(Spoilers for Episode 6-13 of House of Cards Season 4.) After the murder of Rachel Posner, poor, obsessive Doug Stamper has no one to set his life on fire for in Season 4 — until Lauren Moretti comes along, that is. Doug takes a very quick fascination to this woman in the photos of a memorial page online, but who is Lauren Moretti on House of Cards and why does Doug seem to care so much about her?
Lauren is the wife of Anthony Moretti, the father of two on the liver transplant list who died because Doug threatened the Secretary of Health and Human Services into bumping Frank up to the number one slot after Lucas Goodwin attempted to assassinate him. They find each other because the Secretary of Health and Human Services dragged Doug into her office to show him the man they basically let die to save Frank.
Doug obviously doesn't have time for that melodrama and blows the Secretary of Health off, making you wonder if he has any heart at all. Later on the campaign trail, in a deep well of his miserable impotence, failure, and self-loathing, Doug searches for Anthony Moretti online and finds his memorial donation fund. Again and again, we see Doug revisiting the page, reading all the comments, and totally creepily checking out photos of the Anthony's widow, Lauren. We see the same longing look in his eye that Rachel Posner constantly elicited from him, and it becomes clear: Doug is developing another one of his all-consuming, self-destructive, irrationally intense crushes.
Doug donates $5,000 to Anthony Moretti's fund — out of guilt, maybe — but probably more to put himself on Lauren's radar. It works. She leaves him an appreciative voicemail, telling him that it's their biggest donation by a mile, and she offers to have coffee with him sometime.
On their coffee date, Lauren starts to get emotional while talking about her husband. He's totally getting off here on the masochism of watching a widow grieve over the husband he had a hand in killing, plus he gets more fodder for his self-flagellation. I bet he also has some notion of "rescuing" her with the sizable donation he gave. For her part, Lauren seems like a vulnerable widow, totally ripe to fall victim to Doug's seemingly caring, but eventually intense, overbearing, and abusive attention.
However, Doug continues to see Lauren. Like, see see her. Maybe Doug actually — bizarrly — found a relationship that is healthy for him? Although, who knows if that's even possible when the relationship is grounded on the fact that Doug had a hand in her husband's death. Something tells me she wouldn't be really happy to find out that small factoid.