House of Cards: Season 1, Episode 10

Chapter 10 (1 Feb. 2013)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.7
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Told that Claire was behind the watershed bill's failure, Francis works to contain the damage and maintain control over Peter Russo. Zoe and Claire each seek relief from their respective ... See full summary »

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Title: Chapter 10 (01 Feb 2013)

Chapter 10 (01 Feb 2013) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Told that Claire was behind the watershed bill's failure, Francis works to contain the damage and maintain control over Peter Russo. Zoe and Claire each seek relief from their respective relationships with Francis. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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1 February 2013 (USA)  »

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Characters are shown listening to a Pittsburgh AM radio station in downtown Washington during the day. Except under very unusual atmospheric conditions, it is impossible to hear even the most powerful AM broadcast stations 200 miles away and over mountainous terrain. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Francis Underwood: I have zero tolerance for betrayal, which they will soon indelibly learn.
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Flaws in the story stain an otherwise gripping chapter
29 March 2014 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

Screenwriter Sarah Treem doesn't disappoint with the manner she continues House of Cards after its first really pivotal moment with Claire defying Frank on the two voters against the watershed act at the end of the last chapter and the series gains tension for a possibly favourable season finale. Situations for virtually all characters are altered and grave decisions are made, resulting in the tenth chapter being likely the most momentous in the first thirteen.

Kevin Spacey doesn't add much to his acting in this one, since his outbursts of bad temper have been prevalent all the way through the series, but Robin Wright certainly does. Her character Claire provokes her husband for the first time and it's indubitably one of the most rememberable dialogue and acting scenes the first season of House of Cards has to offer, going on for some while longer than the usual, short scene on this show and ending on a perfect note with Frank asking, the clumsiest he ever gets, whether all of this is because of her hot flashes. Smooth move, señor. Now you could go on to tell your security guard he should track down wifey's lodgings right away.

But Claire may present her intimidating side as often as she wants in this chapter (stand-out scene shared with Kate Mara is in her repertoire too!), the MVP position has been bestowed upon Peter Russo's firm hands from the second the ink of this episode's script dried up. Corey Stall turns out to know how to handle this situation and successfully portrays his character's embarrassing drunken side yet another time – this time though, using some communication media you should avoid slurring f-bombs on as a politician. Without a hint of a doubt, Frank and Stamper's plan on him is the most Machiavellian and malicious scheme the two of them have enforced up to that point and bars your breath by the time you realise what's going on. Yet it's still passing off in an overly easy manner and I'm reluctant to believe that Peter is as weak-willed and oblivious to make their ploy work.

Anyway, that is how it goes down in this chapter and even if the story arc doesn't pass every single category on the believability test sheet, it does remarkably enhance House of Cards' suspense and is directed in a competent way. Some other minor affairs like Zoe's current unimportance and Adam's utter lack of facets besides being attractive and debonair can also be ignored in the face of the series revealing what we all we wanted to see revealed about politics.

Memoranda: • There's not much to get from her otherwise in this episode, but it is wonderful to see Zoe having the advantage over Frank for once in one of the earlier scenes. • Very interesting variation of looks by Adam as he discovers Claire has come to visit him. At least Ben Daniels makes the most out of a character with such few characteristic traits. • I wonder how Frank teaching Stamper how to play chess would have been in comparison to D'Angelo explaining it to Bodie and Wallace on The Wire. • The statement "I can sleep through anything" is incorrect, Lucas, if you wake up as Zoe crawls into your bed. • Best/Most important quote: "I'm not afraid of you anymore, Frank." – That's about as intelligent of a thing to say as Frank's comment on the hot flashes from earlier on, but the difference in effect is crucially different for these two characters.


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