Review: House of Cards Season 5 Episode 2 “Chapter 54”

Overflowing with storylines, ‘House of Cards’ successfully represents the political battleground and the complex myriad of scandals, alliances, policies and relationships but isn’t able to communicate its central intentions. The hacking narrative at the middle of this episode lacks significance until the very end, too convoluted and under-served to have any thematic resonance or be compelling. There is definitely a continued sense of the degradation of those in power and the control they maintain through their own means, but the choice to mix this with a multitude of incredibly soap opera-ish like stories dilutes its power and hurts the pace. The subplot regarding Frank’s friend Tim does seem rather contrived to create a personal disruption and tension, but the end result is a nice commentary on the President’s statue, something discussed throughout this episode. His statue is compromised and he loses his focus and will. It is a small moment but one that brilliantly indicates this show’s complex lead characters. I just the wider cast and stories were as excellently dealt with. 8.4/10

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