In Chapter 64 of House of Cards, Frank Underwood pushes Secretary of State Catherine Durant down a flight of stairs, and she subsequently disappears for the remainder of the season. So what exactly happened to Secretary Durant?
Though it initially seems as if Frank may have killed Catherine Durant, she was actually just injured in the fall. The show doesn’t really go into the aftermath of Durant’s fall too much, but it’s implied that she was merely hurt and not killed.
While we don’t know the extent of Durant’s injuries, it would not be surprising if she is in a coma in the last two episodes. After all, Secretary Durant was ready to speak out against Frank Underwood, and she obviously knows that he purposely pushed her down the stairs. If she was able to speak, there’s no reason to believe she wouldn’t be spilling the beans about Frank Underwood, and if she was doing so, we would have heard about that.
The show also talks about Durant’s condition as if there’s some question as to whether she will live or die. In Chapter 64, a news reporter on a television in the background of a scene says, “The Judiciary Committee may be hoping Secretary Durant recovers, but the rest of the world is waiting to see how the Syrian president responds to President Underwood’s line in the sand.” The use of the word “if” suggests that there is some chance Durant will not recover, which fits with the idea that she is in a coma and that her fate is something of an open question.
Later, Congressman Alex Romero says that the committee looks forward to Durant’s testimony, something he probably wouldn’t say if it didn’t look like she had a good chance of pulling through.
Going into Season 6, Secretary Catherine Durant is one of many loose ends that could come back to haunt Frank Underwood. Assuming she recovers, Durant can tell the whole world that the president tried to kill or at least seriously injure her, and even if she doesn’t remember what happened that day, she is still aware of quite a lot of illegal White House activities that she can go public with now that she’s no longer a part of the administration.
House of Cards Season 6 is expected to air in 2018.