Binging on Energy: House of Cards, Season 2

House of Cards

2014, Netflix

Although this is a movie-oriented blog, I can’t help but feature some online television, since it’s relevant to energy and media today. The highly anticipated second season of House of Cards returned to Netflix on February 14, 2014, with no less debauchery than the first season. Like its antihero Frank Underwood, House of Cards has seen its share of controversy surrounding the decision to release full seasons all at once enabling so-called “binge viewing.” But it was another controversy halfway through the season that caught my attention. Starting in episode 6, the heat is on – literally.

[Mild Spoiler Alert] When current Vice President Frank Underwood decides to undermine the longtime friendship between President Garrett Walker and billionaire Raymond Tusk, he sets off a chain reaction leading to a U.S. energy crisis in the middle of an unbearably hot summer. Tusk, a major investor in nuclear energy, holds the East Coast power grid hostage as tensions – and thermostats – rise. As the season progresses, this plot detail combines with Frank’s other devilish deeds boiling to a climax that nearly leaves the U.S. in the dark. Without giving away too many spoilers, House of Cards ends exactly how you want it to, and Frank ultimately diffuses the explosive energy crisis.

It’s fascinating to watch the development of energy’s role in House of Cards. It shifts from supporting to the main event as the season develops, once again affirming energy’s leading role as an integral piece of our geopolitical fabric.

House of Cards, Season 2, is now available for steaming through Netflix.

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