Chapter 60 features a bunch of middle aged white dudes hanging out in the forest playing dress up and eating bull testicles with their little “NO GIRLS ALLOWED” club, whilst the women are back in the White House getting some real work done.
The Other World
“I Hate This Place” Benjamin — “Day Drunk” Grant
The cold open to this episode has to be the most dramatic and divergent from the regular vibe of the show, I actually found myself doubling checking that I hadn’t accidently played an episode of American Gods instead of House of Cards. However, the reasoning for the weirdo caped figures and burning effigies is quickly explained that apparently the most powerful men in the world get together every so often to worship a giant papier mache crow and piss in the woods. Seems legit.
The Elysian Fields is the name of this place, and the title carries the meaning of a kind of birth canal to the “Other World.” This place is certainly outta this world with a kind of Roman/Grecian vibe where I was honestly worried about the young men staffers lest they be grabbed at any moment and made an involuntary butt boy (but I guess as 20 somethings they might be too old for that).
Back in the real world — or at the very least something more akin to it — President Claire Underwood is woken from her slumber to be transported to the Situation Room where she’s informed there’s a Russian Research Vessel that’s stranded in Antarctica and doomed to sink within a few days. Russia has declined help from the Americans because obviously they’re being sneaky fucks and have something they don’t want the USA to see.
China pipes up and volunteers to help out for what Jane says is “humanitarian reasons.” RILLY JANE? THIS IS HoC THERE IS NO HUMANITY! Claire’s put in a difficult situation, if there is an American on the boat and he goes down with the ship, it’ll reflect poorly on the Administration and could possibly cost the Underwoods the election. On the other hand, China and Russia could be lying to them and there’s no American soul aboard at all. An important trade deal rests on the contingency that China and the US work together to get crew off the ship.
What It Looks Like
“I tell my people how things look, and that’s how they look.” — Viktor “Pickle Jar Opens You” Petrov
Frank’s got a whole whack of zingers on this camping from telling his ol’frenemy Raymond Tusk he might be able to “get a pair” to when Usher asks him what he’s reading these days and he says, “Your face.” But the wordplay isn’t getting Frank anywhere in terms of being able to sway people to his direction. He hilariously wanders around the woods trying to get cell reception to get a hold of Doug, who’s all like, “OMG I missed you so much this Claire lady is so super mean when are you coming hoooome?”
When Frank bails on forest floor he’s hit with the idea that maybe honey catches more flies and tells Doug to hang tight and Doug’s like, “Aw shucks, I wanna do some Machiavelli-ing! Shit, where’s Leann I’m gonna go tell her she’s got a stupid face.”
The head of PollyHop, Benjamin Grant, does a show and tell where he’s working on a technology to create a kind of technical immortality through storing all the memories of Tusk into a computer program. They say you’re only remembered for three generations and this is a way to be remembered forever. It’s an interesting piece of technology, but it’s actually not the most titillating info he has for Frank. On his way out of the Summer Camp for Power Hungry Man Children, a drink Ben stops Frank and gives him the recording of Will Conway going ape shit on the pilot who wouldn’t let him fly.
Why would he do that? The morose Ben is obviously trying to protect his friend. He truly believes the Presidency will destroy him. It must have something to do with what happened during his time in active military service, and Ben knows exactly what that is.
What It Is
Claire works with China so that it appears that it was the Eastern power who rescued the shipwrecked vessel, with actual American forces on the ground. But not before raising the tariff on the trade deal to let everyone know what’s what. All souls were saved an as Claire had guessed there was no American in the rescued crew.
Although that doesn’t mean the scientist wasn’t on board at all. When Jane “I Work For Everybody” brokered the deal with China it’s obvious there was something on that ship that Russia did not want to have seen, and China wanted to take a technology, it turns out, that was the man himself.
Another man who is an asset to a particular government is one Tom Yates. He’s been acting a little Emo boy around Claire and sneaking off to New York to meet with an older woman (not to mention fucking White House Tour Guides). Claire tells him that she’s been having him followed and he reveals the woman is an old professor, “Theology…among other things.” He speaks about their first encounters whilst he was in the throes of depression and she saved his life. She’s having a similarly hard time and he’s helping out an old friend. Tom pulls out the “I love you” and Claire responds in kind, well, not really she throws an “I think” in front of hers.
Outside the Oval
For The Record — It’s so very quaint the plot point of this show is where a potential candidate can be disqualified because of some silly tape of him yelling the word fuck. HA! Try something more along the lines of grabbing women’s genitals without permission and then we’ll talk.
Jane Doe Woes — Doug has no idea that he has more to worry about than his weird relationship with Claire; Hammerschmidt is really starting to dig into Posner/Zoe story, even going as far as to look at autopsy photos of Jane Does. Rachel isn’t there, so its obvious her resting place in the desert hasn’t yet been disturbed.