House of Cards (2013–2018)
8.5/10
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2 user 19 critic

Chapter 20 

Despite friction, the friendship between the Walkers and the Underwoods becomes stronger. But there's a war between Francis and Tusk.

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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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Francis Underwood
Robin Wright ... Claire Underwood
Wonsup Chung Wonsup Chung ... Young Asian Man
Michael Kelly ... Doug Stamper
Sakina Jaffrey ... Linda Vasquez
Kristen Connolly ... Christina Gallagher
Mahershala Ali ... Remy Danton
Michel Gill ... President Garrett Walker
Gerald McRaney ... Raymond Tusk
Molly Parker ... Jackie Sharp
Terry Chen ... Xander Feng
Derek Cecil ... Seth Grayson
Sam Page ... Connor Ellis
Joanna Going ... First Lady Tricia Walker
Mozhan Marnò ... Ayla Sayyad
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Storyline

Seth comes clean to Francis about being hired by Remy. Doug travels to China to take care of some business concerning Raymond Tusk. Meanwhile, he's dealing with his own personal problems with Rachel. Francis and Claire dine with the president and his wife. Written by Andreea D

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reg E. Cathey & Mozhan Marnò also appeared together on an episode of The Blacklist - episode 3.16, The Blacklist: The Caretaker (No. 78) (2016). See more »

Goofs

Walker asks Underwood to assume that Truman sat on one of their chairs while deciding to "drop the bomb" referring to the atomic bombing of Japan. That decision wasn't made in Washington at all - Truman was in Germany attending the Potsdam Conference during that time. See more »

Quotes

Daniel Lanagin: I don't place my faith in any white man. Especially one that works for federal government.
Francis Underwood: I am just like you, Dan. I know what it means to start from nothing, to have to fight your way...
Daniel Lanagin: You know nothing about what it means to be me. Your version of nothing was light years ahead of where I started.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"You're scrambling from fire to fire instead of preventing them"
23 May 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Season 2 of 'House of Cards' may not quite be as good as the consistently good to brilliant first season, but up to this point of it despite reservations the episodes (so between "Chapter 14" and this) have not been less than very good if slightly disappointing. With "Chapter 14", "Chapter 17" and "Chapter 19" being excellent. This was back when 'House of Cards' was one of my most watched and personal favourite shows, before Seasons 5 and especially 6 disappointed so badly.

"Chapter 20" is one of Season 2's best episodes to me. Frank may be more dominant and his unscrupulousness is increasing all the time, but "Chapter 20" is another episode where he doesn't over-dominate meaning the newer characters have more room to be more interesting, which is an improvement over a few of the previous Season 2 episodes. It also doesn't have the un-compelling and sometimes frustrating character of Lucas. What is great about the episode is that it does see the tensions building and the storytelling and characters progressing in development, which actually the darker Season 2 has been very good in doing.

Loved the tension and suspenseful character interaction throughout, especially between Frank and Tusk, who is becoming more malevolent with each episode. Love Jackie's steel and that Stamper's dialogue and conversations with Feng are highlights of the episode and really quite great writing. Speaking of Feng, he made a big impression when introduced in "Chapter 18" and continues to do so here. 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.

James Foley returns as director, his direction stylish and never less than assured and often tight. The pace is not rapid-fire but doesn't need to be, and with a lot going on it doesn't feel dull. As always, the episode looks great, the slickness has not been lost and neither has the atmosphere. he 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 engage for the reasons described in the above paragraph. All the acting is spot on, with Kevin Spacey being brilliant and Michael Kelly close behind.

For me, the part Frank first trying to start to cosy up to the president came over as a little too awkward.

Otherwise, an excellent episode. 9/10


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