10:30 am EDT, February 16, 2014

‘House of Cards’ season 2 premiere episode shocks viewers

House of Cards season 2 was released by Netflix on Friday, leaving many fans astonished after viewing just the first episode, while hooking loads of new viewers. Major spoilers included.

house of cards season 2 episode 1 frankThe highly anticipated second season of Netflix’s House of Cards was released early Friday, and any fan who has watched the first episode unknowingly witnessed one of the most shocking first episodes ever seen in a TV series.

If you have not watched the first episode, this is your final warning that you should not continue reading.

Kate Mara’s character Zoe Barnes, a reporter for The Washington Herald (later joining Slugline) in season 1, was pushed in front of a speeding train during the first episode of season 2 by Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood. She was killed instantly.

In possibly one of the most shocking scenes during the beginning of a season ever, this death has fans all across the globe wondering what the showrunners were thinking as they killed off one of the major characters from the first season of House of Cards.

Zoe was an essential character in season 1. She was breaking great stories as an interesting journalist, with the help of Frank of course, but more importantly, her character had a great arc. She had distanced herself from Frank after having suspicions of him being dangerous, and she was starting to dig into the recent death of U.S. Representative Peter Russo.

But that’s exactly what caused her quick and gruesome death. She was just getting too close and asking too many questions about Frank’s whereabouts during Russo’s death as she gets thrown in front of a train in possibly one of the most unexpected deaths ever.

Of course, most of those who watched the show expected season 2 to start off strong after its first season had such an impact on viewers last year, but this was completely unexpected. Mara had been doing press rounds for the promotion of the show’s second season and she hadn’t revealed even the most minute detail that she may have such a short lifespan.

house of cards season 2 episode one train

At first it seemed like Zoe was maybe day dreaming of what would happen to her if she met up with Frank again, delving into his treacherous past, but the show kept on moving forward and it quickly sank in that she was truly dead. It was gut wrenching when her boyfriend and editor breaks down in his office after learning of her untimely death.

Watching him look at the video footage of her jumping in front of the train and having the detective say the case was over felt so final. Her character had just vanished, in the most gruesome way ever. A character that was essentially half of the show in season 1 had just been crushed by a train, nothing left but blood stains on the tracks.

Zoe is barely even mentioned by Frank after her death, except for a quick word to us as about not worrying about her as he breaks the fourth wall. According to Mara, she was aware of her character’s demise early on, while we were all left with our mouths wide open.

house of cards season 2 episode 1 kate maraThe first question that came to mind was: Did the House of Cards showrunners think they needed this big of a shock to hook new viewers?

For fans of Zoe, it was soul crushing to see her gone so quickly after being such a pivotal character, but to new viewers it must have been exciting and incredibly intriguing.

Some fans of the show have said that they’ve felt the next few episodes have dragged a little, with a bit too much political jargon making its way into the show and a little less drama than the first season.

More C-SPAN and a little less Dexter, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. You might just have to jump back a few times to remember which bill Frank is working on getting passed.

The startling first episode has made it so we’ll never know what turn House of Cards season 2 will take now that they’ve shown they’re willing to cut ties with anyone at any time.

Frank continues his climb up the political food chain, cutting down anyone in his path. He battles the president, his advisers and anyone else that gets in the way of what he wants. His wife, played brilliantly by Robin Wright, has a bombshell of her own during one of the first few episodes and proves that she’s just as cunning and calculated as her husband.

We’ll continue watching, of course, as the Netflix original series is one of the best TV shows created in quite some time, and with its third season already confirmed, we know that there will be much more to come next year. The only question is: Who will die in the first episode of House of Cards season 3?

What did you think of the shocking death of Zoe in House of Cards season 2?

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