As they say in Gaffney, all good things come to an end.
BQB here with a review of “House of Cards.”
You know, 3.5 readers. There ought to be a rule. Call it “The Spacey Rule.” If you’re an actor about to take a role in a compelling TV series that hinges on that role, you should not have allegations of pervery against you.
Spacey’s character, Francis Underwood, a ruthless, cunning politician who bargained, bribed, bought, cajoled, sweet talked, murdered, screwed (literally and figuratively) and worse, convinced many of his victims to do themselves in, was crucial to the series.
Indeed, Claire (Robin Wright Penn) was his partner-in-crime and before Spacey’s alleged pervery was made public, it looked like the show was heading toward an eventual showdown where the President and First Lady would duke it out.
Thus, the writers were boxed in with this last season. No season without Francis was going to feel satisfying and yet, to not provide some kind of ending would be a letdown as well.
At the beginning of this final season, Claire is in the first 100 days of her presidency. Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear play a brother/sister team of wealthy business moguls who apparently were bankrolling the Underwoods and expecting favors in return, though this is the first we’ve heard of them.
Francis is dead, ostensibly due to an overdose of prescription medication, though true accidents without someone at fault rarely, if ever, happen on this show, unless some sort of nefarious evildoer wants it to seem that way.
Claire has learned the art of underhanded politics from the master himself and now free of her husband, she wants to make one last series of weaselly doings to secure her power, push out her enemies and, one might assume, make the world a better place?
Her foil is Doug Stamper, Francis’ longtime henchman. Claire wants to throw Francis’ reputation under the bus to save herself. Doug wants to save Francis’ legacy.
Claire, the bro/sis team and Doug go all in on a battle royale and indeed, there is a victor but I won’t spoil it for you.
Suffice to say, imagine if you were invited to a fancy dinner at a friend’s house. You were promised that if you work your way through five courses, each more tasty than the last, you’d eventually get to that final sixth course that would make your toes curl and your taste buds scream out in orgasmic delight.
Then, alas, your friend comes out and says, “Hey, I’m so sorry, my head chef just got fired due to allegations of pervery so I’m not able to serve you that sixth course you long waited for but hey, here is a tasty bag of Funions.”
Sure, you’ll eat the Funions. You’ll enjoy the Funions but…you’ll always wish that head chef had kept it in his pants so he could have stuck around to make that final filet mignon.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. The writers made the best out of a bad situation and ultimately, Spacey is the one to blame but it’s hard not to think about how satisfying a final Francis-centric season would have been and sigh a sad, defeated sigh.