“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. Tuesday (Feb. 11) starts the downhill slide of Peter Russo with “Chapter 10.”
Where we are:
In the wake of the watershed act not passing the House, Frank has rebellion on all sides — Zoe reveals to him it was Claire who torpedoed the bill (and she wants to print it in on Slugline), Claire not only sank the bill but also doesn’t seem to understand that Frank’s long-term goal trumps her ambitions, and Peter Russo says he’ll go public with the Roy Kapeniak lie about the Michael Kern op-ed if Frank doesn’t fix this for Russo’s people in Pennsylvania and his gubernatorial race.
So Frank decides it’s time to do away with Russo, who has become quite the liability. The first part involves setting Russo up with some help from hooker Rachel. She seduces him, gets him drunk and parties with him until the sun is up, about 30 minutes before he’s due on the air for a radio interview in Pittsburgh.
Russo, being the addictive personality that he is, falls for it hook, line and sinker. He barely puts up a fight when Rachel slips him her room card and offers him whiskey. And naturally, the next morning’s interview is awful — and it’s up on the Internet not 10 minutes later, thanks to Frank tipping off Zoe. Russo is finished (though honestly, the Rachel seduction/drunken bender should have gone farther to make it more believable. Russo was a functioning alcoholic and drug addict for years. There’s no way that’s all it takes for him to sound like an idiot on the radio).
Meanwhile, while Frank orchestrates the implosion of Peter Russo, Zoe gets a visit from Claire and realizes what a crappy existence she lives as Frank’s whore (her word). So Zoe goes to Lucas for solace. He is conveniently kind of in love with her.
Who else is finding solace in a man other than Frank? Mrs. Underwood herself. Claire takes off for New York and spends a nice weekend with Adam. Frank is less than pleased.
Frank: “We make decisions together.”
Claire: “It hasn’t felt that way for the last six months.”
Frank: “CWI is important, yes. But it doesn’t come close to what we are trying to accomplish, you must see that! I’m just being honest.”
Claire: “Then be honest about using me the way you use everybody else. That was never part of the bargain.”
Frank: “It only takes 10 seconds to crush a man’s ambitions. I need to take care I protect mine.”