House of Cards: Season 1, Episode 8

Chapter 8 (1 Feb. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Frank has a library named after him at his old military school. Peter tries to win back the support of his hometown.



(based on the novels by), (based on the mini-series by), 4 more credits »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Russo's Mother
Brian Reddy ...
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Antonio Suarez ...


Frank has a library named after him at his old military school. Peter tries to win back the support of his hometown.

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1 February 2013 (USA)  »

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It's not enormously worse than the others, but this chapter is the worst of the first season, IMHO
28 March 2014 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

House of Cards does excellent work on developing characters and pushing the plot forward simultaneously, so I'm not all too fond of episodes centred on the first to an even higher extend. The series's eighth chapter is one such an example and, in my humble opinion, the first season's worst episode.

As you can deduce from my rating though, it's merely marginally worse than the remaining twelve, but clearly the least thrilling. I hold some issues with the story being entirely focused on Frank's and Peter's excursions and more than just a few scenes decisively outstay their welcome, in addition to them already not being high up on the entertainment value scale. Yet, House of Cards gets to some small but crucial moments for the two aforementioned characters – one taking place with Peter visiting his mother in a nursing home (how tragic is it that this isn't even the character's saddest scene in this series?) and one taking place with Frank discussing drunken secrets with a former close friend of his.

Last but not least, every new location gives the series's cinematographer Eigil Bryld another possibility to present the audience with a different form of beautiful filming and he does so twice in this episode. Clearly, I had nothing even close to a bad time watching chapter eight and it has quite some importance if you look back on the complete first season, but the flaws in it are unusually high for House of Cards.

Memoranda: • Wow, Kevin Spacey can both be creepy (the end of last episode) and awkward (the beginning of this episode) as Frank Underwood – that thirty seconds of singing at the Sentinel went on for thirty seconds too long. • House of Cards' cast is filled with actors that are remarkably talented at playing their characters in a drunken state, but surprisingly, Kevin Spacey is not one of them. He just looks and acts exactly the same regardless of being sober, drunk, or hungover. But there is one distinction: he reminded me of Alan Rickman abnormally much when drunk and I have no idea why. • One small fight is all it takes to bring Peter and Paul back together? Sorry Beau Willimon, but that is a silly cliché that I'm not buying. • If you want to "get some shut-eye", Frank, then for what reason are you taking a coffee with you? From my experience with this particular beverage I wouldn't highly recommend it because of its extraordinary soporific effect. • I've already expressed my criticism about Frank and his friends' binge drinking scenes above, but I can't deny that the shots of them waking up and strolling about the campus the morning after are excellent. • Why doesn't Christina ever question Peter's decision not to testify for keeping the shipyard in his hometown open? Did he merely tell her that it's politics stuff and she was like "Mkay. Let's search for a solution with which the people in your hometown are way worse off." or what? • Completely forgot about the best quote thingy I've been doing with this episode while watching it, thus this point will stay void for once.

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