“House of Cards” returns for Season 2 on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 14 — happy Valentine’s Day, right? — and in preparation, Zap2it is taking a quick look back at the first season. Saturday (Feb. 8) things are heating up with “Chapter 7.”
Where we are:
In this episode, the focus turns to Vice President Matthews (Dan Ziskie). He gets wind that Frank is grooming Peter Russo for a run in the Pennsylvania governorship special election, and he’s annoyed to be left out of the process (since it’s his seat the special election is for). Matthews is also rankled because he isn’t getting to play as much of a role in the administration as he thought he would.
President Walker’s chief of staff, Linda Vasquez, has to kind of smack Matthews down a bit — he knew what the vice-presidency would entail when he signed on. The president is also unhappy with how much attention Matthews is paying to his home state, as opposed to looking at the bigger picture.
However, Vasquez does think Matthews has a point about Russo: He’s young and inexperienced, and then she’s quite dismayed to find out he’s a recovering drug addict. But Frank uses his deft way with words to convince Walker that Russo is the right choice — even if Russo himself is having doubts.
Not terribly keen on the idea of revealing most of his dirty laundry to the country, Russo starts seriously questioning if he should run for Pennsylvania governor, but Frank knows just what button to push to convince him. Frank gets Christina to buck up Peter’s confidence and agree to work as deputy campaign manager.
The only thing that could cause some problems is Russo’s hooker, Rachel. She needs more money and goes to Doug Stamper about it. He finds himself with a bit of a soft spot for her and gives her money, then sets her up with a place to stay (in the guest room at Frank’s secretary Nancy’s house).
Finally, Zoe gets the scoop about Russo from Frank so that she can prepare a profile piece for when he announces his run for governor. She isn’t terribly interested in doing it, but Frank advises her to give it someone else so that person owes her a favor.
Frank also gets to his most disgusting regarding Zoe when he spies her old editor, Lucas, kissing her on the street outside her apartment and decides he needs to assert his authority over her.
He acts as though he doesn’t care if Zoe has other lovers, but he really, really does — because he then tells her to call her father to wish him a happy Father’s Day and then performs oral sex on her while she talks to her dad and Zoe’s into it. It’s pretty much the basest portrayal of their rather gross relationship.
Frank: “Insecurity bores me.”
Zoe: “I feel the same way about condescension.”
Frank: “There’s a value in having secrets.”