Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chapter 24 Season 2 – House of Cards Episode Summary 2.11

Vice President Frank Underwood emerges from the Justice Department
House of Cards Episode 23 Summary: Vice President Frank Underwood faces questions from Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar about his knowledge of the money-laundering scheme involving Xander Feng, Daniel Lanagin, Raymond Tusk, and possibly the White House.  Dunbar presents irrefutable evidence that could lead to his indictment.  Meanwhile, Claire Underwood’s damaged reputation causes her to seek Megan Hennessey’s help in advocating for the bill against sexual assault in the armed forces.

House of Cards Chapter 23 Recap: Vice President Frank Underwood arrives at the Department of Justice to answer questions regarding the trade of foreign money for political favors that influenced White House policy.  Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar leads the investigation and begins to probe the Vice President on his meetings with Daniel Lanagin.  Frank denies speaking to Lanagin about his tribe’s contribution to any of the super PACs or to any supporter as it is against the law.  He also does not confirm speaking with Xander Feng as part of the back-channel negotiations with China.Continue reading...

Dunbar continues with the probe, but Frank is prepared to deny the claims with convincing explanations.  Frank denies discussing Raymond Tusk and Xander Feng’s refinery to the President during the energy crisis stating that it would not provide an immediate solution to the energy shortage.  Dunbar suspects that Tusk benefited from the subsidy on samarium, because of his influence in the White House, but she learns the opposite.  Frank Underwood states that Tusk was against the subsidy that benefited all energy companies.  Dunbar moves on to the Port Jefferson Bridge project and inquires about its approval as a trade-off to prevent additional GOP funding.  Frank denies this and instead claims it as a delivery of a promise the President made to the voters.  He later learns from Dunbar that a high-ranking House member he assumes as Bob Birch testified to attending a meeting on July 14 in the Oval Office.  Frank concurs attending the meeting and states its agenda.  They had met to discuss the extensive attack ads against the Democrats.  He insists in being unaware of the source of GOP funding at that time until they learned of Lanagin’s betrayal.  Dunbar notes that the GOP funding stopped soon after the approval of the Port Jefferson Bridge project.  She connects the bridge to Feng, Tusk, and the President of the United States, but Frank finds her connections thin until she presents photos of Doug Stamper at Lanagin’s casino on July 14 and flight records that showed the Vice President’s Chief of Staff flying to Beijing the following day.  Doug Stamper is in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting discussing his strange obsession with Rachel Posner unware of the evidence presented that connected him to Feng.  Dunbar’s discovery also stunned Lanagin.  He suspects Tusk told the special prosecutor where to look.  Remy Danton risks being seen with Lanagin to ensure his loyalty despite the betrayal from Tusk.  Lanagin is considering taking the deal the Justice Department offered to him in exchange for his cooperation, but Remy offers him and his family money for his silence.  Remy then flies to California to discuss Jackie Sharp with disgraced former House Representative Ted Havemeyer in the pretense of hiring her as a lobbyist for Glendon Hill in anticipation of her loss in the elections.  Remy offered to buy Ted’s house in exchange for his confirmation of Jackie’s betrayal that led to his ruin, but the former House Representative confirmed it without cost to Remy.  Ted vows never to forgive her, but asserts his understanding of her actions.  Remy surprises Jackie in California to threaten her with the knowledge of her betrayal.  Leaking the information of how Jackie truly earned her position as the Whip will ensure her loss in the elections.  He blackmails her into setting up a suspicious meeting with Frank Underwood, one she will testify to Dunbar as a meeting where the Vice President forced her to testify in his favor.  Jackie refuses to be manipulated and takes the risk of losing the midterms.  Remy meets with Tusk and claims not to have found anything against Jackie.  He offers to target another high-profile member of the House, but Tusk insists on using Jackie to get to Frank.

Vice President Frank Underwood returns to the White House to attend the meeting about the Sino-Japanese tensions where President Garrett Walker has decided to send warships near Okinawa as a show of support for Japan after China refused to vacate Japan’s territorial waters.  President Walker dismisses the team, but asks Frank to stay and brief him on the inquiry.  Frank feigns nonchalance, but his fidgeting betrays him.  Fear has finally reached Frank Underwood.  Stamper remains absent when Frank needs him most.  Nancy Kaufberger joins the Vice President’s staff and hands to Frank the package containing the watch he gave Remy Danton several years ago.  Stamper finally returns to the White House and receives reproach from the Vice President.  Frank suspects Stamper’s negligence as a result to his return to alcoholism, but Stamper vehemently denies it.  He, however, confesses to be going through troubles of his own, but one he can manage without Frank’s help.  Frank gives Stamper a third chance.  Stamper offers to take the fall notwithstanding the knowledge of an indictment, but Frank takes another approach.  He and Stamper will both take responsibility.  Stamper takes the first step in regaining his competence.  He confides to Seth Grayson his averseness to work with him before.  He has come to accept the Press Secretary’s exemplary work.  Stamper is now willing to work and to trust him with the responsibilities that ultimately protect the Vice President.  He warns Seth that his work will extend beyond managing the press.  Seth accepts his new responsibilities and begins looking for evidence damaging to the Vice President.  Stamper, on the other hand, takes the next step and ends communication with Rachel Posner.  His decision, however, came too late for Gavin Orsay has already been tracking him.

First Lady Tricia Walker reneges on the interview with Claire Underwood and Matt Bai of The New York Times to discuss the Countering Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces Act of 2014.  It was a decision she made in support of her husband.  The First Lady and the President believe in the need to distance themselves from the scandalous Underwoods.  Claire informs Seth Grayson of the First Lady’s decision to forego the Matt Bai interview and is unpleasantly surprised to receive advice to do the same.  The Press Secretary of the Vice President believes that the interview will only hurt Claire’s personal image and the bill given the Galloway scandal that will be discussed in the interview.  Claire then receives troubling news from her husband.  The Justice Department uncovered evidence that connects Francis to a serious crime.  Claire expends the stress following the subsequent disappointing news on the rowing machine Ed Meechum helped fix and move up to the bedroom.  She is determined to fight for survival.  She focuses on the bill that is of great importance to her.  Reluctant to let it fail due to unrelated scandals that undermined her reputation, she finds a solution in Megan Hennessey.  Megan arrives at the Underwoods’ residence beset with angry protesters condemning Claire for her abortion and adultery.  Claire summoned her to ask her to become the voice of the bill against sexual assault, believing that Megan has now overcome the distress that haunted her.

Unable to deny irrefutable evidence Dunbar presented, Frank decides to tell the truth.  He informs President Walker of the Justice Department’s discovery causing the President to panic.  Frank argues that he had sent Stamper to the casino as part of his own investigation and kept it from the Department of Justice due to his disinclination to disclose diplomatic protocols and his concern about the midterm elections.  More importantly, his actions were born out of his eagerness to protect the President of the United States.  President Walker is concerned that Frank’s testimony will only prompt Dunbar to investigate further.  Frank recommends volunteering their travel logs as a gesture of cooperation.  President Walker is averse to the idea concerned at the discovery of the marriage counseling he and his wife have been attending, but Frank inveigles the President into agreeing to his suggestion arguing that they had created a perfect cover.  The President had in fact arranged the marriage counseling in the house of a sick friend in order to explain his frequent visits.

After hours of pouring through Frank’s travel logs, Stamper informs Frank that the White House called to inform them of the President’s decision to volunteer his travel logs from the day he took office including those that places him in marriage counseling.  Meanwhile, Stamper and Seth confirmed Frank’s logs as clean.  Seth also has the Vice President’s statement prepared.  Vice President Frank Underwood confidently appears before Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar and confesses to have been the back channel chosen to negotiate with Xander Feng, a man who has recently fled China due to corruption charges.  Dunbar is certain Feng laundered the money and is giving the Vice President an opportunity to admit his knowledge of the money-laundering scheme.  Frank admits to have sensed of something awry with the casino, which prompted him to investigate.  He, however, strongly denies having knowledge of the money laundering given that Stamper did not find any illegal activity at the casino.  Frank decided against bringing his suspicion to the proper authorities out of election concerns.  He was avoiding unnecessary attention from unfounded allegations.  Frank takes full responsibility for his actions and offers Dunbar both the Vice President and the President’s travel logs.  Dunbar is skeptical of the contents of the logs that are supposed to divulge the people and the places where the Vice President and the President have been, but Frank Underwood offers his team’s full cooperation for any questions she might have about them.  The Vice President emerges from the Department of Justice pleased and the press release his office issued soon after receives positive coverage.  There, however, has been increasing interest on Stamper’s involvement prompting him to agree to send a statement taking full responsibility for his actions and his willingness to cooperate with the Justice Department.  Stamper rewards himself with a visit to Rachel, but finds her having intercourse with Lisa Williams.  He becomes troubled with what he witnessed and leaves without making his presence known.  Meanwhile, Frank finally tracks down Remy and meets with him in private to discuss the cryptic message he sent.  Glendon Hill has taken the first step in terminating his partnership.  He reaches out to Frank for help with an offer to lessen the damage to him.  Frank immediately senses the olive branch as part of Remy’s reluctance to ruin Jackie Sharp and his mistaken belief of Frank’s inclination to protect her.

Megan agrees to an interview with Matt Bai of The New York Times that begins awkwardly until Matt openly asks her to become uncontrived with her answers.  She confesses that her hatred of McGinnis got her through the attacks about her mental instability during the trial.  She was proud to have stared down McGinnis into shame after accusing him of betraying his country for depriving it of a good Marine.  Matt brings up the opposition of the sexual assault bill from veteran Jackie Sharp, one Megan sees as a traitor as well.  Megan returns to the Underwoods’ residence manic after a successful interview educing concern from Claire.  She offers her avail with an eagerness to do more interviews.  Claire thanks Megan and sends her back to Chicago.  Disturbed at the effect of the assault done to the young former Marine, Claire desensitizes her feelings with alcohol.  Intoxicated, she drops a wine glass on the floor causing Meechum to come to her aid before cutting himself on a glass.  Claire attends to his wound and persuades the off-duty bodyguard to drink with her.  The two becomes drunk and fills the house with laughter until Frank arrives.  Both explain what had transpired that led to their inebriation reminding Claire to re-bandage Meechum’s wound.  Claire returns to find Frank inspecting Meechum’s wound arousing all of them.  Claire and Frank corrupt Meechum into having sexual intercourse with them.  Husband and wife find no shame in what they had done.  In fact, they begin a new day refreshed and fulfilled even without the knowledge of Dunbar unearthing a recurring unfamiliar address on the President’s travel logs.

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