House of Cards Season 6, Episode 7 keeps the entire story hanging by a thread, as Doug Stamper goes off the grid to plot against Claire Hale.
This review of House of Cards Season 6, Episode 7, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words. You can also check out our spoiler-free review of the first five episodes by clicking these ones.
While Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), now known by her maiden name Claire Hale, is taking in all the glory of her presidency, basking in the crowds of her midterm election campaigns, using feminism as a tool for political power, she forgot one crucial thing. She’s pregnant. House of Cards Season 6, Episode 7 serves irony on a cold plate.
Since the last episode, the Shepherds have managed to orchestrate a Supreme Court order to diminish the President’s powers; however, Claire has managed to weaponise her feminism in the media to distract the attention of the impending court decision, accusing the Shepherds of using a mobile application on the public to undermine the democratic process.
What Claire has failed to realise is the many waves of pregnancy issues that can undermine your day to day job. In Episode 7, she finds herself unable to maintain concentration as she curses the pains of Braxton Hicks, causing her momentum to dwindle slightly. House of Cards scoffs at the President’s progress, with the potential of a new baby born to undo all the hard work in this corrupt, bitter world.
Claire’s new challenge is to keep her power while battling her pregnancy, but it does seem that Frank Underwood’s legacy is impossible to undo; he created too many rivals. The past continues to haunt Claire, with the Shepherds only acting as a fresh enemy; Tom Hammerschmidt’s former colleague comes forth to progress the significant story of corruption and manipulation under the Underwood administration, and Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) has gone off the grid, quietly plotting Claire’s Demise.
House of Cards has played a wondrous card, playing on the fact that Doug has been moulded by Francis Underwood for five seasons, and ultimately may be the reason that Claire Hale loses her entire presidency. Doug has been brainwashed with love and attention for so long, remaining loyal to someone who would easily discard him, and this is the result.
Mark Usher (Campbell Scott), the former Vice-President, now advises under the Shepherds to campaign for a new president to assist the ultra-wealthy family. Mark is an arse-licking rat that refuses to go away, continuously rebuilding his career in the gardens of the White House. In a shockingly dark scene, the Shepherds discuss the political landscape after the assassination of Claire, with the only outstanding unknown factor being how they deal with Claire’s baby in the media.
Despite a relatively weak season, it is clever writing from the House of Cards team, who have managed to find a way of drawing a final season to a close, with the characters having something to hate and care about. It is no surprise that Annette Shepherd (Diane Lane) chose Doug Stamper to be the person to assassinate Claire; his entire manipulated persona has been designed to act on a downfall. As Doug witnesses Claire discussing the joys of being pregnant on national television and throwing Francis under the bus, we all must wonder, will this end as violently as suggested?
House of Cards Season 6, Episode 7 is manipulative, dark and ridiculously bonkers, but it needed to be; there was no other way they could have ended this series after a rewritten Season 6.