Well, it's finally arrived; House of Cards Season 5. On May 30, the newest season of Netflix's hot political thriller was released and it did not disappoint. Here we'll go over some of the big points in the season, the ending, and where the show can go next. From here on out you have been warned, SPOILERS AHEAD!
So let's start with where season 4 left us, where Frank is in the middle of an election process with Claire on his ticket as Vice President and Will Conway facing him as the Republican opponent. Meanwhile, ICO (the shows version of ISIS) has captured a family in the United States and is holding them hostage. They demand that one of their leaders is released from US custody or else the family dies. Frank and Claire make a conscious decision to let the murder happen, not only let it happen, but let it happen on an internet live stream across America for everyone to see.
Then, we've got season 5.
The Underwoods play HARD into the terrorist attack. Using the fear to deploy national guard troops to several voting stations, even having some close down in the middle of voting. This causes a huge stir, making several states not certify their voting numbers, causing the election results to be postponed by almost two months. They decide to have the final states who did not certify do a revote, and everything comes down to Ohio who end up electing Frank and Claire back into the White House. This whole plot line basically makes up half the season, which is kinda annoying because we all knew the Underwood's were going to win, anyway, it just took a while to get there.
From there the Underwood White House starts to crumble with leaks coming out on all the terrible things Frank has done over the past couple seasons such as killing Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo, rigging the election with fake terror scares, scanning and surveilling the American people, etc. They continuously try to play damage control until Former President Walker testifies and bares all shady information he has on Frank. Suddenly things take a turn and it seems like there's no way out for the President, so he resigns, giving the Presidency to Claire for good, on the condition that she pardon's both him and Doug. After Claire decides to go after and eliminate an ICO leader in Syria, she delivers her first speech to the American people as President, she does not mention Frank's pardon at all.
So that's the basics of Season 5, but I still have some big questions lingering overhead that need answering, so let's tackle them.
1. What ever happened to Frank's best friend?
Early on in the season it's revealed to Claire that one of Frank's old friends from South Carolina (the one he had a suspiciously romantic friendship with) was lost after entering the Arizona river. At one point Frank mentions "expanding the search" and then it's never brought up again. Should we just assume that he's dead? Or did the writers just forget about it?. What was the point of Tom Yates and how did no one see his dead body?
2. Is Frank gay?
If we didn't already know from Frank's hidden relationship with his old friend, it's become pretty clear now. When the guy from the season 2 Civil War reenactment comes to the White House seemingly out of nowhere, Frank gets the hots for him leading to an intense escapade in the White House basement level. It can be assumed that Frank is at least bi-sexual, but throughout the entire series he's always been more sexual with male partners then he ever was with Claire (except for that one time in the White House office where they had weird silent sex). Sadly, Frank eventually leaves Civil War guy behind when he gets too deep in his feelings for Frank. In the season finale, Civil War guy (I honestly do not know his real name) tries to jump the White House fence and is shot and killed.
3. Was LeAnn assassinated?
This one is probably a yes. Frank needs to cut all his ties from people he can't trust, and LeAnn was seemingly always on Claire's side and was willing to dish the dirt on Frank for a while. So once he got evidence from her NSA man, he had someone run her off the road so she could never speak again. Tragic, but if your not on Frank's side, you're going to die.
4. Is Frank going to prison?
We saw early signs of Claire turning against Frank back when she was interim President during the election fiasco. She nearly didn't sign Frank into the classified briefings and they nearly got divorced back in season 3. Claire finally has the upper hand on Frank and she realizes she has a stranglehold on him. She could pardon him, and leave Frank to do his dastardly doings anywhere he wishes outside the White House, or she couldn't, throwing him in prison for a long time. Either way there's pros and cons for Claire. I've never been a big fan of Claire's character, so I really hope the next season still has lots of Frank.
5. Is Claire the hero?
Let's be honest, Frank is not a good person. He's directly or indirectly been involved in 4 murders at this point, he stole an election, lied to so many people, and basically done whatever he's wanted up to this point. He claims everything happened for a reason and it's all been planned to get Claire into the Oval Office so he can do his bidding outside the government in the private sector. But we don't know Claire's intentions, and based off her speech, she may have been bidding her time until she got the opportunity to eliminate Frank for good, because she can see just how evil he has become. But that's also a double edged sword, because she also has straight up killed and been deceptive herself. Looks like the rivalry is coming to a head in the next season, and I'll be #TeamFrank all the way.
6. Tom Yates death?
I thought Tom's character was pretty cool in seasons 3 & 4. But in season 5 it became apparent they didn't need him anymore and the writers of the show did the strangest thing. Claire kills Tom in the White House and then has Mark Usher somehow remove his body without ANYONE else in the White House knowing. That just doesn't make sense, there's no way not a single secret service or White House staffer didn't see that body and just turned their way and went on their way. Sorry Netflix, not buyin' that one!
7. What the hell happened to Kathy Durant?
Towards the end of the season when everything is crumbling around Frank, Kathy reveals that she is going to testify against Frank. He then pushes her down a stairwell, presumably knocking her out and breaking some hip bones. Or at least that's what I think. All we ever hear afterwards is that the testimony is held off due to her injury, but then we literally never hear from her again. Did she die? Is she in a coma? She would definitely remember Frank shoving her down a stairwell right? Another thing that the writers seemingly just left off and totally forgot about. Weird.
8. Where do we go from here?
Well surely the biggest question is what happens to Frank, whether he goes to prison or not. I assume most of the season will deal with tensions between Petrov's Russia and Claire's White House in Syria probably leading to some type of proxy war or straight up World War 3 between the countries. Perhaps Doug goes rogue on the President after he learns about LeAnn, or he silently does Frank's bidding in the shadows as always.
The show is starting to feel a little stagnant and has never been quite as fun as watching Frank make his way to the White House in seasons 1 & 2. So here's to hoping the writers can shake things up in season 6.