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Sunday, March 9, 2014
Episode Summary: Congressman Francis Underwood and the team that wrote the new draft of the Education Reform Act meet with the heads of the teachers unions. Just as one of his staff members predicted, the section that imposes performance evaluation on teachers becomes the subject of contention. Francis argues that it is the intention of the Administration to have performance testing and comes up with a compromise of decreasing the frequency of the evaluation. The heads of the unions are adamant about not having any kind of performance evaluation imposed upon the teachers. However, the AFT spokesperson, Marty Spinella, shows willingness to accept the new requirement given that veteran teachers are exempt from testing if they have a proven record of excellence with the students. Regrettably, a matter far removed from the education bill he is trying to pass has called the attention of Francis leading him to excuse himself from the vital meeting with the teachers unions.
Francis learns that Oren Chase, the county administrator of his home district has made a public statement blaming him for the tragic death of a teen. Jessica Masters, a 17-year-old girl ran off the road, after sending a vulgar text about The Peachoid to her boyfriend. The teenager lost control of the car leading to her death. To make matters worse, Oren has been importuning the parents of the teen to sue Gaffney with the personal goal of dragging Francis into the mud. The county administrator has his eye on Francis’ congressional seat and finds the tragedy his way to steal it from him. Francis finds the smear campaign ludicrous that he plans to ignore it. Doug Stamper, however, advises that despite the foolishness of the threat, it is something that they have to pacify before it spins out of control. Francis cannot afford to lose an ounce of his credibility for he needs it to get the education bill passed in congress. Doug advises that the only way to contain the potentially dangerous smear campaign is for Francis to fly down to Gaffney to speak to the parents of the teenager. Francis must now make a decision to leave the negotiation table of a high profile bill to deal with a small town tragedy. Doug explains that if the parents pursue the lawsuit against Gaffney, Francis will have to attend the trial and even testify leaving him no time or credibility to be at the forefront of the groundbreaking education bill. The Peachoid wins. Francis prepares to leave for Gaffney and he is to fly there with Ed Meechum, a new bodyguard, since his longtime bodyguard has become ill.
Zoe Barnes’ rise to fame has caught the attention of Margaret Tilden, the owner of The Washington Herald. Mrs. Tilden is friends with Catherine Durant, and she found Zoe’s profile on her friend in-depth and uncompromising. The woman has become curious of how Zoe knew of her nomination before the nominee even did. Zoe, however, would not divulge her source not even to Mrs. Tilden. The young journalist’s steadfastness impresses the woman even more that she asks Tom Hammerschmidt to move Zoe’s article to the front page of the Sunday edition.
Claire Underwood meets with Gillian Cole, the founder of World Well. It was Claire’s intention to absorb World Well, and is in fact the reason why she fired half of her staff. She needed the money to make room for Gillian’s organization. Yet, the action Claire took is the same one that is making the woman apprehensive about accepting the merger. Another issue the founder of World Well brought about is her supposition that Claire has commissioned Adam Galloway, a famous photographer, to take striking photographs for her organization. As it turns out, Claire did not have to commission Adam for those photographs for she is friends with the man. In fact, it was Claire, who made it possible for an art gallery in Chelsea to represent Adam; in return, the gallery donates thousands of dollars to CWI. Claire makes a case that CWI’s funding can help World Well, while Gillian’s expertise will benefit CWI. Later, Claire jogs through the cemetery where an old woman reproaches her for her lack of respect for the dead. The encounter disconcerted the stern and insensitive founder of the charitable organization.
Francis arrives in Gaffney, a town he hated when he was a kid, but one he had come to appreciate for it reminds him of how far up in the world he had gone. He meets with Gene Clancy, the mayor, at the scene of the accident. They stare at the object that has taken the blame, The Peachoid. The mayor tells him that the town does not have the money for the lawsuit. Francis very much aware of the reason why Gaffney is in danger of facing a lawsuit confronts the man who proposed it, Oren Chase. It appears that the unprepossessing water tower did have a hand on the quagmire. The Peachoid was the one that helped Francis win against Oren in the last elections. Francis turned the Peach Farmers against Oren when he proposed tearing The Peachoid down. The same water tower that kept his seat in congress can be his undoing, because Oren is adamant about putting the blame on Francis for the simple fact that he fought to keep The Peachoid standing. Aware of Oren’s main goal, Francis offers him a seat in congress eyeing the seat of a retiring congressman, but Oren refuses to make a deal. Francis meets with Gaffney’s government officials to discuss their options. They, however, are split with half wanting Gaffney to go to court, while the other unwilling to accept the blame. The fact of the matter is that the negligence of the teenager caused her death, but Francis knows that the jury will sympathize with the victim despite her texting while driving. With no solution at hand, Francis takes charge and comes up with settlement money to appease the grieving parents. He instructs one of the officials to build two billboards beside The Peachoid warning drivers about texting behind the wheel. Moreover, he instructs them not to light the water tower at night, and to use the money for its electric bill to start a scholarship fund in the victim’s name instead. Given the large electric bill The Peachoid incurs, Francis is certain that the peach farmers will agree to its remaining unlit at night when the town officials have them pay the bill.
Miles away from the negotiating table, Francis finds himself explaining the statutes of the education bill over the phone. The performance evaluation remains to be the subject of contention. Although the teachers unions have agreed to keep it in the bill, they demand to be part of the selection of the council of experts that will determine the criteria for evaluation. With the teachers unions agreeing to the performance evaluation, they move on to another disputable topic that is charter schools. As expected, the unions reject charter schools. The teachers unions have threatened to go on strike if the bill supports charter schools. They oppose the idea of using public funds for non-public spending. Francis, however, makes it clear that the creation of charter schools is the cornerstone of the bill. Marty appears willing to accept charter schools, but he would like to discuss ways to reduce non-public spending.
A sober Peter Russo has dinner with Christina Gallagher at a fancy restaurant where his girlfriend and staff member informs him that she was offered a job as Deputy L.D. at the Speaker’s office. Although Peter was saddened at the idea of losing Christina, he gives his full support to his girlfriend. They return to the apartment and Peter’s mind is still preoccupied with Christina’s news at dinner. Peter finds a small bag of cocaine in his toiletries bag, but he throws it down the drain instead of using it. He then tells his girlfriend how he really feels about her taking the job at the Speaker’s office. Peter admits that it is selfish of him to prevent her from taking the step to further her career, but he nonetheless pleads her not to take it. The next day, Christina is alarmed to find Peter out of bed. She finds him at the dining table uncharacteristically hard at work on a weekend with the BRAC Commission. Christina finds that her potential departure is still looming over their heads. She makes it clear to Peter that her decision will be based on what she wants and not on what he wants. Peter understands her desire and they put the issue to rest.
Francis attends the vigil in memoriam of the deceased teenager to express his condolences. Mr. Masters receives Francis rudely making it clear that he finds him to blame, and the reason why he does so becomes clear when Oren appears to advise the Masters against speaking to Francis given their pending lawsuit. With the head of the household unwilling to accept Francis’ thoughtful gesture, Francis is left to accept his dismissal. He, however, sees the Reverend among the crowd and asks him a favor. The hours Francis spent away from the negotiating table gave the teachers unions time to put forth a case against charter schools and performance evaluation. They argue that charter schools jeopardize their ability to organize. The unions would like a more demanding performance evaluation of charter schools afraid that their success will highlight the failure of regular public schools. Marty tries to hide the ulterior motive that the unions have inadvertently made clear with a statement that federal funds should only go to public union school districts. Francis argues that they had already agreed to increase non-charter funding making the issue of charter schools getting federal funds negligible. Marty contends that even a trivial amount will set a precedent and that is the cause of their discontent.
Tired with negotiating, Francis asks one of the representatives to walk them through the process of determining the amount of funding and then he puts them on mute that he may speak with his wife. He found his wife’s call a welcome distraction. Having admired the tulips in their front yard, he asks his wife about them and becomes even more pleased to hear that Claire had planted them last fall when he was in Spartanburg for a fundraiser. The thought of his urbane wife on her knees in the dirt thrilled him. Meanwhile, the incident with the woman at the cemetery continues to bother Claire and she was in the middle of imparting the episode to her husband when Francis receives a text from Zoe. Francis informing his wife of the text made Claire forego her sharing in spite of Francis’ insistence that she go on with her story. Zoe explains her cryptic text as the number of hours that elapsed since they last spoke. She flirts with the man that feeds her information desperately trying to please him.
Francis watches Starting Point on CNN following Zoe’s suggestion and sees her discussing sexism with Soledad O’Brien having brought up the issue in her profile of Catherine Durant. He finds a gracious Zoe Barnes acknowledging her colleague Janine Skorsky for being the first woman at The Washington Herald to become chief political correspondent. She somehow alludes to the newspaper’s non-progressive management despite her insistence that The Herald is in fact progressive. The allusion to The Herald’s traditional management led Soledad O’Brien to point out that the newspaper’s model may not be suitable to the Internet age, which has become apparent in its declining readership. Zoe well known for criticizing The Herald for its traditional journalism seems to have purposely directed Soledad O’Brien to a path that would lead her to agree that The Washington Herald has not done enough to adapt to the current demand. Tom is aghast at the interview Zoe gave at CNN. He reproaches her for being the news when her job is to report the news. Moreover, he disapproves of Zoe oversharing the activities and personalities in their newspaper. Having been imposed upon rules, Zoe quickly feels denigrated, because of her age and gender. Tom unafraid of accusations of sexism adds to the rules he wants Zoe to abide by and he prohibits her from doing TV interviews for a month.
The favor Frank had asked of the Reverend becomes known when the Reverend calls him to speak a few words during Sunday service. The Masters are part of the congregation and are in the front row. Francis makes a show of foregoing his plan to read from the Bible to talk instead about hate. He speaks of the anger that must be consuming the Masters given the terrible loss of their child. He then offers a personal story of his father dying young of a heart attack and the hatred he directed towards God for having taken his father before his time. In reality, Francis did not think much of his father neither did his mother and he did not find his passing a loss. Francis, in his eulogy, was able to direct the blame to God and away from him. Given the Masters’ faith in God, they sure are not going to question Him and they would then accept that their daughter’s death is part of God’s plan. Little did they know that the eulogy is part of Francis’ plan. The Masters find themselves at Francis’ home waiting for him to bring out refreshments unaware that Francis is on the phone with Marty convincing him to prevent the teachers unions from walking out of the negotiations with a promise of leniency on the performance standards. With Marty and Stamper holding the fort, Francis attends to the Masters. He had invited them to his home to offer them a sizeable settlement with the pretense of helping them avoid years of court battles that will only dredge up painful feelings surrounding their loss. Moreover, Francis informs them of having spoken with the president of the university where Jessica was supposed to study and having agreed to create a new scholarship program in her name. He also informs the Masters of having put up safety measures to prevent another tragedy from happening. This, however, only incensed Mr. Masters stating that the safety measures should have been put in place long before the tragic accident of his daughter. Francis then offers him his resignation if it will appease Mr. Masters. He makes a display of wanting to work for them. He knows his people as those that take pride in their humility, and it is through this that Francis had the Masters accept his generous offers. Francis and the Mayor of Gaffney return to Oren Chase’s house with the findings that Jessica Masters would have survived the car crash if her car did not roll over three times down a 20-foot ditch. Regrettably, there were no guardrails on the road, because Oren, the county administrator, did not build them. To add to his misfortune for coming against Francis, he is now on the verge of losing his house, because Francis and the mayor will no longer fight Piedmont Electric when they apply to bring power lines through Gaffney. The power lines will go through Oren’s lot. Francis, however, is willing to put everything behind them and let Oren keep his house if he agrees to accept the seat in the fourth district allowing Francis to keep the fifth congressional district.
Not having heard back from Gillian, Claire takes it upon herself to drop by the woman’s apartment. Gillian’s illness is in fact a Giardia infection. Claire guessed that the woman does not have health insurance and insisted that Gillian see her doctor. The truth of the matter is Gillian has become accustomed to being sick and she finds Giardia as the least concerning of all the illnesses she sustained from the trips to destitute towns. Claire finds that the woman is willing to make sacrifices knowing that Gillian turned down a six-figure salary at Google to start her own non-profit organization. Gillian confesses the real reason for her turning the profitable job. She would have hated herself for being a corporate sellout. She finds that her Stanford degree is worth more than allowing Google fill its diversity quota. Claire does not see Gillian as just any Asian girl with a Stanford degree. She finds her a woman with a clear goal and she wants to enable her to reach this goal on Gillian’s terms. It was this assurance that made Gillian accept Claire’s offer to work together.
Having succeeded in pacifying the Masters, Francis makes his way home without forgetting to pick tulips to bring home to his wife. He receives a call from Zoe on his drive to the airport. The young woman wants his advice on whether to accept the interview with Nightline after her superior prohibited her from doing TV interviews for a month. He need not give her advice, because Zoe truly wants to appear on Nightline and would do so despite Tom’s orders. Francis goes directly to the negotiating table upon his return leaving Ed to bring the tulips to Claire, but the woman is not home. Claire went on a stroll at the cemetery where she finds a couple making out on top of a grave, an act that is much more disrespectful than her jog through the graveyard. The sight made her smile.
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Sunday, March 2, 2014
Episode Summary: Lane Pryce finds a wallet in a taxicab and takes it upon himself to see its return. He arrives at his office only to receive a call from his anxious wife wanting to get assurance that their son, Nigel, will be enrolled at St. Paul’s in the fall. Rebecca Pryce’s call comes from her finding in the mail a letter that threatened the dismissal of their child from school if their financial obligation has not been met. Lane assures his wife that the letter is nothing but a school’s way to force parents to pay earlier than necessary. Rebecca seems oblivious to their finances as she asks Lane to ask Megan for her real estate agent and her decorator.
Joan Holloway Harris arrives to find her baby in the arms of a filthy plumber. Joan could not hide her disapproval that her mother made it a point to express her disappointment with her rudeness. If Joan had initially expressed her gratitude for having her mother help with the newborn, she now challenges her to leave for home. Incensed at her daughter, Gail Holloway shows Joan the ad from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce declaring them as an equal opportunity employer. Joan finds it odd that the ad was placed on the advertising column instead of the want ads section. Moreover, she notes that the agency does not have money to hire more employees. Gail points out that the ad was meant to look for Joan’s replacement without her finding out. Joan refuses to believe her mother’s assumption noting that Megan Draper had invited her to Don’s party. Gail reminds her that the invitation came at the last minute.
Don Draper and Megan Draper arrive at the office minus the bliss. Roger Sterling sees him arrive and imitates Megan’s sultry song and dance leading Don to warn him about mocking his wife. They make their way to a partners’ meeting that Pete Campbell purposely called to transpire in his office forcing four grown men to squeeze in his couch. He has called the meeting to announce that Mohawk Airlines has decided to return to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. However, the main purpose of the meeting is to emphasize the unsatisfactory layout of his office, one that is unsuitable for someone in his position given that he has brought in the most accounts. Pete wants Roger’s office, but the senior partner refuses to accept his demand. Nonetheless, Pete needs a better office before he meets with the clients from Mohawk Airlines.
Don passes by the pantry and receives praise for Saturday night’s party from Stan Rizzo and Harry Crane. Stan and Harry continue discussing the party especially Megan’s seductive performance that continues to be on their minds. Harry begins sharing his fantasy about Megan when the woman arrives at the pantry without his knowledge. Stan acknowledges her presence, but Harry dismisses it as a joke and continues to describe salacious things she plans on doing to her. Unable to stand Harry’s perversion, Megan finally makes her presence known much to Harry’s chagrin, and Stan’s enjoyment. Later that day, Harry receives word from his secretary that Roger wants to speak to him at his office. Fully aware of his misbehavior, Harry becomes apprehensive of the impromptu meeting believing that Roger wanted to speak to him about the incident with Megan. Soon he learns that Pete is to take his office, but misunderstood this as him being terminated only to learn that Roger only meant for him and Pete to exchange offices. Relieved Harry confesses to have made fun of Zou Bisou Bisou and learns that Roger did as well. When the reality of the request had sunk in, Harry refuses to agree to it. Roger, however, bribes him to submission with the cash he has in his pocket. The cash amounted to a month’s worth of salary minus taxes. Pete finds Harry packing up only to learn that Roger had spoken to him about giving Pete his office. Pete is still displeased for having a bigger office was not the point he was trying to make. He wanted to drive his importance as the only person to bring in all the business. Meanwhile, Harry continues to despair the loss of his beautiful office and his anxiety over the incident with Megan resurfaces. Later, Pete admires the view of his new office and despite not getting what he really wanted accepts it as a consolation. He then gives his secretary permission to allow Roger to do what he wants and to put down an early morning appointment with Coca-Cola on his calendar. The venue will be at the coffee shop in the ferry building in Staten Island.
Lane receives a call from Delores, the girlfriend of Alex Polito, the owner of the wallet he found in a taxicab. He remembers her as the lovely young woman in the photograph that Alex keeps in his wallet. His conversation with Delores slides into inappropriateness and his offer to drop off the wallet at the woman’s house made Delores uncomfortable. Realizing the uneasiness of his proposition, Lane instead asks that Delores retrieve the wallet from his office. The woman agrees to it and Lane could not contain his delight at getting a chance to meet her. While dreaming of Delores, Lane receives an unexpected visit from Joan. The woman who is still on maternity leave decided to drop by after seeing the want ad on the newspaper. Joan is surprised to see a new receptionist at the desk. The young woman did not know her. Moreover, she learns from her that the previous receptionist is now being trained on the job Joan used to do. Joan who brought his newborn son with her receives a warm reception from her colleagues including Don, who is genuinely happy to see her. Another person ecstatic to see Joan is Roger, whose joke about wanting to see his baby troubled her until Roger clarified that the baby he was referring to is Joan.
Joan later finds herself discussing work with Lane despite her still being on leave. Lane is worried about the agency’s finances, since Heinz refused to approve the creative. He was counting on the Heinz’ payment for they were going to use the money for the production of the Christmas ads for Sugarberry and Vicks. Joan, unable to contain her dissatisfaction, brings up her supposition of being replaced after seeing the ad on the Times. Lane clarifies that the ad she saw was not really a want ad, but rather a gibe directed at Y&R. Moreover, he elucidates the sad state of the books after Joan had gone on leave and confides in her the ineptness of the two women who have temporarily taken over her job. Joan breaks down in tears at learning how much she is needed at the office. Later that day, Lane’s fantasy of meeting Delores is dashed with the arrival of Mr. Polito. The man has come instead of Delores to claim his lost wallet. Although disappointed, Lane keeps the photograph of the woman. He is in disbelief that a woman like Delores would be attracted to an unrefined, potbellied man like Mr. Polito.
Peggy Olson, who was the last person to want to hold the baby, ends up with it after everyone had to leave to attend to his or her work. Megan’s comment about them having to take care of the baby is probably better than leaving it at the steps of a church only emphasized the reason for her reluctance to hold it. To add to her unpleasant memory, Pete arrives and is equally disturbed with the sight of Peggy with a baby carriage. His arrival gave her the opportunity to pass the responsibility of looking after the baby to him. Peggy then leaves an awkward moment for another with a conversation with Megan, who begins to express her disappointment with her colleagues for their behavior during and after the party for Don. She later learns that Megan’s ire is directed at Don after she alluded to his distaste of the surprise party she organized. Peggy then uses her obnoxious comment at the party as an excuse to bring up Megan’s displeasure, which she attributes to Don’s dissatisfaction towards the party. Learning of this and Megan’s flight home, Don wastes no time to be with his wife. He, however, did not come home to apologize. He finds his wife upset and begins to clean their filthy house in her underwear. Her defiance and the sight of her half-naked arouse him that the two make passionate love on the floor of the living room. After they are done, Don tells his wife that the only reason he disliked the party is that he did not want his colleagues in their home. He makes it clear to her that the problems they have in the office have been there before her. Megan, however, could not help but wonder if working alongside her husband is a good idea. Don does not care about work. He wants Megan at work, because he wants her. Conversely, Don wants Megan to have what she wants. Husband and wife, once again arrive at the office with the same devotion as before.
They were surprised at the sight of numerous African Americans at reception hoping to land a job at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Inside, the partners are confounded as how to address the situation. The person responsible for the ad is nowhere in sight for Roger is at Staten Island for a supposed 6 A.M. meeting with Coca-Cola. He, nonetheless, arrives in time to find the applicants at the reception and could not help but smile at the reason for their presence. Afraid of becoming the subject of a protest, Don suggests that they just hire one, but Lane contends that they cannot hire anyone now. Pete suggests terminating the new receptionist, but Roger makes it clear that they cannot have an African American be at the front desk. Soon, the receptionist enters with an African American artifact that Y&R sent along with a racist resume. The partners meet with the applicants with a statement that they are only accepting resumes for a secretarial job position, and make a promise to schedule an interview on applicants that meet their qualifications.
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Sunday, February 23, 2014
Episode Summary: Representative Francis Underwood meets with Speaker Birch and Congressman Rasmussen to discuss the week’s agenda, but there appears to be only one item on their agenda, the cleanup of the education bill that the media revealed as far left of center. The discussion is fruitless, as neither the Speaker nor the Majority Leader can offer a plan that will effectively resolve the gaffe. Remy Danton, Francis’ former press secretary, interrupts the excruciating lunch meeting. Francis introduces him to the politicians and informs them of his making partner at Glendon Hill. Remy is in charge of one of Glendon Hill’s major clients, SanCorp Industries. The natural gas company, SanCorp Industries, funds Francis’ office in exchange for his loyalty. The recent passing over of Francis as Secretary of State has made the natural gas company leery of their deal for they were counting on his nomination to secure the offshore drilling accounts in Argentina. SanCorp Industries has come to collect the millions they already spent on Francis after believing his promises, Francis assures Remy that he is working on solving the problem that prevented him from fulfilling his side of the bargain. Despite Remy’s current hold over him, Francis finds Remy’s choice to leave politics for money disappointing, because he believes that real power is in governance. Moreover, he believes that power is lasting, while money is unenduring.
Given the scandalous expose of Donald Blythe’s draft on The Washington Herald, Linda Vasquez assigns the tedious task of producing the promised education bill to Francis. He is to get the reformed bill to the floor in the first hundred days of President Garrett Walker’s administration. Francis assembles a group of six, young congressional staff members his fellow congressional representatives chose to work on the education bill. Although troubled with the impossible deadline, the group acquiesces to their assignment. Donald meets with Francis to discuss damage control. Francis puts on a show of taking the blame for the fiasco knowing that Donald will take the route of the martyr and accept the blame. Moreover, Donald declares that Francis must be the one to author the much awaited education bill. He is obviously unaware that Francis already has a team working on a new draft as they speak. Donald meets with the press to announce his decision to relinquish management of the Education Reform Act. In addition, he declares Frank Underwood as his replacement.
Francis meets with Zoe Barnes to seek her help dispatching a senator. He shares with her the editorial on the Camp David Accords that called for President Carter to instruct Israel to withdraw all its citizens from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank adding that the Israelis illegally occupied those territories. The incendiary editorial was published on a paper where Michael Kern was editor. He, however, did not personally write the article. Even Zoe finds the link to be thin, but Francis believes that it is enough to discredit Michael as a formidable candidate for Secretary of State especially since the administration has made the Middle East the priority of its foreign policy. Zoe continues to resist publishing the story believing that it will fall apart with a simple denial from Michael Kern, but Francis threatens her for her reluctance. Surrendering to his threat, Zoe submits the story to Lucas Goodwin, who shares the same opinion she had. She finds herself providing the same argument Francis gave her. The article is only meant to question the soundness of Michael Kern’s nomination for Secretary of State.
Francis watches Michael express his opinion regarding Israel and Palestine on ABC News and finds that the man has been coached to use Francis’ idea of a trickle-down diplomacy. Soon, Michael finds himself being asked about an editorial that ran in the Williams College Register where he was editor at the time the article was published. Although Michael’s press secretary managed to ignore Zoe’s requests for comment, Michael could not find a way to evade the issue now that George Stephanopoulos had brought up the article that he notes will be on the front page of The Washington Herald. Michael denies writing the editorial, but does not refute having approved its publishing. He notes that the publication of articles go through a voting process. Michael puts himself in a quandary when he was unable to say that he did not support the opinion of the editorial that found Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as illegal. To make matters worse, Michael laughs at the insinuation instead of refuting it. George Stephanopoulos grills Michael Kern until the nominee of the Secretary of State is left with a gaping mouth unable to defend himself. It was just what Francis wanted to achieve when he had Zoe write the controversial article. Doug Stamper finding a burnout, libertarian writer on Michael’s college editorial staff will cement their case against Michael. Francis and Stamper find Peter Russo to be the perfect person to speak with Michael’s former staff turned drug fiend writer living in a trailer park.
Peter receives a call past midnight and makes an excuse to his girlfriend about meeting with Congressman Wilensky to go over tax incentives. In reality, he meets with Stamper to give him instructions on an assignment he needs to complete that day. He boards the plane as per his instructions and spends the time reading the conspiracy blog of Roy Kapeniak. Soon after his plane arrives, Peter rents a car from Enterprise and drives to a trailer park where Roy resides. Peter gets a door slammed at his face after introducing himself as Congressman Peter Russo. He, however, coaxes Roy to speaking with him after declaring himself a fan of his web site bearing a bottle of hard liquor as a gift. Roy becomes nervous after Peter sits on a bong only to learn that the congressman is into illegal drugs as well. While Peter is at a trailer park in the Berkshires, Stamper is arranging for the silence of the prostitute Peter was with the night he was arrested. The prostitute knows very well that Peter is a congressman and for ten grand, she is to forget about the congressman and his arrest. For a few extra bucks, she performs her services to Stamper.
Francis checks on the team working on the draft of the Education Reform Act, finds them toiling over it, and still wearing the same clothes they had the day he assigned them the task. The team has not left the room in half a week, but they have made significant progress. They, however, are unsure about including performance standards in the bill certain that the teachers unions will disapprove of it. Francis instructs the team to leave it in the bill and assures them that he will handle the unions. He later joins Stamper in watching Michael Kern’s undoing on a video posted on CNN’s web site that showed the State Secretary nominee laughing at the issue of Israel’s supposed illegal occupation of Palestine. Dennis Mendel, the president of the Anti-Defamation League, whom Francis called soon after Michael’s interview, labels Michael Kern an anti-Semite and expresses his concern of having him appointed as Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Peter speaks with Roy over alcohol and illegal drugs about the article that started Michael’s undoing. Roy, however, states that Michael had no hand in the controversial article for he wrote every word of it. He, however, did say that Michael used to share the same opinions as his, but all those he put behind him when he saw that he has a future in political office. Peter wants Roy to make a statement that Michael wrote the college article calling Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank illegal.
Evelyn Baxter speaks to Claire Underwood about the termination of a majority of their employees and her continued reluctance to proceed with it. Evelyn expresses her regret at Claire’s decision to change the direction of the organization they spent ten years building. Moreover, she conveys her disapproval of the terminations believing the act to be cruel, but Claire is only interested in knowing whether there are legal repercussions to the dismissals and is relieved to know that there is none. Evelyn following her superior’s orders proceeds with the terminations only to learn that she too is to leave the organization. Claire made the decision after hearing of Evelyn’s disapproval of her direction, but only decided to dismiss her after Evelyn has done the grueling task of terminating eighteen employees. Evelyn now experiences self-pity after letting herself be used and begins to worry about her future. She believes that there is not a company that will hire a woman of her age. Claire decides to address the remaining employees to explain the demoralizing recent events in their organization. She acknowledges that those who were asked to leave helped build CWI from the ground up, but she makes it clear that their organization has to evolve and in order to do that she had to make way for new people. The remaining employees despite their silence did not receive the address well. Later, Claire buys a medium decaf latte. She is reminded of Evelyn after a cashier around the same age as Evelyn struggles with her order. The woman’s manager who could be the cashier’s daughter helps the poor woman with the order.
Tom Hammerschmidt meets with his senior journalists and asks Janine Skorsky about the Michael Kern story, but learns that the White House has been avoiding questions regarding the State Secretary nominee. Zoe, very much aware of the lack of links between the college article and Michael Kern, interrupts the meeting with news of having found a direct link from Kern to the editorial. She names Roy Kapeniak, Kern’s classmate, saying on record that Michael Kern wrote every word of the editorial. Her news caused the editor-in-chief to dismiss abruptly his meeting with the senior journalists so that he, Zoe, Lucas, and Janine can discuss the new development. Michael Kern speaks to the press to state definitively that he did not author the controversial editorial. He did this in response to the news of Roy Kapeniak’s claim that Michael was the author of the anti-Israel editorial. Michael struggling to appease angry Israelis inadvertently upset Palestinians after stating that there cannot be a Palestine without Israel. CNN wasted no time to get a comment from the Jordanian ambassador incensed with Kern’s statement reminding the senator that there was a Palestine long before there was an Israel. Having watched Michael Kern’s downfall, Francis calls Cathy to prepare her for her rise as the new Secretary of State nominee. Meanwhile, Peter Russo, the man that made all of this possible arrives at his office undeniably intoxicated much to the horror of her senior staff and girlfriend, Christina Gallagher.
Francis meets Zoe to feed her the news of Kern’s withdrawal as a candidate for Secretary of State. Conversely, the story he wants her to write is Senator Catherine Durant’s nomination as State Secretary in place of Michael Kern. Zoe comes to a realization that it was Francis, who found the Roy Kapeniak that eventually led to Kern’s immediate downfall. Francis wants Zoe to make a stir over her prediction of Catherine Durant’s appointment believing that the kerfuffle will lead the President of the United States to consider seriously nominating her as Secretary of State. True enough, her prediction has caught the attention of the media and the nation as a Zogby poll found wide support for Durant across party lines. Durant’s ten-year tenure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and diplomatic experience make her a distinguished candidate for the position. The media and politicians alike agree that Catherine Durant is the right choice so much so that they have already begun to criticize the President’s dillydallying of her nomination.
While the news is clogged with stories surrounding the appointment of a Secretary of State, Francis’ team is hard at work producing the first draft of the Education Reform Act. After days of ceaseless work, the team has produced a draft that will make history impressing the President’s Chief of Staff tremendously. With Linda eating out of Francis’ hand, he redirects their meeting to the Secretary of State nomination. Linda confesses that Catherine was not even being considered as a nominee until the media was led to believe that she has been tapped for the job. The news surrounding her nomination led the President to consider her as a candidate, but Linda has reservations about Catherine knowing that the woman campaigned against the President in the last elections. Francis, however, believes that the moment the woman shows herself to be above party politics is the time she would work all the harder for it. This and her unquestionable experience in foreign policy make her a candidate worth considering.
Janine begins to wonder about Zoe’s luck enough to make her believe that the young journalist is sleeping with somebody important to have had this much good fortune. Her controversial articles had in fact led Zoe into the limelight turning her from an unknown Metro scrub into a sought after journalist giving a TV interview about her success as a newsmaker. Francis sees her interview and he could not contain a smile for his hand at her rise to stardom. Having followed the turbulent events surrounding the appointment of a new Secretary of State, Remy Danton waits for him outside. He only has one question in mind. Will Catherine Durant favor SanCorp Industries? Francis is very confident that she will. Outside, the police try to pacify a disheveled man who began to scream and tear off his clothes after being denied entrance to the Capitol. Francis walks over to the still screaming man who is now handcuffed to a streetlamp. He tells the man that nobody can hear his screams and nobody cares about him so he might as well surrender to the police and let them take him home. Francis too makes his way home and his wife finds him in the basement breaking in the rowing machine Claire bought him. Claire is pleased to see that her husband has finally used the machine that had infuriated him before feeling that his wife has overstepped her boundary.
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