It didn’t occur to me until this very episode that the Underwood’s just don’t go on vacation. I’m sure if you asked either of them why not they’d respond with something like, “Vacation is for the faint of heart and the weak in spirit.”
And weakness is not something that Claire or Frank give any regard to, and Chapter 42 is a veritable showdown of who is the strongest of the two.
Home Sweet Home
So, Claire’s back with Frank and everything is going to be perfect now… OR IS IT?
“That’s how we do things here in Gaffney.”— Frank Underwood
Frank doesn’t trust it, and nor should he because he married a viper lady. I would tell him to say his prayers, but he’s spends most of the episode in a church (without the whole spitting in Jesus’ face thing the last time we saw him in God’s house). The Jones’ are endorsing him in his hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina. Frank plays host to Celia and Doris feeding them ribs and ice tea, but when he hears that Claire is coming back he’s all like, JK LOL GTFO.
Claire is back in Frank’s bed, and it seems like she’s literally sleeping with her eyes open. The two take a moment to reminisce about their poor days. “I used to think this place was a palace” says Frank looking around their first home. Claire makes the point that it was a palace because it was theirs.
“I’ll come and go as I please, mother.”— Claire Underwood
Elizabeth is like, the worst thief ever. She “hides” (I use this word very loosely) Claire’s earrings in the drawer closest to the door and doesn’t even wrap them in anything. She’s also a really bad liar when Claire calls her out. Anyway, she “stole” them because she’s still mad about the whole Claire threatening to sell her home from under her and stuff and I guess stealing two carat diamond earrings is like, the same?
The earrings are a red herring as we follow them from the hands of Claire to the lobes of Leann who gets into Claire and Frank’s shared safety deposit box and returns them to their case. You might be thinking she’s putting them back so Elizabeth doesn’t go all klepto again, but her real mission is to get the photo of Frank’s daddy with a member of the KKK.
No New Friends
Lucas is so great at making new friends. Seriously, I would have thought it would be more difficult for him to start a new life with a new name, but he seems to have it all figured out. After the nice man who vapes a lot rapes his mouth (I assume?), Lucas gets a car and heads down to where Dunbar is. You have to hand it to him, despite his whole life being utterly and completely ruined, he still wants the world to know that Frank Underwood is an evil man. So will Heather Dunbar be the Horton to his Who calls? Nope, she’s all like, “Don’t talk to me peasant” and leaves him weeping in a stairwell.
Frank gets flashbacks to the nightmare he had about the crazy fight with Claire. He tries to calm down by getting a glass of water but there must be something wrong with the pipes because blood comes out of the faucet. It turns back into water just in time for Frank to take a sip, because Frank is Jesus?
Gas Is God
Leann’s been talking with her Internet man who’s got a hard-on for the “biblical hatred” people feel about gas prices. People are getting seriously peeved, enough to give Frank the finger even! Frank’s trying to get Russia to stop this madness, but it doesn’t look good.
Speaking of shit that doesn’t look good, Leann pays Clark like $100,000 to blow up the photo of Underwood Sr. and the clansman. Frank yells at Doug, Doug yells at Seth, Seth yells back at Doug, Doug is like, “Don’t you fucking yell at me”, Doug suspects Seth, Seth is totally guilty, everyone yells at Clark, Clark apologizes, Seth decides to blame Meechum.
“Meechum. Shh!” — Frank Underwood
Meechum? Really Seth? The beloved man-pet of the Underwoods? Their loving plaything and protector? You’re going to have to be better than that. Although he does put the thought into Frank’s mind, and Frank makes Meechum have a silent staring contest with him to prove that he’s loyal. After Meechum passes the test, he’s super adorable telling Frank that everything is going to be okay.
Frank suspected Claire’s fuckery all along, and gets the safety deposit box delivered to him home. Once he sees the earrings in their case he knows right away that it was his beloved wife who’s cost him his own home state.
“It’s just a wound, it’s not fatal.” — Claire Underwood
Claire wants to be Vice President. She wants to run with Frank. She understands that the value of their marriage lies in their ability to strengthen one another. Claire knows that her strength and cunning is more than a match for Francis, and if he does not join her she will fucking destroy him.
Frank is pissed. Not only does he think this is a bad idea he suspects Claire might need to see a head doctor. She’s not going to let it go though and he’s got some thinking to do while Claire goes back to Texas.
Outside the Oval
Dirty Old Men – One of the gripes I have with this show is that it’s male gazey moments always seem to have old, balding, unremarkable looking men sleeping with stunningly beautiful young women. Clark sexually harasses Leanne with a super gross line “How about some fries with that shake?” and I’m super happy that she basically tells him to fuck off.
The Sins of the Father—Honestly, when Frank explains that his father wasn’t in the clan but was merely begging for money from racists, I thought he was lying. But it turns out he’s telling the truth for once, and it’s a rare glimpse into his vulnerability when his voice cracks as he yells that this was the one time he was proud of his father. Doing whatever it takes to survive. He peed on his daddy’s grave, but he does have at least one fond memory.