Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) has been one of the most intriguing characters in House of Cards from the beginning, and as season 5 continues, we get to see more of his dirty dealings as a billionaire businessman with a wide network of influence in the political world. While he may be ruthless and cutthroat, he’s not all that he seems to be, as the audience gets to know more about this mysterious character with each passing episode. Let’s take a look at what we know so far about Raymond Tusk and his true motives in season 5… Is Raymond Tusk All That He Seems?
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Is Ray really good-natured?
The evidence supports good intentions for Ray, but are there ulterior motives at play here? If so, what does he stand to gain from his philanthropy and kindhearted gestures? Is he a nice guy—or is something more sinister going on behind those charming smiles? Get ready for some shocking answers when Ray’s story takes a few unexpected turns next week on House of Cards.
Ray gives advice but…
It’s been observed that, just as many an episode of The West Wing features one-on-one time between President Bartlet and someone on his staff, there’s a similar structure to many episodes of House of Cards. Much like a serial killer in a horror movie where we learn more about him each time he kills someone, House of Cards reveals new information about characters with each passing scene. Sometimes these revelations are important; other times they can feel irrelevant or even confusing.
Ray is an unlikely friend
When Raymond Tusk is first introduced, he seems to be nothing more than a rich, eccentric business tycoon who is friends with everyone. This impression was confirmed when his role in season three became clear: He had done favors for Frank and Claire in return for their support in Pennsylvania politics. Since then, however, he has undergone a major character shift—he’s switched loyalties to become one of Frank’s greatest enemies. So what caused such a change?
Ray has sympathy for our characters
He helps Peter stop Annalise’s father from ruining her career, he gives Frank an opportunity to save his own and Michaela’s lives, etc. However, his motives remain in question. What kind of man is he? Is he all that he seems? Does he have ulterior motives for helping our characters or does it go deeper than that? Write a post about whether you think Ray has helped our characters because it was good for him or if there might be something else going on.
Ray leads and other characters follow
When House of Cards was first released, audiences were fascinated by its bold decision to have both Frank and Claire lead their party – as a tag team. As we’ve seen in real life, with Donald Trump and his inner circle of advisors, it’s a strategy that can work effectively. However, it does pose some interesting questions about leadership; more often than not one person will lead whilst another follows.
Could there be something else behind the scenes?
In last week’s episode of House of Cards, billionaire businessman Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney) warned House Majority Whip Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey): Frank, I know that in your head you believe you are better than me. Don’t act surprised when I tell you I know you are. But just because we both swallowed God doesn’t make us brothers. Be careful.
A final thought
In its four-season run on Showtime, House of Lies became a critical darling and developed quite a following—which is why it’s not entirely surprising that showrunners have decided to make season 5 their last. Although most agree that over time, HoL seemed to be in danger of becoming little more than The Office with bros, there were several seasons where it was chock full of both belly laughs and heart-pounding drama.