House of Cards (2013–2018)
8.7/10
5,104
3 user 24 critic

Chapter 2 

Francis and Doug plan to frame Secretary of State nominee, Michael Kern. Meanwhile, Zoe's popularity at the Washington Herald continues to grow.

Director:

David Fincher

Writers:

Michael Dobbs (based on the novels by), Andrew Davies (based on the mini-series by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Francis Underwood
Robin Wright ... Claire Underwood
Kate Mara ... Zoe Barnes
Michael Kelly ... Doug Stamper
Sakina Jaffrey ... Linda Vasquez
Corey Stoll ... Rep. Peter Russo
Kristen Connolly ... Christina Gallagher
Sebastian Arcelus ... Lucas Goodwin
Larry Pine ... Bob Birch
Elizabeth Norment Elizabeth Norment ... Nancy Kaufberger
Mahershala Ali ... Remy Danton
Boris McGiver ... Tom Hammerschmidt
Constance Zimmer ... Janine Skorsky
Reed Birney ... Rep. Donald Blythe
Kevin Kilner ... Michael Kern
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Storyline

Francis and Doug plan to frame Secretary of State nominee, Michael Kern. Meanwhile, Zoe's popularity at the Washington Herald continues to grow.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reed Birney & Rachel Brosnahan also appeared together on an episode of The Blacklist - episode 1.15, The Blacklist: The Judge (No. 57) (2014). See more »

Goofs

When Peter Russo is looking at his laptop screen while on his flight to go see Roy Kapeniak, his Windows 7 shows the icon (bottom right) for Internet access connected through wire and not Wi-Fi. See more »

Quotes

Janine Skorsky: You're a metro scrub, and now look at you. You'd have to be fucking somebody important.
Zoe Barnes: I'm just doing my job, Janine.
See more »

Soundtracks

Free Bird
Written by Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins
Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
[Plays while Peter Russo and Roy Kapeniak are talking about Kern and doing drugs.]
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User Reviews

 
A slight drop in quality
8 March 2014 | by axel-kochSee all my reviews

House of Cards doesn't exactly incur a collapse in quality in its second chapter, but it does lose some of the appeal it previously had, as the general course of the Netflix project becomes clearer. Nevertheless, David Fincher's second and (presumably) last directing effort on the series is fine work and an interesting look at politics, just one that could benefit from some more vigour and spirit.

The opening scene, kicking in directly where chapter one left off, assures us that Kevin Spacey's weird unfitting monologues aren't something House of Cards is likely to drop very soon, and thus smashes the feeble hopes I've had after watching the pilot. The good-looking visuals may not be a proper compensation for that, but I did again find numerous praiseworthy things in the work cinematographer Eigil Bryld and his crew achieved, such as Frank smearing blood-reminiscent sauce on the President's picture in a newspaper in just that opening scene, so the look of the series stays one of its biggest merits.

Another, slightly shrinking pro in this episode, is the script – great with characters and plot (I'm unaware how much of that was taken from the British original, though), but disappointing with the dialogue, an equally important matter for a series about politics. Especially, but not only in Spacey's one-sided conversations with the audience, the words are unrealistically grandiloquent and delivered faster than I could read them out loud, while they at the same time lack something to make them worth listening to. Due to the series making Frank seem to be the only intelligent politician in the whole U.S. of A., there isn't any room for heated or thoughtful debates, and whenever you may feel as if a clever conversation is in the offing, the scene is cut after two minutes, for whatever reasons.

Let's not get too negative though, since House of Cards is still a good series, upholding a sort of look on politics that's exceedingly rare in mainstream media, knowing how to use the talented actors it has got, and giving a wonderful lot of focus on little details. I want to see more of it after this episode, but that's mostly because I want to see it become better.

Memoranda: • I forgot to mention it in my review for the first chapter, but the on-screen text messages are looking really great, even if House of Cards isn't the first to have that sort of idea. • The six education experts Frank convenes not showering for a week or so is something I don't suppose to be anywhere near reality. • Realism issue again: Who would ever nominate someone with that bad of a rhetoric for Secretary of State? • Claire at the coffeehouse and Frank with the homeless man are two utterly useless scenes without any significance for further episodes that shouldn't have made it into the final cut. • Best quote: "When it comes to your life and what I know about it, you should assume that there's no such thing as a secret." I'd rather have chosen the one of the pilot again, since it is repeated in this episode, but this one shows first signs of Doug Stamper being a bad-ass and thus had my esteem for him rising instantly.


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