Whoa, that happened. Major spoilers for House of Cards Season 4, Episode 4 ahead. House of Cards just proved that it's not All The Presidents Men or even Spotlight when it comes to investigative journalism in a big way. Why did Lucas Goodwin shoot Frank Underwood on House of Cards ? The former political reporter's assassination attempt was surprising, but not not unmotivated.
As unfortunate as it is, Lucas made a relatively smart choice by attempting to assassinate the President of the United States considering what he was trying to achieve with his research. He sacrificed his own life (and stooped to the murderous level of so many other characters) for a nobel cause. Since Season 1, Lucas Goodwin has been trying to expose Frank Underwood for his many crimes — including the deaths of both Peter Russo and Zoe Barnes, the latter of whom initiated the investigation. Everyone who was working with him has either been killed or given up. When he was released from prison, where he had been set up by Doug Stamper and convicted for cyber-terrorism, nobody would take a meeting with him. This is one of the only ways to get people to take his research seriously — because his notes and case against President Underwood are now evidence in a federal investigation.
He hoped that, by getting his work and his suicide note into the right hands, Frank Underwood would finally be exposed and convicted. Plus, think about how obsessed we are with people who kill or try to kill the President of the United States. There are countless books written about Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth, to name two. There's a whole Sondheim musical about them called Assassins that focuses on this phenomenon. In the fictional world of House of Cards, Lucas Goodwin will live on in infamy. People will be studying him until the end of time. It's disturbing, but it's true. Zoe and Russo's deaths may have been buried by Underwood and Stamper, but now they can't be.
I'm a little disappointed with this turn of events, to be honest. Part of the fun of House of Cards is watching all of the minutia build up and pay off. I suppose this has been building since Season 1 and Season 2 — but since we haven't seen Lucas for a long time it all felt a little rushed. I wish we had seen him get pushed to this place for a few more episodes. The worst part, in my humble opinion, is that Meechum got caught in the literal crossfires.
Image: David Giesbrecht/Netflix, Netflix