Netflix might have released the entire third season of “House of Cards” last week but according to a recent Twitter Q&A, which took place Monday afternoon, fans of the political thriller are still craving more, more, more from the critically acclaimed drama. Inquisitive viewers took to social media with the hopes of having a few of their burning Season 3 inquiries answered by the cast and crew of the Beau Willimon created series. And can you guess what a majority of those questions entailed? The surprising plot line of Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), of course!
Spoiler Alert: Don’t continue reading if you have not seen Season 3 of “House of Cards.”
Viewers’ Doug-themed questions ranged from his motives behind killing Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan) to discussions about the Chief of Staff’s bone-chilling self-medicated practices. However, the conversation we were more inclined to watch unfold was learning why Willimon had decided to keep Doug alive instead of killing the beloved character off à la Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara).
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Willimon unveiled why he chose to revive Doug in the shocking Season 3 premiere of “HoC.”
“That was always the plan,” he said of having Doug survive getting bludgeoned by Rachel with a rock. “Although the initial discussion at the very beginning of breaking Season 2, there was a debate.”
Willimon explained that the discussion regarding Doug’s fate stemmed from the brainstorming of how they were going to tie up the loose ends of Season 2 (i.e. Rachel). “So the way your mind naturally goes is by the end of season 2 he’s gotta kill Rachel. And that was a strong dramatic idea, but when we have a strong idea my first impulse is, what is the opposite of that idea?” Willimon asked before answering his own question that the reversal of that story line is to have Rachel kill him.
The EP then set the scene, explaining that the entire writer’s staff went silent with the mention of killing off Kelly’s character. “It hit us in the gut, and we knew that if it hit us like that, we are compelled to do it,” he told EW.
But instead of having Rachel murder Doug, they found a way to “have their cake and eat it too.” Willimon divulged that the Season 2 finale left fans wondering if Doug was alive or not, “probably leaning toward dead,” which satisfied his hunger for a creative twist by "killing" Doug and then completing the character's complex story line in Season 3.
Kelly explained that he was in awe of his character's Season 3 subplot, which involved Doug's recovery, considering he was convinced that his character had bit the dust. “When I got the first script, I was honored they’d put that much trust in me,” Kelly gushed to Variety. “It was taking Stamper and turning him on his head, almost changing the character."
Were you surprised with Season 3’s twist? Sound off in the comments section below with your thoughts of the third installment of “House of Cards," which you can now stream on Netflix.