I haven’t pulled an all-nighter since college.

Even then, it was still a questionable decision and typically done on behalf of questionable reasons. But when Netflix released the third season of House of Cards in its entirety yesterday morning, I knew there was no way I was watching it in two parts.

Between the commute to work, and doing actual work, my job at THESIXTHIRTY.com takes up nearly 12 hours of my day. Thus, it’s nearly impossible to watch television on any normal sleep schedule.

So, being the ambitious and levelheaded person that I am, I decided there was only one solution to this problem.

I’d pull an all-nighter so I could watch a show on Netflix, and then write about it.

I’ve grown responsible in my elder age, I know. But as Frank Underwood once said, “I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful men on their backs.” 

See, like President Underwood, it’s not always the popular decisions that become the most successful. And trust me, staying up until six in the morning was the best possible decision I could have made.

For those wondering if season three of House of Cards would live up to it’s lofty expectations or not, I’m here to tell you it does. It’s not my intention to reveal any intricate plot details for those that haven’t yet watched it yet. However, it’s virtually impossible to omit certain things in order to make sense.

Doug is alive. That was the biggest question we wanted answered this past year, and I had to get that out in the open. Perhaps this is because the opening two minutes of the new season is the best two minutes in the show’s history; as a cryptic procession of the Presidential motorcade passes through the maze-like roads of a cemetery—all while you’re asking yourself, “Is Doug dead or alive?”

I started my journey with that procession at about 6:00 pm last night. Within those first two minutes, I was captivated. I generally pass through the opening credits to get right to the action when I watch House of Cards, but this time I didn’t want to miss a single second.

Many thousands of seconds later, I found myself staring a clock that read 3:00 am.

Did I really just watch nine hours worth of House of Cards without as much as a blink?

Yes, I did. Because that’s what the writing of Beau Willimon and the acting of Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and (especially this season) Michael Kelly, Jr. does.

If the first two seasons of this award-winning drama taught us anything from a character standpoint, it’s that Frank Underwood will stop at nothing to obtain power. And throughout the course of this season, Frank rapidly learns just how difficult it is to keep it.

After taking a metaphorical machete to the likes of Peter Russo, President Walker, and Raymond Tusk in earlier episodes – Underwood has discovered that everyone’s resolve is much stronger when the stakes are higher. Whether it’s dodging ruthless and intuitive reporters, going toe-to-toe with the President of Russia, or combatting members in Congress of his own party – Frank Underwood is at a constant battle to remain at the top of the totem pole.

As for myself, I used to hate the idea of having to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to study for an exam. My usual routine consisted of ten solid hours of textbook grinding before I would treat myself to two hours of early morning basketball with whatever geriatrics are awake at sunrise that morning.

But as the clock struck 6:00 am on this chilled, late February morning – I pressed play on the final episode of my journey through the White House.

I was emotionally drained, but not necessarily because I had been up for 24 straight hours (although I’m certain that contributed to it). Rather, it was because Frank Underwood’s constant battle to maintain the unprecedented amount of power he wielded over the past two years was as compelling and emotionally investing as any bit of television I had watched recently.

I braved the dreaded all-night marathon in order to take in my favorite television show, and I was not disappointed.

No matter how you choose to indulge, I assure you that you won’t be either.

 (Featured Photo courtesy of Netflix)