Episode Summary: Congressman Peter Russo begins the bus tour of Pennsylvania as part of his gubernatorial campaign and he finds himself at the mercy of the reluctant Vice President Jim Matthews. Congressman Francis Underwood and his staff struggle to get the votes in support of the controversial Watershed Bill that caught the ire of the oil and gas industries not to mention SanCorp Industries. Meanwhile, Claire Underwood finds that the State Department has failed to get CWI’s shipment of water filters out of South Sudan.
House of Cards Chapter 9 Recap: Representative Francis Underwood and Peter Russo speak with their fellow Democrats to ascertain their support of Peter. All of them are already in disagreement of the Watershed Act given the disapproval of the drilling industry, SanCorp, in particular. The house representatives confess that Remy Danton of SanCorp has already approached them with various offers in order to dissuade them from supporting the Watershed Act that enforces more responsible drilling in Pennsylvania. Congressman Underwood reminds them that the Democrats losing the governorship in Pennsylvania will lead to their party’s loss of the House in the next election along with their committee chairmanship. Therefore, all of them are dependent on Peter winning the gubernatorial race and his election is contingent on the success of the Watershed Act.
With everyone tied with meetings for Peter Russo’s campaign, Claire Underwood finds herself volunteering to bring Peter’s kids to school. Kids, the type of people, her husband despises. With Peter’s drug history out in the open, the other children have been bullying his kids because of it. Claire sympathizes for the children for suffering the consequences of the sins of their father. The eldest wishes that her father were not running for governor. Her wish came in too late. Congressman Russo meets with a journalist from The New York Times for an interview at Allentown. The main subject of the interview is the Watershed Bill that has taken a whipping from Republicans and Democrats alike. The bill receives the ire of the Republicans for it threatens the oil and gas industries, while the Democrats find the bill deficient. Congressman Russo argues that the bill seeks a middle ground in order to ensure its passing. The journalist questions his sincerity and insinuates that the sole reason for sponsoring the bill is to get the support for his election as governor of Pennsylvania. The interview segues into the congressman’s substance abuse, which he handles quite well given his honesty about it. Congressman Russo once again answers truthfully the question regarding the hesitance of Vice President Jim Matthews to provide him support. He believes that the vice president did not believe him worth of his endorsement until he heard that he landed a one-on-one interview with The New York Times. The vice president proves his lack of confidence in him after ignoring Peter in front of the press and the public when he arrived in Pennsylvania. Moreover, Vice President Jim Matthews has been speaking of himself for an hour and has yet to introduce Peter to the crowd causing Peter to be late for the next stop at his campaign. Not only did the vice president ruin Peter’s campaign schedule, he publicly opposed him when he cut off Peter as he explains how the Watershed Act will create jobs for Pennsylvania and offered his own strategy of creating tax credits for small businesses as the only real option. Peter speaks with Frank about the vice president torpedoing his campaign and his decision to have him leave the bus tour. Frank encourages him to inveigle his support instead or to, at least, stand up for himself. Peter confronts Vice President Jim Matthews and lays down the fact that he is sabotaging his campaign. The vice president believes that his acts are saving Peter from a loss. Peter strokes Matthews' ego by using his struggles to be elected as governor. Matthews confesses of his regret for leaving the Governor’s mansion at his prime to become a Vice President believing that it was a step up. He learns now that he is merely a mascot without any shred of influence. Peter offers him his influence through his guidance and expertise, but if Matthews refuses to show his support, he is to return to Washington to resume his role as a non-entity. Soon he sees that their confrontation proved its worth. The vice president addresses the people of Bristol and confesses to have had doubts about Peter Russo, but adds that all that has changed after spending a few days with the smart, energetic, and resilient young congressman. Vice President Jim Matthews finally gives the support Congressman Peter Russo deserves.
Frank meets with Remy to tell him to stop lobbying against the Watershed Act for he is certain of the bill’s success. Remy believes that the mere act of meeting with him in an attempt to dissuade SanCorp from lobbying against the bill shows the uncertainty of passing the Watershed Act. Moreover, he states that SanCorp is against any regulation no matter how trivial it might seem. SanCorp has already provided financial support for Peter’s opponent because of it despite the knowledge of its consequences, which includes Frank losing his role as the House Majority Whip. SanCorp finds replacing Frank as their pawn a lesser evil than allowing a bill that will regulate their industry to pass. Frank believes that there will come a time when he will need to take down Remy, but that time has not yet come. Meanwhile, Claire meets with State Secretary Catherine Durant to persuade her to force the Sudanese government into releasing CWI’s large shipment of water filters held in South Sudan. Regrettably, Catherine informs her that she had done everything she can to get her water filters out of South Sudan. To add to Claire’s misfortune, President Garrett Walker has ordered an end to diplomatic ties with Sudan following its numerous human rights violations. This means that the State Department can no longer communicate with the Sudanese government in any way. Claire speaks to her husband with the hope that he could persuade the State Secretary to return the favor for putting her in that position. There is nothing that anyone can do due to the directive from the President. Claire begins to consider seeking the help of the law firm Glendon Hill believing that they have contacts in South Sudan. Unfortunately, receiving a favor from Glendon Hill will be at the expense of the Watershed Act. Claire comes to a realization that her goals are only secondary to the goals of her husband. She supposes that her husband’s ego is the one preventing him from seeking the help of Glendon Hill. Frank is embarrassed to beg a former employee, Remy Danton, for help. Her supposition caused Frank to grow livid and to go into a tirade of the problems he currently faces. Claire calmly listens to her husband’s harangue and apologizes only to be asked for a favor again. Frank wants her to speak to Congressman Vanderburgh and Abrams believing that she can get them to commit to the Watershed Act. He believes that Claire can appease the concerns of the two congressmen who tout themselves as environmentalists. Claire complies with her husband’s request.
Janine Skorsky believes that there is more to the Watershed Act than meets the eye. She finds it strange that the only major bill Congressman Russo has sponsored in six years is getting national coverage. She believes that the congressman who is running for governor in Pennsylvania is relying on the bill in order to keep the support of the Shipbuilders’ Association. Congressman Russo cannot win the governorship in Pennsylvania without the support of the Shipbuilder’s Association. Janine needs a vote count to validate her conjecture. She reaches out to Zoe Barnes supposing that the young journalist has sources in Underwood’s office. Zoe, however, denies knowing anyone there. Janine closing in on the truth behind Congressman Russo’s campaign worries Zoe enough for her to schedule a rendezvous with Frank. She becomes even more concerned when Janine teases her for having an affair with her mysterious source. Zoe becomes intrigued when Janine confesses to have done it herself with various staff of politicians not to mention a congressman. She asks Janine of the identity of the congressman she had an affair with, but the woman would not divulge his identity until Zoe reveals hers. Janine, however, does not seem to be interested in learning the identity of Zoe’s source for she does not press the young journalist about it. She instead advices that doing sexual favors in order to get information is not a good strategy. Janine has been there and no one took her seriously once news of her affairs got out. Moreover, she learned from experience that the reward she received for debasing herself is not worth it. Zoe joins Janine for dinner, ignores Frank’s call, but informs him of running late for their meeting. Frank decides to forego the meeting and comes home to his wife upset. Sixteen hours later, he receives a text from Zoe asking for them to meet. Zoe informs him that Janine has found an angle on the Watershed Bill and Peter Russo’s campaign. Janine believes that the Shipbuilders’ Association has agreed to accept the Watershed Bill as their consolation prize after losing their jobs following the closing of the shipyard. Moreover, she speculates that their support is contingent on the passage of the bill. Frank does not deny any of Janine’s conjectures. He asks that Zoe continue to inform him of any other speculations her colleague might have. Zoe asks for the vote count in order to keep Janine from feeding her information. She, however, has another request. Zoe asks Frank that they end their sexual affair claiming that it complicates their working relationship. Frank’s immediate concurrence creates doubt and fear on Zoe.
Rachel Posner is still staying at Nancy Kaufberger’s house. Doug Stamper learns that Rachel has lost her waitressing job possibly due to her manager whom she described to Nancy as a creep. Doug learned that Leon, the manager of the restaurant, propositioned Zoe into providing him a sexual favor, which the young waitress refused resulting in her termination. He goes to the restaurant and speaks to the manager insinuating that he has been forcing his employees to perform sexual favors for him. Leon threatens to call the police, but Doug counters with a threat to call immigration knowing that he has committed a felony after hiring four undocumented staff in his kitchen. Moreover, Leon has been harboring illegal immigrants in an apartment he rents for them. He listens to Doug for fear of his imprisonment and deportation of his family. Soon after, Rachel gets her waitressing job back.
Claire meets with Remy, a partner in Glendon Hill, whose main account is SanCorp. She seeks the help of SanCorp in getting CWI’s water filters out of South Sudan. Her request, however, comes with a huge price tag. SanCorp wants Claire to put an end to the Watershed Bill in exchange for her water filters. Meanwhile, Frank threatens the two congressmen unwilling to allocate $250 million dollars towards the Watershed Act and orders them to speak to Claire the next day. He tells them that Claire will go over their concerns point-by-point from which they should base their decision. Frank informs Claire that the first phase of his plan is completed. She is to speak to them tomorrow for the second phase. Frank delivers the premature good news with President Garrett Walker and Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez certain that his wife will obtain the two votes he needs to get the Watershed Act passed. Both the President and the Chief of Staff are displeased with the bill for starting a battle with the oil and gas industries. They are disinclined to show their support for the bill, but the President forces Linda to be his representative at any case knowing the significance of a Democrat winning the gubernatorial seat in Pennsylvania. Her role is to help procure votes in support of the bill. Frank learns of the real reason behind Linda’s reluctance to appear at the Hill tomorrow to help obtain votes. Linda is to meet with the Provost of Stanford following the university’s rejection of her son’s application. Her meeting is on the day the President wants her to be at the Hill. Linda blames herself for her son’s rejection and believes that personally meeting the provost will lead to Stanford’s acceptance of her son. Frank orders Linda not to be at the vote count and offers to cover for her absence. Linda, once again, is beholden to Frank. Meanwhile, Claire is meeting with Vanderburgh and Abrams who apprises her of Frank’s intimidation. The congressmen become confused when Claire states that Frank will not fault them if they voted for their conscience. Moreover, she claims to share the same doubts regarding the bill notwithstanding CWI’s public support of the Watershed Act. Vanderburgh tells her bluntly of expecting her to persuade them into voting for the bill, but Claire appeases them that new legislation with stricter regulatory standards can be passed if the Watershed Bill fails. Without telling them to vote against the bill, Claire lets the congressmen decide by encouraging them to vote their conscience. Claire returns to her office to deliver fortunate news to Gillian Cole. CWI’s shipment of water filters will be taken out of South Sudan and will be delivered to Botswana in the next few weeks. Gillian is to set up base camp and the depot in Botswana, but she asks that they send someone else in her place for she is pregnant. Claire learns that Gillian will be raising her child on her own given that the relationship she had with the unborn child’s father did not end well. The father who works for Doctors without Borders is married.
Zoe conducts an interview about the Congressional agenda for the fall session, the midterms, and finally Peter Russo’s race for governor and his Watershed Bill. Janine provides a summary of the Watershed Bill for Zoe’s interview. Zoe learns that Janine still has not received a vote count on the Watershed Bill and calls Frank to get the information. She realizes that Frank has been ignoring her calls following her decision to end their affair, a decision she thought was well received. She finally gets Frank on the phone only to find him deliberately withholding the vote count from her as punishment. Later that night, Frank receives a text from Zoe resuming their sexual relationship just so she can get the vote count on the Watershed Bill. Zoe confesses of her disgust of their arrangement and asks the reason for the necessity of the affair. Frank confesses of their affair as his display of power. Zoe accepts the role of a whore and demands the payment in the form of information. Frank states that the bill will pass by two votes. The following day, the vote count is aired live on C-Span. Everyone involved in the Peter Russo campaign including Linda Vasquez are in Frank’s office celebrating an imminent win. Linda has returned from Stanford hopeful of her son’s acceptance. Peter arrives to watch the final passage of the Watershed Bill only to witness its failure by two votes. Frank is aghast at the outcome and is already out to get the one who lied.
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