Everything You Need To Know Before Watching 'House Of Cards' Season 2

Netflix will release season 2 of “House of Cards” in the US this weekend.

If you’ve never watched the Emmy-winning political thriller or haven’t had time to catch up, here’s a refresher course before all 13 episodes are released.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead.

Kevin Spacey plays White House majority WHIP Frank Underwood, a manipulative, conniving force in Washington you don't want to double cross.

After getting the president elected, he's expecting a big nomination for Secretary of State in return.

Only, it doesn't happen! President Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) elects someone else and Frank takes the betrayal very personal.

He lays out a revenge plan to take down the administration from the inside.

This involves Frank's wife, Claire (Robin Wright) ...

... and leaking stories about his rivals to a hungry, young, naive journalist, Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara).

She and Frank eventually mix work and play, something Mrs. Underwood knows about -- and is apparently ok with as long as it helps them politically.

To get what he wants, Frank blackmails this guy, Pennsylvania congressman Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), a known alcoholic and drug user ...

... into helping him take down the current Secretary of State candidate while putting an education bill into play that grows Underwood's stature.

With the Governor of Pennsylvania the new VP, Underwood decides to clean up Russo in order to have him fill the position.

However, he never intends for him to win. Eventually, Underwood forces Russo back to his addictions.

His plan backfires when Russo wants to straighten out his act and confess all his wrongdoings.

Frank can't have that so he murders Russo while making it look like a suicide.

With Peter dead, Frank pushes the VP to take back his governorship.

With the spot open, Frank prepares (once again) for a nomination from the president.

It doesn't come. President Walker says he's looking to tap his friend billionaire Raymond Tusk for VP.

Raymond Tusk.

In short, Tusk is really vetting Frank for the position.

Now that Frank's on top as VP, he better tread lightly.

Zoe is starting to wisen up. She has ended her profitable affair with Frank, teaming up with colleagues to investigate him.

From the trailers, it looks like the news of Russo's murder may not stay hidden forever.

A few other things to keep in mind ...

Frank's not the only power player.
His wife, Claire, has been making deals behind her husband's back and having an affair of her own. Ultimately, it's a deal made by Claire for her non-profit company that lead Frank down a path toward Russo's eventual murder.

Then there's Zoe who cashed in on Frank's tips. She climbed quickly through the ranks as a journalist, leaving The Washington Herald for Politico-style blog Slugline.

There are loose ties lingering after Russo's death.
A prostitute Russo was with before his death is in hiding, but Zoe and her reporter crew are hot on her trail.

How will Raymond Tusk, the President's friend and confidant, impact Frank's season two plans?
He may keep close ties on Frank now that he's the VP.

Now that you're caught up with 'House of Cards'...

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