Advancements in technology have given rise to a kind of connectivity one could have only dreamt about a mere fifty years ago. The Internet, or “Web” has given society some of the most compelling cat photos the world has to offer — but its powers don’t stop there.
In days of old, referring to someone as a “viral sensation” could more of less connote some sort of VD, but it now takes on a new more positive meaning. The Conways, the latest threat to the Underwood empire, are grand masters when it comes to the power of social media. Will Conway is the frontrunner as the Republican candidate for President, and with the carefully orchestrated vlogging is the most powerful tool in his arsenal of apparent transparency.
All the world’s a stage for the Governor of New York and he is a man who plays many parts: loving father, husband, military hero, grandson of a WWII veteran, and tall handsome information manipulator.
“We can’t afford to be weird with one another.” – Frank Underwood
Will’s wife Hannah stares at the huge rock on her ring finger as we hear Dunbar’s concession speech on the television. Dunbar partook in a self-immolating act of trying to tell the truth about Frank Underwood, and like the infamous Simpsons’ lawyer Lionel Hutz there’s “the truth” and “the truth.”
Will and Hannah fuck standing up in the bathroom while watching themselves in the mirror. Meanwhile Frank takes a bunch of medicine at the sink and is freaked out by Claire standing and staring at him from the doorway.
Frank’s on the mend from his gunshot wound, but his marriage isn’t healing as quickly as his gut. Speaking of guts, he tells Claire she needs to make hers steely in order to take on their foes, and more pressingly, the NRA. Even though Frank and Claire aren’t sleeping in the same bed, they start some role-playing in order to strengthen one another’s arguments.
As You Like It
Will has been working with his BFF who just happens to be the CEO of PollyHop — like Google, but you know, not. Together they’ve been controlling the search outcomes in order to make him look better. It’s terrifyingly simple (and like quasi-legal), and as a user of search engines myself, it’s a reminder that everything I see and even do could be monitored and used against me at any time.
Will decides to give Frank a ring on the phone and it’s decidedly a mistake. “It’s going to take more than arrogance and height to intimidate me,” says Frank before bragging about how great his blood pressure is, which has to be the most middle-aged thing to be cocky about.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Tom Hammerschmidt goes to visit Janine. She’s the only one left who knows the truth about the Underwood’s homicidal ways. She teaching at a college and is paranoid as fuck about getting whacked. “It’s all true Tom,” she helplessly tells him. She can’t be used as a source or witness because she signed an affidavit. Tom gives his pill-popping friend a side hug—he’s on his own when trying to uncover the truth, but that does not seem to deter him.
Frank’s Plan A is to “neutralize” the latest terrorist threat ICO (because al-Qaeda is SO 2014). General Brockhart is decidedly against any kind of military action because he doesn’t think the whole ICO gang is going to be blown to smithereens, and of course, any kind of blood loss can and most likely will embolden more extremism.
Brockhart seems like a pretty stand up dude, but like most of the players in the politics he finds himself lying through his teeth. Will Conway tries to get him to leak secret intel, and then tells him to resign, which Frank sees through because apparently lies smell like rotten eggs and horseshit.
What’s really going on is “Plan B” which includes Leann getting her friend McCowan — the very best Internet scientist in the world — to basically do what Conway is doing (controlling searches and manipulating information in order to get votes). Doug doesn’t like the idea because a) he hates Leann’s guts and b) Leann is like so dumb!
Frank pulls out of the airstrike and decides to go ahead with Plan B, which is kind of funny because pulling out usually means you don’t need the ol’PB. The threat of terrorism is the tool they need to ensure they have the law on their side when it comes to “domestic surveillance” so they’ll just kick this whole “these people want to kill Americans” can down the road.
“I’m not hungry for it.” – Donald “Whatevs” Blythe
There’s a whole lot of political maneuvering around the air strike, but it’s all a red herring.
Speaking of red herrings, Donald “Meh” Blythe is Frank’s herring rouge du jour. He offers to have Donald run with him as VP, but as we all know he’s only doing that because he knows Donald will say no, and he wants his weirdo wife to be the V to his P. But Frank must keep up appearances and when he throws out Donald’s name to his team they’re like, “Him?”
War of the Ages
“First you must learn to pull an oar, only then can you take the helm.” – Frank Underwood
You can’t deny the beauty of the Conways. Their flashy smiles, modest home, and cute kids (Frank still hates babies!). Claire calls her husband from across the hall so they reminisce about he first time they meet the pretty couple. “They’re not going to fall in love with us like that” Claire muses, as Frank creeps over to her boudoir, not for some hanky panky, but rather for a battle cry.
“We’re going to destroy them.”
“Yes we are.”
Out of the Oval
Let’s Be Frank – Now that Frank’s out of the coma, we have to listen to his laboured asides filled to the brim with metaphors and parables. To be honest, I don’t really think we need them. His analogy of being in a duel with Conway is beating the metaphorical horse senseless, and one could have missed the whole thing and not missed a beat about what was happening (Internet surveillance = Power)
Frank is a classic mansplainer and it’s starting to get on my nerves.
Twin Towers – It’s utterly insidious that Frank & co. would use terrorism as a reason to elevate his political career, however, in the flash back to when Frank and Will first met, we see that Will used the 9/11 attacks as a catalyst for his own political aspirations. He signed up for the Air Force within 48 hours of the attack and flippantly remarks, “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
High Times – Methinks Frank had a touch of Napoleon complex. I mean, I know Will is really tall, but it doesn’t seem like Frank can go without mentioning it every time he interacts with this man.