House of Cards Recap: Season 2, Episode 1

Welcome to Flare magazine’s House of Cards recaps. We’ll go over an episode of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning season twice a week. Here’s our recap of this season’s first episode. Spoilers ahead, do not continue if you haven’t seen Season 2, Episode 1.

By Jeevan Brar


The second season picks up moments where the first one left us, we rejoin the Underwoods as they return from their jog. Doug mentions to Frank that the reporters are close to figuring out Rachel’s involvement with Russo and they need to make that problem of theirs go away. Rachel initially rejects (with knife) Doug’s plan to relocate to Baltimore but has no choice. While she may have “disappeared” as far as Zoe, Janine and Lucas are concerned, she’s still close enough (proximity wise) for Frank and Doug to keep tabs on.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

Claire’s dealing with her own problem: Gillian, her pregnant former employee who is suing her for wrongful termination. Claire sought out a list of doctors working in Africa around the same time that Gillian was there and investigated which ones could be the potential fathers of Gillian’s child – Gillian is then confronted by the angry wife of the doctor who got her pregnant. As if that weren’t enough, Claire also found a way to cancel Gillian’s medical insurance, thereby stopping her medication. Sure, Frank can say mean things when he breaks down the fourth wall, but Claire was outright cruel when she told Gillian “I’m willing to let that child wither and die inside of you,” in an effort to get her to drop the lawsuit. Claire then offered Gillian her old job back and told her that she herself would resign and there would be absolutely “No strings attached.”

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

When they can no longer locate Rachel, the journalists decide to look elsewhere and find out from a police source that Russo was actually found in the passenger side of his car on the night of his “suicide.” Zoe keeps the next meeting with Frank to herself…presumably because she wants to play both sides: continue to investigate what happened to Russo and keep Frank as a source, since he’ll soon be VP. Zoe and Frank meet on the shadowy end of a subway platform where there’s some construction. When she suggests to Frank that he murdered Russo, Frank quickly pushes Zoe onto the track in front of an incoming train.

Yes, House of Cards killed off Zoe Barnes. Just because we shouldn’t be surprised at the shocking deaths of main characters on off-main network shows doesn’t mean we were, well, shocked. It took awhile for us to uncover our mouths and continue watching. Frank finally broke down the fourth wall to welcome us back to the series as the episode concluded with the initialed cufflinks Meechum gave to Frank. F.U.

F.U.? Was that their way of telling us they don’t care about how hurt or surprised we are at Zoe’s death? Possibly. After all, it’s not like we have to wait and mourn Zoe while waiting to see what happens next, all the episodes are there for us to continue.

Was Claire serious about looking into having a child or was that just her way of investigating the type of medication Gillian was on? While we may have seen a more human side to Claire last season, after this season’s first episode, she may be more cruel than Frank. “Welcome back,” indeed.

The second season of House of Cards is now streaming on Netflix.

Photos by Nathanial Bell for Netflix