'''Warning:''' Unmarked spoilers on this page.


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[[folder:Death of Zoe Barnes]]
* The subway murder had so many variables, how could Frank know that they would have been followed by the murderee behind the fence out of sight entirely? How would Frank have known the timing for the train, and how did he go through the faregates undetected. Surely a man with sunglasses and a mask appearing when a reporter died would give the police something.
** The Washington Metro has fairly accurate digital signs that say when the next train is coming. If Frank got on the Metro at a different stop and got off at the stop where the murder occurred, he would just seem like any number of passengers, nothing distinctive about him for the police to zero in on. All this assuming he's caught on camera, which he wasn't.
* In real life, would Frank so easily be able to get away with this? I have a feeling he wouldn't because one would think the police would get suspicious as to the timing of when Zoe fell in front of the train, or what she was doing at the end of the platform where there was construction and no one would be boarding or exiting.
** Cops generally don't go out of their way to classify deaths as homicides unless they really have to, otherwise it could turn into an unsolvable crime, waste detectives' time, and hurt the clearance rate. There are weird things about the death, but there's no suspect and no motive and if they could find either (and presumably didn't if Frank was capable of covering his tracks), there's plenty of reasonable doubt. And if even the best cop ever did get a whiff that Frank Underwood, the future vice president of the United States, may have been involved in some way, shape or form, you can bet that they would first inform their superior officer who would promptly advise them to keep their mouth shut.
*** I'm guessing that keeping quiet is because it would be really embarrassing for the federal government to get headlines like "Vice-President Arrested for Murder"?
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[[folder:Zoe blackmailing Frank]]
* In the first ep, why was it a humongous gotcha moment that Underwood was checking Zoe Barnes out? That isn't really enough dirt on someone to blackmail them into anything.
** In real life, it ''probably'' would. ''Any'' picture of an older, married politician appearing to leer at a young woman who is clearly wearing a thong would get some attention, even if it was only with the more gossipy newspapers. With Frank's ambitions, it's definitely not the kind of headlines he needed at that moment. Plus, Zoe's determination to see Frank likely roused his curiosity and he let Zoe in just to see why she would go to such lengths just to get a private meeting with him outside of Capitol Hill.
*** Speaking of this, Slate.com did [[http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/03/house_of_cards_do_frank_and_claire_underwood_have_an_ideal_marriage.html a nice analysis of Frank and Claire's marriage]], and noted that if the Underwoods lived in the real world and real Washington DC, and news of their double-affair scandal broke (Frank with Zoe Barnes, Claire with Adam Galloway), Frank would be treated by the news media as secretly gay, turned on by women only when he can use them for a pure power play.
** In the commentary for the episode, David Fincher says that the scene is based on a photo that appeared to show UsefulNotes/BarackObama looking at a woman's ass, when in reality he was turning around to help someone down the steps. If that photo got as much attention when nothing untoward was happening, imagine how much time Underwood would have to waste dealing with that.
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[[folder:Russo, you couldn't tell your girlfriend?]]
* Why didn't Peter Russo confide to Christina Gallagher in Chapter 4 that he was being blackmailed when she was basically on her way out the door. She was on her way out the door anyway.
** Simple: For Russo to explain to Christina that he was being blackmailed, he would have to explain to her ''what'' he was being blackmailed with (driving under the influence with a prostitute) which would be admitting that he lied to her the first time, and explain ''who'' is blackmailing him. Even if she forgave him for lying to her and betraying his constituents, he'd be dragging her into his mess and inevitably into Frank Underwood's crosshairs (i.e. Every congressman's worst nightmare), resulting in Christina becoming another pawn for Frank to use in his scheme. Saying anything could only make things worse.
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[[folder:Licking balls]]
* So... in the first episode, DID SHE lick his balls?
** I think yes?
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[[folder:Peter Russo's death]]
* How would Russo's death be thought a suicide if he was sitting in the passenger seat of the car?
** With all the alcohol in his bloodstream and no sign of anyone else there. The police would probably draw the conclusion that Russo had left his engine running and switched seats to get comfortable. Or had got in the wrong side turned the key from there.
*** Which we saw he could easily do. The car was one of those where you just push a button, and Frank easily forced Peter's hand on to the button.
*** I have that same car, and the engine won't start if you aren't pressing the brake.
*** Frank [[BlatantLies explained]] to Zoe that the passenger door was open and that Russo was halfway out, having changed his mind but losing consciousness and dying before he could escape the fumes. Presumably, the cops could have come to the same conclusion.
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[[folder:Fingerprints?]]
* Underwood meticulously wipes away all of his fingerprints from the crime scene, but he's also trying to make it look like a suicide. If the police dusted the car for fingerprints, wouldn't they notice that the door handles and the steering wheel had been wiped? That would be a big indicator for murder.
** It depends if they even bothered dusting after the autopsy. Plus there's no obvious signs of a struggle or forced entry. You have a drunk and depressed congressman in one hand. In his car, in his garage filled with carbon monoxide in the other. Plus the paramedics probably contaminated the crime scene with their prints trying to get him out too.
** Wouldn't the death of someone as important as a Congressman at least trigger an automatic investigation, no matter how plausible suicide is?
*** It probably would if it weren't for the fact that the police chief was indirectly linked to his death. The commissioner has every reason to downplay what happened to Russo as a suicide, because the moment a ''murder'' investigation is opened, it's only going to lead back to him releasing Russo from custody. Which of course, could then lead to ''him'' being investigated by Internal Affairs, and subsequently cost him his job, if not, him being arrested as an accessory to murder for covering up Russo's previous DUI arrest.
*** It would have to take a lot of pull in higher places than the DC Metropolitan Police Department. I'd imagine that in real life, Russo's death would be investigated by the ''FBI'', and as far as we can tell, Frank doesn't have many connections with the FBI. They'd probably investigate, and they'd probably ask around to find out who Russo was last seen alive with, which probably would lead the FBI to Russo's children, then an investigation into Russo's movements during the days before he died. They'd probably check Russo's phone records to determine that Frank and Stamper were among the last people he contacted, which would have led the investigation to focus on them. It would then be pretty hard for Frank to shake off the Feds.
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[[folder:Lack of cameras?]]
* Why does Russo's parking garage have no cameras? You know, the better to protect all those shiny luxury BMW cars and Mercedes-Benzes from theft? And to guard against the occasional murderous congressman?
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[[folder:Peachoid]]
* The Peachoid subplot. Am I the only one who thinks that Frank getting dragged into it seems off? The teenager who died got into that crash because she was texting while driving. I don't mean to be heartless here, but that's her own fault. It's a stretch for a congressman that just kept it up to be blamed.
** Take into account Frank's mood throughout this episode: Frustrated. Not angry. He knows he can solve this in the minimum amount of time. His rival and opponent down there in Gaffney is just using this as political ammunition to score cheap points, if he can drag it out long enough. The point isn't the Peachoid. It's showing (and us learning about) Frank in his home constituency and his attitudes and actions whilst there. Aloof, annoyed and viewing it as a step-back from dealing with bigger things back in Washington like the teachers' union. Like the military school episode, we find out a bit more about how Frank became Frank.
** Obviously, everyone vaguely sane realizes that trying to blame Frank for that borders on InsaneTrollLogic. But there are a lot of manufactured controversies working along similar lines. You only need a handful of "concerned citizens" stupid enough to actually believe it (and even that is optional), after that organizations and news outlets will just pick it up because it hurts a candidate they don't like. That's what happened here. The show uses such a non-issue, because that forces the audience to root for Frank. Between the ridiculousness of the accusation and the smugness of his opponent, you inevitably want Frank to succeed.

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[[folder:Walker's pardon offer]]
* Why did Walker rescind his pardon offer from Tusk?
** Frank convinced Walker that he could whip the votes away from impeachment. Walker was convinced that he had to call off having Tusk confess or he'd lose Frank, and with Frank his only shot at not being impeached and losing his presidency.
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[[folder:Rachel and her girlfriend]]
* 'Gay girl meets future girlfriend while out recruiting for her cult-ish church.' The first part of that sentence doesn't fit with the last part of that sentence.
** Whether or not "cult-ish" is a fair description of the church, your Headscratcher assumes all Christians are anti-gay. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT-affirming_Christian_denominations They are not.]]
** I don't think the church was meant to be read as cultish once it was shown. Instead, I think it was meant to come across as a non-denominational liberal church more concerned with teaching "Jesus/God is love" and "acceptance of all." I think it was suppose to be a non-judgmental community environment for Rachel.
** The part where Rachel's future girlfriend starts talking to her and hands her a flier seems cult-like at first, since she seems to only be talking to her so she can recruit her, but I think it's actually just a plot device to get her involved with Rachel. Or maybe she just recruits Rachel because she has a crush on her, and doesn't usually go around giving fliers to random people on buses. Alternately, it would make sense for a cult-like church to be flexible about things like that so they can recruit people who've been rejected by mainstream churches, but we just never saw much cult-ish-ness -- who knows.
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[[folder:Frank, Claire and Adam]]
* Why wouldn't Frank immediately guess that Claire had gone to Adam Galloway when she got mad at him and left? They were open about their outside dalliances and he had to know that she wouldn't be mad enough to be anything less than discreet and wouldn't cause a scene by completely disappearing. Adam, who knew he had to keep their relationship low profile, would seem like the obvious place for her to go with exception of maybe her parents if they were still alive. Was Frank just testing Meechum's discretion and ability to track down people (or find someone who could)?
** If Frank was testing Meechum's skills, that would make the most sense.
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[[folder:The three-way]]
* What was the moment between [[spoiler: Frank, Claire, and Meechum]] about?
** Claire giving her bisexual / maybe ArmoredClosetGay husband a present.
** Yeah, but what was the point of it plot-wise? It just came off as a BigLippedAlligatorMoment . It wasn't out of nowhere, but it was never mentioned again, didn't really serve anything aside from [[spoiler: confirming Frank's bisexuality]] and the episode could happen without it and no one would notice. And after that Meechum lost any attention the narrative was giving him and just became your standard bodyguard which means [[spoiler: getting in Underwood's double bed]] was the only purpose he was serving (aside from making background). Not that he's that interesting to begin with, but come on.
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[[folder:"Bad, for a greater good"]]
* One of the show's taglines is "Bad, For a Greater Good" (describing Frank). What greater good? Does he actually have any goals other than power for its own sake?
** Thought of this during the "killing the dog" opening monologue. Clearly meant to establish Underwood who believes he does "unpleasant things" for "necessary" reasons, but as far as I can tell Underwood has no actual reason in mind for anything he does other than "getting more power". What is his ultimate vision?
** In season 3, the two main bits of actual policy Frank deals with are pretty noble: Peace in the Middle East and a New Deal-like jobs program. While one could argue he's just doing those things to show that he's doing something, those are still pretty laudable goals. Maybe a case of the writers realizing they needed to have him do more actual work like things?
** Frank is a tyrant. This "greater good" nonsense is just bullshit straight and true. What he wants is what all tyrants want: power, and more power to himself.
** Thomas Yates illustrated it in his unfinished biography of the Underwoods: they have no offspring other than their legacy. In Chapter 8 of season 1, Frank ponders how much something like a library named after him is worth. For him, a library is so little for so much work. But crafting a lasting legacy like America Works and peace in the Middle East is immeasurably more valuable to him.
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[[folder:The judge who can see through the fourth wall]]
* In Chapter 30, Justice Jacobs, with his Alzheimer's, appears to be able to hear Frank breaking the fourth wall. Normally time appears to be stopped while he's talking like that, is Frank in fact a low level reality warper?
** It was a FourthWallPsych. He was actually speaking out loud.
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[[folder:Why pardon Walker and Tusk?]]
* In Season 3, we find out Frank went and pardoned the people who took the fall at the end of Season 2--including Raymond Tusk! And it cost him dearly in the polls. So what could've possessed him to pardon his enemies in the first place?
** There was an implicit agreement that when Tusk implicated Walker in the finale of Season 2, thereby leading to impeachment proceedings and his resignation, that Frank would protect him. To not do so would be foolish since Tusk easily could have done the same thing to Frank. It's better to lose approval ratings, which can be rebuilt, than face impeachment himself.
** [[RealitySubtext Frank based his decision on what happened the previous time a president stepped down because he was facing impeachment]]: In 1974, then-Vice President UsefulNotes/GeraldFord became President when UsefulNotes/RichardNixon resigned due to being implicated in the coverup to the [[{{Scandalgate}} Watergate]] scandal. One of Ford's first acts as President was to pardon Nixon.[[labelnote:Elaboration]]It should be noted that Frank Underwood's ascendency to the Presidency mirrors Gerald Ford's in a lot of ways: both were appointed Vice President after their predecessor stepped down (Frank by manipulating Jim Matthews into running for the Pennsylvania governor's race, and Ford being appointed by Nixon after Spiro Agnew stepped down due to bribery charges stemming from his time as Maryland's governor), so they both became president without a single vote when their president stepped down while facing impeachment. The only difference is that Frank did it by manipulating everyone, and Ford did it because he had nothing to do with Watergate or any of the other things that led to Nixon stepping down.[[/labelnote]] Ford pardoned Nixon because he knew that putting Nixon through an impeachment trial would cause the country a great deal of embarrassment, not to mention take up all of the country's attention.\\
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Frank is in a slightly different situation, since he bribed, schemed, and murdered, to get to the Oval Office: he is aware that his first term is running on borrowed time, as it's merely the remainder of Walker's term. Since he doesn't have the widespread popular support that he would have gotten if he'd gone the normal way and ran for office on the Democratics' ticket in 2012, Frank doesn't stand a good chance of getting re-elected. That's why Frank and Claire are so adamant on getting America Works and the UN ambassadorship off the ground so early. They want to leave a legacy, and they want America Works to be successful so that Frank will have stable ground to stand on for re-election. All that, on top of dealing with talks with Petrov and Russia, would be almost impossible if the country was preoccupied by Walker's impeachment trial.
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[[folder:Zoe Barnes's career before joining ''The Washington Herald'']]
* Yes, I know this fictional, but, in real life, wouldn't Zoe Barnes need to have a very decent reporting career with no blackmarks before she could even go to work at a major Washington newspaper like ''The Washington Post'' (which the ''Herald'' is a stand-in for)? As far as I am aware, I don't think the ''Post'' would be hiring someone like her. Or does ''The Washington Herald'' have different hiring standards compared to ''The Washington Post''?
** Papers throughout the country have been struggling to stay above water for the last few decades, especially since having to play catch-up with the latest online news sources. One of the ways they've been doing that is buying out veteran reporters and hiring fresh twenty-somethings who cost less. Throughout the first season, Margaret Tilden, the Herald's owner, is seen to be well aware of this and more than willing to give in to the times, unlike Tom Hammerschmidt. We don't know much about what Zoe Barnes did before she joined the ''Herald'', but a reasonable route is that she probably went to a well-respected local journalism school in the DC area (Georgetown, Maryland, GW, etc), interned at the ''Herald'', wrote some interesting enough (or at the very least, very well-written) articles in her school paper, got some contacts with people in the ''Herald'' (Lucas Goodwin would be a good bet. Zoe could have even had a contact in the form of Janine Skorsky, given Janine's age[[note]]Lucas Goodwin, for certain. Janine Skorsky is a bit "eeehh," given her initial dislike for Zoe in Chapter 1.[[/note]]), which was enough to eek her way into the paper at the right time.
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[[folder:Stamper's killing of Rachel Posner]]
* In real life, wouldn't Stamper show up on someone's radar by taking a leave of absence to travel to the west coast to kill Rachel Posner? Someone on Quora said, "The president's Chief of Staff would never be able to sneak away to straight-up murder someone without ending up on someone's radar."
** At this point, he isn't officially Chief of Staff. They only want it to announce it after the Iowa caucus, so that media speculation about his sudden re-appearance in Frank's service can't distract from that election (which is the reason Doug can't attend the press briefings). Also, right before an important caucus it's unlikely that any media outlet would spend too much time wondering where the Chief of Staff went for a day or two, or even expend resources to track and follow him. It's a position that's not under THAT much scrutiny. And if some other agency, like the FBI, tracked him remains to be seen.

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[[folder:About Frank and the previous VP]]
* The scheme of season 1 is: Frank manipulates Russo's campaign for the Pennsylvania governorship, then manipulates him into dropping out of the race and kills him, while also convincing the VP to run for his old office, which he'd done so by having Matthews accompany Russo's campaign tour. My question is: was Frank aware that Matthews resented being Vice-President before the events of the series or not?
** Matthews was a "tell it like it is" politician and really didn't do much to hide his feelings. It wouldn't take a master of manipulation like Frank Underwood to see that Matthews would rather be back in Pennsylvania.
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[[folder:Presidential term limits and Frank Underwood]]
* I am aware that the 22nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights - passed in wake of FDR's four term presidency (the result of World War II breaking out) - limits a sitting President to two terms in office. Now, Frank ascended to the Presidency partway through Walker's term. My question is: Frank obviously is able to run for reelection in 2016. Would he still be able to run in 2020 as well or would the 22nd Amendment stop him from doing so? (The question is: would the 22nd Amendment interpret the remaining years on Walker's term in office as Frank's first term or not?)
** I think that Frank probably could run in 2020 if he wins in 2016. Like the fact that Frank's reasons for pardoning Walker and Raymond Tusk may have been based on the reasons GeraldFord pardoned RichardNixon after Nixon's resignation, you have to look at the history books. Specifically, [[UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson Lyndon B. Johnson]] could have ended up as President for just over nine years if he'd not withdrawn from the campaign in 1968.\\
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To elaborate, Johnson became President in 1963 when UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy was assassinated. He basically served out the remaining 14 months of Kennedy's term, then he won reelection in 1964. Thus, Johnson's first term as an elected president did not begin until January 20, 1965. Thus, he could have run for reelection in 1968 had he not chosen to drop out in response to controversy over the Vietnam War. Thus, officially, those remaining 14 months of Kennedy's term did not count against Johnson, so Johnson could have served two full four year terms.\\
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This means, Frank Underwood theoretically could end up being President from October 2014 to January 20, 2025. Walker's first term in office was almost halfway complete, so in theory, those last approximately 26 months on Walker's term ''theoretically'' might not count against him in regards to the two-term limit. I say ''theoretically'' because of another real life case: Nixon stepped down less than halfway through his second term in office. Thus, Gerald Ford served out the last 29 months of Nixon's term, and thus he would have been eligible to be elected in his own right only once - in 1976, which he lost to JimmyCarter. So, unless Underwood has some manipulation tactics up his sleeve, it could be possible that he will only be eligible to be elected in his own right for 2016, and will have to leave office in 2021.
** If Underwood served 26 months of Walker's term, he's only eligible for one term of his own. That's more than two years of the original president's term which automatically disqualifies Frank from seeking another under the 22nd Amendment. Pretty cut and dry.
*** So Frank should have perhaps waited until Walker's original term was halfway done before he manipulated Walker's downfall?
*** If he was looking to serve two full terms of his own, yes. But whether that was practical is something he would have to take into consideration. Orchestrating the resignation of the U.S. President isn't exactly easy and once the ball got rolling it would be hard to determine when exactly Walker would resign.
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[[folder:Doug Stamper's obsession with Rachel Posner]]
* Is it just me, or am I missing something about why Doug Stamper develops stalkerish tendencies towards Rachel Posner? I get it that it's partially because she was used as a pawn in orchestrating Peter Russo's fall from grace and Stamper doesn't want her to spill to anyone. But why does he keep Frank in the dark about this? Is he concerned that Frank would probably not be happy with him if he found out?
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[[folder:Weird Donald Blythe question]]
* Is Blythe somehow related to UsefulNotes/BillClinton? Or is that just a freak coincidence that his last name happens to be the same as Clinton's birth name (''William Blythe'')?
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[[folder:Another Zoe Barnes death question]]
* I don't know if this is plausible, but would Zoe still be alive if she'd kept mum to Frank about what she knew of his shady business deals?
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[[folder:About the Michael Corrigan subplot]]
* Chapter 32 has Frank travel to Moscow to deal with the imprisoned gay rights activist Michael Corrigan, who hangs himself rather than be released. Obviously, the situation clearly wasn't handled well, but is Frank more responsible for the United States' mishandling of the incident or is Claire?
** Was it mishandled? If one thinks that it's best to get Corrigan home under any circumstances, even if the humiliating statement has to be read, both Frank and Claire handled it as well as it could be handled. Even when Corrigan refused the easy way out, Frank successfully negotiates with Petrov to have him released anyway, and Claire did reason with him pretty well. That he would commit suicide was fairly obvious for the audience, but only because we know to expect RuleOfDrama, you can't really blame Claire for not anticipating that. And if you were talking about the press conference afterward, then the biggest mistake was them not coordinating with each other (which was the whole point of that scene). The way it played out, they watered each other's statement down. Whether you think Claire or Frank were right really depends on what issue you consider to be most important at this point.
** So, both President and First Lady pretty much handled it as well as they possibly could, and the only issue was a lack of coordination that caused the subsequent issue post-Corrigan's death? I'm just trying to interpret if Frank was onto something with his remark, "You wanna know what takes courage? Keeping your mouth shut, no matter what you may be feeling. Holding it all together when the stakes are this high."
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[[folder:No anti-nepotism laws?]]
* So, I get it that in real life, Frank could never appoint Claire as ambassador because Claire is his wife and the laws passed in the wake of JFK appointing Bobby to the attorney general prohibit a sitting president from appointing a family member to public office. In the ''House of Cards'' universe, though, could it be reasonable to assume that that part of the Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967 didn't pass?
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