We’ve seen many deaths of major players on seasons past of House of Cards, and if there’s anything we know about how the dead function in this beige and black hued world of political intrigue — no death is wasted.
Whether it’s a murder to silence those who may prove too dangerous, the memory of a spouse who suffered from Alzheimer’s, or a self-sacrifice of a beloved Secret Service Agent, the ghosts of HoC’s past are never quite done haunting and it’s up to the living to use these deaths to their advantage. The phrase “Waste not, want not” comes to mind because why not use the departed to overthrow a sitting President, or start a foundation, or push a bill for gun control, or you know, threaten a political opponent with a letter opener? For those on The Hill, the dead are at the service of the living and the very timely passing of Elizabeth Constance Hale proves no exception to this rule.
Light and Dark
Mother and daughters — it’s a difficult relationship. Elizabeth and Claire have had their ups and downs, never quite seeing eye-to-eye, and now as Elizabeth lies dying from the cancer that’s ravaged her body — she asks Claire to kill her.
Tom Yates is there too, accompanying Claire to her Texan homestead to write the words meant to embolden Claire’s position, and rally the masses.
Tom and Elizabeth giggle and play dress up, something Claire walks in on and they both clam up like school children at her presence. Amongst the valuable and tasteful jewelry of her grandmother, Claire finds her baby teeth in a velvet satchel. Elizabeth admits to being jealous of her young daughter who used to stare out into the night willing the sun to rise. Mother and daughter finally find some peace about what it was that put them at odds for so long.
Hammerschmidt is close to figuring out what the fuck is going on with the Underwoods. Dunbar pays him a visit and she looks at all his Beautiful Mind paper work. Meechum must be rolling in his grave to know it was his manipulation of the travel logs that could present the potential to bring the Underwoods to their knees.
Doug is super pissed his loyal servant Seth went behind his back and told Leann he wanted dirt on her. Leann levels with Dougie and tells him to grow the fuck up and play nice. Doug stares at the mini bar, readying go on a binge, and Seth knows it.
Doug thinks he can control Seth, but Seth calls his bluff. He can’t just fire him in the middle of a convention, and his suffocating glass thing is proving to be a one trick pony.
What is wrong with Doug? Well, A LOT, but it seems at this particular moment it’s the fact that he killed Anthony Moretti — the man above the President on the donor list — and Doug’s obsessed with the family he left behind. Perhaps in an effort to clear his conscience, or even just so that he doesn’t drink himself stupid, Doug donates $5,000.00 to the man’s memorial fund. What is that saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions?
“It’s either total war, or nothing at all.” — Catherine Durant
Let’s all give Cathy a nice pat on the back for trying to stand up to Frank Underwood.
She stood her ground and called him out on his plethora of BS. The terrorist cell ICO lurks in the background, but far as Frank’s concerned they’re just a reason to get Cathy alone in a room so he can order her a Cobb salad she doesn’t even want.
But a delicious mixture of chopped salad greens, tomato, crisp bacon, chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, avocado, chives, Roquefort cheese, and red-wine vinaigrette isn’t the only thing Frank is going to cram down Cathy’s throat — she will let Claire be Vice President. She will not try to get Frank’s job. She will shut up, sit down, and play along with the Underwoods or he will stab her to death with a letter opener.
Understandably, Cathy gives in because she doesn’t want to be disappeared.
“Perfect timing.” — Hannah “I Wish MY Mom Just Died” Conway
Claire tries to tell her mother she can’t assistant suicide her, but if there’s anything Elizabeth knows about her daughter is that she wants power. “It’d help you win,” she says in a cracking voice, and that’s all it takes to change her daughter’s mind.
Elizabeth wants Tom there, a strapping man she could see making her daughter very happy, or at least not so miserable. Claire readies the syringe of morphine while Tom gently holds Elizabeth’s hand. It’s a physical gesture of intimacy and softness that Claire herself would be completely incapable of. After filling her mother’s mouth and sending her off into forever sleep, Claire manages to fix her mother’s cap ensuring her presentation is flawless.
Tom and Claire are in love, and the act of seeing Elizabeth off is what spurs their first physical intimacy. The sun rises on their naked bodies and it looks like it’s a new day of long stares and hand holding for the two.
Back at the Convention, Tom writes the “speech to end all speeches” he promised and stands with the adoring masses as Claire formally announces she will be running for Vice President of the United States of America. I have to admit, despite the fact the Underwoods are terrible people and should not be in power, I was sucked into the majesty of them, even a little happy for them — silently rooting for evil to prevail.
Out of the Oval
FU — The fact that Frank actually owns up to the fact he killed Zoe and Peter is such a chilling and disturbing moment, even though he tries to laugh it off like he was joking, if I were Cathy I’d be shitting my pants.
Pantsed — Speaking of pants, Claire wears pants! For like, the first time in a long time we see her without her trademark pencil skirt.