Chapter 57 (Series 5 Episode 5)
Nine weeks have passed since the unresolved election, which will now be decided by a contingent election in the House. A frustrated Conway believes he was fairly elected, and begins to show signs of a potential breakdown. Despite Frank’s approval rating falling to 19%, Claire says they are done winning the American people and must now win over Congress. Hammerschmidt meets with Lisa Williams to discuss information regarding Doug, but he is hesitant to believe her. Frank talks to convince Alex Romero, a Democratic congressman, to sway other House Democrats to vote for him. Aidan, who had previously gone missing, calls LeAnn to tell her that he will leak incriminating information on the Underwoods if she doesn’t get the authorities off his back. While LeAnn is able to flip a vote from Maine, Doug fails to win New Hampshire. On the day of the vote, Claire asks Donald to prevent a filibuster and keep Republicans off the floor. When he refuses, Claire begins insulting him and his late wife. Neither Conway nor Frank receive the 26 votes in the House needed to win, meaning that the Senate‘s vice presidential selection between Claire and General Ted Brockhart will assume the duties of the Presidency until the House votes again. Claire, alone in the White House residence, walks toward the camera and briefly looks directly at the camera audience as the episode ends.
Chapter 58 (Series 5 Episode 6)
Claire becomes Acting President of the United States until the House votes again. Frank congratulates her on the position, even if it’s just for a few weeks. Durant informs the Underwoods that a research facility in Antarctica has been taken over by an unidentified military group, suspecting the Russians. Meanwhile, it appears that Aidan has been kidnapped and may be forced to reveal secrets. Conway’s campaign manager Mark Usher is able to secure a meeting for Conway with the Congressional Black Caucus, in the hopes they will consider supporting him instead of Frank, but the meeting goes very poorly. On a private plane back to New York, an exasperated Conway finally cracks under the pressure and curses out Usher, threatening to leave him on the tarmac upon arrival, then berates the pilots for not allowing him to fly the plane and declares maniacally that he will be President. Sean visits Lisa then tells Hammerschmidt, who fires him after discovering that Sean looked through his notes. Hammerschmidt later investigates the death of Zoe Barnes. To avoid a mixed-ticket White House, Frank and Claire are able to convince Usher to support new elections in Ohio and Tennessee, so long as the Speaker approves. Claire, Frank, and Cathy learn it is the Russians who have kidnapped Aidan.