Review: House of Cards Season 5 Episode 6 “Chapter 58”

The relationship between Francis and Claire Underwood has always been this series’ centre point, an evolving, complex dynamic influenced by power, admiration, love and tension. This episode sees a massive shift in that interplay, peeling back the relationship to showcase Frank’s need for control and hesitancy in giving it up. The regard he holds for his wife is undeniable, especially in terms of her insight, but he feels his experience is worth consultation. It’s a brilliant discussion and one elevated by the excellent performances. However, the rest of the episode feels rather predictable and slow, as Will Conway’s paranoia is simply too underdeveloped to grasp importance, as is Tom’s presence in the White House. While Claire’s lack of focus upon Tom suggests, that like Francis, her needs and desires have been fulfilled by the Presidency, I hope Tom is put into a clear position or role on the show, rather than constantly swirling within ambiguity and popping up when Claire’s loyalty needs to be tested. I did, however, appreciate the twist with the Russians. While it does seem rather selective or contrived to associate the majority of international diplomacy and conflict with Russia, Lars Mikkelson is sure to make it compelling. 8.4/10

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