Today, Netflix announced that it would resume production of House of Cards early next year without its star, Kevin Spacey, who was fired after allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed actor Anthony Rapp in 1986, when Rapp was just 14 years old. The final season, as USA Today reports, will contain eight episodes instead of the usual thirteen, and focus on Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood, who ascended to the presidency after her husband’s resignation in season 5.
Of course, this announcement begs the inevitable question: what will the showrunners do with their former protagonist, Frank Underwood, now that the actor portraying him has been banished from the project?
We have some ideas on how they’ll explain away his disappearance...
9:1: Frank leaves politics altogether and becomes a recluse, only leaving his workshop, where he meticulously paints his little model battlefields, to smoke the occasional windowsill cig.
12:1: In a moment of karmic retribution, Frank trips and falls in front of a moving subway train. Somewhere in heaven, Zoe Barnes cackles.
25:1: Freddy Hayes comes over to the White House with a rack of his famous ribs. With Shakespearean flourish, Frank chokes on the rib meat and dies in a puddle of BBQ sauce and used napkins.
30:1: Doug Stamper finally cracks, and in a fit of drunken rage beats his boss to death with his old cane. Then he goes home and has emotionless sex with a nameless widow who for some reason is, like, totally enjoying this?
45:1: Claire Underwood locks him in a room next to the Oval Office with Call of Duty, where he lives out the remainder of her presidency defeating video game Nazis with his new online friends!
75:1: Frank raps on his desk too hard and breaks his hand. According to Claire, “he is in the hospital recovering from his broken hand” for the entirety of the 6th season.
150:1: Frank gets trapped in the underground command center. Whenever anyone asks Claire where her husband is, she just goes: “I thought you knew?” and they go, "Wait, I thought you knew?” And everyone repeats this process until the scene ends or someone interrupts with news from Crimea and we just forget about it.
200:1: Frank and his hunky personal trainer, Eric Rawlings, skip town and make a home for themselves in a nice condo outside Baltimore, where they have just two pieces of furniture: a marital bed and a rowing machine.
10,000:1: For reasons unknown, actor Anthony Rapp, playing himself, assassinates fictional President Frank Underwood. Later, Claire pours herself a glass of wine and re-watches Rent.
1 million:1: Frank is forced out of Claire's administration for obstructing justice and bringing the country to the cusp of nuclear war with North Korea via nonsensical Twitter tirades.