House of Cards Season 2: We Binge-Watched It — 5 Things You Need to Know (Mild Spoilers)

house-of-cards-season-2Ah, another Valentine’s Day come and gone: Chocolates unwrapped, flowers placed in vases… and a new season of House of Cards binge-watched. Romantic, no?

Netflix dealt another hand of Cards on Feb. 14, unveiling all 13 new episodes of the acclaimed original series at once. Some things about the drama haven’t changed: Frank Underwood is as ruthless as ever, his wife Claire is still devastatingly stylish and the politics are still really, really dirty. But there are some new elements in the series’ sophomore season. If you haven’t yet pressed PLAY on Season 2, here are five (semi-spoilery) tidbits to know while you watch.

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OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW | There’s seamless continuity between Cards‘ Season 1 finale and its Season 2 premiere, picking up quite literally where Frank & Co. left off. But these 13 episodes don’t just revolve around last season’s players: In the new installments, you’ll meet — among others — the First Lady of the United States (played by Joanna Going, Close to Home), Congresswoman Jackie Sharp (Deadwood‘s Molly Parker), who’s got a heck of a withering stare, and not one, but two new press secretaries for the Underwoods.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU | Last season, Lady Macbeth Claire Underwood remained an enigma to us, hardly letting her guard down at all. This time around, viewers will learn plenty more about Frank’s wife, including a traumatic experience from her college years that earns her plenty of media attention in Season 2 — not all of it positive. (And for those wondering if photographer Adam Galloway is out of the picture for good, you’ll get an answer just past the midseason mark.)

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THE RIGHT DIRECTION | Pay close attention to this season’s directing credits: Leading lady Robin Wright tried her hand behind the camera this season, as did Oscar winner Jodie Foster.

NO SMALL PARTS | Frank won’t just frequent Freddy’s BBQ Joint for ribs this season: Freddy himself is one of several supporting characters with their own story arcs, which reveal more than one skeleton in the closet. Who else is getting more screen time? Lobbyist Remy Danton and duplicitous businessman Raymond Tusk, who will likely have you booing at your screens by season’s end.

SHOCK AND AWE | Cards has a knack for being unpredictable, but David Fincher, et al. aren’t messing around this season. Case in point? A gasp-worthy OMG! moment in the season premiere that, if you’re anything like me, will leave your jaw open for a good while. You’ll know it when you see it.

What do you think of House of Cards’ new season — and how many episodes have you binge-watched so far? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. D. says:

    I’m still in shock after watching the premiere. I mean, i expected it, but not like that. I’m in shock.

  2. Martyna says:

    I’ve watched the entire season over the course of
    one day. The season does begin on a shocker, but after the initial disbelief, I came to the conclusion that I was ok with that outcome. I will definitely watch the season at least once more. It’s darker than the first season, but I still enjoyed it a great deal. Awesome show.

  3. Lisa says:

    Watched the whole season in one sitting and not ashamed in the least. The gasp worthy moments at the end of the premiere and episode 11 were epic!! I love this show alot. Definitely slowed down a bit towards the middle but overall it was a great season

  4. TeeOh says:

    I’m ten episodes in and getting ready to finish off the season today. The shocker in the premier totally caught me off guard. My only question is how long is an appropriate wait before we can discuss the events of the season freely. Do we have to wait until president Obama says he is caught up? With his schedule not sure I want to wait that long.

  5. Lisa says:

    In the episodes I’m watching, Joanna Going is playing the First Lady…

  6. Elaine says:

    Not only was the scene in the premiere an OMG moment. It was a sit up straight in the bed WTF moment. I’m watching episode 7 and still in love with this show!

  7. This is defiantly not The West Winf says:

    I watched the first episode when it came out at 2 am (cst) and had an eye bulging OMG moment that my neighbors were not too pleased with at that hour.

    The final scene was almost orgasmic. No, I didn’t, but think of it like this: he’s staring and staring and you are waiting for something to happen…and you wait…and wait…and wait…and then finally when it does all you can do is say holy s*** and crack up laughing at the fact that yes ALL I that just happened.

  8. Bmass says:

    I finished the season in two sittings and it was lovely. I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as season one, but it was still quite good. It was great seeing more of Gerald McRaney as Tusk– he plays the sociopathic businessman like nobody’s… business. Molly Parker was an inspired addition to the cast– I half-expected Tusk to grill Jackie Sharp about a substantial gold claim.
    It was a joy seeing the Underwoods at work again, I’m sad there’s another year to wait to see where they go from here. Surely season 3 will give us Frank’s fall from grace– I for one don’t see him winning the 2016 election, but who knows.
    I want to discuss more, but I’ll leave this relatively spoiler-free. :3

  9. Danielle says:

    I watched them all yesterday. Loved it all from the OMG moment in the first episode to the final takedown in the last episode. Francis and Claire are modern day vikings, albeit stylish ones. Kicking ass quietly and not looking back. Scheming has never looked so randomly uncontrolled yet steered to the eventual conclusion they imagined from the start. Can’t wait until everyone else catches up with us crazy fans with no lives. Lol I need to discuss the Dr visits and if they were just for research… Thanks guys for always reviewing the best way possible!!

  10. Kayla says:

    But guys, can we cryptically talk about episode 11? Please?

    • I couldn’t believe it! Leading up to it, I thought it was going one way, but I didn’t see THAT scenario playing out.

    • Dave says:

      i felt like i needed a shower. bourbon and a shower.

    • 2 to 3 says:

      I was delirious with pleased feelings this finally happened. Saw it coming, wished for it, went that way. The anticipation building toward it made it all the more worthwhile. They had to find the kink somewhere. The little arm offering and then glance during the finale were just perfect throwbacks.

    • A.B. says:

      Yeah but if you remember season 1 where he goes to his reunion and the thing with his best friend, it does fit the profile. Still very surprising.

  11. Karen says:

    5 episodes into the season and I’m loving it. Kevin Spacey is terrific and Robin Wright scares the s–t out of me. Yes I’m afraid, very afraid. One complaint, however, is the music. Instead of playing in the background setting the mood, it is playing very loud over the scenes. I am watching on my iPad and it is very annoying. I am finding the dialogue difficult to follow as not only is it being drowned out , but I find myself listening and getting caught up in the dark and heavy melodies. Is this just me?

  12. SAM says:

    Watched the premiere – my reaction “F*&k me” Still in shock.

  13. One passing by says:

    David Fincher et al.? David Fincher didn’t do anything this season! TVline, I thought you were better as to avoid mistaking executive producer with creator/showrunner…

    Beau Willimon did actually a terrific work and then again people forget about him because Fincher directed two episodes on season 1…

  14. Linda says:

    Three days in, all finished. Went from OMG in ep 1 to meh, just scheming folks, is that it? to nice way to tie it up in the finale. Even though you hate Frank, you still root for him. Can’t wait for season three, knock knock!

  15. herman1959 says:

    I watched the entire season over two days and thought it was even better than the previous season. I felt like the writing was easier to follow and the characters were more fleshed out. I also thought that Kevin Spacey, although magnificent last season, really took ownership of the role this time.

    TeeOh, I feel your pain, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the season for anyone – it was that good!

  16. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I’m impressed people are already finished with it. I’m only three episodes in. I got a little distracted with my Sherlock binge watching. That show is even better the second time around.

  17. miller says:

    They killed the show in the end….it made me Sick……who whant to this kind of Sick end of show.It was great till the last chap…i am not anti gay….this cllose was not needed……

  18. Tran says:

    Frank and Claire are everything. I want them to get everything they kill for.

  19. Aaron says:

    The very last scene of the season was perfect. Although, if I’m being honest, I hoped Frank would die the whole time. You know, since he’s the biggest jerk ever.
    I was quite surprised near the end of the season when he gets fresh with a certain Secret Service Agent.
    Whip to Chief, neigh a ballot cast, was quite a riveting ride. At the end of which, leaves you begging for more.

  20. HAP says:

    Sheesh. Have now lost two of my faves, first one being Cory Stoll.

  21. tvwatcher says:

    I also spent my entire Saturday binge-watching … and being disappointed that the show systematically (***SPOILER ALERT***) killed off or incapacitated every single character who had any redeeming qualities whatsoever. After the first few episodes, there was no one left to root for. The most redeeming thing about the season was Rachel’s final liberation and the knowledge that she is no longer “contained” to prevent her from telling the story that will lead to Frank’s destruction. I am familiar with the whole “anti-hero” genre of storytelling (loved Breaking Bad, for instance), but true anti-heroes have some redeeming qualities. Frank is not an anti-hero. Every move he makes, every word he utters is either a lie or coldly calculated to bring him more power.

    • Ava says:

      This. I have to agree. I’m 5 episodes into Season 2 but I don’t like it half as much as I liked Season 1. None of the supporting characters this season are in any way as interesting as Zoe and the other congressman from the past season. And yeah, you can’t call Frank an anti-hero because he has zero redeeming qualities. All he does is scheme, lie and kill. I hope the third season is the final just so I can enjoy his take down because wow, he really deserves to be taken down several pegs.

    • Z. Kyno says:

      Fellow binge-watcher here. First of all, I love this show. It is extremely well-written, the plot leaves you craving the next episode, and Kevin Spacey just kills it. However, I don’t fully understand your disappointment with the direction the plot has taken. The show is inherently dark, and should be understood as such. Frank is not a good man. However, he is the one I have been rooting for the entire time. I don’t care about his lack of morals or integrity. I wanted him to ascend to the Presidency the moment his shady dealings got him to the office of the VP. I wanted Zoe gone the moment she started getting to nosy. And it happened. I relished the fact everyone treated Lucas like a crazy person and he got thrown in jail. Call me a bad person, but I am thoroughly happy that every character with redeeming qualities got crushed, and Frank is now running the show.

      • Ava says:

        It’s great that you enjoy that. But it does not make a compelling show IMO. What’s the point of the show if Frank just wins everything every single time? There is no suspense whatsoever and I say to that as a person who actually enjoyed his ruthlessness in S1. Yes, the show is inherently dark but it’s also quite a stretch to assert that Frank could have done all he has yet NO ONE has ever figured him out or outsmarted his manipulations.
        Honestly, I’m not even keen on overly agreeable protagonists. But if you’re going to make a protagonist a seemingly bad guy….at least let him have some redemptive features. I can’t enjoy a show where I want someone to kill the main character half the time.

        • A.B. says:

          No one has taken him down…YET. They already have a third season approved so there is still time to take him down. Just think about it this way all the ruthless and evil things he’s doing now to get to the top just imagine how sweet and surprising it will be when it all comes down and it will.

      • MiaB says:

        I think Frank’s ascension is just the set up for the takedown. That’s what will make it so compelling. If you notice, a lot of his scheming from Season 1 affects who he can manipulate in Season 2. A lot of people aren’t buying his stuff anymore, and are deliberately trying to hurt him. He’s made so many enemies, and everyone he touches just withers away, even his friends. I even noticed that the only people who seem to make it out OK are those he never lays eyes on: i.e. Rachel, Janine. I totally expect that Frank will get taken to the woodshed, eventually.

  22. Trilby says:

    I watched the whole thing over the long weekend. Enjoyable, of course, but I was sad that Claire and Frank got what they wanted in the end. It boggles my mind because does Frank even have a constituency– besides Claire? He’s loathsome. I can’t imagine him being the you-know-what!

  23. Melissa F. says:

    It’s called House of Cards — Francis is building his house on a poor foundation that can (and will) come tumbling down when he least expects it. I, for one, love it.

  24. Anita says:

    Love this show, better than most, but I am alittle tired of Frank always coming out on top, not very realistic and as a couple Frank & Claire are totally repugnant, no wonder they don’t have any friends. Would love to see them totally fall apart, that would be a great ending!!!