Episode Summary: House Representative Francis Underwood learns that his wife betrayed him to pursue her goals and Zoe Barns threatens to expose Claire Underwood’s betrayal. With the failed passage of the Watershed Bill, Peter Russo finds his election as governor of Pennsylvania in danger. He threatens to expose Frank’s hand in smearing former State Secretary nominee Michael Kern.
House of Cards Chapter 10 Recap: President Garrett Walker reproaches Congressman Francis Underwood for the failure of the Watershed Bill. Everybody believed that the bill would pass. Frank blames the misinformation on the journalist Janine Skorsky, who published an article claiming to have received verified vote counts in favor of the bill. President Walker, however, is not concerned about the misinformation. His concern is the division the bill created among Democrats that makes his leadership appear incompetent. The knowledge that Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez disobeyed his instructions dismays the President even more. Linda missed meeting with the house representatives to rally them into supporting the bill in order to address a personal matter. Francis takes full responsibility for her absence believing that Linda’s influence was not necessary at that time.
Frank Underwood is out to chastise the two Democrats who betrayed him, Vanderburgh and Abrams. He, however, learns from Zoe Barnes that his wife, Claire Underwood, was the person who dissuaded the two from voting for the Watershed Bill. Zoe threatens to write an article about the betrayal if Frank does not feed her with better information. Frank verifies Zoe’s information with Vanderburgh and Abrams who relays the conversation they both had with his wife. Claire Underwood told them to vote for their conscience and added that it would not be the end of the world if the bill failed. Frank chastises his wife for her betrayal and learns that she has done so as payment for Remy’s help in getting her shipment out of Sudan. Claire justifies making a decision without consulting him. She argues that Frank has kept her in the dark of his plans for the past six months. He worries that her betrayal will become news, one from which they cannot recover. She learns that the very threat of exposing her betrayal comes from Zoe whom she believed was under the control of her husband. She attributes the imminent threat to them to her husband’s inability to control his sexual urges. Frank lost his hold on Zoe when he made her his mistress. Claire begins to feel that she has made more sacrifices toward her husband’s goals than hers. This leads Frank to remind her that CWI is not as important as their ultimate goal. His reminder only made it clear to Claire that her husband has only been using her just like everyone else. Frank attributes her defiance to menopause causing Claire to throw her husband out of her office. Later that night, Claire pays Zoe Barnes a surprise visit and purposefully intrudes. She came to make it known to the young woman that she and her husband share everything, not only does she know of their affair, she is aware of the details including trivial ones such as her trapping a spider with a wine glass. That night, Claire does not return home and does not answer her phone. Frank decides to satisfy his urges with Zoe and learns that Claire had come to see her. This knowledge prompts him to rush back home, but Claire is nowhere to be found.
The failure of passage of the Watershed Bill does not bode well for Peter Russo’s election as Governor of Pennsylvania. The journalists question his absence in Washington during the critical time when his influence as the chief sponsor of the bill is required. Moreover, Janine Skorsky brings up the new ad that uses his failed bill to question his resolve in maintaining his sobriety. Peter realizes the precariousness of his election with the failure of the keystone of his campaign. He orders Frank who promised the passage of the Watershed Bill to fix it. He threatens him of going public with Kapeniak and the Kern editorial if he does not do so. Peter has come to a realization that Frank no longer holds power over him for his sordid past is now public knowledge. Moreover, Peter now has power over Frank with his participation in the ruining of Senator Michael Kern. Frank speaks to Doug Stamper about accelerating their plan regarding Peter Russo for the man has become uncontrollable. Doug obtains a decent apartment for Rachel Posner, one whose furniture, security deposit, first and last rent he paid. His supposed good will, however, comes with a price.
Still unaware of Claire’s whereabouts, Frank drops by CWI to fish information from Gillian Cole. He learns that Claire has feigned illness and has scheduled a weeklong absence from work. Frank also learns that Gillian, a Stanford alumnus, knows the Provost of Stanford Warren Tynsdale. In fact, the provost has made her the poster child of alumni whose attendance has been requested on fundraising events. Frank obliges Gillian to recommend Ruben Vasquez, the son of Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez, for acceptance after hearing that Stanford continues to reject his application despite Linda’s meeting with the Dean of Stanford. Later, he meets with Remy Danton at his secret hideaway, Freddy’s. Frank proposes turning Peter into a pro-natural gas candidate despite sponsoring the Watershed Bill. He argues that Peter is for employment and not opposed to drilling. He is asking SanCorp to consider building refineries that will create jobs in Philadelphia in exchange for Peter’s support for natural gas. Remy agrees to bring the proposal to SanCorp. Frank persuades Peter into becoming an ally of SanCorp notwithstanding his appearing a hypocrite for a chance to discuss the construction of SanCorp refineries in Philadelphia. Christina Gallagher opposes the strategy, but Peter agrees with Frank. Moreover, he foregoes his prior obligations in order to speak with Remy at a gala for the McNeally Cancer Institute in order to discuss a potential partnership with SanCorp. Frank also recommends publicly showing his support for SanCorp’s drilling efforts on his radio interview with a local radio station in Pittsburgh the following day. He tells Peter that Remy has given assurance that a display of public support will prompt Remy to persuade SanCorp to build refineries in Philadelphia. Peter instructs Christina to cancel the events in his schedule to allow him to attend the gala. That night, he speaks with Remy and learns that SanCorp is disinclined to build refineries in a major urban center due to the costliness of doing so. However, statewide permitted use zoning can avert the steep cost. Peter contends that zoning is state legislature that is beyond the authority of a governor, but Remy claims that a governor can put pressure on the legislature. His election as governor of Pennsylvania is conditional on his support for permitted use zoning. Peter reminds Remy that his opponent already supports drilling, but Remy argues that his opponent is not asking to build refineries in Philadelphia. It is a request SanCorp finds favorable. Peter tells Remy to have SanCorp listen to his interview with the local Pittsburgh station. Having made a deal, Remy leaves the event. Peter is very pleased and delights in the possibility of him winning the gubernatorial race. Rachel Posner, whom he does not recognize, begins to flirt with him. She leaves him with a key to her hotel room. Peter could not fight the urge to be with the young woman that he follows her up to her hotel room. Soon he loses the fight against alcohol and drinks whiskey with Rachel ending his sobriety. Moreover, he engages in a sexual intercourse with her.
Claire arrives at Adam Galloway’s apartment and resumes their affair. That night, she finds herself enjoying a party at Adam’s apartment among his friends unaware that her husband had asked their driver, Ed Meechum to locate her. Meechum learns from his friend at Missing Persons that Claire is staying with a friend in New York, a friend Frank immediately identifies as Adam Galloway. Meanwhile, Zoe realizes that she could no longer bear living in a squalid apartment and everything it represents. She waits for Lucas Goodwin by his car and asks to stay at his apartment for a few days. Zoe takes the couch, but later decides to sleep beside Lucas. The two begin a sexual relationship.
Peter spends a night of debauchery with Rachel. He only realizes the time when the young woman opens the curtains. Still inebriated, Peter rushes to get ready for his radio interview that begins in half an hour. Soon he receives a call from Doug, who is waiting for him at the front desk of his apartment building. He informs Doug of his whereabouts prompting the man to rush to where he is. Doug smells the alcohol in Peter’s breath and observes his slurred speech. Congressman Peter Russo pursues the radio interview against the recommendation of Doug to forego it. Christina immediately senses trouble when Peter misidentifies the radio host. As the interview progresses, it becomes apparent that Peter could not collect his thoughts. Moreover, despite the interview done over the phone, the hosts could sense that Congressman Peter Russo is currently intoxicated. Peter denies being drunk and begins to make excuses until Doug hangs up the phone abruptly ending the interview. He takes the blame for allowing the congressman to push through with the radio interview and offers a plan to make an announcement for the disastrous interview. Peter realizes that this is the end of his career as a politician. Frank immediately after listening to the interview that led to the destruction of Peter Russo sends a message to Zoe of fulfilling his promise of providing her a better story to write about than the story about Claire’s betrayal. He calls Linda Vasquez soon after to inform her of the fiasco. The woman does not seem worried for some good news came her way. Stanford reversed their decision and decided to accept her son due to Gillian Cole’s recommendation. Linda did some research and learned that Gillian works for Claire. She finds herself once again indebted to the Underwoods. Frank then instructs Doug to schedule an urgent meeting with the Vice President. Doug, however, finds that Peter Russo has sneaked out of the hotel.
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