RECAP – House of Cards – S5, Ep 4 – 6
Election day is upon us as the fight for the Oval Office continues. Our incumbent devises a plan A, B and C to combat any failure, while outside players creep ever-so closer to the Underwood administration’s past. We’re also delivered one of the best episodes of this season of House of Cards as an unprecedented election result skews both political parties to their core.
With the lower poll turnout in swing states Tennessee and Ohio, Frank, Claire, Doug and LeeAnn initiate their plan B. Hacker Aiden McCallan hacks all mobile devices, causing panic across pockets of the greater D.C. area. This intercepts an Ohio governor from closing the polls in his state – extending the hours.
Then, news breaks an alleged ICO terrorist planned to bomb a voting center in Knoxville. Using reverse psychology Frank persuades their governor to postpone voting until it is safe. The same outcome befalls Ohio. The day began with Frank formally conceding to Conway’s camp, all but handing him the presidency on a platter. But these two developments prevent either candidate from collecting the needed electoral votes to covet a victory.
“Chapter 57” opens with a history lesson as Frank explains the country’s next steps. Rules say if neither candidate gains the 260 votes needed to win, the 12th amendment shifts the choice for president to the House, VP to the Senate. Two months pass as the country nosedives with no parachutes on board. Chaos ensues just as the Underwood’s planned.
Their flexing hands Claire the victory for VP in “Chapter 58” (the best episode so far), which makes her acting president. Trouble now is banking on Frank – who has an approval rating of 19 percent – winning in the House. The answer is no, so they push to erect unprecedented one-day elections for both Ohio and Tennessee.
The Conway camp is in disarray. Tension boils among Will, his wife Hannah and campaign manager Mark Usher . Attempts to win over the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) fall flat as Will cannot keep his composure under pressure. It reiterated a similar “What do you got to lose?” stance 45 used to earn the Black vote. Conway’s inexperience and failure to play chess has him unraveling. Echoes of his possible PTSD resound louder in his behavior.
Three developments pose major threats. First, Seth’s revenge mission stumbles upon Doug’s girlfriend, and the site dedicated to her late husband. Meanwhile Sean Jefferies continues to feed him information on Rachel Posner. Second, Tom simultaneously inches closer to Rachel’s disappearance when her ex-lover alleges Doug’s involvement. He dismisses her claims, but his gut leads him to a storage unit of notes pertaining to her disappearance. Third, Doug and LeeAnn fail to properly handle hacker Aidan, who vanishes without a trace. Soon he resurfaces with Wikileaks-style articles exposing possible truths of the Underwood regime. Doug’s private attempts to bring him home fail as Aiden takes asylum with the Russians, a diplomacy ordeal a wavering Secretary of State, Cathy Durant, is left to handle.
The season started a little slow, but has picked up speed. I enjoyed Claire react to being active President. I rooted for her as she contemplated giving Francis clearance for intel briefings. He’s obviously miffed at playing second fiddle despite saying otherwise. I’m less fond of Thomas Yates mainly because of that rapey scene with Claire. Although he displayed his loyalty dismissing a former colleague’s queries. I don’t care for Sean Jefferies and am saddened at the lack of PoC in this season. We aren’t getting the exposure Reg E. Cathey or Mahersala Ali received. Hopefully it will change as the season progresses.
Episodes one through six are down. Seven more to go. Return here soon for a possible four-episode recap.
Missed the recap of previous episodes? Hit this link to read through and share your thoughts about this season of House of Cards in the comments!