Re: House of Cards, which we watched and greatly enjoyed – I don’t think the series can properly be understood as "Master Schemes Executes Master Scheme." There is too much dissonance for that to be either the intended or resulting effect of the show. A better summary would be "Sharply-Operating Control Freak Fumbles Through Chatoic Emergent Order Of Life Just Like Everyone Elses, Attempts To Impose Narrative Order."

Without getting too much into the blow-by-blow, there is simply too much randomness, luck, reversals, impulsiveness, and received double-dealing (as opposed to given) to believe that the conclusion of the season was the one planned all along from the beginning by Underwood. Instead, I think all we can believe is that Underwood is a canny manipulator, tactician and strategist but that he, like everyone else, is mostly a prisoner of circumstance and fate; it’s just that, because he’s the narrator and he happens to be a massively ego’ed sociopath, that he gets to (attempt to) impose a narrative of "Underwood is God" onto the events of the show. But that’s just so far from what actually happens I don’t think we can or should accept it.

Also, not enough discussion of the product placement. That must have been how Netflix funded the show (if not their operations for years to come), it was like every damn shot.