2015

Can we decree that pissing on someone's grave shall be henceforth known as the "Gaffney salute"?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:04 AM on March 2, 2015

Can we decree that pissing on someone's grave shall be henceforth known as the "Gaffney salute"?

Funny, the phrase that came to my mind was "jumping the shark."
posted by one_bean at 7:48 PM on March 3, 2015 [5 favorites]

Anybody else feel kind of betrayed by the show because Doug Stamper is alive?

*raises hand* I realized about half the way through that I was actively routing for Doug to kill himself. It wasn't pleasant.

Is US ambassador to the UN really a stepping stone into national office? It seems odd to me.
posted by donajo at 3:31 PM on March 4, 2015

"Woah, woah, what the fuck?"
"It's cheese. That's all. It's just grated cheese."
Doug hands her bowl of grated cheddar cheese.
"Take it."
"No," she shakes her head. "I really don't want to."
"Nothing's going through the skin. I just want you to pop it..."
Doug stares at the bowl of grated cheese.
"Into my mouth."
She nods as she pops a pinch of grated cheese into his mouth.
He gazes at her.
The World has turned.
posted by Elmore at 3:41 PM on March 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

While Doug being dead was my preference coming out of last season, I'm OK with his position now. I found the Dark Night of Doug Stamper's Soul plot line getting rather tedious at the end of season two (though far less tedious than Claire's NGO drama from season 1). Now that his more precipitous situation poses a more immediate threat to Frank, hopefully his story will move along.
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:29 PM on March 6, 2015

On the Media has started a On House of Cards podcast, where Brooke Gladstone discusses each episode with a couple of Washington and political insiders. So far I've only listened to the first episode, but it's great.
posted by donajo at 11:12 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I started watching this show maybe two weeks ago and am glad to have finally reached the point where there is a FanFare thread for each episode.

This particular episode was too Doug Stamper-centric for me, and man is Frank Underwood a shit president, with a myopic vision for how the country should be run and an absolute intolerance for any disagreement from his team.

I am impressed with how well Rachel Posner has managed to hide. Even the hacker guy couldn't find her. Now that's some serious on the lam know-how.

I don't find it at all credible that a man who has murdered two people could possibly become president of the U.S., especially when he's a Democrat who thinks like a Republican and has made so many enemies because he's got the appeal and the morals of a snake.

Also, this is a trivial thing, but there's a moment in a previous episode when Claire is thumbing through her wardrobe, picks out a dress and looks at herself in the mirror, and murmurs, "Maybe something less neutral." You don't have anything less neutral, hon. Your entire wardrobe is black, white, gray, navy and taupe.
posted by orange swan at 9:19 PM on October 29, 2016

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