Frank tries to pull the strings in this slow-burning episode that keeps us waiting right until the end for a couple of surprises. Tom joins Claire on the campaign trail while Frank hopes his double-dealing will protect him in the Democratic televised debate with Heather Dunbar and Jackie Sharp.
Let’s hope it’s all leading somewhere a little more exciting as there are only two episodes after this to shift us back to the edge of our seats.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Here’s what you need to know:
1.Rachel is Alive
Doug Stamper learns that Rachel Posner is still alive despite earlier seeing what he thought was her body and the discovery almost leads him to drink, but he stops himself just in time. He’s nearing the end of his eight weeks of sobriety with his brother watching over him at his apartment. Meanwhile, Frank is putting the muscle on Jackie telling her that if she wants to be his VP she must be the “pit bull” at the upcoming TV debate with Heather Dunbar while he acts “presidential.” She’s worried about being called out as a hypocrite by accusing Heather of being anti-feminist and sending her kids to private schools, confiding to Frank that her husband’s children are also being privately educated. He tells her to do it or she’s off the ticket.
2. Claire’s on The Campaign Trail Alone (And Not Too Happy About it)
Claire’s on the campaign trail cheering on the Democrat troops in New Hampshire. Then she watches hubbie in the TV debate and goes off to give blood the next day like a good loyal political wife. But Claire’s not happy and makes little attempt to hide her misery from Tom, who’s tailing after her for his book.
3. Jackie Seeks a Double Cross Deal
Jackie tries to double cross Frank by offering her endorsement to Heather in return for a job in her administration as Secretary of Defense. Heather isn’t going for it. She doesn’t want to make any promises, particularly when she clearly doesn’t trust her female rival. When she’s rebuffed, Jackie decides to stick with Frank – “the devil you know” – with a promise of being on his ticket in the election.
4. Frank Sticks it to Jackie
After being snubbed, Jackie sides with Frank in the live debate, attacking Heather as being anti-women and bringing up the fact that she’s rich enough to get private education for her kids. But her play backfires when Frank brings up the fact that Jackie’s children don’t go to public schools either. Jackie is left speechless – and fuming. Heather holds her own but Frank comes out on top…just.
But is he becoming too much of a bully? Back in the Oval Office, Jackie gets reamed out when she dares to complain to the President about his betrayal.
5. Claire Collapses
Finally the episode moves on from some of the rather dull political posturing and things actually happen. First Claire collapses after giving blood while babbling on to Tom about how she hates needing Frank. She’s been ignoring her husband’s calls but he drops everything to head to New Hampshire to see her and she almost cracks a smile.
Back in DC, the mutiny is starting. Jackie throws a press conference to announce she’s dropping out of the race to endorse…Heather, even though she’s been promised nothing in return. Frank has pissed her off that much.
Remi’s also had enough of Frank’s tantrums and it appears he’s off too, handing in his badge before stalking off down the West Wing corridor. Now Frank’s really got to pull his finger out.