Emmy episode analysis: Will Reg E. Cathey win for new White House job on ‘House of Cards’?

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Will Reg E. Cathey win Best Drama Guest Actor for the recurring role of Freddy Hayes on the Netflix drama, “House of Cards”? Last year, he lost this race to Joe Morton (“Scandal”), but with Morton absent this year, it’s anyone’s game. The episode Cathey submitted to Emmy judges is “Chapter 34.”

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SYNOPSIS: Following the closer of his ribs restaurant last season, Freddy has signed up for President Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) jobs program, America Works, and is now working as a dishwasher. Freddy’s boss alerts him and two of his co-workers that because the federal funds to keep them employed are being terminated, he won’t be able to keep all of them on the payroll. After Frank learns about Freddy’s situation, he summons Freddy to the White House.

Freddy shows up in the Oval Office with his grandson, DeSean, who Frank says one day could be President. Frank offers Freddy a job working on the White House staff and Freddy quickly asks about the pay and benefits. When Frank tells Freddy that he would be working in the kitchen, Freddy asks if he could have a job working in the yard since he’s been in a kitchen for most of his life. Frank easily agrees to this and sets everything up. On their way out of the White House, DeSean says that he wants to be President, but Freddy dashes those hopes, telling DeSean that it’s a foolish notion to think it would be possible for someone of their background to attain the office of President. He does reassure DeSean that it’s good to have dreams and aspirations as long as they’re not fantasies.

Will Cathey win an Emmy this time around? Let’s consider the pros and cons:


Freddy has become a fan favorite since the show debuted in 2013 and that definitely doesn’t hurt Cathey here.

Cathey’s height and deep voice bring a strong gravitas to Freddy’s character that make him very hard to ignore.

Freddy has a big rooting factor going for him and after seeing him forced to close his restaurant last season, you just want to see things work out for him.


Cathey doesn’t appear until 23 minutes into the episode and doesn’t have any dialogue until 27 minutes in.

In addition to his late appearance in the episode, his total amount of screen time is no more six minutes.

The popularity of “House of Cards” within the TV academy has decreased with the program only netting 11 nominations this year after capturing 13 last year.

Emmys 2015: Complete list of episode submissions

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Photo Credit: ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection/REX

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