House of Cards (2013–2018)
8.6/10
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4 user 22 critic

Chapter 9 

Frank tries to do whatever it takes to get the new bill past congress. Russo goes on a bus campaign with the Vice President, but the VP is not making it an easy trip for him. Zoe's relationship with Frank gets a little bumpy.

Director:

James Foley

Writers:

Michael Dobbs (based on the novels by), Andrew Davies (based on the mini-series by) | 5 more credits »
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Photos

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Francis Underwood
Robin Wright ... Claire Underwood
Kate Mara ... Zoe Barnes
Corey Stoll ... Rep. Peter Russo
Michael Kelly ... Doug Stamper
Sakina Jaffrey ... Linda Vasquez
Kristen Connolly ... Christina Gallagher
Constance Zimmer ... Janine Skorsky
Mahershala Ali ... Remy Danton
Michel Gill ... President Garrett Walker
Sandrine Holt ... Gillian Cole
Nathan Darrow ... Edward Meechum
Jayne Atkinson ... Catherine Durant
Dan Ziskie ... VP Jim Matthews
Elizabeth Norment Elizabeth Norment ... Nancy Kaufberger
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Storyline

Frank tries to do whatever it takes to get the new bill past congress. Russo goes on a bus campaign with the Vice President, but the VP is not making it an easy trip for him. Zoe's relationship with Frank gets a little bumpy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

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

When Frank says, "A great man once said...", the quote he shares was from Oscar Wilde. See more »

Goofs

While Frank is demonstrating to Vanderberg and Abrams that they are the "black sheep" of the Democratic Caucus, he uses toy soldiers to demonstrate the Congressmen and a bowl of candy to demonstrate the caucus. He places them on opposite sides of the table and leans back in his chair, revealing a Hershey's Kiss and a blue M&M lying on the desk in front of him. However, when he leans forward, the two pieces of candy have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Francis Underwood: Proximity to power deludes some into believing they wield it. I put an end to that sort of thinking before it begins.
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Soundtracks

Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9 No. 2
(uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
"Proximity to power deludes some into believing they wield it. I put an end to that sort of thinking before it begins"
13 March 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Even with a slight finding its feet feel (understandable), the first season's quality ranged from very good to brilliant. This quality was present all the way to Season 4, before it (as has been said more than once by me and many others) became a completely different show in a bad way, with the pointless Season 6 being especially bad.

After a still decent but fairly disappointing previous episode ("Chapter 8"), "Chapter 9" felt like a return to form and perhaps the best episode since "Chapter 5". Up to this point of the season, it is also my personal favourite, with there being more tension than before, the political aspect being at its most interesting and the character writing being meatier. Also consider "Chapter 9", which signals the return of James Foley in his third of twelve episodes as director, one of Season 1's best for all the reasons that have been mentioned already. Foley does a great job as director, he keeps things constantly engaging visually and dramatically and he is at ease and in control of the material throughout. It may lack the strikingly cinematic quality of David Fincher's direction in the first two episodes, but that is just in comparison and in no way a knock.

Visually, "Chapter 9" has again really quite wonderful photography and locations, the stylishness and atmosphere really shining (if perhaps not quite as much as in the previous episode). Foley's direction is controlled and taut. The music knew when to have presence and when to tone things down to let the dialogue and characters properly speak, with again some very clever sound quality.

Writing bites, thought-provokes and engages even more than it already did, the structure tight and the dialogue sharply biting and brutally frank without forgetting the substance. The quote in the review summary is a great line and classic Frank but another gem is the Oscar Wilde quotation "a great man once said...". As aforementioned, the political elements intrigued and were intelligently handled, all without any heavy-handedness. Despite not being a political animal really, it didn't go over my head. The story is compelling from start to finish, with a lot of nail-biting tension.

Character writing is also a strength, especially notable for Peter growing more interesting with each episode and even more impressively Claire having her meatiest material yet to the extent that she almost dominates the episode. Frank as always is fascinating, with some writing gems. Can't fault the acting, with pitch perfect performances from Kevin Spacey and Corey Stoll and Robin Wright managing to bring enough nuance to Claire's meaty material to balance out the intensity.

Overall, a great episode and one of the first season's best. 9/10


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