Spend Valentine's Day With the Underwoods

house of cards

Frank and Claire are back with a vengeance on V-Day. (Spoilers ahead).

Feb 13, 2014 | 07:35 PM

If you follow Netflix's wildly popular political thriller "House of Cards," you can't ignore the irony of its second season's Valentine's Day release. (If you don't, watch season 1 before you continue reading, and be warned that there are plenty of spoilers ahead!)

The story about the ambitious and calculated political power couple, South Carolina Congressman Francis "Frank" Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and wife Claire (Robin Wright), picks up right where season 1 left off: Underwood is sworn in as the new Vice President of the United States amid the Machiavellian cover-up involving the "suicide" of Pennsylvania Congressman Pete Russo.

Netflix will make all 13 episodes of "House of Cards" Season 2 available on Friday, February 14. In the meantime, here's the only primer you'll need before the big day:

1. Francis "Frank" Underwood: A former congressman and majority whip, Underwood (Kevin Spacey) goes from being snubbed by the new administration of President Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) to being appointed as the new vice president thanks to his grand political scheme, which includes getting in bed with the press (both literally and figuratively) as well as assisting in the "suicide" of one of his political pawns. 

2. Claire Underwood: Played by Golden Globe-winner Robin Wright, the politically calculating wife of Underwood goes from running a clean water initiative to Second Lady of the United States, thanks to her husband's power schemes.   

3. Zoe Barnes: Played by Kate Mara, the young and eager reporter—who sleeps with Underwood (as approved by Claire) in exchange for game-changing scoops—turns down a prestigious White House correspondent position with The Washington Herald to work for the emerging blog Slugline

4. Doug Stamper: Played by Michael Kelly, Frank Underwood's Chief of Staff (and accomplice) goes the extra mile to ensure his boss gets away with the killing of Congressman Pete Russo—including manipulating a young recovering prostitute he may (or may not) be in love with. 

5. Raymond Tusk: Played by Gerald McRaney, Tusk is a billionaire and close confidant of President Walker. He advises McRaney to appoint Underwood as the new Vice President so that his nuclear energy businesses can benefit from allies in positions of power.  

6. Garrett Walker: Even the President of the United States may have fallen victim of Underwood's schemes and calculations. Either way, his administration is about to get rocked by a major scandal involving corrupt business deals, manipulation of the press, and even an assassination.

7. Linda Vasquez: Played by Sakina Jaffrey, the White House Chief of Staff is one of Underwood's most crucial chess pieces as the unholy alliance they develop threatens to end her boss' administration. 

Stream season 2 of "House of Cards" on Friday, February 14 on Netflix.


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