“Lie after lie. First to a prosecutor, then to a president. I feel exposed, like the skin where my ring used to be.”
We’re coming up on the end of the season now and some of the bigger pieces are starting to fall into place. Doug is getting closer to relapsing while Frank lies to a prosecutor and further manipulates a fatigued President Walker.
In Chapter 24, Frank spins various lies to both the President and the prosecutor in charge of investigating the nefarious claims against the administration and Raymond Tusk. Watching Frank lie to the prosecutor is masterful. Kevin Spacey‘s acting really shows the nuanced genius that is Frank Underwood’s open relationship with honesty.
The opening scene with Frank answering the prosecutor’s questions was phenomenal. His insistence that her source was Birch was a great display of his power as he undermined the prosecutor with subtle manipulation.
Doug’s speech about Rachel at his AA meeting cleared up a lot of confusion I had about their relationship and what she means to him. The way he equates his infatuation with her to his addiction to drinking fits incredibly well. I haven’t given Michael Kelly enough credit in these reviews. The guy is a fantastic actor and I love that they’re giving him such an expanded and more personal role this season. It’s exactly what I wanted when I finished season one.
Doug and Frank shared a great heart to heart in this episode as well. You can tell how much trust Frank has for his Chief of Staff and how much he genuinely cares about the guy. Though, this is Frank we’re talking about, so I can’t be too sure about that. Still, it was very big of Frank to give Doug another shot.
I still think Doug is headed toward a big downfall, though. So the enjoyment of that scene of forgiveness sits under a cloud that’s quickly building into what I think will be a big shit storm for the guy. I’m very curious what he’s going to do after watching Rachel and her lover through the window.
Rachel isn’t the only character to get laid in this episode. Claire got Meacham drunk and together she and Frank seduced him. Throughout the episode, Frank was incredibly stressed. It was nice of Claire to…orchestrate an opportunity for Frank to relieve some stress.
There are a lot of implications that come from this scene. Or at least there are a lot of ways to interpret this chain of events. When I first watched it, I chalked it up to Frank needing a release from the stress of lying and playing so many angles. But the more I sat with the scene and contemplated it, the more I come back to a certain theory.
Is Frank gay?
The scene last season with Frank and his friend from his school days makes it plainly obvious that the two of them had a romantic relationship. There’s been an emphasis this season on the fact that Frank and Claire don’t have kids. We know that Claire has had three abortions, but it’s never been stated that they were Frank’s. I don’t think we’ve seen Frank have sex with anyone besides Zoe and that was strictly about power.
I could be reaching with this theory. It could be what the show is trying to convey, but it’s not something I think the show will take much further. Frank is better suited as a mercurial, secretive character. But it’s an interesting thought exercise. Early in this episode, Frank gets cheeky when he tells the prosecutor he’s from the south. It’s not a stretch by any means to think that a homosexual southern politician would marry for political reasons.
Regardless of what that scene is meant to tell us, it has me on edge. Meacham is obviously very loyal and trustworthy. But I can just see, in a season or two, an arc where Meacham goes to the press and tells them “When i was assigned a detail to the Vice President, his wife got me drunk and they both seduced me.” I doubt they’ll go that route, but it would really be a cluster fuck if they did.
Remy and Jackie had it out. I love that Remy can see the strings Frank has attached to Jackie but it’s a bit frustrating that she can’t or won’t admit that he’s got her. Rounding out that exchange was the later scene with Remy and Frank. I’m curious what Frank is going to do now that he’s revealed to us that Jackie means nothing to him.
There was hardly any Gavin in this episode. In fact, all we saw was him losing Doug’s signal. But the look on his face told me that he may have a trick or two up his sleeve.
Finally, Frank and the President turned over their travel logs to the prosecutor. Frank had Doug and Seth pore over his log backwards and forwards. The President, however, didn’t have that kind of internal scrutiny present and the prosecutor found something.
Frank’s reference early in the episode to the President’s “friend” makes me confident that the log reveals Walker’s secret relationship with Christina. I think this is Frank’s end game. Frank intends to push the tired, stressed President out of office (either by impeachment or forced resignation) so that he can ascend to the presidency. President Underwood. The words make me shudder.
What did you think of Chapter 24? Let me know in the comments and make sure you check out all my other House of Cards related posts. Also, follow me around the internet with the links below.