Frank Underwood wronged a lot of people during his now-defunct tenure on House of Cards. It's almost impossible to quantify how much blood is on his hands at this point, but one person's fate at his hands still remains unclear. As you refresh before Season 6 premieres, it's important to remember what happened to Cathy Durant in House of Cards Season 5.
As you might remember, the Secretary of State took quite the tumble down the stairs after Frank pushed her. It happened right around the time Frank’s carefully curated empire was crumbling around him, and Cathy simply knew too much about some of his shady dealings. She became a liability, and in one of Frank’s less well-thought out moments, he sent her toppling the moment they were out of sight of anyone else. It initially seemed like she was going to die from the fall, but newscasters at the end of Season 5 spoke about her condition as if there were a possibility of recovery.
The House of Cards fan wiki also lists her status as “alive/hospitalized,” so presumably viewers will find out more about her condition as Season 6 gets into full swing, and depending on how much she remembers, it could spell disaster for Claire.
Tossing Cathy down the steps was definitely one of Frank’s more puzzling moves — he’s usually so much more calculating and sure that there would be no loose ends. There was no way Cathy’s fall guaranteed she would die, and she’ll definitely remember who pushed her if she wakes up.
Some fans were pretty peeved that Frank took this course of action, claiming it was sloppy writing that was out of character. “I thought it was some of the sloppiest writing the show has done,” wrote Reddit user jedi21knight. I never thought the fall was far enough to kill her so she will come back and tell everything she knows and they will both go down in flames.” Some suggested that Cathy would die in the hospital or while otherwise recovering from the fall. If she hit her head, that could prove lethal, even if she didn’t make that huge of a drop.
Frank’s long gone now, but that doesn’t mean Cathy couldn’t shake things up if she recovers and returns. Though Cathy can’t really harm his continued legacy in the sense that she might have before, she could still tarnish all that remains of his reputation, and in doing so, complicate things for Claire and her presidency.
It would be hard for anyone to believe that Claire is completely innocent in anything to do with Frank. He kept secrets from her, yes — but she was at least some kind of accomplice to Frank throughout plenty of wrongdoing, even if that just meant turning a blind eye. At this point, especially now that she’s under more scrutiny than ever before, things that bode ill for Frank could certainly bode ill for Claire. Cathy Durant remains a loose end for now, and neither Underwood has ever let those linger for long.