By now, it’s common knowledge that if you’re tuning into any sort of political debate, you’re in for some degree of entertainment. However, on Tuesday night the fifth Republican debate of the primary season upped the ante in that regard, as a teaser for House of Cards Season 4 aired during the broadcast. Amidst the melee that pit Marco Rubio against Ted Cruz, Rand Paul against Rubio, and everyone against Donald Trump, there appeared a voice not of harried defense, but of pure confidence — Frank Underwood.
Yep, your eyes were not deceiving you — Mr. Kevin Spacey, in full character as the scheming president from Netflix’s House of Cards, was sandwiched in between those commercials for Arby’s and Viagra. Though any fan could not have been at all opposed to this sort of intrusion, what exactly was President Underwood doing on our screens during a time supposedly devoted to serious discussion about American policy? In addition to revealing that Season 4 will premiere on Netflix on March 4, the ad gave fans some insight to what's next for the Underwoods, but left us with more questions than ever. Here are a few mysteries the House of Cards teaser opened up, which will have me scratching my head until March.
What Was With The Cornfields?
The 30-second clip, shown in full above, showcases some of the more typical images popularized in campaigns throughout the years: smiling children, hugging troops, golden fields of wheat. The confident tenor in the voiceover announces that “It’s a new day in America. Today, more people will go to work, return home to their families, and sleep more soundly than ever before.” Though this is ostensibly in line with President Underwood’s “America Works” jobs creation order from Season 2, there seems to be something slightly more nefarious at play — as per usual when dealing with the man who promises he puts “people before politics” when really he puts people before moving trains.
What Does The Military Imagery Mean?
It was interesting to see the inclusion of a man in military fatigues and an aircraft taking flight from a floating carrier in the trailer. Is this meant to imply that Frank has changed his public stance on peace, following the nearly disastrous drone strike incident in the Jordan Valley from Season 3?
Why Did He Appear During The Republican Debate?
Since the 2013 debut of the show, much ado has been made about President Underwood’s political affiliation. Frank hails from the rural red state of South Carolina, but has always been linked with, and is now the head of, the Democratic party. So, naturally, I think we are meant to view the strategic airing of his re-election campaign ad to be a rebuttal to the Republican candidacy, akin to the debut of the Clinton and Biden campaign ads during the earlier GOP debates.
Why Is He Wearing Red?
If that is the case and Frank is providing Democratic counterbalance during the Republican debates, then why is he notably sporting a red tie? A man this meticulous is sure to not let a sartorial oversight of that level just slide by. What’s your game, Frank? Is party-switching your next move?
Is The Campaign Website Real?
This is one question that can already be answered. The end scene declares the premiere date of the fourth season alongside the undeniably clickable www.FU2016.com. The site is currently active and replete with delicious tidbits for fans, including a media kit, some staunch words on Frank's policy, and an interactive meme kit that allows you to declare your support for this fictional Democrat.
Where Is Claire?
Though a campaign is generally focused on the person running for president, any good House of Cards fan knows that Frank is hardly a lone wolf. Indeed, his wife, Claire (Robin Wright) has always been the source of much of his strength in his ascent to the White House. So [Bieber voice], where is Claire now that he needs her? The campaign site for Frank Underwood 2016 offers no such conclusions — when you click on the “Meet Claire Underwood” tab, it offers up a specifically foreboding version of a 404 error.
Is Frank Blonder These Days?
Or is the indefatigable Frank Underwood finally graying? Losing hair? Or is it highlights? The world may never know.
I guess we will just have to heed Underwood’s words and wait to discover what House of Cards Season 4 holds for us on March 4. He's only getting started.
Images: Netflix; Giphy (4)