House of Cards Season 2 Episode 1 – “Chapter 14″
Spoiler alert! Do not read if you do not want to know what happens in Chapter 14 of House of Cards.
Get the season wrap up for House of Cards Season 2 here.
In case you’re a little fuzzy on the details from last season, don’t worry, Netflix has a convenient little recap for you before you start season 2. Or, you can go to our Season 1 recap page and read up there.
It seems as if Frank has forgotten about us, the audience. He doesn’t break the fourth wall and acknowledge us until the very end of the episode.
The season starts off with Francis and Claire running in the park at night, which is exactly where season 1 left off. Fitting, since all their activities are dark and shouldn’t see the daylight. It’s Frank’s birthday, and Meechem is debating with Stamper about giving Frank cufflinks for his birthday. They are waiting for the Underwoods at their home. Frank and Claire run up, and Stamper immediately fills Frank in on the Rachel problem. Stamper immediately says he will take care of the problem, to which Frank responds with some skepticism. Stamper was supposed to have taken care of the Rachel problem before, and now look at where they are at.
Zoe, Lucas, and Janine are still looking into Peter Russo’s death and Frank’s involvement. Lucas is able to get the police report on Russo’s death from a buddy in the police department, but the contact tells him never to contact him again – it’s too dangerous, and there are powerful people in play here. Frank wants to meet with Zoe to clear some things up, and after some argument between the three, she decides to go. Frank asks her to clear all their previous contact from her phone. He would like to pursue a strictly professional relationship with here where they can both benefit.
The news crew goes through some more debate about what leads and contacts to pursue, and Zoe gets angry at Janine and Lucas. She storms out of the diner where they are meeting, and when Lucas runs after her, she tells him she needs to think. She meets Frank at a train station and decides to agree to his conditions, as long as he will answer her questions about Russo.
Frank does a marvelous job of not really answering her questions, but Zoe is too smart to buy into his sincerity. He walks away, and she follows him around a corner. Frank suddenly turns, grabs her shoulders, and shoves her into the path of an oncoming train. It took me a minute to comprehend this. I knew the BBC version of the show had killed Zoe off in the first season, but I didn’t think the U.S. version would kill her off, especially not in the first episode of the second season. It was not a fantasy of Frank’s, however, and Zoe is really dead. That’s two notches in Frank’s belt.
Francis has choosen Rep. Jackie Sharp as his replacement as Majority Whip. In true Frank fashion, however, he gets all parties involved in replacing him to agree not to fight. He chooses her because she has a proven, ruthless military background he thinks will be helpful in her position, and no doubt make her easier to side with him. I wonder if Francis has considered that these traits can be used against him.
Claire is dealing with her own issues in her own ruthless way. She tries to work things out with Gillian, but Gillian has decided to take Claire and CWI to court. Claire finally decides to take things into her own hands. She meets with a fertility specialist under the guise of trying to get pregnant (she sort of had me going for a bit there), and asks about a specific drug. The drug helps blood flow to the placenta, and that is all the information Claire needs.
Gillian shows up at Claire’s office, wanting answers. Since Claire purposely cut off all contact between her lawyers and Gillian’s lawyers, and decided to take the issue to trial, Gillian goes directly to Claire. Claire ruthlessly has cut off Gillian’s insurance coverage that was previously covered in Gillian’s severance package. Gillian threatens court again, but Claire tells her to go ahead – it will be six months before a trial might start, and Gillian is due in four months. Interestingly enough, Claire offers all of CWI to Gillian as recommendation. It looks like Claire’s pet project will be of no value to her after Francis takes the presidency. Oops, I mean, vice presidency. We also find out that the father of Gillian’s baby was a married man, and the wife angrily confronts her.
Stamper successfully gets Rachel away, but not after some struggle. He blatantly tells her to quit her job, and makes her pack her things to leave. She tries to threaten him with a knife, but a knife threat is nothing compared to the threats Stamper deals with on a daily basis on the Hill. Rachel is kept in an empty apartment for the meantime, with Stamper bring her coffee and food.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Frank doesn’t break the fourth wall until the very end of the episode.
“Did you think I had forgotten you? Perhaps you hoped I had. Don’t waste a breath mourning Ms. Barnes. Every kitten grows up to be a cat. They seem so harmless at first, small, quiet, lapping up their saucer of milk. But once their claws get long enough, they draw blood, sometimes from the hand that feeds them. For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: Hunt, or be hunted. Welcome back.”