Friday, December 27, 2013

House of Cards Power Rankings: Chapter 1

Going into the first episode, we assumed that the power rankings - and the airtime - would be split pretty evenly as the show introduced characters and plotlines. For the most part, that's the way it went. Here are your top eight players in the House of Cards world for Chapter 1:

8. Doug Stamper, 4.5 points (Last week: There was no last week)
The chief of staff on Team Underwood gets most of his power and goal accomplishment points from doing Frank's dirty work. He's also really scary looking, which I'm sure helps him in conversations where he has to intimidate the chief of police/potential future mayor of Washington. He feels like the kind of guy who is going to score big in the future based on his ability to ride coattails and screw people over.

7. Peter Russo, 5.4 points
It's an Agualarchy. It's ruled by water (and honestly, who the fuck knows? It could be. China is a huge question mark). Russo maxed out his Backstabbing points by lying to his campaign donors, his local government allies, a police officer, and his girlfriend. He also had the only sex scene of anyone who is ranked in the top eight. However, he is now completely submissive to Frank so his Power score is down in Janine/Lucas territory (they aren't ranked).

6. Michael Kern, 6.0 points
I couldn't find a picture of him from the show, but here's him in a turtleneck. Power and Goal points for the guy who is on track to be the Secretary of State, slight deduction for the plastic surgery. Not much else to say about him other than he was grilled in the hallway when he walked past Frank. 

5. Linda Vasquez, 6.3 points
Backstabbing Frank, keeping everyone in the dark about Kern, and being the gatekeeper for the leader of the free world means Linda had a big opening week. Sort of unrelated to the scoring, her quote about winning versus leading explains why Presidents run on platforms that say one thing and then don't necessarily stick to that when they're in charge. America. 

4. Zoe Barnes, 6.8 points 
HUGE episode for Zoe. Started by having her boss not know her name even though she's a smoke. Ended with a connection to the most powerful man in Congress. That's about as much as you can possibly do in terms of accomplishing your goals. She also received points for the Sexual category because of the picture above this and because of, "Oh, Brian, you're so sweet. But if I was going to fuck you, you'd know."

3. Claire Underwood, 7.3 points
Icy. Heartless. Connected. She scores fairly well in Power, Goals, and Backstabbing. No perfect scores in any of the categories, but she can tell her husband when he needs a haircut and she can tell her office manager when the office needs to be cut in half. I get the feeling that Claire won't fall far below the three spot in these rankings. 

2. Francis Underwood, 7.9 points
I don't feel good about not having him in the top spot. This look terrifies me and I really don't feel safe in my own house knowing that he might be out to get me. The big downfall for the first episode was his lack of Goal Accomplishment. He thought he had Secretary of State locked up, and he got blindsided. Claire said it best: "How could you not see this coming?" But he did score very well in Power, and it was capped off by his final scene. "Nobody can hear you. Nobody cares about you." I can't find it on YouTube and it's a major failure on the internet's part.

1. Garrett Walker, 8.5 points
President of the free world, check. Promised the number two ranked character a promotion, didn't give him the promotion, and then kept him around to help, check. 

Going to spend the entire season being crushed by Frank Underwood, check. 

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