Picking Up Steam

K: Episode 7 of House of Cards is kind of a blur to me, so I skipped writing about that episode. However, after just finishing the 8th episode, I must say this show has found its previous magic. The writing and acting are just as good as the prior 2 seasons and the storyline is becoming more intriguing by the episode.  The primary plot device in this episode was a potential major hurricane making landfall on the Eastern Seaboard. As I’ve learned from being an admirer of meteorology, storms have a tendency to shift rapidly and multiple times within one path. Due to the massive cost FEMA would need to expend for disaster relief funds, Frank had to scramble. Most of FEMA’s budget was illegally used to fund the President’s America Works plan and the hurricane required 4 times the amount of funds currently available.  With a Bill in place to shut down the America Works funding and moving funds to FEMA for the storm, Frank faced a difficult scenario for himself. America Works has been the idea that fueled him to strategize his 2016 Campaign message and with a Bill needing his signature to shut it down, he didn’t know what to do. Throughout the episode, Frank is seen tracking the storm hoping it veers out to sea so he wouldn’t have to sign the bill.  Once he realized it was slim to none with the storm to switch paths, he made the decision that was best for everyone; he signed the Bill. Of course, upon waking up the day the storm expected to hit, it shifted out to sea. This enraged Frank as he had just signed the Bill the night before. Knowing that America Works was dead, he announced to his staff member that he’s definitely running in 2016. I’m really starting to enjoy the way this season is playing out. The endings to the episodes have become faster paced and more intense/shocking.

As a side note for this episode, I enjoyed the multiple angles the story was told from. On one end, the writer Frank hired to write the book referring to the origins of America Works read several excerpts throughout the episode, which helped paint a positive picture of Frank and his work. On the other end, a reporter with access to the White House read excerpts from the negative column she was writing on Frank about how ruthless and terrible he’s been as President. With the hurricane serving as a primary metaphor for Frank’s power and ways as President, her story lost substance once the hurricane shifted out to sea. Naturally, like any good story, these two writers connect at the end of the episode at a bar with the reporter trying to maneuver some facts out of the writer to use in her story. Lastly, I enjoyed seeing Reg E. Cathey making another cameo in this show. I enjoyed his work on The Wire and the 1st 2 seasons of House of Cards.

What did you guys think of this episode?

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