by Chris Harnick | Tue., May. 30, 2017 7:09 AM
It's been over a year since the Underwoods graced devices with new House of Cards episodes—and what a year it's been. Season four of the Netflix drama premiered March 6, 2016—back when the real-life presidential election was still churning along.
The fifth season is out on Tuesday, May 30 and if you're having a hard time remembering what nefarious deeds happened in real life and which were perpetrated by Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), we're here to help.
Also, while we're talking about it, we're still not OK with you doing this to us on a Tuesday, Netflix.
[Said in our best Frank Underwood impression]: Let's catch up, shall we?
Frank was still trailing Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) in the polls and he and Claire were pretty much done at the beginning of season four. After wooing Claire back with promises of support for her own political ambitions, Frank basically double-crossed her and supported her opponent. But that's OK, because in a House of Cards twist, Claire ended up becoming Frank's running mate. Before all that happened, Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus) shot Frank and killed Meechum (Nathan Darrow) and Heather Dunbar dropped out of the race after a meeting between her and Lucas came to light. Then and Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman) came onto the scene. The season ended with Frank and Claire, united, using ICO, an Islamic terrorist group, to their benefit and rule with fear.
Claire left Frank at the end of season three and returned to Texas and lived with her mother (Ellen Burstyn), but it wasn't a very happy reunion. Claire hired LeAnn Harvey (Neve Campbell) to run her campaign for Congress, the campaign that never really got off the ground thanks to Frank. However, Claire wasn't going to go down that easily, she released a photo of Frank's father with a known Klansman. The two reconciled after Frank was shot and Claire helped guide his veep Donald Blythe. Frank eventually conceded and decided Claire could be his vice president on the ticket. The two worked together while negotiating the release of an American family being held hostage by ICO.
Always the loyal one, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) worked behind the scenes on a number of issues plaguing Frank, including intimidating the Secretary of Health to get the president a liver after he was shot. Stamper worked behind the scenes to try and expose Conway's ties to Pollyhop, a search engine he was using to get an advantage on Frank in the election. Eventually Stamper turned his attention to LeAnn, but they decided to work together to get the Underwoods four more years in the White House.
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Neve Campbell joined the cast for season four as Claire's campaign manager for what would become her aborted Congressional run. LeeAnn stuck around though, and worked with the Underwoods to leverage the terrorist threat of ICO to authorize domestic surveillance, which can then be used to their benefit in the election, like Conway's use of Pollyhop.
Thomas Yates had a strange time with the Underwoods. Originally hired to write a book on the couple, the journalist fell under their thrall and began working very closely with Claire. Emphasis on the very. He was with her during her mother's decline and their affair even got the blessing of Frank. His official position is speech writer. The Conways tried to get him to publish his book on the Underwoods, which he naturally rebuffed.
The GOP candidate and Governor of New York came on the scene hot and fast, but his use of Pollyhop's search engine to gain an unfair advantage almost derailed him…until he admitted to doing so on a live webcast. The Conways tried to get Tom Yates (Paul Sparks) to publish his book on the Underwoods, but you know how Yates feels about the Underwoods. Conway proved to be a formidable and cunning opponent, undercutting Frank at several turns.
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The former editor of The Washington Herald and one-time boss to Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), Tom (Boris McGiver) went all in on Underwood in season four. He began looking into Lucas and Zoe's deaths, and then picking up the investigation the two were working on about Frank Underwood. Eventually, Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) agreed to go on the record—and then went into hiding when the story came out. What kind of impact will the story have? That remains to be seen...
Did this jog your memory? Good, now get watching.
House of Cards season five is now streaming on Netflix.
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