Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chapter 7 Season 1 – House of Cards Episode Summary 1.7

Peter Russo divulges his deepest secretsSynopsis: Francis Underwood gains favor when President Garret Walker signs the pivotal Education Reform and Achievement Act.  His work on the keystone bill of the new administration becomes his weapon in persuading the President into endorsing, Peter Russo, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict as a candidate for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race.  Frank sets in motion the redemption story that will be the narrative of Peter’s campaign, but Peter begins to have doubts on their strategy afraid to face the consequences of revealing his secrets to his family and the public.

Episode Summary: Everyone gather in the Oval Office to attend the press conference President Garrett Walker called to announce the signing into law of the Education Reform and Achievement Act.  Vice President Jim Matthews finds himself relegated off to the side, but decides to stand beside President Garrett Walker taking over the place reserved for Representative Terry Womack.  Unwilling to stand on his designated mark despite the urging of one of the President’s staffs, Vice President Matthews soon finds himself standing behind an African American boy who represents the beneficiaries of the bill.  He feels even more marginalized as the President publicly expresses his gratitude to Congressman Francis Underwood for spearheading the Education Reform and Achievement Act.Continue reading...

Matthews later speaks to Frank about Peter Russo’s candidacy as governor of his home state.  His insecurity for DNC’s decision not to ask for his opinion regarding the candidate overwhelms the legitimacy of his doubt about Peter’s ability to draw in rural voters.  Frank tries to persuade Matthews to show his support for Peter in order to help him with his candidacy, but the Vice President is hesitant to endorse a candidate he finds unfit.  Matthews later finds himself in a meeting with Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez to convey President Walker’s order for him to take a step back from Pennsylvania.  The President has learned that the Vice President has been spending much of his time at his home state as though he is still its governor inadvertently making the White House appear partial to Pennsylvania.  Their meeting surfaces Matthews’ insecurities that stems from his marginalization in President Garrett’s administration.  His diffidence ultimately manifests with his complaint of not receiving a pen from the bill signing.  Later, Matthews sneaks into the Oval Office to sit on the president’s chair and steals a commemorative pen from his desk.

Doug Stamper returns to his office after attending an AA meeting with Peter Russo and finds a letter asking him for more money.  He meets with Rachel Posner, who hides a black eye behind dark sunglasses.  The young woman who yearns to leave the life of prostitution attempts to extort money from Stamper using the information she has about the cover-up concerning Peter’s arrest as fodder.  Stamper warns her about the consequences of blackmailing powerful men.  Rachel, at her wits’ end, begs for help from Stamper, who begins to pity the young woman.  He gives her cash to help her get a fresh start, but demands that she inform him of her whereabouts.  Stamper then extorts Police Commissioner Barney Hull into funneling funds from his mayoral campaign to finance a troubled hooker’s escape from prostitution.  Stamper uses the police commissioner’s debt of gratitude towards Frank for helping fund his campaign and the threat of the prostitute divulging the commissioner’s dismissal of Peter Russo’s arrest as ways to persuade the man into agreement.  Barney, however, is more afraid of the consequences of playing with campaign finance regulations.  After failing to coerce the police commissioner into helping him, Stamper takes the last resort and compels Frank’s secretary, Nancy Kaufberger, to take in Rachel secretly into her home for an indefinite period of time and without asking any questions.  Nancy foregoes spending a weekend with her daughter to receive Rachel in her house.  The young stranger is to sleep in her daughter’s old bedroom.

Peter arrives at the basement of the Underwoods that currently serves as his campaign headquarters.  He sits in silence as he listens to the campaign staff discuss their plan to present his story of redemption given his debauched history of drugs and alcohol.  Aside from his personal issues, they also must address the matter of the shipyard closing.  Claire Underwood and her staff are working on the Delaware River Watershed Act that will make up for the jobs lost due to the shipyard closing.  All are hard at work and progressing with their assignments except Peter whose only tasks are to keep sober, to find co-sponsors for the bill, and to get the support of the shipbuilders.  Peter argues that the proposed bill will not do much in getting the support of the shipbuilders given that the jobs it will create will not match the jobs that were lost.  His criticism of the bill annoys Claire enough for her to confide her concern to her husband who foregoes their discussion.  Frank, however, makes note of Claire’s sudden interest with origami, one she does not deny, but avoids to discuss.  In fact, Claire does not disclose the impetus of her new interest probably believing that her husband will find her compassion for the homeless man as a form of weakness.  Frank does not dwell on it as well and instead brings up her standing in front of the refrigerator.  However, Claire does not want to discuss her menopause either.

Frank arrives at Zoe’s apartment after the young journalist complains of not receiving due attention from him, a complaint that he earlier found annoying for its neediness, but now is more than willing to satiate.  Her need is twofold, one that will satiate her ambition and another that will gratify her senses with the former being greater than the latter.  Frank satisfies the former with information about an unknown congressional representative, Peter Russo, running for governor of Pennsylvania to fill the seat left open when Governor Matthews became Vice President of the United States.  He wants Zoe to write a flattering profile about the little known congressman with a sordid past.  Zoe refuses to write the profile arguing that puff pieces are beneath her.  Frank suggests that she share the privy information to another journalist and use the supposed generosity to her advantage.  Zoe eyes Janine Skorsky as the recipient of her generosity.  The former colleague would have been suspicious of the young journalist’s decision to contact her had she not thought of reaching out to her as well.   Janine confesses to have considered calling her to apologize for her rude behavior towards her when she was still at The Herald.  She shares her dissatisfaction of the new managing editor hired to replace Tom Hammerschmidt, questioning his qualifications given that the man’s primary achievement was managing an online entertainment site.  Zoe suggests to Janine about moving to Slugline and flatters her for the impact it will create given her position as Chief Political Correspondent of the more established yet less competitive newspaper, The Herald.  Janine shows interest in the unsolicited suggestion, but learns that Carly Heath, the founder of Slugline, favors gritty pieces over conventional journalism.  Zoe, however, offers Janine a story that would catch Carly’s attention.  Janine must be desperate to leave The Herald for dismissing her suspicion about Zoe’s generosity.

Peter agrees to divulge his deepest secrets to Walter Doyle as part of the vetting of the potential future governor of Pennsylvania.  Peter confesses to have engaged in prostitution while also under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  The gravity of his licentious activities becomes too much to bear that Peter walks out of the interrogation.  Walter finds him an amateur who does not have the temerity to endure probing questions from the press.  Peter begins to have doubts about the strategy of his campaign believing that he does not have the courage to disclose the details of his sordid past or the strength to face the consequences of doing so.  Stamper is unlike him for the man had just shared to a group of strangers his fear of returning to alcoholism when he has not had a drop of alcohol since April 4, 1999.  However, his disclosure has another motive and that is to convey to Peter that failure is not an option.  Moreover, Stamper emphasizes that he finds strength in his fear thus making him ruthless.  Peter seems to sense that his words are directed at him that he walks out of the meeting and cuts communication with anyone including Frank Underwood.  Frank urges Peter’s former girlfriend, Christina Gallagher, to provide Peter support.  He informs Christina of having spoken to her boss, Speaker of the House Bob Birch, about giving her a six-month leave that she may assume the role of deputy campaign manager in Peter’s campaign.  The lure of the offered position makes Christina more amenable to the idea of becoming Peter’s crutch once again that she agrees to speak to the troubled congressman in order to lift his spirits.  Peter arrives at the Underwoods’ house and finds Christina waiting for him.  Peter confides his decision to forego the gubernatorial race afraid of the consequences of exposing his sordid past, worried of what it will do to his children.  Christina advises that he should not run if he does not want to be governor, but Peter claims that he indeed wants to be in the race.  Hearing this, Christina believes that divulging the truth might be the best recourse not just for his campaign, but also for Peter and his family’s well-being.  Peter learns that Christina truly believes in his ability to become a great governor and with this knowledge, he decides to get back in the race.  He begins to get sponsors for the watershed act that will be the keystone of his campaign, while Frank begins to gain the support of the President first by asking him to keep the Vice President from disrupting the campaign.  Linda, however, unexpectedly sides with the Vice President for his doubts in the choice of the candidate.  She and the President become aghast at learning that Peter is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.  Frank, however, makes them believe that Peter’s redemption story will appeal to the public.  Lucky for him, President Walker only cares for a win enough to allow his administration to endorse a man with a known history of alcoholism and drug abuse.  Linda attempts to dissuade the President from agreeing, but Frank uses the success of the education bill as his weapon.  With that, Frank receives approval from the President.

Zoe speaks to Carly about Janine’s desire to be part of Slugline and with the young journalist’s recommendation agrees to consider the award-winning veteran journalist.  Accepting Zoe’s suggestion that will secure her a job at Slugline, Janine interviews Peter to discuss his alcoholism and drug abuse.  Peter, already coached for the interview, only divulges some truths and sweeps under the rug all the rest.  Moreover, he declares that the reasons for his redemption are his children and his renewed faith in God.  These are two reasons that made Janine question Peter’s sincerity.  The opposite is true with Christina whose desire for Peter rekindles after their conversation earlier that day that she drops by Peter’s house unannounced and resumes their passionate relationship.

Frank decides to come see Zoe, but sees her outside her apartment building with a man.  The man is a drunken Lucas Goodwin, who kisses her passionately revealing the desire he had kept hidden while she was under her employ.  Sympathetic of Lucas, Zoe receives the kiss without reciprocating, but politely rejects him.  Frank delightfully watches in his car the event that has transpired and comes up Zoe’s apartment soon after Lucas woefully leaves.  Zoe is in her nightgown waiting for him in a pest-infested hovel of an apartment.  Frank amusingly watches her trap a spider in a wine glass and learns that she has been catching pests to leave in front of her superintendent’s apartment after the man refused to hire an exterminator.  He then learns that Zoe would rather live in a scrapheap than borrow money from her parents.  Remembering that it is Father’s Day, Frank urges Zoe to call her father and she obliges.  He observes that Zoe speaks an octave higher when speaking to her father and believes that the young woman would share everything but the truth to her father.  He finds that Zoe is much like him and Claire.  All of them feed on their secrets.  On the other hand, there is Peter, who suffocates in his secrets.  Frank believes that the ordeal he is subjecting Peter is his way of setting him free.  Zoe watches as Frank upturns the wine glass presenting the spider hope of deliverance without actually giving it.  Meanwhile, Zoe continues to speak to his father and blatantly lies to him about not seeing anyone.  Frank arouses her while she is still on the phone with her father barely managing to end the call before she reaches orgasm.  While they elate in sexual bliss, the spider struggles to make its way out of the wine glass.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Episode 2 Season 2 – The Tudors Episode Summary 2.2

King Henry VIII crowns Anne Boleyn as Marquess of PembrokeSynopsis: King Henry VIII persuaded by his desire to marry Anne Boleyn and unknowingly supported by Mr. Cromwell’s ulterior motive forces the clergy to submit completely to his authority.  Sir Thomas More witnesses the start of the destruction of the Catholic Church in England and prepares for the call of martyrdom.  With the Great Matter soon to be resolved, King Henry VIII begins the process of inculcating Anne Boleyn as his new wife and future Queen of England.

Episode Summary: Cardinal Campeggio addresses the Parliament in Westminster insisting the Church and its faithful’s immunity from secular interference with the argument that God ordained it.  Moreover, he intimates the violence done to him and the threat to all those who uphold the sanctity of the Church.Continue reading...

It is Christmas and the court is somber with the absence of Queen Katherine of Aragon and her ladies in waiting.  King Henry VIII and Lady Anne Boleyn, however, are delighted with each other’s company.  Lady Anne presents her gift of Biscayan boar spears to King Henry pleasing him even more.  His disposition turns sour when he receives a goblet from Queen Katherine of Aragon.  King Henry rejects the Queen’s gift and refuses to let her spoil the occasion, but Sir Thomas More continues to provoke him with his gift of a silver crucifix as a reminder of the real cause for celebration.  Moreover, it is a reminder of the kingdom’s conflict with the Church.  Henry welcomes the sight of Charles Brandon only to hear a hint of disapproval for his decision to marry Anne.  Charles relays the rumors he heard about Anne and her former lover, Thomas Wyatt, rumors Henry is aware of and Anne denies.  It was an unwelcome suggestion that Henry vehemently rejects.  Henry speaks to Anne of his meeting with the French ambassador with the intent to have the ambassador draw up a new treaty of alliance with France in order to keep the threat from the Emperor at bay.  Moreover, Henry desires to present Anne formally to King Francis as his future wife and Queen of England.  She returns to her quarters with exciting news to Nan, her lady in waiting, only to find a threat waiting for her.  Without Nan’s knowledge, an intruder had left an ominous warning of violence towards Anne.

Mr. Cranmer learns from Mr. Cromwell that he has gained favor from the King.  In fact, the King had just appointed Mr. Cranmer as the Majesty’s special envoy to the Emperor.  This new appointment, however, worries Mr. Cranmer than delights him for he begins to wonder the reason for his good fortune.  He learns that his understanding of the Great Matter is what won him the King’s favor for His Majesty finds in him a suitable representative to advance his desire of marrying Anne Boleyn.  Mr. Cranmer still does not find peace in the task given him and becomes even more anxious of Mr. Cromwell’s instructions for him to visit the city of Nurnberg.  The first city wholly run by Lutherans and reformers.  Mr. Cromwell then speaks to the Archbishop of Canterbury informing him of the King’s plan to put up a bill denying the Pope of the revenue from the English Church.  The bill will also indict the leading clergy of privileges they enjoy and abuse.  Mr. Cromwell accuses the Church of misusing the wealth better spent for the good of the whole commonwealth and not just a privileged few.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, however, finds the bill an attack on the faith of the Church and not the abuses of its clergy.  Nevertheless, King Henry is adamant in putting the bill in place that he summons the clergy to inform them that the oath they swore to the Pope is in contrast to the oath they swore to the kingdom.  The King now demands that they choose whom to serve.

Sir Thomas More speaks with the well-known and respectable Catholic, Sir George Throckmorton, to convey his displeasure with Mr. Cromwell’s scheme of forcing the clergy to submit completely to the King’s will and to secular authority.  He worries of the loss of spiritual life in the kingdom and pleads men like Sir George to remain strong in their faith.  Indeed there are still men with conscience that are unafraid to challenge the King and one such man is the friar that stood on the pulpit in His Majesty’s presence accusing King Henry VIII of turning to Ahab’s ways alluding to Ahab’s marriage to the whore, Jezebel.  His reproachful sermon resulted in his extraction from the church and his reception of Mr. Cromwell’s threat of death, a threat the friar does not fear for his faith is stronger than the fear of death.  Soon, King Henry VIII opens the Parliament expecting the clergy to declare their complete submission to his authority and learns of their surrender from the Archbishop of Canterbury who as representative of the clergy declares their submission to the King.  Both Cardinal Campeggio and Sir Thomas More woe the day the Church broke in England.  Sir Thomas tenders his resignation as Chancellor.  He also asks the King’s permission to allow him to withdraw from public life that he may live the rest of his life in God’s service.  King Henry VIII most willingly discharges Sir Thomas More and expresses appreciation for his service.  Sir Thomas set free from his service to the King finds the temerity to speak to His Majesty of his disapproval of the Great Matter and his desire for him to reconcile with Queen Katherine.  Moreover, he finds that his reconciliation with the rightful and legal Queen of England shall vanquish the divisions and sufferings of the kingdom.  King Henry VIII, however, becomes displeased with his opinion and asks that Sir Thomas keep it to himself.  The influence of Sir Thomas More ends and the sway of Mr. Cromwell begins.  Mr. Cromwell shares his delight to Lord Rochford at learning that Mr. Cranmer has taken advantage of the privilege afforded to the clergy in Nurnberg; the priest had taken himself a wife.  Mr. Cromwell reveals his true intention of destroying the Catholic Church in England and learns that Lord Rochford shares the same desire.  Sir Thomas More is resigned that the ruin of Christendom is at hand and envies the Archbishop of Canterbury who recently passed away.  Sir Thomas agrees with Cardinal Campeggio to their duty to defend Christendom whatever the cost maybe despite his yearning to live in peace having abjured the public realm.  Sir Thomas prepares his daughter for the consequences of standing by his faith, believing that martyrdom calls him.

Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, learns that his suggestion of Anne’s promiscuity displeased the King enough to order his banishment from court.  This is an order Mr. Cromwell relishes to communicate personally to the Duke.  The decision, however, was only made to please Anne.  King Henry, in fact, begins to reconsider the Duke’s banishment.  Lady Anne, however, rejects the idea arguing that forgiving the Duke so quickly might validate the rumors.  King Henry argues that refuting the rumors shall show his trust in her and what better way to invalidate them than to invite Mr. Wyatt to France with them.  Little did they know that Mr. Wyatt has taken steps to dispel the rumors.  He pays a visit to The More to deliver a command from King Henry ordering Queen Katherine of Aragon to return the official jewels.  The seizure of the Queen’s jewels is in anticipation of Lady Anne’s establishment as the new Queen of England.  Lady Elizabeth Darrell receives Mr. Wyatt for the Queen is at prayer.  She learns from Mr. Wyatt’s poem of his desire to be with her despite her declaration of becoming a bride of Christ.  She wills to reject him, but so quickly succumbs to the desire of the flesh.  Lady Elizabeth is unaware that she is merely a smokescreen and that Mr. Wyatt still burns for Anne Boleyn.

Lady Anne has already been acting like a Queen, sitting by the King’s side and introducing to him her chosen courtier, the fiddler, Mark Smeaton.  Soon, in preparation for her rise as Queen, King Henry VIII bestows on Lady Anne the noble title of Marquess of Pembroke that comes with an allowance of a hundred pounds a year.  King Henry then presents to her the jewels of the Queens of England.  With Anne Boleyn’s inevitable coronation as Queen, Ambassador Chapuys meets with the assassin ordering him to carry out the murder of Anne Boleyn in France.  It is, according to the ambassador, a mission sanctioned by the Emperor and the Pope, and done for the benefit of the people of England.  Moreover, Ambassador Chapuys states that the assassination will be done in the service of God.

King Henry VIII and his entourage sans Anne Boleyn arrive in English occupied France to meet with King Francis, who receives them as friends.  It is revealed that the King of France’s wife and sister are disinclined to receive Anne Boleyn as one of their own.  They are not the only ones who are opposed to the King’s chosen new wife for the Duke of Suffolk, who despite being in King Henry’s good graces once again, secretly maintains his allegiance to Queen Katharine of Aragon.  Lord Rochford, father of Anne Boleyn, confronts him about his allegiance and learns that the Duke of Suffolk who once took pride in his apathy towards politics has grown a social and moral conscience.  The festivities continue amidst the gravity of conversations among guests, but everyone’s attention centers on the seductive female dancers who arrived.  One of the dancers lures King Francis to dance with her, pleasing him greatly.  He becomes even more thrilled when King Henry VIII reveals her identity for she is no one else but Anne Boleyn, the future Queen of England and former lady in waiting to the Queen of France.  King Francis remembers the Boleyn sisters well such that Lady Anne requests him to keep his knowledge of her former activities in his court from the King of England.  Lady Anne has found a supporter in King Francis for the man loathes the Emperor who happens to be the nephew of Queen Katherine of Aragon.  King Francis takes great pleasure in seeing the Emperor discomfited with the humiliating divorce of his aunt from the King of England.  He, however, warns Anne Boleyn that the station she desires and soon will have is not an easy one especially to someone like her who is not born to have it.  King Francis confides in her that he himself would not have chosen the life of royalty if given a choice.  Even so, there is no deterring Anne’s aspiration of becoming the Queen of England and she intimates to her recently widowed sister, Mary, of the certainty of fulfilling her dream.  She is unaware that an assassin joined them in France to crush her dream.  Lucky for her, an opportunity to terminate her has not presented itself.  That night, she lies on the bed of King Henry VIII and copulates with him to give him the one thing the King desires to have, a son.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chapter 6 Season 1 – House of Cards Episode Summary 1.6

Francis Underwood's botched debate against Marty SpinellaSynopsis: Representative Francis Underwood accuses the teachers union of throwing brick at his house hoping that the display of violence would diminish support for the National Teachers’ Strike that has endured for nearly a month.  The White House orders Frank to concede to the teachers’ demand in order to end the strike, but Frank refuses to do so.  He instead promises to figure out a way that will end the strike without making compromises on the education reform bill.

Episode Summary: The National Teachers’ Strike endures for almost a month incensing the public enough to cause the White House to panic.  Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez speaks with Representative Frank Underwood to inform him of President Garrett Walker’s decision to modify the education reform bill in order to appease the teachers.  Frank, however, is reluctant to concede to the demands of the teachers and pleads Linda to give him a week to end the strike without compromising the bill.  Frank finds himself in a tight spot where failure would mean losing favor from the President, a predicament he could not afford to happen.Continue reading...

Claire Underwood invites Edward Meechum inside the house for a cup of coffee and insists on him leaving his post despite his reluctance.  Meechum acquiesces to the woman’s invitation.  Soon after, a brick is thrown at the Underwoods’ window.  Meechum gets in trouble when Frank imparts his displeasure at the bodyguard leaving his post and using his weapon at a residential neighborhood.  Frank demands Meechum’s termination and the reinstatement of their former bodyguard, Steve.  The Underwoods learn that Steve is suffering from a stage four pancreatic cancer and not just a gall bladder infection.  Meechum, a former marine and D.C. cop, finds himself in danger of being discharged after making two errors in judgment in connection with the brick incident.  He reaches out to Frank Underwood accepting responsibility and pleading mercy.  Meechum believes that a word from the powerful congressman to Captain Cardiff will help save his job.  Francis, however, refuses to do the bodyguard a favor.

Zoe Barnes is at a bar having drinks with the owner of Slugline when Frank gives her a call.  Frank wants her to write about the brick thrown at his house and wants her to name Marty Spinella as the person behind it.  Meanwhile, Frank and Doug Stamper are hard at work at a campaign assigning blame at Spinella.  Frank becomes frustrated at the smear campaign against Spinella when Claire comes up with the perfect sound bite.  Claire calls Spinella’s leadership as disorganized labor.   Soon everyone on the news begins calling Marty Spinella’s union leadership disorganized labor and blames the union leader for the violence.  With everyone pointing fingers at him, Marty begins to figure out a way to combat the blows thrown at him.  Marty argues the lack of evidence proving that a teacher threw the brick at the Underwoods residence.  His media consultant recommends making this statement with the addition of assigning blame to Congress.  Marty is hesitant to use this argument for he is reluctant to stoop to Frank’s level.  He believes that the issue with the brick will disappear, but his public relations team thinks otherwise.  They remind him that the support for the strike has dipped, because of the incident.  Marty maintains silence over the issue believing that Frank Underwood expects him to respond.

Congressman Peter Russo speaks with Frank to convey his desire of becoming governor of Pennsylvania.  He asks him for his help claiming over a month long sobriety.  Frank is unsure about Peter, but the young congressman argues about his success at seizing opportunities stating the fact that it is the reason he was elected in Congress.  Frank expresses his admiration of Peter’s determination and agrees to help him.  He speaks to Claire about Peter’s ambition and asks her help with the campaign.  Frank tasks Claire with putting together a bill that will create jobs on Peter’s district, one that will buy the support of the shipbuilders.  Claire, already buried with her international projects, rejects her husband’s request.  Frank pleads for his wife’s help and Claire considers it.  In exchange, Claire eyes having Catherine Durant sort out the issue of getting CWI’s water filters through Sudanese customs.  Frank promises to speak to Catherine.

Adam Galloway hears the news about the brick and calls Claire to check up on her.  Claire appreciates the concern and begins the dialogue about their failed affair.  Adam finds that there is no need to speak about it.  He is fine with Claire’s rejection and believes that they can remain friends.  Claire does not think it possible, but at the same time does not want to lose her friendship with Adam.  Later, she pays Steve a visit at the hospital genuinely expressing her concern for the dying bodyguard and apologizing for Frank’s absence.  She explains that Frank is caught up with the teachers’ strike, which he truly is.  In fact, Frank and Doug had just hatched up a plan after Doug found foams that look like bricks.  Frank instructs Doug to procure a large number of these foam bricks.  Soon, people protesting against the teachers’ strike begins throwing the foam bricks at Marty and his crew causing the teachers to retaliate with violence.  The scene that showed teachers throwing punches at the people that threw foam was caught on tape.  It becomes a public relations nightmare for the teachers union.  Marty’s team suggests going on a live debate against Frank Underwood on CNN.  Marty is hesitant about the debate knowing Frank’s adeptness with the platform, but he agrees with the last resort.  Meanwhile, Frank is extremely confident of his winning the debate that he urges his wife to come with him to the studio to witness him burying Marty.

The debate ensues and Frank reproaches the teachers union for the strike that cost the taxpayers $2 billion.  Marty assigns blame on Congress, holding it responsible for the strike after it threatened the teachers’ ability to negotiate as a union, their job security, and livelihood.  Frank then brings up the issue of the brick thrown at his house, but Marty is prepared with a counterargument that stated the lack of evidence that the violence is related to the strike.  Moreover, it allowed Marty to express his condemnation of the use of any form of violence or intimidation.  Frank retorts with Marty’s inability to control his union and speaks of disorganized labor.  Marty, however, is prepared and easily dismisses the criticism.  He instead segues to Congress’ failure to fulfill its promise of providing better education for the children.  Frank unprepared to deal with the issue circles back to the issue of the brick and uses Claire as a last resort.  He demands an apology from Marty for the brick incident claiming the terrifying ordeal he and his wife suffered.  Marty acquiesces and provides a sincere apology without claiming responsibility.  More than that, Marty expresses his disgust at Frank’ decision to use her in order to win the debate.  Frank begins to sweat bullets and makes the mistake of claiming that there is not a U and I in the word education digging a deeper hole for him.  Frank is mired in a flawed vowel game he started embarrassing himself even more.  Frank’ failed debate becomes news as the media replays his laughable vowel game repeatedly on various media platforms.

Frank takes a break from the teachers strike after the disastrous debate.  He speaks with DNC Chair Patricia Whittaker about Peter Russo instead, but even she could not help but comment about the botched debate.  Frank recommends Peter as the gubernatorial candidate for Pennsylvania.  Patti is disinclined with his recommendation knowing that the young congressman of the 1st Congressional District of Pennsylvania does not have a donor base or the infrastructure to win the election.  Frank vows to personally oversee Peter’s campaign and raise funds for it if DNC agrees to provide initial funding for the campaign.  With no other acceptable candidates in sight, Patti accepts Frank’s recommendation.  Frank informs Peter that the DNC Chair has approved his nomination as the gubernatorial candidate and that the DNC has agreed to provide $4 million in start-up funding.  He tells him that they are to announce his candidacy in August, but the campaign will start that very day.  Frank, however, demands that Peter attend AA, because his sobriety is the biggest hurdle they have to jump.  Peter rejects the idea of attending AA meetings, but Frank makes it his one requirement otherwise he withdraws his support.  Peter acquiesces and Frank assigns Doug as his sponsor for his chief of staff has been sober for fourteen years.  Frank also arranges a meeting between Peter and Claire.  Claire discusses the plan to pass a Watershed Act for the Delaware River making use of the 1,100 acres of land made available by the closing of the shipyard.  The plan is to create thousands of jobs through the development of the land.  Peter’s role is to speak with the representatives of the districts that the watershed will affect and to take on the environmental legislation with the help of his and Claire’s staff.  Peter leaves a voicemail message to Christina Gallagher informing her of having taken the first step to sobriety.  His call is in fact part of the AA program where alcoholics are asked to reach out and make amends to the people they have hurt.  He, however, confesses the real reason for his call.  Peter is still in love with Christina and misses her terribly so.

With the teachers’ strike still in progress, President Walker reproaches Frank for allowing it to endure.  He orders Frank to gut the bill in order to put an end to the strike.  Frank argues that they must not concede to the demands of the teachers union, but the President has lost confidence in him after the disastrous debate.  The President orders him to gut the bill, but Frank continues to refuse and claims that President Walker has allowed fear to cloud his judgment.  Surprised with Frank’s defiance, President Walker allows him to keep the bill intact and Frank gains the respect of the most powerful man in the world.  Despite this win, Frank still needs a solution to end the strike and he spends the rest of the evening at the office with Doug listening to the police radio of a crime they could use for their campaign.  He ponders about karma and decides that a good deed might soon pay off.  Frank decides to speak to Captain Cardiff about giving Meechum his job back.  True enough, the next morning they hear of a drive-by shooting on the police radio.  Meechum drives Frank to Zoe’s apartment in order to instruct her to tweet about the death of Tyler Davis, an 8-year old Washington D.C. boy.  A stray bullet from a gangland shoot-out struck the third-grader at Vernon Baker Elementary that was out of school due to the teachers’ strike.  Frank rushes to be at the side of the deceased boy’s grieving mother when she speaks to the press.  He uses the interview to blame the boy’s death on the strike and calls for an end to it.  Moreover, he makes a statement conveying that the end to the strike is at Marty Spinella’s hands.  Marty arrives at the Capitol to meet with Frank believing that they are meeting to negotiate.  Frank confesses of having lied to him for he has no intention of working out a compromise.  Marty prepares to leave when Frank hurls insults at him.  Marty just shrugs off his insults, but Frank shows him the brick thrown at his house.   Moreover, he divulges that Doug Stamper threw it and that he had instructed Claire to distract his security.  Frank comes within inches from Marty’s face when he confesses to having arranged the supposed attack against him.  Marty throws a punch at Frank hard enough to cause him to bleed, which is exactly what Frank had hoped.  Frank threatens to press charges for assault of a United States Congressman, which is a felony, if Marty does not end the strike immediately.

Claire Underwood accepts Steve’s request for her to visit him again at the hospital.  She leaves her office and continues to find the homeless man that has encamped in front of it.  She looks at him and he in turn flicks an origami made from the twenty-dollar bill she gave him before.  Claire arrives at the hospital and learns the reason for Steve’s text message.  Steve takes the opportunity to express his loathing for Frank Underwood and his fantasies of being with Claire.  Claire comes in defense of Frank and discloses his proposal that promised her freedom from boredom.  Frank was certain that she would accept that instead of asking he simply put the ring in her finger.  She declares that Frank is the only man who understood her.  He finds him a man who knows how to take what he wants, a quality she admires.  Claire then performs a hand job on Steve embarrassing the man enough for him to ask her to stop.  Later that night, she informs him of having visited the dying bodyguard again leaving out the details of her visit.  She finds no need for Frank to pay him a visit, but she informs her husband that they are to pay for his funeral.

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