The craziest moments of ‘House of Cards’ season two

Devan Coggan, Current Editor

Like many, I traded a real Valentine’s Day for a date with Kevin Spacey breaking the fourth wall, and I finished the entire second season of “House of Cards” in less than 36 hours.

And Netflix’s most popular original series brought the drama once again, with plenty of highs (Cashew for president) and lows (Raymond Tusk… yawn). But more than anything, season two was filled with those bizarre plot twists that “House of Cards” does so well — the moments that make you sit up and ask, shocked, if this show can actually be serious.

From erotic asphyxiation to multiple dead bodies, season two had plenty of WTF moments, and I’ve ranked the top five in order. (Obviously, major spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the second season, go watch. If you try, I bet you can beat my record of 36 hours.)

5. The worst president EVER

At the end of Garrett Walker’s presidency, his approval rating was at a lousy 8 percent. To put that in context, Richard Nixon’s approval rating was at 24 percent when he resigned in 1974. With a single digit rating, you’d think President Walker was out murdering puppies and pushing people in front of subway trains. In reality, all he did was get a little too chummy with a billionaire money launderer and go to therapy with his wife.

4. The fall of Freddy

In a series filled with malicious, two-faced characters, the owner of Freddy’s barbecue joint was refreshingly simple: His only goal was to cook and sell mouthwatering ribs, occasionally offering a well-timed barbecue metaphor to advance the plot. But halfway through season two, we learn that good ole Freddy has a criminal backstory, which apparently means he has to immediately sell his business and cut all ties with his BFF, Frank. We’ll miss you, Freddy. Now that you’re out of the picture, Cashew the guinea pig is the only character worth rooting for. 

3. Untouchable Underwood

I’m the first to succumb to Spacey’s charming drawl, but Frank Underwood is actually mortal, right? Not only did Underwood get away with murder (twice, now), but he rocketed from house majority whip to PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES within a single season. Sure, the man could sell water to a fish, but his ascension to the presidency feels way, way too easy. Here’s hoping his proclivity for murdering people who get in his way catches up with him next season.

2. Three’s company

Remember Frank’s words of wisdom from last season: “Everything is about sex. Except sex. Sex is about power.” And although season one had plenty of sexy times that explored the show’s power dynamics, season two’s sex scenes seemed like afterthoughts designed to shock, not advance the plot. There was that brief bit with businessman Xander Feng and erotic asphyxiation, which held no importance to the plot and was never mentioned again. And of course, there was that crazy threesome between Frank, Claire and their secret service agent, Edward Meechum. Steamy? Perhaps. Important to the plot? Less so.   

1. Bye-bye, Barnes

Fans of the original British series knew journalist Zoe Barnes was on her way out, but nobody expected one of the show’s biggest stars to meet her end halfway through the first episode. Zoe’s untimely death was so unexpected I seriously thought the second episode would open by revealing this was all just a crazy dream sequence. But alas, poor Miss Barnes had served her purpose, so Frank gave her a gentle push onto the train tracks. Which brings us back to this season’s theme: Frank Underwood can literally murder someone on a crowded subway platform and suffer no consequences. I mean, if the prospective vice president of the United States is going to commit murder in a public place, he should at least consider a better disguise than a trench coat and a hat.

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