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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Live Blog: House of Cards Season 5, Episode 5

Enough with the election already!

Enough with the election already! I thought maybe episode 4 would be the end of this three-season-long election, but alas, it drags on. For anyone still experiencing trauma from the 2016 election, this may not be the season for you.

Who is more evil, the unholy Underwood or his loyal henchman, Doug Stamper?

I will be completely honest, episode 5 was so confusing I am not even sure why it exists in the first place, but we did get a few tidbits to help move the plot slowly along.

Realizing he is going to lose the election, Frank is able to buy his candidacy sometime by shutting down polling centers because he fears “possible terrorist attacks.” While exit polls show the Republican opponent winning, without the votes counted from the now closed locations, the decision is ultimately thrown to Congress.  

While it is still unlikely that the Underwood Administration will continue its legacy of terror, Frank’s plan is successful in slowly deteriorating his opponent’s sanity. (More on this in the next blog.)

Kill Him Off Already!

Oh, Dough Stamper. I don’t know who is more evil, the unholy Underwood or his immoral and loyal chief of staff. Stamper’s past comes back to haunt him—like we didn’t see that coming— when Lisa, the former girlfriend of the now deceased Rachel, comes back into the picture. As Lisa attempts to give tips to journalists about Stamper’s indiscretions, she is brushed off when she can’t substantiate her claims. But word gets back to Stamper that someone is gunning for him.

Congratulations America, you finally got your first female president… sort of.

This has been a major source of conflict for Stamper who may have actually loved the young sex worker, Rachel, who he used to destroy another politician in the first season. And while Stamper has a problem showing genuine empathy for anyone who isn’t Frank Underwood, he had some trace of what might be considered “feelings” for the young woman he emotionally tore down, controlled, abused, and then killed on a deserted road near Sante Fe, New Mexico.

So, just as with all the other seasons, misdeeds from season one are still coming into play since these evil political masterminds who are able to steal the presidency without flinching an eye cannot manage to also clean up their own messes.  

Fear not, things finally pick up in episode 6.

As much as I despise the Stamper’s character, and I am fairly sure that is the writer’s point, there is one moment of this episode that is pure gold. When someone asks Stamper if an acquaintance is on the president’s kill list, he sternly and quickly responds, “The United States doesn’t have a kill list.” As we saw this unfold in reality with the Obama Administration, and it surely continues now, this little bit of irony was appreciated.

I’m with Her

Congratulations America, you finally got your first female president… sort of. Without a clear president-elect, Claire Underwood is sworn in as acting president, a position she not only seems to be ready for but also one she might be reluctant to give up.

Over the last several seasons we have seen Claire come into her own as a powerful woman who would arguably be even more powerful without Frank. However, something is keeping her there as his number two, but it isn’t romance, as the uncomfortably awkward love scenes throughout the series have implied.

Now Claire is shacking up with the whiney but talented writer whose presence is always a bit uncomfortable. This is another storyline I am done with. Overall, this episode was just as boring as the previous two, but fear not, things pick up in episode 6.

  • Brittany is a writer for the Pacific Legal Foundation. She is a co-host of “The Way The World Works,” a Tuttle Twins podcast for families.