Previously on House of Cards, ‘Chapter 27’
Claire’s meeting with the Senate for possible Ambassadorship in the UN gets off to a great start. She addresses the claims of nepotism regarding her nomination coming from her husband with honesty, and assures them that it’s only a nomination. She understands that it’s the Senate’s job to decide her fate. She’s calm and confident in her answers until Senator Mendoza brings up her relationship with the military. Claire remarks the military is irrelevant in regards to one of his questions. Mendoza jumps at the opportunity to take her words out of context and uses it to his advantage. Unfortunately she fails to make clear what her intentions were, and comes out of it looking hotheaded and ill equipped for the job. Mendoza obviously treated her this way on purpose, to see how she would handle this type of situation, but he still seems like a real asshole.
Meanwhile, Frank has a meeting of his own that turns out poorly. He’s meant to be discussing the America Works program with the DNC but they announce to him that they don’t want him to run in 2016. They want a fresh face the entire party can unite behind. Of course, it’s just a request. He can decide to run if he chooses, but they won’t back him. Frank targets two members of the DNC to meet with believing he can persuade their support individually. The first is Terry Womack, but it turns out it was his idea. The second is Jackie Sharp. She meets with Remy Danton and agrees to be their eyes and ears in the DNC if she’s on the ticket as VP for 2016.
In a beautifully filmed montage, we see the Underwoods making phone calls and doing damage control. Claire has started waking Senators due to the late hour and decides to go for a run. When she returns she finds Frank deflated, crying on the floor of his study. She lays him down, takes off his pants and hers, and solves the problem with cold, calculated sex. As with every other move they make, this felt very political – not romantic at all. The music accompanying this scene, a haunting choir of voices, added to that cold feeling.
The next morning, while the vote for her UN nomination is taking place, Claire must do the ever-important work of choosing 4 eggs for the White House Easter Egg Roll. She focuses in on a black egg, one that has POTUS and FLOTUS signatures. When she is informed she has lost the Ambassadorship she is still holding that black egg. She makes her way to speak with the press and hands the egg over to Frank. Back in the Oval Office, Frank is studying the black egg and comes up with a plan. He is going to run in 2016, but they need a new strategy. We’re not privy to the finer details of the plan, but we do know Seth is writing Frank a speech for the following evening.
While Seth is writing said speech, Ayla Sayyad brings him some coffee. An attempt to soften him up and confirm some info from a source. The previous night, she had been approached by Jackie, who informed her the DNC meeting had only lasted 4 ½ minutes, and allowed her to fill in the blanks from there. Seth plays dumb with Ayla, but later tells Remy about the problem. Remy contacts Jackie and she wants him to keep quiet with Frank, but to push her name for the VP spot unless they want more trouble with the press. Remy still has all the feelings for Jackie so you know he was going to do as he was told.
Frank tells the DNC he won’t run in 2016, but there’s a catch: they must give their full support for the America Works program. I think he convinced everyone in the room to just shut up and go along with it when he bellowed out that, “just fucking try!” I got fear chills. His speech later that evening seems very honest. Though we do know by now the Underwoods only do things with themselves in mind, so there has to be an ulterior motive. This approach feels like a new twist on the classic Underwood coercion tactic.
As requested by Frank, Seth goes to check in on Doug. Seth wonders what Doug thought of Frank’s speech, and Doug immediately knows what happened. He knows the DNC didn’t want Frank to run, but he still will. He knows Seth lied to him about America Works being off the table. Doug’s not interested in bro-time with Seth, and he all but boots him out the door. This time on his own, he shoots another syringe full of booze into his mouth. Doug is being held at arm’s length by the Underwoods and their staff, and he can feel it.
After rescheduling and postponing several meetings with the Solicitor General, Frank finally meets with her to discuss the matter of a drone strike that hit an American citizen. He’s still high on that honesty-kick and allows for her to make the confidential material public.
At home, Claire appeals to Frank for a second nomination, and without much of an argument he says yes. This quick agreement takes her by surprise and she is perhaps unsettled by it. There’s this mixed look of confusion and anger, as if she wanted to have more of an argument about the issue. Out of nowhere, she vomits into the sink. Then she’s making fried eggs. I’m not sure if she’s going to eat them, she did just tell Frank she wasn’t hungry, or if she’s using the smell to calm her nausea.
Does anyone else think Claire is pregnant? There were a couple of signs throughout the episode. Firstly, we saw her and Frank have sex, something we rarely see between these two. What about the Easter Eggs? It’s a very specific task to show Claire taking part in, and eggs are a symbol of birth and fertility. Lastly, there’s the vomiting, and those eggs in the final scene. If she does end up pregnant, it almost feels too on-the-nose for House of Cards. There’s something up with that black egg as well. It has the POTUS and FLOTUS signatures, when Claire hands the egg to Frank there’s a lingering shot on their hands exchanging it, and it ultimately helps Frank to come up with his new strategy. I’m officially on Black Egg Watch 2015.
Before this season started I had a feeling that the Underwoods’ careers would start to plateau and then go severely downhill. They have so many secrets from their past, they have to be coming back to bite them in the ass at some point. Now though, I have a new theory. I’m not sure exactly what will happen with her, but it seems as though Claire is going to take center stage. Some of her dialogue and actions feel like foreshadowing. In the previous episode she talked about not wanting to be in the passenger seat any longer, about wanting to have more control. In this episode she is on top while they have sex, she taps her ring on the door just as Frank would do, and later she pushes her husband to give her a second nomination. I’m all in for a Claire Underwood takeover, here’s hoping this theory has some weight.