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Reason Netflix released the whole season the same day.


The Impeachment Drum Is Banging On House Of Cards

And (almost) everyone's swapping dance partners in S05.E11; Jordan Veilleux ranks the pairs!

  1. Sean Jeffries and Alexis
    Zoe and Lucas 2.0, I don't know what to make of these (I can only assume) up-and-coming power players. Thus, for the time being, they rank dead last. It's not their fault; there are way too many moving parts to do them and their motivations justice. For now, "Chapter 63" offers more of the same: this time, they're in their dingy studio -- which I'm sure she pays for now that he's out of a job and running down leads to…gain leverage for a White House position? Blow the lid off the Underwood administration? It's still unclear -- as they go from talking shop, to making bedroom eyes. Something tells me things could pick up, though. True to series form, he seems out to make a name for himself by any means necessary; she's cautiously optimistic.
  2. Frank and Eric, his "trainer"

    I have a serious question: were we supposed to be invested in this relationship? Sure, they shared two or three great scenes -- which I'd argue is one more than Claire and her mistress, Thomas, ever had together -- but to what end? By no means was I pulling for it, but the note it ends on is curious and underwhelming. Follow-up question: there are hangers-on and delusional sidepieces, but in what world do you suggest to your president boyfriend on the fifth or sixth date that it's fine if he's impeached because he'll always be remembered?

    And listen, I understand he's the president's "trainer" and that the White House is currently under surveillance, but who in the writer's room thought it was a good idea to have them growling and slapping hands while bike-riding, not once, but twice? I've only watched so far as I have to write about, so I haven't watched anything past this episode. Maybe "Chapter 64" sees Frank walking into the residence to find his "F" and "U" cufflinks simmering in a pot of water on the stove in the kitchen, or throwing Eric into a maximum-security prison to keep him quiet, but that seems unlikely. In the meantime, my condolences: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  3. Romero and, uh, everyone?

    I'm into his relationships with Usher and Durant. What I'm not into is keeping track of career trajectory, job title, and party affiliation. I can only compare this character to the experience of stopping somewhere after work for a glass of wine and half-priced app and having the person next you at the bar strike up a conversation that starts with current events and pleasantries and then turns into a Hydra of a story about their life. I'm politely following the story out of necessity -- hey, I'm not abandoning this half-priced app and glass of wine of a show just yet -- but it's too much, please, we only just met.

  4. LeAnn and Aidan and Doug

    Up until now it's been implied to within an inch of its life that Aidan was more than just LeAnn's mom's boyfriend. What's actually shocking (and more than a little gross) is how quickly the steely but relatable LeAnn becomes a Lolita when Doug stops by and starts asking questions. Sure, they're both in the midst of emotional tailspins, and yes, hate-sex has always been just out of frame dangling above their heads, but here and now it's a bit of a wash. Just as it is for the characters, it feels as if the people running point behind the scenes were just sort of like, "Sure, why not?"

  5. Claire and Thomas

    Unlike Claire -- who's getting soft -- I'm happy to see him go.

  6. Frank and Claire

    The shift in the status quo, Frank's increasing paranoia, and Claire's deal with the devil Jane Davis are all great elements and shaping up quite nicely. Unfortunately, they're also undercut by last season's cumbersome separation period. So it all feels a little…been there, done that.

  7. Doug and Laura Moretti

    "I'm the reason your husband's dead…I understand if you think I'm a monster."
    "What did you think was going on here? I'm not fucking you because I like you. I'm fucking you because I hate you."

  8. Durant v. The World

    She doesn't trust Frank or Claire. She's weary of her old friend, Jane Davis, who grows more and more menacing with each exchange. She can trust whoever's offering immunity, though. Smartly side-stepping her lawyer (leaks, you know) to buy her some time before she can ghost this administration, she hands committee head Romero a note on the way out of his office that simply reads, "Yes," after making a big to-do of her solidarity and refusal to cooperate. I should have known that anyone that good at beer-pong would also be an ingenious note-passer. Cat, you sly devil, you.

  9. Claire and Jane Davis

    Secret meetings, planned coups, ambient tones punctuated by long stretches of contemplative silence capped off by blunt statements before one exits the room and leaves the other standing there to consider her next move; they're the new dream team.

  10. Doug and A Tale Of Two Cities

    Second only to his relationship with Frank is Doug's relationship to Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, a novel he probably read excepts of in college, and resolved to one day finish. And possibly grew to love. A sly nod way back in S2, it's unclear whether or not he's actually finished reading it. If he hasn't, it's a deliciously evil moment. However, the lingering shot of him holding the weighty tome in his dark office feels like another in a long line of conscious efforts that suggest Doug is no longer head over heels in love with the Underwoods.

  11. Claire and The Audience

    Claire breaking the fourth wall isn't the best moment of the episode. That said, in terms of everything that happens following it, it is the most interesting relationship to consider. She says:

    "Just to be clear, it's not that I haven't always known you were there. It's that I have mixed feelings about you. I question your intentions, and I'm ambivalent about attention. But don't take it personally. It's how I feel about most everybody."

    There's definitely truth to what she says, but things like her awkward, semi-painful breakup with Thomas (for her, not for us; good riddance) and how she's allowing Jane to influence her and plotting to overthrow Frank so she can become President stand in direct opposition to how she views herself. In fact, that opposition is quickly becoming the foundation of this house of cards.

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