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How Could Anyone Trust Mark Usher When He Wears Those Turtlenecks?

And other questions sparked by 'Chapter 61.'

How are the First Couple's sidepieces supposed to interact with each other?

Eric, meet Tom. Tom, meet Eric. You fuck the president and the vice president, but let's be clear: you'll never replace the dearly departed Meechum. You think you can compete with the threesome dude who gave his life for Frank, and whose cufflinks Frank wears to his inaugural ball? Sorry, but no. Also, Tom: keep it in your pants. It's just embarrassing that the president has to tell you not to cheat on his wife.

Why does Will turn down Transportation Secretary?

Sure, it's not the most glamorous of cabinet positions, but as the governor of New York, Will would have controlled the MTA, sort of controlled the Port Authority, and have had oversight of the state's eleven international airports; he's certainly qualified. His rejection makes sense only as a FU to Frank, but really: why have we spent so much time with him if this is how the plotline ends? It's not like he's going to have a comeback and it's not like Frank really needed another plotline where he steals the presidency from someone. So why have we had to suffer through Hannah and the vaguely defined PTSD?

How could anyone trust Mark Usher when he wears those turtlenecks?

Not too concerned about this one, since Doug's basically already declared war on the guy, but: really? The whole look is straight out of the wardrobe of a dead liberal arts professor from that one really weird school in the woods Lena Dunham went to (and yes, I do quite literally mean Oberlin). Yet he's supposed to be a shark-like nonpartisan political advisor who finds himself surprised that Frank double-crossed him? Something about him doesn't sit right.

What's going to happen when Leann realizes she's being managed?

Maybe nothing? She somehow hasn't realized it until the very end of "Chapter 61," and even then the extent of her enlightenment is a bit downplayed. It's doubtful that she'll shrug it off and move one with only a few nasty leaks to Politco, but will she really unleash Aidan and his cache of documents? Or will she try to leverage his cooperation for a spot back in Doug's good graces? And if she tries, will Aidan die?

Why doesn't Cathy bow out?

Grow a backbone, Durant! You had the perfect moment to make a graceful exit without Frank so much as thinking anything other than that you're a tired old lady who's no longer up to the task of questionable moral diplomacy. And you passed?! You deserve those ugly brocaded blazers they sometimes dress you in.

Do you get the feeling Jane's the reason something terrible always happens at the parties she attends?

She's a creeper all right, but Patricia Clarkson is aces.

All Romero wanted was Medicare?

...once again, Democrats just throwing away the chance to demand Medicare for all. But seriously, the dude tried to strongarm Frank for the promise of more Medicare funding when they're both supposedly Democrats? It doesn't make any sense: from Alex's perspective, it's an easy ask of a Democratic president who needs to gain popularity points; from Frank's, it's a pill he should just swallow. Why go down with this of all ships? Sometimes things seem hard for no reason.

Where was Doug the night of the beheading?

Interestingly enough, with his girlfriend! He even asked Frank's permission not to watch the beheading before checking out for the night, which is a weird thing for Frank to not mention to Claire; it would seem the sort of thing that would come out over what passes for their casual conversation. But while the former and current President Underwoods adjust to their new power dynamics, Doug seems to remain firmly Team Frank, and Claire seems to have noticed. So who's going to be left standing: the wife or the enforcer?

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