TV Club: House Of Cards: “Chapter 39”

The season finale begins with a series of postcard images of the American southwest, accompanied by a “Morning in America” fanfare that suggests we’re watching the beginning of a Frank Underwood campaign commercial. Instead the focus narrows to a rundown boarding house and a character who has been absent (if not out of mind) all season long: Rachel Posner. It’s an effective bait-and-switch, implying that it takes only one loose end to unravel even the most powerful man’s plan to reach the promised land. That “Chapter 39” goes on to devote half of its running time to this loose end is yet another peculiar decision topping off this oddly-constructed third season.

After hopscotching all over the place for 13 episodes, the finale narrows focus to two storylines: the Underwood campaign in Iowa and its accompanying marital drama, and the culmination of Doug Stamper’s search for Rachel …

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