“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. Friday (Feb. 7) we hit the halfway point with “Chapter 6.”
Where we are:
It’s a month since we last saw the “House of Cards” crew. In that time, the teachers have been striking for weeks, so Frank has to act because President Walker wants to cave.
Frank’s plan is three-tiered. First, he stages an “attack” on his own house, having his chief of staff Doug throw a brick through the window while his protective detail is being offered coffee by Claire. After Agent Meechum (Nathan Darrow) fires his weapon at the dark figure of Doug running away, he is initially fired for his recklessness at discharging his gun in a residential neighborhood, but Frank eventually gets him his job back. Now Meechum is more or less beholden to Frank.
The second tier of Frank’s plan is to capitalize on a local tragedy when an eight-year-old boy who should have been in school is shot and killed. If the teachers weren’t striking, you see, the boy would still be alive. It’s Frank at his most disgusting.
It’s also something the strike could have combated, by turning the conversation to crime and guns, but Frank’s part three is to reveal to Martin Spinella that Doug threw the brick and provoke Marty in to punching him — assaulting a U.S. congressman is a felony.
Spinella has no choice but to call off the strike. He’s out of his league going up against the calm psychosis of Frank Underwood, even after Frank uncharacteristically fumbles their debate on live TV.
There are a few other little tidbits in this episode:
- Zoe is finding her way at Slugline and seems to like her new boss, Carly Heath (Tawny Cypress).
- Peter Russo is one month sober and ready to run for governor of Pennsylvania. He reaches out to Christina to apologize and you just know she’s going to go back to him.
- It turns out the Underwoods’ former agent, Steve, has stage four cancer. He asks Claire to come see him and ends up confessing his love for her (and his hatred for Frank). We get a wonderful peek into Claire’s psyche as she explains why she’s with Frank (below, in best lines).
Carly: “Do you ever want to have any job for more than two years?”
Frank: “I want you to listen very closely to what I’m about to say. From this moment on, you are a rock. You absorb nothing, you say nothing and nothing breaks you. Is that clear?”
Claire, recalling Frank’s proposal: “He said, ‘Claire, if all you want is happiness, say no. I’m not going to give you a couple of kids and count the days until retirement. I promise you freedom from that. I promise you’ll never be bored.’ … He was the only one who understood me.”