Amidst an energy crisis, Francis and Tusk end their shaky alliance. Lucas must make a difficult choice. Stamper grows closer to Rachel.
Previously on House of Cards, a bunch of shit happened with Lucas being framed for cyberterrorism and thrown in prison, Frank and Tusk’s partnership continuing to deteriorate, and Claire embarking on a mission along with the First Lady to see what they can do about stopping rapes in the military and elsewhere. Let’s see what happened in “Chapter 19.”
America is in the middle of an energy crisis post-negotiations fiasco with Mr. Feng, which makes for a great opportunity for Frank to show his worth to President Walker. He suggests going to a third party source for samarium, effectively cutting China out as the middleman, and waiting for China to get with the program. Walker accepts this course of action and agrees to go hard on Tusk, who’s still trying to push his agenda on the President – but Walker backs out when things start escalating.
At home, Frank practices his baseball throwing pitch thing (bear with me, I know next to nothing about sports) with Meechum. Their bonding time is adorable, as is the story Frank tells about messing up the last time he threw a baseball during a Red Sox game.
Later, Raymond Tusk pays a visit to Frank’s home, where their alliance officially ends as Frank gives Tusk an ultimatum. That night, Frank is about to throw the first ball at the baseball game he’s been practicing for, but the lights in the stadium go out and Frank is escorted out to deal with a new problem: a power outage across the city that may or may not have been orchestrated by Tusk himself. Tusk is going down, but he’s definitely not doing it without a fight.
Man, orange is not Lucas’ color at all. He’s offered a plea deal that will mean twenty years in prison with parole in seven (egads!) Lucas’ lawyer practically begs him to take it, but Lucas refuses until he can talk to Tom Hammerschmidt, who he then asks to write an article about Frank Underwood, Zoe Barnes, and the conspiracy – hoping that the questions raised from said article would help Lucas’ case.
Tom does his research as Lucas requested, but unfortunately his search pings on Team Underwood’s radar. Doug Stamper says he’ll “handle” Tom (which will probably eventually translate to “I’ll slit his throat and dump his body somewhere no one can find), while his FBI buddy – I really need to figure out what this guy’s name is – works on silencing Lucas, by way of intimidating Janine Skorsky and eliminating any support or hope that Lucas may have. Lucas ends up taking the plea. Bye, Lucas! See you in seven years, unless Frank manages to pull off an assassination before then.
In between Claire’s crusade against sexual assault in the military, she also finds the time to drop suspicious little hints about the nature of President Walker and Christina’s relationship to Walker’s wife, Patricia. When Christina boldly approaches Tricia in the halls – at Claire’s urging – Tricia seems to not know what to make of the move.
Rachel is starting to find a place to belong with her new friend Lisa’s church, which of course means it’s right about time for Doug Stamper to show up and be a little shit. It’s great that he’s trying to protect Rachel and all – since otherwise there’s a good chance she’ll end up dead Frank Underwood Style – but Stamper’s motives are suspect. Also what kinda life does he expect Rachel to lead? The antisocial shut-in kind where the only human contact she gets is from him? Forever?
Stamper goes to Rachel’s apartment after Lucas agrees to the plea bargain, but tells her that she still can’t leave this place until he’s certain no one else (like Janine, or Tom) is going to be looking for her. Rachel calls Stamper out on his wanting to fuck her, but seems to accept it as a fact, and they don’t end up consummating his desires.
Jackie and Remy meet for drinks to discuss business, which quickly turns into a social drink, which then becomes a one-night-stand (or a fuck buddy situation, it’ll take more episodes to tell how this storyline is gonna go). Either way, I totally knew this was going to happen. There are sparks, man.
Comments + Verdict
In a show that typically goes for the slow build in terms of both plot and atmosphere, this episode felt particularly draggy. There were still a few great moments, however, and the dialogue is as deliciously dramatic as ever – it just seemed like there wasn’t much happening. The beginning of the end to the power play between Tusk and Frank should have been explosive and engaging, but the tension there fell flat. Here’s hoping the next chapter isn’t quite so dry.
Frank: The cook can’t blame the ingredients if he don’t like how they taste together.
Meechum: Comic relief pitcher.
Remy: [Tusk’s stockholders] would jump in a pit of snakes and light themselves on fire if he gave the word.
Jackie: No, I’m buying the next round. I can’t accept gifts from lobbyists without reciprocating. Plus, I’m a good wingman. This gets you more face time with the bar maid.
Frank: Two minutes with the President and Tusk may be back in his good graces. I need to interrupt the nuptials and prevent a second marriage.
FBI dude: If 35 with no parole doesn’t scare the piss out of him, I don’t know what will.
Stamper: Then don’t try to scare him. Remove hope from the equation.
Frank: I know you don’t want to shake my hand, so we’ll skip that part.
Frank: The gift of a good liar is making people think you lack a talent for lying.
Frank: I’m the Vice President, now, Raymond. I don’t cry over what happened in kindergarten.
Janine: Take the plea. Be good. Get out early.
Lucas: Everybody… everybody’s fucked me.
Janine: If I was trying to fuck you, I wouldn’t be here.
Lucas: He’s gonna get away with it, isn’t he?
Janine: Yes. He is.