House of Cards (2013–2018)
2 user 20 critic

Chapter 18 

Francis resorts to informal negotiations with a Chinese billionaire. Lucas takes extreme measures in use to reveal the vice president. Team Underwood gets a new member.


John David Coles (as John Coles)


Michael Dobbs (based on the novels by), Andrew Davies (based on the mini-series by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Francis Underwood
Robin Wright ... Claire Underwood
Michael Kelly ... Doug Stamper
Sebastian Arcelus ... Lucas Goodwin
Michel Gill ... President Garrett Walker
Gerald McRaney ... Raymond Tusk
Nathan Darrow ... Edward Meechum
Jayne Atkinson ... Catherine Durant
Terry Chen ... Xander Feng
Jimmi Simpson ... Gavin Orsay
Derek Cecil ... Seth Grayson
Sam Page ... Connor Ellis
Joanna Going ... First Lady Tricia Walker
Mozhan Marnò ... Ayla Sayyad (as Mozham Marnò)
Jeremy Bobb ... Nick Henslow


Francis resorts to informal negotiations with a Chinese billionaire. Lucas takes extreme measures in use to reveal the vice president. Team Underwood gets a new member.

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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

14 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song that Augustus Underwood, played by Jeremy Bobb, plays on the violin is Dark Eyes, by Bob Dylan. See more »


Macallan Rare and Fine 1926 is Scotch Whisky. The Manhattan that Feng was drinking should have been made with Rye Whiskey. A Rob Roy is made with Scotch Whisky. Note the different spellings of "whisky" and "whiskey". See more »


Francis Underwood: I personally take no pride in the confederacy. Avoid wars you can't win, and never raise your flag for an asinine cause like slavery.
See more »

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User Reviews

"Avoid wars you can't win, and never raise your flag for an asinine cause like slavery"
12 May 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Season 1 was a great season from personal opinion, with all the thirteen episodes that comprised being good ("Chapter 8") to outstanding ("Chapter 11" especially). Had high hopes for Season 2, and on the most part while it is not as great or as consistent as Season 1 it is still impressive with a lot to like. Albeit with the odd disappointment, with Frank having a tendency to dominate too much and the newer characters not being as interesting as ought straightaway.

"Chapter 18" is another very good episode, if not an outstanding one. Of the Season 2 episodes up to this point, so five episodes in, only "Chapter 14" and "Chapter 17" have been properly outstanding. The others are very good, just to say that is still a good standard for prime-'House of Cards', and 'House of Cards' in general, but at the same one cannot help feeling ever so slightly disappointed.

While certainly interesting, the Civil War stuff was a little muddled and could have gone into more depth.

Also really don't care for Lucas, he is not a compelling character and the way he has behaved so far in the season has mostly been rather frustratingly stupid. Am especially talking about with the fingerprints in "Chapter 16". Here his subplot doesn't intrigue or fit, and how it ends here is far too sudden and not a surprise really at all.

However, the storytelling and characterisation is progressing and becoming more intriguing rather than going backwards or being repetitive. The tensions between Frank and Tusk and Feng becomes edge of the seat stuff, especially between Feng. Frank has always been a fascinating and juicy character and it is great that with each episode of Season 2 he has become more dominant or unscrupulous. The previous episodes did have the problem of him dominating the episode too much and the newer characters not really shining. Not so here, his role is huge in "Chapter 18" but the newly introduced Feng and his suspenseful and brilliantly written interaction with Frank are two of "Chapter 18's" best assets. One sees a darker tone with Season 2, like the increasingly tense political edge the episode and show has, which is cynical and intelligently handled, didn't find it dull or unrealistic here and it has yet to be laid on too thick.

John David Coles does more than competently in the director's chair, allowing breathing space while giving momentum as well if not quite as tight as with the previous episodes' directing jobs. "Chapter 18" looks slick and stylish, with lots of atmosphere with a darker look and no trouble with cohesion. Nothing to complain about there. The music knew when to have presence and when to tone things down to let the dialogue and characters properly speak. The writing is sharp and has bite and the story does interest on the most part. Have almost forgotten to talk about Claire, found her and her subplot another two of the episode's biggest strengths, felt for her here. The performances are all round great, Kevin Spacey is brilliant as usual and Terry Chen is wonderfully off the wall as Feng. For me though, Robin Wright gives the best performance of "Chapter 18" and her icy yet also sympathetic performance is her best up to this point of 'House of Cards'.

In summary, very good but not great. 8/10

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