HomeTelevisionRecap: House of Cards, Episodes 8-10

Recap: House of Cards, Episodes 8-10

Written by Dylan Brandsema



EPISODE 308: “Chapter 34”

Flying high on the heels of the exceptional previous two episodes, you’d assume House of Cards would posses the ability to maintain that level of quality for the remainder of it’s season – with this episode, we learn that is clearly not the case. “Chapter 34” is predictable right from the get-go, as we learn of an apparent Category 4 hurricane, dubbed ‘Hurricane Faith,’ is slowly creeping it’s way towards the east coast of the United States. As far as plot convenience is concerned, this was bound to happen eventually – back when Frank took money from FEMA to fund America Works, something like this was undeniably in the foreseeable future, making the beginning moments of this episode rather unsatisfying, and altogether predictable.

Photo credit: David Giesbrecht for Netflix
Photo credit: David Giesbrecht for Netflix

Despite being otherwise lackluster, the highlight of the episode was the official return of our beloved Freddy Hayes. He had been seen briefly at the end of this season’s fifth episode, “Chapter 29”, but it’s not until now do we get to witness his official return to the limelight. In danger of being laid off from his enthralling new job as a restaurant dishwasher, Frank offers him a job at the White House as a chef, but Freddy wants to be outside, so he’s made a groundskeeper. While his returning storyline might not too exciting, it’s a delight to see Freddy back as a part of the series, and it’s great to see him interact with Frank so swimmingly, considering they had parted on such bad terms in the last season.

Up until its last moments, “Chapter 29” seems like just…an episode. For the majority of it’s short 43-minute run time, it doesn’t really seem like anything particularly special, but then in a typical House of Cards last-minute twist, Hurricane Faith turns away from the shore, leaving Frank’s stolen FEMA money in the dust concerning America Works. Rather than moping, Frank turns the gears in the opposite direction, and takes the opportunity to announce his candidacy for 2016. The final line of the episode is uttered when Frank continues to tell his biographer, Tom Yates, a story of when he swam across a riverbank – “I really did come this close to drowning”, he says, metaphorically symbolizing his triumphant return to the commander in chief he was before the storm.

Altogether, not a particularly great episode. It’s passable, and mainly filler, but at least its ending is its own saving grace.

Overall rating: 6/10

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