Among the House of Cards characters looking worse for wear on Season 4 is Janine Skorsky, ex-Slugline editor, and tragic bystander in the Frank-and-Zoe murder web. Though she spent much of Season 2 trying to prove that Frank murdered Zoe, along with Lucas Goodwin, Janine eventually got too spooked by Frank's power to keep fighting, especially seeing how Lucas's crusade got him thrown in jail for 10 years. She signs an affidavit saying that none of Lucas's intel is true to stay out of trouble herself. But now, in Season 4, what is Janine Skorsky up to now? House of Cards brought back its A-list of editors after losing Goodwin, but Janine looks much worse for wear.
It looks like she's since gotten a teaching gig at a local college, which is where Tom Hammerschmidt, the former editor of the Washington Herald, finds her after Lucas's assassination attempt on the president. (Fair warning: Season 4, Episode 7 spoilers ahead!)
We learn that Lucas visited Janine asking for help when he first got out of prison, before he died trying to take out Frank. She refused him, afraid for her own life, and now feels guilty that he went on a suicide mission and got himself killed. We also see Janine growing more paranoid, popping loads of Xanax, and confiding in Tom that she sometimes sees suspicious students who look too old to be in college, who she believes are watching her. Tom, trying to be encouraging, suggests she go on the record with what she knows, but she points out the affidavit working against her. Plus, she doesn't have any proof.
One of the only things keeping Janine safe, besides her silence, is that Lucas didn't mention her in his suicide note detailing Frank's crimes, which she believes he did to protect her. It makes sense: If there's anyone who knows the dangers at stake under Underwood's presidency, it's Skorsky and Goodwin. And now that Goodwin's was killed risking it all to get the truth out, it makes Skorsky all the less likely to come forward or act on what she knows.
Unfortunately, the fact that Goodwin left her out to protect her doesn't seem to be giving her much comfort. Janine is a straight-up mess in Season 4. Will she suffer a total breakdown like Lucas and do something stupid or desperate to escape Frank's psychological stronghold? Or will Underwood find a reason to off her himself? Sadly for Tom Hammerschmidt, the least likely scenario seems to be Janine restoring her reputation by helping him bust Frank.