(Warning: this post involves major spoilers from Episode 6 and on of House of Cards Season 4.) Frank Underwood found himself on life's chopping block in Episode 6 of House of Cards Season 4, and nothing has felt more deserved. Frank — who was clinging on to dear life because Lucas Goodwin shot him — was in need of a new liver, but found himself a couple of names down the list of donors, finally making him the one without power. But, in the midst of this will-he/won't-he live situation, something much more serious occurred. During Frank's health crisis, a teenage boy named Danny Williams committed suicide on House of Cards. As it turns out, Danny's liver went to Frank, saving his life, and also introducing a new passion project for the Underwoods — a more extensive background check for gun control.
The suicide, while shocking, felt out of place when watching Episode 6 . It was jarring when Danny was shown taking a gun out of a cabinet and shooting himself while his mom begged him to open the door, when just a scene earlier Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo were haunting Frank. Not only was it devastating to watch, but it didn't seem to fit in anywhere to the storyline at the time. But, within a few episodes, we learn that Danny's liver — and many other organs — were donated, saving the lives of Frank Underwood and others (Danny's mother gets to meet the recipients in Episode 9).
The scene is poignant. It not only sends a message about suicide, but it also makes a statement about background checks on guns. In a presentation, Claire presents three guns to the press. She explains that one of them — the one that Danny Williams used to commit suicide — was bought online without a background check. Now, Claire (with Frank's support) is working to extend a law that will require thorough background checks for gun ownership, a concept that is not far from the United States' current state of gun control.
The serious topic of gun control and more extensive background checks for those purchasing guns line up with the current landscape of gun reform. Plus, it's nice to see a project that the Underwoods actually have some investment in. A tragedy — Danny's death — did something good for them, but they don't overlook the fact that a young boy died for Frank to live. More often than not, the Underwoods are selfish. They're thinking about the next five steps to get ahead. But now, they were able to focus on something that could maybe, just maybe, melt the cockles of their cold hearts.