"""The butchery begins"""

House of Cards: Season 2 review

The Spectrum

In the big pond of American political power, Frank Underwood is neither a big fish nor a wealthy whale; he is a shark and an extremely hungry and ambitious one at that.

Season one of House of Cards saw the Democratic South Carolina congressman and House Majority Whip seek revenge for a politically blindsiding betrayal.

This season picks up where the first left off, as the Underwoods attempt to climb further up the political ladder, but as Underwood (Kevin Spacey,The Ventriloquist) says midway through the season, "The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path."

He also says, "The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and ... casualties." And true to his words, right from the season's premiere, "The butchery begins."

The second season of Netflix's critically lauded original series was released on Valentine's Day and comes packed with more of what fans of the series have come to love: dark and cynically conniving plays of limitless political ambition and moral ambiguity played out by a great cast. With a script and plot that keep viewers glued to their screens and clicking for the next episode, the series entices its audience to binge their way through the season.

Underwood was intimidating last season, but after watching the second season's first episode, it's clear that the blood in veins runs even colder than viewers could have imagined. He is far more relentless as he pursues his goals and displays a willingness to crush anything that gets in his way this time around - as is his wife Claire (Robin Wright, A Most Wanted Man). Spacey and Wright brilliantlyportray their characters.

But this season also reveals the cracks beginning to develop in the Underwoods' stone-cold personalities. With much more on the line, these uncertainties feel all the more real and enticing, and as the intensity begins to ramp up, the desire to find out what happens in the next episode is even higher.

The second season introduces new key characters and sends familiar ones out the door. The revolving cast, combined with the cracks beginning to form in the Underwoods' fortified veneer, allows the show to take more risks in key moments than the previous season.

These moments are not only beautifully choreographed but also uncomfortable to watch - epitomizing the moral ambiguity of the characters involved and the show as a whole. The eerily operatic soundtrack that plays throughout the season highlights these moments and the dark foreboding nature of events to come.

As Underwood advises, "When you're fresh meat, kill and throw them something fresher," and Netflix has certainly thrown audience members a fresher, braver and juicier tale to devour at their leisure. House of Cards' second season leaves viewers waiting for more, hoping that next season they will finally see the house begin to fall and reveal the card that will cause it all.

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