Despite the Twitter pleas of countless snowed-in individuals, Netflix will not release the second season of House of Cards until midnight tonight. So you have several more hours to try to remember what the hell happened during the thirteen hours you spent shotgunning the first season. Below, a cheat sheet to aid the process — along with some hopes for the new season. (Does it count as “hope” if you just want everyone not to die? Discuss.)
Where he left off: South Carolina’s most popular congressman was denied the secretary of State job and spent the entire first season plotting revenge against the president. His plan involved: screwing over the teachers’ unions; plain-screwing a young journalist; and setting up an alcoholic congressman for failure, then killing him and pretending it was a suicide. The result? He has just been offered the vice-presidency.
Where we hope he’s headed: This is the House of Cards universe, so answers like “to a therapist” or “to the past, to un-kill Peter Russo” do not apply. Power is all that matters to Frank; he does crazy shit in order to win, and to hope otherwise is to set oneself up for disappointment. So we guess we hope he is headed to the White House.
Where he left off: Yeah, he’s dead. We’re sad, too.
Where she left off: House of Cards’ Lady Macbeth went off the rails a bit at the end of the second season; after plotting meticulously with Frank, she secretly ruined his Watershed Bill and then took off to spend a hot sex-and-origami weekend with her photographer ex-boyfriend. She returned when Russo “died.” (It seems like she doesn’t know about Frank’s involvement? But then, you never know.) And now she is embroiled in a lawsuit with her pregnant former employee, who is suing her for wrongful termination but really to get ahead. (Or maybe both?)
Where we hope she’s headed: It seems like they’re reunited, but it would be very fun to watch Claire wage some kind of secret corporate war on Frank. She could have an affair with Frank’s former staffer turned lobbyist Remy? Did she have an affair with Remy?
Zoe “Twitter Twat” Barnes
Where she left off: She’s ended her relationship with Frank Underwood and — with new boyfriend Lucas and old nemesis Janine Skorsky — has figured out his entire plot to ruin Frank Russo and seize the vice-presidency. Bad news for Zoe: Underwood’s chief of staff knows that she knows.
Where we hope she’s headed: Somewhere safe.
Where she left off: She cracked the Russo case and is tearing it up at Slugline. Congratulations to Janine Skorsky!
Where we hope she’s headed: To a Pulitzer. She’s been doing all the real reporting.
Where he left off: He told Zoe he loved her. And now he’s helping on the Russo cover-up.
Where we hope he’s headed: To a therapist. Don’t fall in love with Zoe; she is emotionally stunted.
Where he left off: He betrayed Frank in order to help Raymond Tusk, the decoy VP candidate who was actually in charge of vetting Underwood. It all worked out for Frank, but Remy should probably watch his back.
Where we hope he’s headed: To Claire’s bed, which also happens to be the safest place he could hide.
Where she left off: Zoe and Janine have identified Rachel as the call girl whom Frank’s chief of staff Doug arranged to get Russo off the wagon, which tanked his campaign; she is now running interference for Underwood, through Doug. She seems terrified.
Where we hope she’s headed: To the Bahamas. Safe, plus she deserves a vacation.
Freddy the Ribs Guy
Where he left off: He opened the restaurant for Frank’s enemy, Raymond Tusk.
Where we hope he’s headed: To the Bahamas with Rachel.