In the Season 5 premiere of House of Cards, a major player is Joshua Masterson, a terrorist affiliated with ICO, the show’s analogue to ISIS. So who, exactly, is Joshua Masterson, and what do we know about him?
Joshua Masterson previously appeared in the final two episodes of House of Cards Season 4. In Chapters 51 and 52, an American family is kidnapped by ICO: a father, a mother, and a daughter. They want to ensure the release of Yusuf Al Ahmadi, ICO’s founder.
Masterson speaks with Frank Underwood over the phone a number of times throughout those last two episodes, with Underwood and Masterson negotiating back and forth. Underwood is eventually able to ensure the release of the mother and the daughter, but the father, James Miller, is killed.
It’s at this point that we first see Joshua Masterson on screen, as he is seen in an execution video in which he and another ICO terrorist behead James Miller, and Miller’s death is broadcast to millions of Americans. The season ends with Frank and Claire Underwood watching the execution while everyone else looks away.
Masterson is meant to be a young, impressionable kid who was recruited to ICO, much like a lot of real-life ISIS terrorists. By the time Season 4 ends, James Miller has been killed, and the ICO terrorists, including Joshua Masterson, are still at large, with the federal government sparing no expense to track them down and bring them to justice.
The character of Joshua Masterson is played by Jefferson White, a young actor who has appeared in supporting roles in a number of shows including The Americans, Law & Order, Aquarius, Elementary, Blue Bloods, How to Get Away With Murder, and Blindspot.
House of Cards‘ fifth season is currently streaming on Netflix.