House Of Cards Recap: Chapter 25, Impeachy Keen



ep251Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
I'm watching the entire second season of Netflix's original political melodrama House of Cards instead of spending my weekend interacting with actual humans, and posting one recap per day. Catch the recap for chapter 24 here.

The end is near, for both me and House of Cards. I suspect that I'll have to detox from all political dramas, both real and imagined, for the next several weeks, spending time instead with long-neglected episodes of Sex Sent Me to the ER. Don't judge.

Over in our not-entirely fictional world of Washington, D.C., Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar, whose face is apparently built without the muscles that allow one to smile, meets with the president's marriage therapist, the kindly Dr. Larkin, who also happens to be a man of the cloth. Frank had convinced Walker that his counseling sessions would be overlooked when they offered Dunbar all of their travel records, but that, like everything, was only a ploy. Larkin doesn't have to say anything, though, because of his relationship to his client.

Walker might be a terrible president and easily manipulable, but he's not completely stupid. He shuts Frank out of all of his doings, and threatens to put him on his "goddamn back" if he sees him again. Way harsh, Walker. (Also, I'm no legal expert, but I'm pretty sure that's illegal, which probably doesn't help his current situation.)

On the Hill, Jackie's not too happy with The New York Times Magazine story on Fidgety Private Megan, but she doesn't blame her — she blames Claire. When Megan appears on MSNBC to discuss the sexual assault bill, Jackie calls into the show and starts going off on Claire (who, by the way, is not even there). Megan might've forgotten to take one of her dozen pills that day, because she instantly melts down into a stuttering mess. This makes for terrible television.

Claire and Frank share a cigarette and openly scheme against the Walkers. We've never really seen them discuss their strategies so nakedly like this — it's always been disguised behind knowing looks and a general, unspoken coordination. They try to figure out a way to leak the fact that Walker has been popping Xanax to Dunbar, which will make him seem unfit to hold office.

That's only one part of the puzzle. Frank also convinces Secretary Durant to give Xander Feng, who's fled China on corruption charges, asylum in the U.S. "You're asking me to undermine the president," she says. (Uh-doyee.) Frank admits that he's gunning for the Oval Office himself: "Would that be so bad?" So, Dunbar and Durant call up Feng with the offer, but only if he'll admit to the existence of the money laundering scheme. After about five seconds of consideration, he rolls over like a happy kitten.
ep252Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Then there's Doug — sad, weird, spiteful Doug. Having given up on his plan to quit Rachel, he decides instead to stalk Lisa in a parking lot and short out the battery on her car. When she can't get it to start, he heroically pulls up next to her with a smile and a pair of jumper cables. He tells her his name is Peter and drives her back to their apartment, and for some reason she invites him in. Rachel, of course, looks horrified but thinks up a lame excuse to follow him outside the apartment. There, he tells her to get rid of Lisa, which she does.

Over at Cashew HQ, Gavin's just chillin' to some Venetian Snares when the Feds burst in and try to cuff him, but he demands a meeting with the boxer-nosed Agent Green. Later, during their late-night rendezvous, Gavin tells Green that the dongle he had Lucas smuggle into the data center did in fact contain malicious code that gave him access to AT&T's data. "That's on you," he says, "and that's on the FBI." Not only does he want his own charges dropped, he also wants them dropped for real-life journalist Barrett Brown, who is currently in jail on a variety of dubious charges.

Meanwhile, Dunbar subpoenas Tusk, who's grown a creepy beard. With his comical team of a gazillion lawyers, Tusk reluctantly meets with Dunbar, but he pleads the fifth on every question. With Feng now in her pocket, however, he doesn't have much of a defense.

POTUS, however, doesn't have the option of deflecting because it will only implicate him more. He decides to waive his privilege with Dr. Larkin, who appears before Dunbar and admits that he prescribed medication to the Walkers. When his answers seem a little too carefully crafted, Dunbar accuses him of having being coached, which amounts to witness tampering on the president's end. With that adding scandal on top of scandal, the House Republicans consider impeachment.

Claire decides to withdraw her bill in order to make Jackie look like a bully to the Walkers, but also to re-endear herself for tactical purposes. When Claire tells Megan that the bill's been killed, she tells her that "we need to accept incremental reform." That only quickens Megan's slide into crazy-town.

Frank invites Intrepid Reporter Ayla Sayyad to his house to discuss the investigation, but he really just wants to get his support for Walker on record so that he can slither his way back into the president's confidence. The next day, however, he brings Jackie over to talk about his real intentions: He wants to go forward with impeachment because it will help to distance the party from scandal and, of course, open up a vacancy in the Oval Office. "What you're asking is just shy of treason," she says.

Eh, but what's a little light treason between friends?