Yes, the season ends how I intuited it would, but they say that getting there is half the fun and there were some real nailbiters along the way. It's also more complicated by the reality that Underwood's an anti-hero who you end up rooting for while despising. And again, Claire is really a good match for him, just with a softer woman's touch. They deserve each other, this professional and mutual partnership that operates as love and ambition rolled into one.
It'll be interesting to see the relationship between Frank and Raymond in Season #3, considering how things went down in Season #2.
I wish I felt more sympathy for Lucas. He kind of got the shaft from everyone this season and is now rotting in jail. Yet he just played his hand stupidly, idealistically in a pit of vipers, and of course got burned for it. There was no other outcome for someone who was not crafty enough. Zoe was craftier, of course; but her one fatal flaw was that she just never expected Frank to off her, she thought she'd always have a little room to maneuver.
Is Doug dead? It seems probable. But he was a walking bomb too, with his Rachel addiction. What did he think would happen if he kept destroying her life under the guise of saving it? He really was bad news for her; anything good that she received, he loused it up. He'll be lucky if he escapes what looks might have been his swan song.
I have to say, I thought Walker was pretty stupid much of the series. And when he finally catches on to Frank with two episodes to go, it seems more like a lucky hit -- he's just become so freaking paranoid that he decides to read every one of Frank's actions cynically and just happens to hit the bullseye. But the old viper isn't dead yet, and despite some nervous moments (mostly created by sticking his head in the lion's mouth), Frank manages to pull a save out of a near loss. Sometimes you just have to go for broke, and his letter to Walker did that for him -- just threw him off enough to leave Frank in play, and when you are dealing with a man like Frank, that's all he needs.
The resolution to China was inspired and inevitable.
I really like Jackie. I like her for the same reason Remy does -- yes, she's pragmatically ruthless and will never crack, but underneath she still carries the guilt of it, and in the end she serves herself and refuses to sell out to Frank or Remy or whoever else might try to dominate her, even if it means she'll go down. This commitment to herself and her own values means she can be trusted and that she's a straight shooter, something Remy tried to break her of and failed.
Remy too is interesting, the hired gun who could perform admirably regardless of his own affections... but in the end, he couldn't bring himself to turn on Jackie. And it was all about that moment when she said she wouldn't sell Frank out -- not for Frank, but because she simply refused to be beholden to ANYONE even if they had a gun to her head. Ironically, that same willingness to risk one's political life is what saved Frank.
I think I felt worst about Adam. Claire really gutted him. He was an artist who had no business playing cutthroats in Washington politics, and the faster he can run out of their and stay in his own world, the better. A close second was Freddie, who had messed up and had spent years to redeem himself, only to have himself kicked back in the mud because of his connection to Frank. But even now, that man was not a quitter; good for him.