Emmy episode analysis: Robin Wright shines in ‘House of Cards’ trip to Moscow

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Robin Wright received her third consecutive Best Drama Actress bid for playing devious First Lady Claire Underwood on Netflix’s “House of Cards,” and could very well be looking at her first win in the category. The veteran actress took home a Golden Globe for the show’s first season, and her character has evolved into more of a driving force with each subsequent year. Just like leading man Kevin Spacey, Wright submitted “Chapter 32” for Emmy consideration.

Click here to see the updated list of all 2015 Emmy episode submissions

Frank and Claire travel to Moscow to negotiate the release of an imprisoned U.S. citizen. Claire visits the young man, Michael Corrigan, in his cell as Frank tries to settle the terms of the peace treaty with Viktor Petrov. Claire informs Corrigan that Petrov will only release him if he gives a statement apologizing to Russia for his unlawful actions, which he refuses to do.

With both parties too stubborn to budge, Frank and Claire try desperately to reach an agreement, leading to a tragic conclusion that not only threatens the U.S.’s standing with Russia, but their marriage as well. Will Wright’s episode entry help her win her first Emmy? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:

Wright dominates this episode. “Chapter 32” represents a major turning point for Claire’s character, and her arc from beginning to end provides the actress with several moments to shine, which certainly helps if you’re trying to stand out amongst the other nominees. Add to that the fact that thrice-nominated Wright is overdue, and you just might have a perfect storm on the way to victory.

The current political climate could work in her favor. It has been impossible to avoid the constant coverage of the 2016 presidential campaigns, despite the election being more than a year away. Claire’s undeniable similarities to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and the season’s campaign storyline could put it in voters’ minds more than we expect.

The TV academy clearly admires “House of Cards.” Its nomination for Best Drama Series, as well as its two wins at the Creative Arts ceremony on Saturday (for Reg E. Cathey as Guest Actor and for Jeff Beal‘s score) only help her chances.

Wright faces stiff competition this year, as evidenced by her fourth-place ranking on Gold Derby’s chart for Best Drama Actress. And while the show still got in for Drama Series, it missed key nominations for writing and directing. Could this hurt her chances?

As well, the overdue vote could be split between Wright and “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss, who is competing as Peggy Olsen for the very last time. Like Spacey, voters may feel they’ll have another chance to reward her in the future.

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Photo Credit: Netflix

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