Review: House of Cards Season 5 Episode 3 “Chapter 55”

In the run up to any general election, the activities of the candidates are always of maximum focus and interest. ‘House of Cards’ showcases this fascination through its balanced presentation of both the Underwoods and the Conways. It’s an excellent depiction of differing campaign strategies and range of political relationships, with Will Conway taking his discussions to the people via the internet, and Underwood taking a more traditional approach. With a few remarks pointed directly at Trump’s internet use, this episode creates a clear debate about patriotism, the question of innocence regarding politicians and morality. The writing makes us relate Conway, taking a strong ethical line in showing his more justified actions compared to the dealings of Underwood. This is not Frank at his worst, many may call it the norm in politics, but the show still presents him crossing a line and such a change in perspective in welcomed, especially when it is balanced by quieter moments for the audience to remember their empathy and care for Underwood. Yet, this episode also manages to make a potent statement upon the relationships of leadership candidates, most specifically in regards to how Frank sees the power in his wife and his need for her. The final sequences between him and Claire are superbly written and performed, a powerful insight into their relationship, the tension that binds them and the love they once, and arguably still have, albeit in a differing capacity and intention. 9.1/10

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