Molly Parker

Season 2 of 'House of Cards' packs theatrical power

Season 2 of 'House of Cards' packs theatrical power

There’s a scene near the end of one of the first episodes of the new season of “House of Cards” that features Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Robin Wright) Underwood late at night sharing a smoke at an open window of their Washington townhouse.

The setting has become a favorite site for writer and showrunner Beau Willimon to explore the particular brand of intimacy enjoyed by these two attractive and complex political predators trying to impose their will on Washington: he as a South Carolina congressman who has risen to majority whip, and she as the politically ambitious head of a nonprofit dealing with the environment.

“Sing me something,” Claire says to her...