Review: House of Cards Season 5 Episode 12 “Chapter 64”

This episode ends with a perfect meta-commentary that serves almost as a thesis statement for the show as a whole, something that even those who reject the melodrama and spectacle cannot deny. We, the viewers, love the conflict of American culture, the action as Francis Underwood speaks, be it policy and political manipulation or Underwood’s use of murder, deceit and betrayal. Whatever it is, we love the notion of things getting done. It is indicative of power, something that Claire fully claims as Robin Wright provides a stirring performance both as an actor and as director, again the show’s use of meta discussions to denote Claire taking charge. Michael Kelly is also exemplary here, as Doug represents the consequence of loyalty and humanity’s selfish desire to always protect ourselves by putting someone else in the cross-fire. This is an excellent episode beyond the twists and death. It is a monumental mark of ‘House of Cards” understanding of its characters’ perceptions of control and sacrifice, and the paranoia that latches onto those at the top. The journalism angle cements the show’s timeliness and adds an extra layer of realism and complexity to the already authentic narrative. These quieter, more distinct moments are a testament to the entire series and its accumulation of tension. But who am I kidding? I also delight in the mayhem. 10/10

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