Frank’s eventual Republican opponent has been mostly sitting in the background all this time. Finally he comes to center stage. Who is he? Will Conway, a New Yorker who knows how to play social media and has a model-pretty wife from another country.
Of course, he’s also a well-spoken combat vet who’s held elected office (he’s governor of New York), so the comparison breaks down from there.
Conway has been using some fictional search engine to get schematics on the public, and the talk around it forces him to admit to doing so and actually makes the search engine more popular. That…doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Here’s the thing: Frank and Claire are working together in a way we haven’t seen them do so before. It looks like Frank is playing around to get Claire as his running mate (speaking of things that don’t make a whole lot of sense to me), but first he has to look like he’s trying to find someone else. First up he asks Donald Blythe to stay on. Donald doesn’t have the stomach for running, and Frank knows it, but that doesn’t stop him from pushing Donald to the Democratic leadership. That’s obviously a feint.
We also see Claire and Frank rehearsing conversations to get desired outcomes, first with the NRA, later with the leadership over a gun control bill. Between that and this Islamic terror group called IKIL, I get the impression that House of Cards is doubling down on real world issues and showing how their fictional president would get the job done.
The episode ends with Frank and Claire basically saying the Conways are politically doomed. That comes after an extensive flashback to the New Year’s party from the first episode, where Frank and Claire met with the Conways, and even introduced Will to newly-elected President Walker. Something about that scene hit Frank just right.
Look, the Conways are the latest in a long line of Underwood adversaries who will ultimately fail, no matter what sort of messages Conway is getting from one of Frank’s generals. The guy to do it, if anyone, I still believe is Tom Hammerschmidt. He’s sniffing around, even going to see a still-shaken Janine Skorsky. Can he get anywhere? Well, he’s grounded, not excitable, experienced…and dull. He’s perfect to take down the Underwoods if anyone can.