House of Cards Season Five Episode Eleven Recap & Review

Ah, impeachment. It has been a long time coming, but the word is finally starting to be tossed around the House of Cards universe following testimony from former President Garrett Walker (Michel Gill).


The talk of impeachment causes division in the Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) administration. Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) and Mark Usher (Campbell Scott) would like Frank to take impeachment quietly in order to salvage his first term. Frank and loyal guy Friday Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) are adamantly against this censor option.

With the ball rolling, it doesn’t seem like anything can stop it. Tom Hammerschmidt (Boris McGiver) at the Washington Herald is getting closer and closer to damning evidence of murder. Rumors start flooding in about the election day terrorist scare in Tennessee being a scare from inside the administration (which, of course, it was).

Outside of the immediate firestorm of bad presidential press, advisor Leann Harvey (Neve Campbell) becomes part of the investigation into the death of Aidan Macallan (Damian Young), the hacker who fled to Russia after aiding the rigged election.

Claire Underwood also makes the decision to end her affair with Thomas Yates (Paul Sparks), strange timing considering her recent confession to him that Frank’s criminal dealings are all true.

The Democratic Senate are getting antsy over the crumbling Underwood administration. Bob Birch (Larry Pine) and Terry Womack (Curtiss Cook), ask Frank to resign before the judiciary investigation goes too far. Alas, Frank’s hubris will not allow for this.

This is House of Cards as it should be. Season five was destined to be the downfall of Frank Underwood. He climbed the ladder. All he has left to do is go down.

The late-season push looks to be promising in season five. The surveillance measures and news coverage add levels of intrigue to the Underwood administration that were missing earlier.

Of course, smaller levels of intrigue are always the more compelling ones, at least when the show does them right. Doug Stamper admitting that he caused the death of his lover’s husband is perhaps one of the most revealing and tense moments of the series. Stamper is easily the most compelling character in the entire show. They just steered him down a weird path and then sidelined him.

Episode eleven is maybe the first episode of the season that actually progresses the show. With Frank on the chopping block, Claire edges closer to the surface, but she keeps herself hidden like a snake in the grass. She even breaks the fourth wall in a fascinating way, addressing us only to tell us why she sees no merit in addressing us.

It isn’t a stretch to admit that House of Cards has run out of story. But at least this is the story we have been waiting for since Frank Underwood became president. It will be fun to watch him fall, no doubt. Even if the series will milk it for all it’s worth.

And what, dare we ask, will be left when he’s gone?


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


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