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‘House of Cards’ Season 3 Episode 2 Recap: “Chapter 28″

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I’m gonna see how much of House of Cards I can binge and recap on 3 hours of sleep and half a croissant before my eyes start to cross. I’ll place a tentative bet on four episodes. Only time will tell if I can last that long.

Claire is going through with her bid to become the Ambassador for the U.N. and step one of that is convincing the Senate to vote for her nomination. Claire holds her own at first in the hearing, but Mendoza — the senator who last episode told her he wouldn’t stand in her way — deliberately antagonizes her and Claire loses her cool.

Elsewhere the Democratic leadership approaches Frank asking him not to run in 2016. Frank is showing difficulty in juggling all his duties, between dealing with a drone strike that President Walker had approved before Frank took office, Claire’s political future imploding, and Frank’s own Presidency under siege. Claire starts calling senators asking for their support, while Frank starts calling investors for theirs. It’s tragic, if only because I know from experience how awful cold-calling for hours on end is.

Remy and Jackie meet up, with Remy trying to convince her to help Frank out again. Jackie will only do it if she’s put on the ticket as his Vice President. When Remy leaves, Jackie contacts a reporter, Ayla, to tell her that Frank’s meeting to discuss “America Works” that morning only lasted four and a half minutes, letting her come to her own conclusions about why.

“We have to reverse our thinking. When the wind’s blowing at gale force, there’s no point in sailing against it.”

The Senate votes against Claire’s nomination. Frank decides to fight against the Democratic leadership’s decision by telling them he won’t be running in the election, so that he gets their support on “America Works.”

Doug’s still struggling to be useful, and sends an email with suggestions for “AmWorks” to Seth. I’m not sure about Frank’s sincerity when it comes to Doug coming back to work anymore; where before it seemed like Doug had been dismissed and discarded, now it looks like Frank is open to Doug’s ideas. Maybe he really does just want Doug to get better first? With all the backstabbing that goes on in this show you can never be sure. Anyway, Frank sends Seth to check up on Doug from time to time.

That night Frank gives a speech to the country: “The American Dream has failed you. Work hard? Play by the rules? You aren’t guaranteed success. Your children will not have a better life than you did. Ten million of you can’t even get a job, even though you desperately want one…. You are entitled to nothing.” He goes on to pitch his jobs bill, saying that everyone else in politics is too worried about getting reelected to actually govern, and he wants to do more.

“Anyone running for office wouldn’t dare utter these words. Every advisor and consultant and staff member would beg a presidential candidate not to say them. But I can say them, because I will not be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2016.”

Hmm. Are you noticing the wording in that? Because I am. Democratic nomination, indeed.

The next day Frank reschedules the meeting about the drone strike, and announces that he wants to be honest with the American people — and that he’s going to do that by making classified files on the strike public and letting everyone know what really happened.

At home, Frank and Claire talk again about the U.N. position. Claire wants to try again, stating that there is precedent for a recess appointment after the first rejected nomination. Frank gives in without a fight, which is a little suspicious right? When he leaves, Claire vomits a little into the kitchen sink then fries up some eggs. Is… is she pregnant? Was that morning sickness?! I mean, they did have really awkward sex this episode, but isn’t Claire in menopause?

Anyway, episode two is down, I’ve had a biscuit and am working on my third cup of coffee. We’re halfway there to winning my bet!