Frank and Claire Underwood resume their quest for absolute power in Washington, D.C. (and the world) when Netflix's House of Cards premieres its fifth season on May 30. And, of course, the loyal Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) will make some political maneuverings of his own. So, what did Doug Stamper do in House of Cards Season 4? As White House Chief of Staff, Stamper was instrumental for the Underwoods as usual, so here's a refresher on his sinister manipulations in the fourth season, so you're all ready for what Season 5 has in store.
In Season 4, Doug enjoys his job as Chief of Staff and he remains loyal to Frank during Frank and Claire's marital separation. When Claire pursues running for a congressional seat in Texas, Doug sabotages her meeting with the incumbent Doris Jones and her daughter Celia, who is supposed to run. He also assists Frank in trying to intimidate Claire's then-campaign manager LeAnn Harvey (Neve Campbell). Later, Doug finds out that Communications Director Seth Grayson leaked an incriminating photo of Frank to rival Heather Dunbar. So, the ever-loyal Doug threatens to suffocate Seth with a glass cup. Yep, you read that correctly. Doug Stamper knows how to get his point across in interesting ways.
So, why didn't Doug just murder Seth like Peter Russo and Rachel Posner? Well, the FBI is finally onto Doug, after they found a suicide note by now-deceased Lucas Goodwin, in which he detailed all of his suspicions about the Underwood's under-the-table dealings — which include Stamper's murders. Doug also gets very frustrated with LeAnn, who joins the Underwood White House, and she always seems to be one step ahead of him.
So Doug asserts his undying loyalty to the Underwoods in the most Doug Stamper of ways. Frank gets shot at a speaking engagement and soon needs a new liver due to the wound, so guess who offers to donate their working organ? Yup, Doug tells the doctor he wants to give Frank his liver, but Doug's history with drinking prevents him from being a donor. As House of Cards fans know, Doug is not one to be discouraged easily, so he begins manipulating Frank's way to a brand new liver by making the Secretary of Health and Human Services give the donation to Frank over another ill man named Anthony Moretti.
But then Doug starts feeling the guilt — yup, it's possible for the character. He makes a generous donation to the Moretti family, but his intentions seem less innocent when he begins an obsession with Anthony's widow Laura. I mean, it wouldn't be Doug Stamper without a dark twist. He and Laura start dating and it's as weird as it sounds. By the end of Season 4, Doug seems happy in his new relationship with her, despite the big secret of the stolen transplant that exists between them.
So, if there's one thing we can all count on, it's that Doug Stamper will likely be up to his usual manipulative ways in House of Cards Season 5.