Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

A 'House of Cards' In Memoriam: Ranking The Characters Who Were Taken Out (Sometimes Permanently) In Season Two

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire February 26, 2014 at 9:47AM

A look at all the people taken out by the Underwoods or their enemies in season two of "House of Cards" -- spoilers ahoy!
3
Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards'
Netflix Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards'

Season two of "House of Cards" was more gleeful, more over-the-top and far less serious than the Netflix political drama was in season one, with a literal and figurative body count that was also a lot higher. How many people went down in Frank (Kevin Spacey) and Claire Underwood's (Robin Wright) ruthless climb up the political ladder? Plenty, some of whom the pair took out themselves, while others were casualties of attacks from their enemies.  

Here's our look, ranked in order of impact from least to greatest, at the folks who were taken out thanks to the Underwoods machinations in this latest arc. Many spoilers, obviously, follow.

Gillian Cole House of Cards

Gillian Cole (Sandrine Holt)

Fate: Had her health care yanked after she sued Claire, who also told the wife of Gillian's baby daddy that her husband has fathered a kid with someone else. Claire then placated her by dumping the nonprofit she no longer had time for into Gillian's hands, and we never heard from the idealistic but outclassed woman again.

Change of a comeback? The Clean Water Initiative is still around, but this narrative thread felt like cleanup -- here's hoping the duller nonprofit days are done.

Impact: A little quick, but nicely nasty. Frank had his stunner moment in the season premiere (to be discussed later in this list), and the Gillian storyline mainly existed to allow Claire to have her own when she said "I'm willing to let your child wither and die inside you," reminding us that she's just as formidable and terrifying as her husband.

Xander Feng House of Cards

Xander Feng (Terry Chen)

Fate: Asylum revoked, Xander was sent back to China to face charges of corruption that will likely lead to his execution.

Chance of a comeback? He's not dead yet, but "House of Cards" feels finished with its epic trade war with China storyline, meaning it's unlikely we're going to get another glimpse of Xander's efficiently kinky sexual practices and chilly international billionaire ways.

Impact: It felt inevitable. The Underwoods are the only ones allowed to get away with bisexual threeways on "House of Cards."

Linda Vasquez House of Cards

Linda Vasquez (Sakina Jaffrey)

Fate: Maneuvered into resigning as President Garrett Walker's Chief of Staff after Frank intentionally bypassed her in attempting to get approval for the Port Jefferson bridge, leaving her feeling left out of the loop and without agency with regard to her role as an advisor.

Chance of a comeback? She had a brief one toward the end of the season when the President called on her to reach out to Raymond Tusk and promise him a pardon, but then Frank talked his way back into Garrett's good graces and once again, any wisdom Linda could bring to the table was rendered useless.

Impact: Dignified. She was one of the targets in Frank's campaign to isolate the President, but when she went down, it was with enough grace that even Frank was impressed -- not that that's much of a blessing. Given her connections to a President who's been forced to resign, her White House career is unlikely to be resurrected.

Lucas House of Cards

Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus)

Fate: Sent to prison for cyberterrorism after being lured in by the FBI and hacker Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) at Frank's indirect behest.

Chance of a comeback? Slight possibility. Gavin's seized some power back from the FBI by the end of the season and feels bad about what happened to Lucas -- but he's also not exactly prone to altruism, and has been more concerned about saving his own skin and helping out his friend than assisting anyone he may have taken down, especially when they actually did the deeds of which they were accused. On the other hand, Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer), who made a strategic retreat to Ithaca, is in a better position to take up arms against Frank again, should she be motivated to get over her (wise) fear of what he's capable of.

Impact: Sad. Lucas is a nice guy who even got kicked around by his girlfriend ("This is safe, Zoe, I'm not him"), so he didn't seem capable of being anything other than at best a vague concern to Frank. Lucas was devastated by Zoe's death in a way that no one else in the series seemed to be, and his attempts to prove that Frank was involved in killing her seemed more like baiting a dangerous animal than posing him a threat. 

Doug Stamper House of Cards

Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly)

Fate: Stoned to death by Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan), the former call girl he developed an obsessive crush on and hounded when he was just supposed to keep her hidden and quiet.

Change of a comeback? Highly unlikely, unless the series takes a sudden turn toward the supernatural.

Impact: Forward-reaching The Rachel/Doug storyline was allowed an awful lot of airtime this season, given how meandering (if creepy) it was for long stretches, so it wasn't hard to see this coming. That said, Doug has been Frank's most loyal and underappreciated soldier, and it's clear how difficult it is for the Underwoods to find anyone they can trust. Without him as chief of staff and fearless fixer, Frank's going to be at a major disadvantage -- Seth Grayson (Derek Cecil) may be smart, but he's far from as trustworthy as Doug.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, House Of Cards, Netflix






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More