Yeah, It’s not real, but it sure feels real
Lets just start here:
It seems like forever since I've been sucked into my television screen by Frank and Claire Underwood. When we left off, we had 3 weeks until the election, and President Underwood and future Vice President Underwood were going to start a war. No big deal.
When House of Cards premiered several years ago, it felt absurd and over the top. But then the bizarre 2016 election gave us 45 (aka the orange monster or more lovingly, the Tangerine Mussolini), and reality may be (or is likely to be) as absurd as fiction. Season 5 of House of Cards is here, and yes, yes I am excited, but how will it play to the world in which we co-exist with 45? All I know is that I am also terrified to find out.
On top of the whole war thing, here are 7 things we also cannot forget before going into Season 5:
1. The Election
The end of Season 4 also gave us Real World: The White House when the Underwoods invited Governor Conway and his family to move in with the Underwoods at the White House (for one night? Or barely one night). I guess this was to be in close proximity while they figure out the hostage situation (the terrorists did ask to communicate ONLY with Conway)? Let’s pause, and imagine for a moment if Obama invited the Clinton and the Trump families to the White House in the midst of the election to help solve a national crisis. Awkward. Bill would be trying to sleep with Melania (come on, we know he would). He’d have a cigar out and would be trying to relive the glory days with Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Obama would be in the Rose Garden smoking cigarettes (and being completely ABOVE the drama), and everyone would wake up to a loud obnoxious threesome happening in the shower with Trump and who knows, maybe a few white house staff? Maybe a couple hookers? Maybe a white house reporter? There would definitely be pee involved. Ole Hil would single-handedly solve the problem, but then Trump would still get elected. Sigh. Even in my own made up universe of Real World: White House Trump still wins. WHY? WHYYYYY?
2. Doug Stamper
Doug Stamper is still fucking crazy. He is a huge liability! Let’s just stop there, and listen to this awesome song by Open Mike Eagle sort of about Doug Stamper (featuring Hannibal Buress). Seriously, Stamper will be the downfall of the Underwoods (if there is one).
3. The News Story
In season one, I found myself rooting for the Underwoods, they were the politicians who knew how to game the system, and every night they would nonchalantly meet in the kitchen of their gorgeous DC townhouse for a smoke and talk about how they were taking over the world or they would go for a power run in the middle of the night. My love ended in season two when Frank killed Zoe. I was pissed. I know they had done all sorts of horrific shit before, but that turned the tide. So now that Hammerschmidt has printed the story, will it be the one that tumbles the House of Cards? Doubtful, but I someone will go down.
Remy break. Still hot. Maybe hotter? And now an Oscar winner.
5. The Crazy Computer Guy
Speaking of liabilities, this is a HUGE one. Now that he has lost control his little experiment, how will that play out? My guess, this will be a huge part of this season and plays well to our society’s anxiety around what privacy means in a world soon to be dominated by digital natives.
6. Remy & Jackie
ackie was always good, she just got wrapped up it the idea of power (and the idea of Remy), and then self-corrected. Season 4 ended with them hitting the road together. Jackie has served as some kind of moral compass, making plays for power, but knowing the limits. Also, Remy is Still hot. Let's pause and look at another Remy picture.
7. The Author
We cannot forget that Thomas (Tom) Yates is still around. Writing for Frank and Claire. Sleeping with Claire. Almost kissing Frank (that happened, right?).
So What's Gonna Happen Next?
Underwood has an out of the blue underdog opponent who is a socialist and Conway just continues to tweet himself into a hole. Sound familiar? The end of season 4 Claire broke the 4th wall for the first time, and that is significant. Now that reality is as absurd as this drama. Does the fiction become more fact-based, a la ripped from the headlines a la House of Cards becomes some political version of Law & Order?
Let us hypothesize:
1. Claire Becomes President
Perhaps after Frank’s impeachment? I think her breaking the 4th wall in the last scene of season 4 signaled a transition in the Underwood’s relationship and power dynamic. Is it her house of cards to fall or is it his?
This theory =3 Remys! Why, because everyone needs 3 REMYS!
2. Frank Kills Doug
I just can’t foresee Doug lasting the season. He is a total creeper and has WAY too many skeletons in his closet.
This theory = A Remy Side Eye.
3. America Goes to War
Underwoods win. The scandal and story disappear. Claire and Frank start a throuple (ps throuple is in the Google dictionary, who knew?) with the hot author, Tom, and we never hear from the Conways again. This is, well, just too close to reality (the war part, and the disappearing scandals), and maybe too easy?
This theory = Doug Stamper sad look, and perhaps a trigger warning (watch out world). This theory does not deserve a Remy.
What we do know - President Underwood is going to take the country to war. I give Trump a month before he inadvertently plagiarizes a line from Frank Underwood, or goes on a tweet rant against the, let me remind you 45, fictional, Seth Grayson, the press secretary because he confuses him with Sean Spicer. Speaking of Trump, is he watching House of Cards for political training? In Chapter 52, Frank goes on a tirade against the dying media, and their attempts to "boost [their] declining readership" - I’d like to remind you again that House of Cards is not real.
Get ready. May 30th. Reserve your couches, put the children in daycare, buy all the mood enhancers you’ll need to get through it, and pop your popcorn (and the champagne). It’s time to BINGE!