If you’re anything like me, you’re looking for an escape as of late. From The Handmaid’s Tale, to The Keepers, and ultimately the latest season of House of Cards, it seems like everything that is and can be absorbed by our eyes via the digital screens in our pockets to at home are bleak representations of the reality we are all longing to escape.
The new season of House of Cards is much like ones in previous season: Frank and Claire Underwood get themselves into some type of pickle full of political deception, deceit, and downright debauchery and have to somehow convince not only members of their fictional world to believe them but also us, the audience. While they ultimately overcome whatever challenges lies before them, this time, the main difference is that at the end of the series, the man, isn’t the one in charge of the country but rather the more qualified individual, his wife, Claire (a longing that even I myself found too wonderfully satisfying after the tumultuous events of November 8th, 2016), is the one in the oval.
If House of Cards proves anything right, it’s that the old saying: “behind every great man is a great woman” isn’t actually true; what is more accurate in the House of Cards universe is that “behind every great man is an even greater woman.”
Now that we live in a post-2016 Election world, viewers, many like myself, are longing for the female representation that we were so rightfully promised and one that was so illegally and wrongfully ripped away from us. Here is where you’ll want to stop reading if you have or are not caught up with the most current season because, the end of the season proves that not only is there a more powerful woman behind a man who claims to control everything, but Claire Underwood, herself, has mastered the proverbial political card game set in motion by her husband Frank when we met them five seasons ago.
Season 5 ends with Robyn Wright’s character, now President Claire Underwood, refusing to answer the unending calls of her husband, the now former-President Frank Underwood. As she continually ushers his calls to voicemail, she takes a momentary pause and then looks at the camera and states to the audience and the world that it is: “My Turn.”
Claire Underwood is the President we need right now. One that, like the knights of old, slays the patriarchal dragons, Claire Underwood proves that she not only mastered the game of cards but also she built the house altogether. Although gender parity in the House of Cards universe is one fraught with debate (multiple women hold positions of power and influence throughout the show’s tenure), no one holds a card to the masterful Claire and her ongoing pursuit of finally accepting what so many have told her for seasons past: that it is her turn to be in charge.
While I know that this world is make believe, there are times that it felt too similar with the reality that we currently find ourselves in. From electoral disputes, an overwhelming online and digital presence of campaigns and candidates that one cannot escape, and candidates that, although flawed, offer to make something about America great again, House of Cards continues to be a show that I find myself drawn to not because of its insanity but because of the promise that has been fulfilled by seasons end: a female President of the United States who is the HBIC I want in control of the nuclear codes.
Although we may have to wait a little longer to actually achieve a female President in the real world, the little taste that we got in this latest season of House of Cards proves one thing: it felt good to see the oval office seat finally filled by someone that actually deserves it and one that told Russia’s President to go f*** himself with a look.
*This blog is dedicated to my late friend Laurie-Ann Cota, who loved Robyn Wright and her work like no other!