Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen House of Cards Season 2, Ep. 13.
“Seduce him. Give him your heart. Cut it out and put it in his fucking hands.” – Claire Underwood, “Chapter 26.
After years of plotting and scheming and throwing young journalists in front of trains, it finally happened. Frank Underwood is the president.
For much of this season it seemed like the wheels on Frank’s plan were coming off, but in the end he still ended up right where he had intended. Was all the chaos merely part of the plan or is Frank just that good at overcoming his obstacles?
Now is the time to find out. He has successfully become president without ever being elected, but maintaining that power will be twice as difficult as obtaining it. Frank burned a lot of bridges and far too many people already dislike his brand of politics to ensure an easy administration, never mind a clear shot at reelection.
But if there’s one thing Frank is good at, its bending people to his will. Why should American voters be any different?
In the season two finale Frank faced possible prosecution for money laundering and a president ready to bury him in the blame. But from the moment Frank met Raymond Tusk, this was the endgame he envisioned. He took a 20-year friendship and in the course of a few months manipulated those two men into destroying each other while he rose to the top.
President Walker was convinced that Frank had set the whole ordeal in up in order to become president (we’ll call that his one fleeting moment of clarity) and offered Tusk a presidential pardon if he admitted to the laundering scheme and implicated Frank as well. Tusk was ready to take the offer, but Frank managed to worm his way into the president’s heart on last time.
I would never call Garret Walker a wise man, but it was downright stupid to not predict Tusk would turn on him in the face of Walker choosing Frank over him once again. Sure enough, when Walker took the pardon off the table Tusk told the judiciary committee that Walker had full knowledge of the scheme. With a man like Tusk, pride and revenge will always win out. Frank, who is fundamentally the same as Tusk, understood that. Walker, who is fundamentally a good person, did not.
So Walker was impeached and Frank is now the president. God help America.
Unfortunately, he will be leading the free world without the help of his right hand man, Doug Stamper. After Gavin confronted Doug, blackmailing him with the knowledge of Rachel Posner, Doug immediately flew to Rachel’s side. Whether it was to move her or kill her we will never know because Rachel took her first available chance to leap from the car, hide in the woods and kill Doug the moment he came running after her.
I know Doug was really creepy and his treatment of Rachel bordered on abuse, but I’m still sad to see him go. Not to mention that Frank will need him now more than ever.
The first season was all about Frank scrambling and clawing his way into the vice presidency, the second season scrambling and clawing his way into the presidency and now the third season will have to be about his struggle to hold onto this power without all his previous scrambling and clawing coming out.
If we lived in a world where the mere mention that the president might have known about an alleged shady, really boring and confusing to the majority of the American public, plot caused widespread disgust and swift impeachment, imagine what would happen if rumors swirled that the new president had killed and lied and backstabbed his way into the job. Imagine if all those rumors were true.
Season three cannot come soon enough.
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