Tuesday, 5 September 2017
House of Cards, Season 2 (2014)
There's an explosive plot development in the very first episode of the second season of House of Cards. It's a stark and shocking moment.
The problem with explosions though, is that while they can start fires, they can also snuff them out. And for my tastes, the latter case applies here. As I said, the moment itself is stark and shocking, and honestly it was probably inevitable that it would happen at some point. But while doing it early gives the opening of the season some real impact, it has some significant drawbacks that I think hamper the rest of the episodes.
For one thing, it deprives the show of one of its most interesting interpersonal relationships, and while the writers make an effort to fill the gap in a couple of different ways, one of them never really gets out of second gear, and the other takes a while to build up. I do have hopes it will pay off in season three, but honestly, it needs to, as pretty much all the original conflict of the show has been resolved now.
Overall, House of Cards is still an enjoyable show in season two, but the sophomore offering does definitely feel like a step down from the first year. It will be interesting to see how it develops - and whether it recovers or falters further - from here.