House of Cards introduced a woman President, Claire Hale (Robin Wright) after her husband, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) had died. The series finale reveals that Frank was murdered by Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly). This confession leads to Claire stabbing Doug with a letter opener in the Oval Office – and that is how the show ends. This left us with more questions than answers.
Kelly was able to provide more insight into what led to this ending and what comes after for Claire. Kelly tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I definitely had thoughts about how they were going to do it. We were all talking so often. Robin, the writers and myself, we were all collaborating. But no, I didn’t think it was going to be Doug. Even when we were doing the season and Frank was gone, it still wasn’t determined who was going to do be the killer. When the writers approached me with it, I was like, “Oh, that’s good.” At first, it was more of a, “Wait, what?!” And then it did make sense. If you think about that beautifully written line where Doug says, “I had to protect the legacy from the man,” it shows just how dedicated this guy was to that man. Dedicated enough that he would kill him. It’s crazy, but it makes total sense.”
To give some sort of indication to Claire’s future, Kelly says, “truth be told, that’s why Doug didn’t follow through with killing Claire. He knew once he didn’t get what he wanted that this showdown was going to end one of two ways: he was going to kill her and never see the light of day again, or she was going to kill him once he didn’t get what he wanted. And both were OK with him, I think. He went to draw blood on her and once he did that and looked down and saw the belly and pictured the child, he saw that Frank is in there. That’s why, in my mind, he didn’t go through with pushing the opener through her throat.”
It was quite an ending to the series that constantly pushed the envelope and delivered some raw moments. You can find all eight episodes of the final season on Netflix.