The Underwoods' apartment at dawn. A kitchen faucet drips. Frank (Kevin Spacey) breaks it with a hammer blow, then stalks away angrily, obviously in a bad mood.
Later, at his office, Frank meets with Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali), a lobbyist for SanCorp, the natural-gas producers. Frank tells Remy that President Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) is considering multimillionaire Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney), a nuclear-energy proponent and the owner of many nuclear power plants, as his new Vice President.
"You and I cannot let that happen," Frank says. "SanCorp does not want a pro-nuclear-energy man in the White House. SanCorp needs to initiate a hostile takeover" of some of Tusk's subsidiaries, Frank proposes, companies that refine and ship the uranium Tusk's plants need. Remy sounds doubtful but promises to "make some calls."
In her office at CWI, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) is talking to her lawyer, Oliver Spence (Michael Warner), who tells her that her former associate, Gillian Cole (Sandrine Holt) is suing Claire, claiming that Claire fired her because she was pregnant. Claire denies the accusation. The lawyer recommends offering Gillian a settlement.
Slugline reporter Janine Skorsky (Constance Zimmer) tells fellow reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) that, to investigate the death of Congressman Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) they need the arrest record from January, when he was detained for driving while intoxicated. "We need to know who got him off," she says. "If Underwood was involved, we're talking abuse of power and corruption." Zoe counters that "there are no files, no arrest records, nothing." Zoe proposes enlisting Herald city editor Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus) to do some research.
In bed that night, Zoe asks Lucas for help in her investigation but he is not receptive.
In the Oval Room the following morning, President Walker asks Frank about his visit in St. Louis with Raymond Tusk. Frank says he wasn't able to convince Tusk to accept Walker's offer of the Vice Presidency but suggests that Walker invite him to the White House and do it personally. Walker's chief of staff, Linda Vasquez (Sakina Jaffrey), sides with Frank. Walker agrees to a meeting that Friday.
Lucas arrives at Zoe's apartment looking agitated and secretive. Closes all windows, turns off all lights, takes Zoe into a hallway and says that a cover-up of Russo's arrest and release goes all the way up to the Police Commissioner. Through a contact in the Police Department, Lucas has obtained mugshots of Russo's companion at the time of the arrest, a prostitute named Rachel Posner (Rachel Bresnahan). He gives Zoe the pictures and a copy of the woman's previous arrest record. If Zoe investigates further, her life may be in danger, he says. She insists that she'll go on.
Remy phones Frank to say that Scott Cunningham (Armand Schultz), CEO of SanCorp, cannot immediately engage in a corporate takeover of Tusk. Frank asks for a meeting with Cunningham. Remy refuses the request. Frank decides to fly to Atlanta anyway and meet with Cunningham.
Janine, Zoe and Lucas go over Rachel Posner's record. Janine recommends going to Lynchburg, Va., the woman's hometown, to gather more information. Zoe notices that the woman's previous arrest record placed her at the District Grand Hotel.
In Atlanta, Scott Cunningham gets into Frank's car against his better judgment. Cunningham claims that Remy did not speak to him about Tusk and refuses to talk any further with Frank. Frank suspects double-dealing on Remy's part.
Doing research at the District Grand Hotel bar, Lucas notices a call girl (Kellyn Lindsay) picking up a hotel guest. He decides she might be a good source for information about Rachel Posner.
At home, Claire describes her nightmares to Frank. She talks of seeing "the kids" and seeing "the girl" being taken away from her by a clinging vine. Apparently, that's how she visualizes the three children she conceived but aborted.
Later at night, working out in the basement, Frank falls on his back when the rowing machine string breaks. Remy phones him and says he's on his way to Frank's home for a conversation. When Remy arrives, Frank berates him for not telling Cunningham that SanCorp should attack Tusk's holdings. Remy says that he'll deal with Cunningham "my way."
Claire's lawyer tells her that Gillian doesn't want a settlement and wishes to go to court.
In Lynchburg, Va., Zoe meets with one of Rachel's guidance counselors (Carlyncia Peck), who says that Rachel dropped out of school and ran away. The counselor intimates that Rachel was abused by her father.
In Frank's office, Linda tells Frank and Doug that Tusk and the President will meet the following day. Frank asks her to set a meeting between House Speaker Bob Birch (Larry Pine) and the President. She's puzzled but agrees.
Leaving the school, Zoe phones Janine to tell her she's "got something for you." The "something" is an off-the-record schedule for the President, which shows that Walker will meet with Birch on Thursday and Tusk on Friday. That apparently means that the President is going to offer the Vice Presidency to one of them. Janine publishes the item.
The press, alerted by Janine's blog, pounces on both Birch and Tusk. As coached by Frank, Linda tells the President that the leak was the result of a clerical mistake and that the clerk has been fired.
Frank goes into a church and berates God for not aiding his plans.
Claire confronts Gillian at the latter's home. Claire tries to mend fences but Gillian refuses.
Back at home, Claire tells Frank that everything they're doing will go for naught if they have no children to leave it to. Clearly, she has been affected by the fact that Gillian is expecting a child.
At the District Grand Hotel bar, Lucas shows the local call girl a picture of Rachel. The girl says Rachel quit "the business" and is serving tables at a restaurant in Georgetown.
Claire visits an ob-gyn, Dr. Larson (Theresa McCarthy), to inquire about the chances of having a baby after three abortions. Dr. Larson is doubtful.
At the office, Doug warns Frank that Tusk is making a play for SanCorp stock. To Frank, that means that Remy is now serving Tusk, not SanCorp, and has tipped Tusk of Frank's plan. Everything is now backfiring.
At the restaurant in Georgetown, Zoe steals an employee roster that contains Rachel's telephone number. She calls Rachel to make an appointment. The two meet that night at the entrance to a federal building. Zoe says that she knows that Rachel was with Russo when he was arrested for DUI.
Rachel walks away and into Stamper's car. Lucas sees the car drive away and takes down the license number.
Frank gets a call from his barbecued-ribs provider, Freddy (Reg Cathey). When he arrives at Freddy's, he finds Remy and Tusk inside. Remy confirms that he has defected to Tusk ("SanCorp is a big fish but Tusk is a whale.")
Inside Freddy's, Tusk tells Frank that he has bought 3 percent of SanCorp's stock and within the week he will own 10 percent. Tusk wants to stay in good commercial relations with China and needs Frank to help him in Congress. Frank refuses to be an "indentured servant" to Tusk; he wants an equal partnership.
In Zoe's apartment, Janine, Zoe and Lucas try to figure out what really happened to the late Peter Russo. Janine says that Frank wanted Russo to win the Governorship of Pennsylvania, but Zoe realizes that the opposite is probably true: "Maybe he wanted Russo to self-destruct." Her trust in Frank wavers.
Arriving in the Oval Office, Frank is greeted by Walker and Tusk. Walker confesses that he sent Frank to St. Louis so Tusk could vet him. Walker offers Frank the Vice Presidency. Frank accepts.
Frank returns home, tells driver Ed Meechum (Nathan Darrow) that he'll need him to continue to be his bodyguard. Meechum accepts. Inside, Claire congratulates her husband on the appointment.
In a cafeteria, Stamper asks Christina Gallagher (Kristen Connolly), Russo's former aide and mistress, if Zoe Barnes has harassed her. She says that Zoe knew something about the President's withdrawal of the nomination of Michael Kern (Kevin Kilner) as Secretary of State (SEE CHAPTER ONE.) Doug seems concerned.
Claire and Frank leave the house at night for a jog through the neighborhood. Inside their home, Frank's telephone rings. It's a call from Doug. (END CHAPTER)
The following characters appeared in this chapter.
- Frank Underwood
- Claire Underwood
- Zoe Barnes
- Doug Stamper
- Linda Vasquez
- Christina Gallagher
- Gillian Cole
- Janine Skorsky
- Lucas Goodwin
- Garrett Walker
- Remy Danton
- Nancy Kaufberger
- Rachel Posner
- Raymond Tusk
- Edward Meechum
- Freddy Hayes
- Bob Birch
- Carly Heath
- Scott Cunningham (First appearance)
- Oliver Spence (First appearance)
|Season 1 Episodes|
|See also: S1 • S2 • S3 • S4 • S5|