Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

House of Cards: The Final Cut

(UK, 1995)

This episode begins with a sight for sore eyes: Margaret Thatcher’s coffin being carried in state through Westminster Abbey or some such place. (Let’s hear it: Hip hip! Hooray! Hip hip! Hooray! Hip hip! Hooray!) (The rumor in real life is that the old bitch is still alive, but I can believe what I want to.) In the third act it’s pretty much obligatory that the bad guy get his comeuppance. Exposure, disgrace, trial, imprisonment, death, and/or suicide. Take your pick, mix and match. And here the House of Cards trilogy once more defies my expectations. The storm is gathering around our old friend. F.U., and it seems only a matter of which impending scandal will bring him down, and who will betray him. And yet … he achieves pretty much all he set out to do, none of the axes hovering over his head fall on him, and his place in history is secured. The means to these ends is rather radical, not of his making, and probably not the end he would have chosen … and yet, I think he would have been satisfied with it. I can almost see him grinning from the grave. He beat Maggie Thatcher!