Episode Summary: House Representative Francis Underwood scrambles to force Raymond Tusk to approve of his vice presidency without agreeing to the multi-billionaire’s demand. Zoe Barnes, Janine Skorsky, and Lucas Goodwin pursue the prostitute that was with Peter Russo the night of his arrest in order to uncover Underwood’s involvement in Russo’s death and ultimately expose his corruption and abuse of power. Meanwhile, Claire Underwood faces a wrongful termination lawsuit with Gillian Cole.
Chapter 13 House of Cards Recap: House Representative Francis Underwood confides with Remy Denton about the supposed plan of the President to tap his friend multi-billionaire Raymond Tusk as his new vice president. He argues that having a pro-nuclear energy vice president in the White House will not bode well for the natural gas company, SanCorp. Frank Underwood intimates that Tusk will not accept the nomination if his holdings are at risk and recommends that SanCorp initiate a hostile takeover. Remy finds the move infeasible given that Tusk is worth three times more than SanCorp. Frank contends that SanCorp merely has to go after the subsidiaries that refine and ship the uranium in order to cause a stir. Remy remains hesitant to Frank’s plan conveying the numerous considerations they have to take into account, which includes the unwelcome huge financial exposure for SanCorp. Frank argues that SanCorp only needs to distract Tusk enough to make him reject the vice presidency. Remy agrees to speak to SanCorp about the plan Frank laid out, one they have to carry out before the President makes the announcement on Friday.
Zoe Barnes and Janine Skorsky continue to pursue their investigation of Frank Underwood and Peter Russo’s relationship. They need to unearth the person who managed to expunge Russo’s arrest records. Janine’s angle is to find Underwood guilty of abuse of powers and corruption if it is revealed that he was involved with the cover-up. With all records expunged, Janine and Zoe are left to find the arresting police officer, which is a feat given the brotherhood among D.C. cops. Zoe seeks Lucas Goodwin’s help aware that her boyfriend has connections with the D.C. police given his former work on the crime beat. Lucas becomes incredulous of Zoe’s intentions given the timing of her request and his knowledge of having prostituted herself to get information. Zoe realizes that asking her boyfriend for a favor right after sexual intercourse is the wrong approach. She instead inveigles him into complying to her request with insincere honesty. Zoe confesses to have been stupefied by Lucas’ declaration of having fallen in love with her. She claims not to use his feelings for her to manipulate him. Lucas later arrives at her apartment behaving like a paranoid. She learns that he has uncovered a cover-up that involves the police commissioner. Lucas’ source was able to provide information about Rachel Posner, the call girl that was with Russo at the time of his arrest. He warns Zoe of the consequences of pursuing police cover-ups having been in that situation before. Zoe, Janine, and Lucas look into the call girl who dropped out of Lorimer High School in Lynchburg, Virginia during her sophomore year. Her whereabouts are unknown since then making their work to find her an impossible feat. Fortunately, her previous arrest record for loitering placed her at the District Grand Hotel.
Lucas works the District Grand Hotel, while Zoe goes to Lynchburg. She learns that Rachel might have run away to avoid having to testify against her father for abusing her. Lucas, on the other hand, deceives an escort into providing information about Rachel Posner after pretending to be a police officer working under cover. He learns that Rachel has last been seen working as a waitress at a restaurant in Georgetown. Lucas and Zoe pay a visit at Slater’s, the restaurant in Georgetown where Rachel is working, but learns that she is not on duty that day. Zoe manages to sneak in the kitchen and pinch the staff contact list that has Rachel’s phone number. She gives Rachel a call, but the young woman hangs up after hearing that the woman on the other line is a reporter from Slugline.com who knows about her connection to Peter Russo. Zoe sends her a text message instead with a threat of writing a story about her and Peter Russo if she fails to meet with her. Rachel agrees to meet with Zoe, but refutes all of Zoe’s claims. Rachel denies being approached by Frank Underwood or knowing Doug Stamper. Moreover, she ignores Zoe’s threat about writing a story about Peter Russo and her that will also reveal her reason for running away from home. Rachel leaves and goes straight to Doug’s car. Although she followed all of Doug’s instructions, Rachel could not help but be overcome with guilt about Peter’s death. Both are unaware that Lucas followed her. The knowledge of Doug Stamper’s involvement at a meeting with Rachel Posner causes Lucas, Janine, and Zoe to consider a larger angle. Lucas supposes that Underwood was after the VP nomination, but Underwood’s efforts in Russo’s campaign contradict his desire to become vice president. Janine reminds them that the only reason the vice presidency is left vacant is because Russo unexpectedly failed. Zoe supposes that Underwood had planned Russo’s self-destruction in order to force Vice President Jim Matthews to run for governor. Zoe and Lucas deem that the President will make Underwood his vice president as soon as Matthews wins the gubernatorial race in Pennsylvania.
President Garrett Walker meets with Frank Underwood and Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez to discuss Frank’s assessment of Raymond Tusk. The President is surprised to hear Frank name Tusk as the best candidate for vice president. Moreover, he is bemused with Frank and Linda urging him to invite Tusk to the White House with the goal of personally wooing him to accept the vice presidency. At risk with exposing the true nature of the vetting, President Walker agrees to his advisers’ recommendation. Frank, however, learns that Remy may not be able to fulfill his request in time. He goes against SanCorp’s rules of avoiding a direct contact with a politician and flies to Atlanta to speak personally with a peeved Scott Cunningham of SanCorp. Cunningham is livid at Underwood’s surprise visit that implies SanCorp’s graft due to their relationship with the House of Representatives’ Whip. Underwood continues to feed Cunningham with information he refuses to hear in an attempt to persuade him to take action against Tusk. Underwood believes that Tusk will refuse the vice presidency due to the required blind trust that prohibits him from fighting off the threat against his company, the threat that Frank hopes SanCorp will make against Tusk’s subsidiaries. Scott Cunningham is intransigent to his plea.
Oliver Spencer, CWI’s legal counsel, speaks with Claire Underwood about the termination of Gillian Cole. The woman has threatened the organization with a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming that her pregnancy was the reason for her dismissal. Gillian presented quotes from Claire from their confrontation that resulted in her termination. The lawyer suggested that they return with a settlement offer in order to avoid a damaging lawsuit. Claire agrees to the strategy, but then learns that Gillian refused to accept a settlement offer regardless of the figure and the return of WorldWell. Gillian wants to go to court despite her lawyers’ advice to settle in order to send the message that organizations like CWI get the vast majority of grant money only to fulfill the will of corporate sponsors that are destroying the environment. Claire offers her apology and pleads Gillian not to go to court, but the woman dedicated to her cause rejects her pleas. Gillian would like to use the court as her soapbox. She is certain that her lawsuit will receive national attention given Claire’s marriage to Congressman Frank Underwood. She becomes even more confident having received the support of Evelyn Baxter and the eight other former CWI employees that Claire ordered Evelyn to fire. Moreover, Gillian finds more reason to pursue her cause for her child. Claire later ponders the use of her legacy when there is no heir to benefit from it. She later meets with a fertility doctor inquiring about the possibility and the risk of conceiving a child at her age. She learns that her history of going through three abortions adds to the difficulty of conception, but ascertains that it is still possible for her to conceive.
Frank returns home defeated only to find his wife in the same disposition as him. Claire conveys of the nightmare she just had. In her dream, she was among children in the backyard when a girl started climbing up the vines ignoring Claire’s order for her to get down. The vines start to strangle the girl. Claire pulls the girl in order to rescue her, but ends up ripping the girl apart. Things begin to fall apart for the Underwoods. Remy Danton arrives at the Underwoods at the wee hours of the morning. He denies not conveying Frank’s plan to Cunningham and contends that the man refused knowledge of his plan to avoid accusations of insider trading. Remy refuses providing further help and accuses Frank of keeping his real agenda from him. He claims to have known Frank enough to know when he is being used. He has slaved for Frank for eight years until he realized his real value. Remy believes that the tables have turned for he now has power over Frank given his position at Glendon Hill and his representation of SanCorp. Frank states that he is trying to strengthen his partnership with SanCorp by doing them a favor. SanCorp returning the favor allows Frank to maintain his influence in the White House, one that trickles down to SanCorp. Remy agrees to speak to Scott Cunningham again.
Frank learns from Linda that the President will be having dinner with Tusk at the White House. He instructs Linda to schedule a meeting with Speaker of the House Bob Birch to allow the congressman to share his choices for the vice presidency. The meeting will never take place, but one that will be on his schedule, but off the official schedule just like his dinner with Tusk. Frank then sends the President’s OTR schedule between that day and Friday to Zoe who in turn sends it to Janine. Janine shares the OTR schedule to her superior, Carly Heath, with the supposition that the President is secretly meeting with Raymond Tusk and Bob Birch, because he is considering both as his vice president. Slugline breaks the news about the two meetings and the press begins to hound Bob Birch about the possibility of the President nominating him as his new vice president. The President learns of the leaked schedule that spurred the news and cancels the meeting with the Speaker of the House to avoid feeding the frenzy.
Doug Stamper learns of news of a sudden surge in SanCorp’s stock and informs Frank who figures that Tusk has made his play. Frank hastens to speak with Linda in order to get a meeting with Tusk before he speaks with the President only to learn that Tusk is already at the White House. Later that night, Frank gets a call from Freddy and learns that Remy is at the BBQ joint waiting for him. To his surprise, Remy had just delivered him to Tusk, who is already inside enjoying a meal. Tusk bought 3% of SanCorp earlier that day and will own over 10% of the company by the end of next week to secure his hold on the company enough not to allow the natural gas company to cause him trouble. Raymond Tusk asks Frank Underwood to reconsider his offer by sharing his need for him to become the vice president. Tusk is dependent on China that controls 95% of the world’s supply of Samariam-149 that he needs for his reactors. The imbalance on currency and the foreign debt of the United States, issues that are in the hands of Congress, endanger his business that is dependent on China. Tusk deems Frank useful to him for his influence in Congress, the legislative body that controls trade tariffs. In fact, it was the reason why Tusk had instructed the President to forego nominating Frank as State Secretary, because he was more beneficial to him in Congress. As of the moment, Tusk is unable to apprise Frank of the services he requires of him, because he is waiting for China to make a move. This causes Frank to continue to refuse Tusk’s offer maintaining his conviction against indentured servitude. Furthermore, Frank demands that Tusk earn his loyalty. He is unwilling to accept Tusk’s offer, but is willing to work with Tusk as equals. He vows to take Tusk’s opinions seriously without the guarantee of agreeing to them. That is all he can offer. Frank is certain no other candidate will prove more useful than he will. President Walker calls Frank in a meeting with him and Raymond Tusk to confess the true nature of his trip to St. Louis. He intimates that Tusk has been his trusted advisor. In fact, he had sent Frank to see Tusk that his advisor can vet him for the vice presidency. Tusk affirms his belief that Frank Underwood will make a formidable and loyal vice president to President Garrett. President Garrett Walker officially asks Congressman Francis Underwood to be his vice president. Frank Underwood gladly accepts the vice presidency. The first benefactor of his rise to vice president is his driver, Ed Meechum. Frank informs him of his desire to include him in his security detail as a member of the Secret Service due to Meechum’s proven loyalty to him. Frank and Claire Underwood celebrate the success of their plan with a sigh of relief. Husband and wife go out on a late night run unaware that Doug is speaking with Christina Gallagher about Zoe Barnes. He claims that everyone at Slugline is trying to smear Congressman Underwood and learns from Christina that Zoe offered her information about Underwood’s involvement with the Kern scandal.
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