Trump Trumped the House of Cards Season 5 – Episode 1 Review

The loooong wait is over and Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee Café! But the show that left us watching in shock and disbelief during the Obama administration now has a new rival – Reality! It is now impossible to watch the show without comparing it to the current political situation in USA. As Robin Wright herself admitted on the Stephen Colbert show (“Trump trumped us”, she said!), the scheming Underwoods have stiff competition from President Trump himself. In fact it looks as if HOC was something of a precursor – extremely intuitive of the future.

Trump Trumped the House of Cards - Season 5 Episode 1 Review

But the Underwoods are back and have their own ways of keeping me glued to the screen once again. The first episode of Season 5 packs in everything to bring back all the Underwood terror to your minds.

Spoiler Alert: Review might contain some spoilers for S05E01

“I Will Not Cease”

The episode begins with Frank Underwood blatantly ignoring rules and finding loopholes to make his voice heard. Nothing new for him, if you know him as well as I do. Amidst the uproar in the house and the speaker asking him to cease, he thunders ahead and makes his point in classic Underwood style. The only thing that has changed in Season 5 is that the current president of United States has ensured that none of this seems ridiculous now. In fact, Frank Underwood seems much more prepared and calculated about everything he has to say.

House of Cards - Season 5 Episode 1

“Siachen me hamare jawaan…”

No, I haven’t lost my mind! I am still talking about HOC Season 5. It is just that what ensues reminds me of Kunal Kamra’s stand up act. I salute the guy was his biting criticism and dark humor. In his act, he mocked (only half seriously) of how our government dodges every bullet by calling to out to our patriotism. In fact, he goes on to declare that if our war with our neighbors ended, the government would not have any excuse left to divert our attention from the pressing issues.

What he says about Indian politics is exactly what the scandalized Prez Underwood also resorts to. In order to divert attention from Tom Hammerschmidt’s article blaming him for the murders of Zoey and Russo, he does what he is best at. He creates a situation – a spine chilling situation. He turns a completely unrelated act of terrorism into a reason to call for serious war with ICO – the Homecoming of Terror indeed! What an effective way to make people forget about his ghosts from the past. Who would be interested in a slightly lost and disheveled journalist’s seemingly fantasy story about a murderer president when the country is ‘counter-attacking’ (supposedly) terrorism. Calculating and plotting are Frank Underwood’s other names after all!

“I Wish You Die…And She Becomes President”

Claire Underwood - House of Cards Season 5

I cannot wrap up without a mention of my favorite character from the show and the life of it all – Claire Underwood. Robin Wright continues to be as mysterious, scheming and completely composed through it all. It disturbs Frank when someone tells him that they wish he’d die and leave the presidency open for Claire. That forces you to think of all the possible outcomes. But the First Lady admirably continues to stand by ‘Francis’ while carrying forward her affair with the writer Tom Yates. That still doesn’t seem right to me. No, I am not being a prude. I know the Underwoods well enough to be accustomed to this. But Yates does not seem worthy enough of this powerful and enigmatic woman. Adam Galloway was a far better choice. Let us see how this story unfolds and how Yates is used (but, of course) to further their interests. All that really matters is the Underwoods – to me and to the Underwoods themselves!

So Underwood fans, don’t forget to watch #HOConZCafe on 3rd June and share your views on it 🙂

House of Cards Premiere in India on Zee Cafe