House of Cards season finale recap: Episodes 11, 12, and 13: The Triumph and the Kill

Characters face endings and beginnings as the first season of Netflix's experiment draws to a close
Ep. 11 | Aired Feb 6, 2013

SHAKE UP Soon enough, Frank could be sitting in the Vice President's seat -- as long as those meddling journalists stay out of his way.

Patrick Harbron/Netflix

Now Janine knows that the shipyard is only the tip of the iceberg... and with Zoe's help, she also discovers the truth about both the editorial that discredited Frank's rival for Secretary of State and Russo's drunk driving arrest. She, Zoe, and Lucas unite to try to unravel Frank's tangled web, even though Lucas is completely grossed out by Zoe's former relationship with her source.

As the journalists dig, Frank makes a play to get the upper hand on Tusk. He wants SanCorp to initiate a hostile takeover of Tusk's subsidiaries; Remy isn't biting, though, and SanCorp's actual executives are less than pleased when Frank makes an impromptu visit to their headquarters. The whole scheme blows up in Frank's face when Remy switches sides, giving Tusk enough information for the billionaire to buy three percent of SanCorp. by the end of the week, he'll own 10 percent of the company, and they'll no longer be a threat to him. Has Frank met his match?

Maybe -- but Frank still doesn't want to be beholden to the businessman, and he knows he's still got President Walker in a tight spot because he only  has a few more days to find a viable VP candidate. And in the end, his chutzpah and cunning -- and, perhaps, Freddy's ribs -- are enough to get Tusk on Frank's side. Rep. Underwood is officially offered the vice presidential nomination at the end of the episode -- and shortly thereafter, he officially accepts it.

His triumph may be short-lived, though, if the Scooby Gang gets any closer to uncovering Frank's treachery. They track down Rachel the hooker, and Zoe convinces the girl to meet with her.

Rachel doesn't spill any new information, but as she leaves the meeting place, Lucas notes her car's license plate -- and traces the vehicle back to Doug. Using their collective brainpower, the Slugline/Herald crew surmise that Frank tapped Russo for governor precisely because he wanted him to flame out, thereby eventually clearing the way for Frank to get into the White House.

The gang doesn't know that Doug is onto their investigation. Doug doesn't know precisely how much they've surmised. And Frank doesn't know that everything he's worked for could disappear tomorrow, because he's not around when Doug gives him a call.

And that, folks, is where we leave things at the end of season 1. Overall, how did you like House of Cards? Are you rooting for Frank's victory, or his sound defeat? And what would have to happen to make you care about the trouble brewing at Claire's nonprofit?

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