Even though we all obviously expect a season riddled with drama, high stakes, and even higher anxiety, there's also plenty more to be excited about: House of Cards has a ton of new cast members along for the ride in Season 4. (Season 4, Episode 1 spoilers ahead.) Aside from Governor Conway (the GOP frontrunner), Leann Harvey (Claire's ally in Texas and political insider), we meet Texas's 30 Congressional District incumbent congresswoman. But who is Doris Jones, House of Cards' key new player, and current thorn in Claire Underwood's side? If foreshadowing serves us correctly, she's about to cause a world of pain for the Underwoods in the South.
Doris Jones is the sitting Senator for the 30 Congressional District in Dallas, Texas. When we meet her, she's on the verge of giving up her seat in the Congress and passing on the position to her daughter, Celia, or so we're led to believe. Claire Underwood's plan, we come to find out, is to bypass Celia entirely and snag the Senatorship for herself as a means to set up and garner support for a bid at the governorship in Texas four years down the road. As you could expect, this is news to Jones' ears, because she was planning to retire and pass the baton on to her daughter, no questions asked. Unfortunately for Doris and her daughter, they're about to get a crash-course in life under the Underwood fist, and this is just a guess, but I doubt they're going to like it.
It's pretty obvious that Claire is up against some storied and stubborn competition. We learn from Leann Harvey that Doris Jones marched with Dr. King, and she's been serving in Congress for well over a decade. Jones seems very much someone who says what she means and who means what she says, and I like that she comes off as such a firecracker, especially compared to Claire's eternally calm, measured, and rehearsed tone. I also loved how visibly uncomfortable Claire was as Jones questioned the First Lady's seemingly overnight desire to represent Texas's 30 Congressional District in Washington. When she asks the FLOTUS when the last time she was even in the district, there's this really telling moment where Claire uncomfortably shifts in her chair before admitting that it's been years. Aside from the fact that this scene hints Jones won't back down without a fight (and is in great position to win), it provides us another look at her character: She's someone who cares deeply about the people she represents.
When Claire counters and implies that she's doing Jones' work justice — she'll be able to secure meetings with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to get funding for a breast cancer center run by Planned Parenthood in a VA hospital in Dallas — Jones fires back that though the work isn't done yet, the one thing her constituents have always been proud of is the fact that they've been "represented by one of their own." Well damn. Doris Jones came to play in Season 4.