Chapter 43 is all about math.
First, it’s Doug and Seth rattling off the percentages of folks who would be supportive of Claire as Frank’s running mate (less than 10%, which is bad), the figure it would take to get Leann on Frank’s side (more than 1.5 million bucks), and then there’s the surgeon who goes on about fractions and Frank’s liver (like you need a third or a fourth to live). Anyhoo, Frank’s vital organ has been shattered by a bullet, so it doesn’t matter whatever pie charts you’d like to consult — this doesn’t look good.
But who can focus on math in a time like this? When one man who rose above them all lies cold dead on the ground? Edward Eleanor* Meechum was a true hero, loyal confidant, and playful fuck-buddy for two of the most terrible people in Washington. But wouldn’t you know that doe-eyed-son-of-a-bitch loved every single goddamn second of it. Not even the most talented mathematicians in the world could calculate how many pieces my shattered heart is in right now.
A Unicorn In The White House
“I hate it.” — Frank Underwood
“Then I guess I hate it too.” — Edward Meechum
Before his unfortunate passing, Meechy was allotted some playtime with his favourite President. They did some arts and crafts on the wall behind a painting of a rebel flag, and it was so fun to see Meech and Frank get a little naughty and giggle away. “Does that lighting bolt make the ship look like a unicorn?” asks Frank, unable to recognize a magical and majestic beast is sitting right be-fucking-side him.
This was of course, before Frank enters the “Situation Room” where he and the top minds in the U.S. military have to figure out what to do with the man who is seeking asylum from Russia on U.S. soil.
Since President Petrov The Paranoid is being no help at all and making the gas prices go berserk, Frank’s plan is to send this potato-faced-moneybags to Estonia. Even though Sec State Cathy says, “Yeah, we don’t want to piss off Russia” like fifteen different ways, Frank still signs the order.
Doug still suspects Seth of being a traitor, and we know he’s totally right. Seth meets with Cynthia in a seedy bar. She buys him a notoriously delicious warm Bud Light. Man, who doesn’t love piss temperature beer, and those Budweiser florescent signs are so super cool!
“It’s warm, but at least it’s free.” — The Head of Corporate Sponsorship for HoC
Cynthia spills the beans about Lucas Goodwin, and he’s like, “Re-he-he-eally?” But not everyone is as excited hear what Goodwin has to say. Dunbar tries to confide in the Attorney General who wears a constant expression of “WTF?” She tells Heather she’s not going to even touch anything Goodwin dug up about the Underwoods.
Trouble In Paradise
Claire watches a video of a discussion group talk about why she sucks. Hard for anyone to hear, but like how her mother callously stomps the life out of house lizards, Claire will use blunt force if necessary to get what she wants.
Francis instructs Doug to try to get Leann on their side, if she agrees to stop helping his wife. Even though Doug’s like, “EW, LEANN?!” He takes one for the team and agrees to work with her. Leann could be making an undisclosed, yet significant amount more money if she starting working for the male Underwood, but Leann’s looking for more than cash — she wants infamy.
Leann sticks with Claire and delivers a hand-written note to the POTUS from his dear wife that basically says, “I will divorce you, you son of a peach farmer, unless you give me what I want.” – something she is willing to announce on Super Tuesday no less.
As it turns out, whether Claire publicly ditches him or not, Frank’s Tuesday is not going to be so super.
Blood On The Floor
“Everything’s secure sir.” Edward Meechum’s last words.
Francis addresses two crowds of college students: The first, avid supporters who roar with laughter at his stupid jokes and clap hilariously at his fancyfeast words; The second, a group of his adversaries who boo and deride him, and call for his resignation. Then, out of the angry, yet civil, masses the cool handed and hotheaded Lucas shoots Meechum who shoots Lucas dead before passing away himself.
Oh, and the President gets shot too.
At first, you think Claire’s phone has been disconnected and the Head of Security won’t let her outside because she’s been grounded by Frank for being SUCHA bitch. But it’s not a punishment, but a real security threat. Before running to the hospital to sit at the side of the estranged husband she just blackmailed, Claire turns to her mother, who’s inspirational words must have given Claire the strength to go on.
“Claire, I hope he dies.” – Elizabeth Hale
Guts and Glory
While Frank’s recovering from getting his body sack all stitched up, Donald “Blah” Blythe is now the stand-in President under the provision of Amendment XXV. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was adopted on February 10, 1967, and I’m almost one hundred per cent sure it doesn’t have any provisions that read, “Thou shall not appoint a human marshmallow.” And so, Blythe is the most powerful man in the Western world.
He asks for Claire’s advice, and boy does she give him some. Doug wants her to go through with Frank’s plan, after being pretty shitty to her when he basically says it’s her fault they didn’t know Lucas was out of jail because she was more of a “threat”.
Blythe just doesn’t know what to do about the “we might antagonize Russia thing” and asks for Claire’s advice. “What does your gut tell you?” she asks and he’s like, “Umm…” Claire swoops in and emboldens Donald with a new plan to land the uber-rich Russian in China, therefore, giving the Eastern power a bargaining chip that will ultimately lead to lower prices at the pumps.
Claire has the ear of the new President and gives him newfound self-confidence, and like the old saying goes, “A way to a man’s heart is through this sense of self-worth.”
Out of the Oval
Once in A Lifetime — Political dramas, when done well, are able to procure thought experiments in the mind’s of its watchers. In many ways, this kind of political-tainment is a vehicle not just for enjoyment, but for reflection.
Four sitting Presidents of the United States have been assassinated, and all by gunshot. When the fictional Frank Underwood lies bleeding on a gurney, it’s a sobering and chilling reminder this is not an unrealistic plot point.
Dumb-bar — Heather Dunbar might very well find herself in hot water after having a head-a-tete with the man who tried to kill the President of the United States. The unfortunate thing is that she was starting to believe him. If he had just kept his head down at the vacuum car job (where he was also vacuuming dicks for favours) he might have been taken seriously. But he was a man at the end of his rope and saw no other way out.
* There’s not evidence that Eleanor is Edward Meechum’s middle name. But then again, there’s no proof that this ISN’T his middle name.