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A Crisis Of Frank

An episode mostly concerned with table-setting ends with a rather surprising showdown between the President of the United States and Jesus Christ.

  • Alert!
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    Tactical Strikes

    Alert Type: Troublesome Solicitor General Alert.

    Issue: Heather Dunbar, who we learned in the last episode, via significant glance, might aspire to the presidency, testifies at the Supreme Court in support of the White House's use of a drone strike that killed a terrorist leader, but also resulted in the death of some civilians, and the loss of legs of Kaseem Mahmoud, an American citizen.

    Complicating Factors: Dunbar's insistence on protecting the office of the presidency, despite working so hard to prosecute Walker last season, signals to Frank's team that she may be ramping up for a run for office in 2016.

    Resolution: Dunbar's national profile as a protector of truth, combined with her family's armored car fortune, does indeed make her a formidable candidate, so Frank dispatches Jackie to see what can be done with her.

    Spoiler: If you can't beat 'em, find somewhere else for them to play. Oh, and while all this is happening, Frank is attending a funeral at Arlington Cemetery, and look who's delivering the sermon!

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    It's Bishop John Doman! Assume he'll show up again.

  • Phone Call
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    "Parlez-Vous Francais?"No Bueno"

    As Petrov promised, the Russians used their vote on the U.N. Security Council to block Claire's attempt to form a peacekeeping coalition in the Jordan Valley; so, Claire gets on her sleek, shiny iPhone (in stores now!) to ring the ambassadors of other countries to try to put together a vote in the General Assembly that would override Russia's veto.

    Look, I love Robin Wright, but maybe let's not have her speak French again. The over-pronunciation of phonetic spellings she's probably reading off cue cards is reminiscent of that time I tried to deliver a speech about Dia de los Muertos while hungover in Sophomore Spanish.

  • Character Study
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    Second In Kommand

    Name: Alexi Moryakov.
    Age: Early 40s.
    Occupation: Russian Ambassador.
    Goal: To make Petrov happy and pretend to try really hard when Claire asks him to help her out.
    Sample Dialogue: "I've dealt with Jews for many years at the U.N. The minute it gets difficult -- and it will get difficult -- they'll turn their backs on you."
  • Meeting Time
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    Have I Got Good News For You!

    Who called the meeting? Frank.

    What's it about? Frank's figured out a solution to his Dunbar problem that should satisfy all parties involved: installing her as a Supreme Court justice. She gets a job for life, he removes a strong primary contender from his path, and Justice Jacobs gets to retire and spend more time with his family before Alzheimer's completely takes over his mental faculties.

    How'd it go? Like I said, this is a deal that should make everyone happy. And Dunbar does accept. Nothing can go wrong now! (Something will go wrong.)

  • Character Study
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    "You Are Not Forgiven"

    Name: Naseem Mahmoud.
    Age: 40s (?).
    Occupation: Unclear; he was in Afghanistan during the drone strike, ostensibly doing nothing illegal.
    Goal: To convince the president that America's drone program -- and the skewed statistics presented to the public about said program -- should be stopped; or, at the very least, to make Frank feel bad about ordering the drone strike that blew up his legs.
    Sample Dialogue: "You know what I dreamed about last night? Coming here and choking you with my bare hands." Harsh.
  • I Am Not A Crackpot
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    I Am Not A Crackpot, I Just Think This Mission Could Be Handled Better By Literally Anyone

    Doug and Gavin really like this diner! They're always meeting here to talk about how hard it is to find Rachel, and probably eat meatloaf. Gavin asks Doug for more information that could lead him to Rachel, including favorite books. Okay, so you can’t find her with all of the resources of the FBI at your disposal (which you somehow get away with abusing even though you're a cyber-criminal who's probably being watched at all times), but you could triangulate her location if you just had her Goodreads account?

    Gavin then suggests they talk to Rachel's ex-lover, Lisa. Doug thinks it's a bad idea, but Gavin is convinced it's the only way forward. "It's social engineering! I'll hack her that way." Uh, Doug? Maybe don't trust the espionage work to the hacker who spends so much time behind a computer that he refers to communicating with other humans as "social engineering."

  • Health
    From the desk of

    Doctor/President Frank Underwood

    Patient

    Justice Jacobs

    Diagnosis

    Alzheimer's. But you already knew that, didn’t you? Unless you don't anymore. I'm a very insensitive president/doctor.

    Prescription

    A long, relaxing vacation for the rest of your life -- maybe somewhere tropical, like Cuba! We're allowed to go there now! Sorta. I'll make arrangements.

    I know you think you're capable of continuing to serve on the Court, but is that really the best idea? What if someone -- I have no idea who, but someone -- leaked the info about you not being quite all there? What a mess that would be! So, yeah, hightail your elderly ass to a hammock so I can give your seat to Heather Dunbar and make it easier for myself to hold on the White House and probably take over France or shut down all Quizno's shops or something equally insane. We'll cross that road when we get there. Does any of this make sense to you? No? Well, then you should probably retire.

    Look at how old you are in the mirror!
    Watch Columbo on DVD.
    Watch it again until you're dead, please.

  • Dialogue

    Digging For The Truth

    Ayla Sayyad stops by Seth's office to hound him about AmWorks once again. It's a good thing that Ayla cares about AmWorks this week because no one else does.

    I think you issued the moratorium because you're losing the battle.
    It's five hundred billion dollars! This is the biggest jobs program since the New Deal. Of course it's a slugfest. That doesn't mean we're losing.
    Then let me speak to someone who can confirm that, because all I'm hearing from the Republicans is that AmWorks will never see the light of day.
    I sympathize with you, Ayla. I wish I could give you what you want.

    No, he doesn't.

  • Alert!
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    With Disregard For Basic Human Rights, From Moscow

    Alert Type: Russian Retaliation Alert

    Issue: Michael Corrigan, an American gay-rights activist protesting in Moscow, has been arrested under Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

    Complicating Factors: While this would be a problem at any time, it looks like Petrov specifically ordered the arrest to punish the Underwoods for meddling in the U.N.

    Resolution: Claire tries to appeal to Moryakov, but as he tells her, it's more difficult to change a president's opinion when you're not married to him.

    Spoiler: We'll deal more with this in "Chapter 32", probably my favorite episode of the season.

  • Passages
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    R.I.P. Ayla Sayyad's Press Credentials

    Aww, poor Ayla! She pushed just hard enough during Frank's press conference about Corrigan to get her position as a member of the White House press corps revoked. As an added kick in the balls, Seth ends the moratorium on AmWorks info that Ayla had requested for the entire press corps -- which, obviously, no longer includes her. So long, Ayla! You were a good reporter. I know that because your Wikipedia character description says "tenacious."

  • Awkward
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    Take Your Nomination And Shove It

    Situation: Dunbar, without any forewarning, has announced her intention to run for president..

    What makes it awkward? Frank was pretty sure he had this whole Dunbar thing wrapped up. She accepted the Supreme Court nomination and everyone was happy! What happened? Well, Frank happened. Word got back to Dunbar that Frank had basically threatened Jacobs into abandoning his seat, so she decided that someone needs to remove Frank from his seat of power. And who better to do it than her?

    How is order restored? This is the new order. Dunbar's got Frank's number and she is NOT. CALLING. BACK.

  • That Quote
    "Is this how you live with yourself? By rationalizing the obscene into the palatable?"
    - Heather Dunbar nailing President Underwood for his treatment of Justice Jacobs -
  • Wrap It Up
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    Gavin begins his "human hacking" of Lisa at the Fellowship where she's giving a speech about loss and faith and whatnot. After the meeting, Gavin pulls her aside to tell her what an impact her speech had on him, since he's still suffering from a bad breakup. The seeds have been planted!

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    Doug -- now complete with badass, gravitas-radiating cane -- is waiting for Dunbar when she comes out of a fundraiser meeting but doesn't want to be seen with her lest their mutual enemies find out; so, he calls her from the end of a hallway like a real theatrical creeper.

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    Doug tells Dunbar that he'd like to work for her in a shadow capacity since Frank clearly has no intention of putting him back on the payroll. Having been the Chief of Staff for the minority whip for ten years, Doug knows more about the key fundraising figures and grassroots organizations that Dunbar will need to woo if she's going to run for president. Dunbar's initially skeptical, but then Doug starts hobbling towards her ominously and it's hard to say no to that.

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    Frank calls up Claire to vent about the Dunbar situation. He tries to work through why he was so careless his dealings with Jacobs and ultimately decides that it was Mahmoud's visit to the White House that unnerved him. Claire, thankfully, tells him to get over his shit and move on like the power-hungry monster he is. But Frank's not quite ready to move on...

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    Frank has Bishop John Doman meet him at church in the middle of the night because he's the president and he can do that. Frank asks about the sermon he delivered at Arlington, saying he'd never heard it before. Ummm...you've never heard the story of Abraham and Isaac, Frank? Bullshit. You're a card-carrying Christian who grew up in South Carolina. It's like the third story in the Old Testament! Next you're gonna tell us you had no idea there was a snake in the Garden of Eden.

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    Anyway, Bishop John Doman tells Frank that he always gives the same sermon when he's burying soldiers at Arlington because he got tired of writing new ones. Frank asks about the concept of justice, and Bishop John Doman goes on and on about love and...why are we doing this? When did this show suddenly become interested in higher concepts of theology and The Big Picture? Or, at least, when did it start stating those themes out loud like a stoned freshman in a dorm room?

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    Frank asks Bishop John Doman if he can have some privacy to pray, and Doman's all, "Sure. I'm glad I could ride over on my motorcycle in the middle of the night to calm your fears about Jesus. I definitely wasn't living my own life or anything like that." Then, Frank starts egging on the statue of Jesus, demonstrating the sanity you'd hope from the most powerful man in the free world.

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    Shoving it in Jesus's face that he's still alive and in possession of salivary glands, Frank spits on the statue's face, only to have the wrath of God (or gravity) fall down upon him when he tries to wipe off his wrongdoing.

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    So, what did we get from all this?

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    Boooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

For Dick Week we list:

What each House Of Cards character would name his dick/her hypothetical dick!

  • Frank Underwood: Tom Delay (a.k.a. The Hammer)
  • Claire Underwood: Cockdoleezza Rice
  • Heather Dunbar: The Truth
  • Edward Meechum: Daddy's Little Helper
  • Gavin Orsay: Nine-Inch Nailer
  • Remy Danton: The Staff Of Chief
  • Doug Stamper: Rachel
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