Chapter 26

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Drama, USA, 2014, 60 min.

Synopsis Former White House chief of staff Linda Vasquez (Sakina Jaffrey) is summoned to a special hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. The Congressman from Alabama (Ralph Byers) accuses the President of taking unprescribed mind-altering drugs and being responsible for an apparently imminent battle in the Sino-Japanese region. The accusation further states that the President instructed his Counsel to coach a witness, Dr. Larkin, the minister/therapist. While Linda tries to defend the President by saying that all these are allegations, she is questioned about his firing her from the Chief of Staff position. She corrects that she was not fired, rather resigned, largely due to her disagreement with a certain influential person. She further reveals that the person was Vice President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey).Frank is interviewed on TV by veteran newsman Morley Safer (Safer himself), who repeatedly brings up the possibility of an impeachment. Safer asks Frank if he is running for the 2016 election. Frank denies all the speculation and condemns the Dunbar investigation as an opposition farce. He says he hopes President Walker would be generous enough to offer him to be his running mate in 2016. He publicly defends Walker strongly and asks the host not to question his own patriotism.President Walker (Michael Gill) sees the interview and understands Frank's double face. He asks Linda to go and meet Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney), offering him a presidential pardon to repair their relationship. Linda is to ask him to admit the money laundering and put Frank in the center, and in return get the immunity. Linda is reluctant but agrees as the President hints that her resignation would be withdrawn and she'll be reinstated to her former position. Walker tells her that he will be at Camp David with his wife when Linda meets Tusk to avoid any connection.Meanwhile, Frank discusses the imminent problem with aides Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) and Seth Grayson (Derek Cecil). He understands the President might force him out. They anticipate that the President may be reaching out to Raymond Tusk and get him to incriminate Frank in return for a pardon. So, Frank wants to meet with Tusk too. Doug volunteers for the meeting but Frank says it has to be him, personally. So they decide Frank will meet with Tusk before his hearing, 40 hours from then.Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) gets a call from Seth at 4 a.m., who informs her of a failed suicide attempt by Megan Hennessey (Libby Woodbridge), the Marine Corps whistle-blower. Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) meets Donald Blythe (Reed Birney) in her office and, as she tries to convince him in favor of impeachment, he agrees enthusiastically. When she admits her surprise, Blythe tells her that he doesn't like Frank, but he hates even more to see the Republicans take over Congress. So, even though Frank would succeed Walker once the President is impeached, Blythe would rather go with Frank.Linda meets Tusk and offers him a presidential pardon if he admits the laundering and gives up Frank. Tusk appears to agree in his own way while the doorbell rings and a messenger delivers a package containing a ticket to an opera performance and a peach. Tusk realizes the ticket came from Frank, who represents Georgia, the Peach State. The implied message is "Meet me at the opera house."Claire goes to see Megan, who's just out of the hospital, broke. Megan says she couldn't take the people's abuse anymore. She accuses Claire of turning her life upside down. Claire looks sorry as she walks out. She talks to First Lady Tricia Walker (Joanna Going) over the phone, gives her a trademark light touch and says she feels partly responsible for what happened to Megan and the President's family. Tricia gracefully declines to put any blame on Claire, telling her she's "a good person." After the conversation ends, Claire becomes emotional and cries.Frank meets with Tusk in a corridor of the opera house. They do some trash talking as Tusk indicates VPs are powerless and Frank counters that he is not the traditional VP. Frank suggests that Walker won't survive the impeachment and suggests that he (Underwood) will succeed Walker, but Tusk is not in the mood to join hands with a man who double-crossed him. Unconvinced, Tusk leaves, threatening Frank with prison.Agent Nathan Green (Jeremy Holm) sees computer hacker Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) who demands to meet with Doug Stamper.Frank returns home in despair. In a final attempt to regain the President's trust, he pulls out a 70-year old Underwood typewriter, a family heirloom, to write a letter to Walker. He mentions (or concocts) some touching story about his father, family and his past. With the letter he sends a separate sheet tin which he "confesses" to the allegations by the Dunbar commission, telling Walker that his "confession" is a lie but his signature at the bottom makes it true. He tells the President to use it if needed to get out of this investigation immediately. Walker is unsure whether to believe it but apparently Tricia believes it and makes him call Frank to reconcile. When he calls, Frank almost convinces him and asks him to reach out to Senate members. Now it will be down to whipping votes and Frank expertly blames Jackie Sharp for making things difficult for the President.Jackie and Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) have an argument. It is clear that Remy lost ground as Tusk abandoned him and he is no longer with Hill. Jackie leverages their relationship and his position to bargain and get him to cooperate on the Dunbar commission. She appears to be successful. Walker takes Frank's bait. He calls Linda and asks her to tell Tusk the pardon deal is off. Frank meets with Michael Kern (Kevin Kilner), his first prey to the path of power, and shrewdly convinces him to join with the Republicans on the impeachment issue. Kern is still bitter over Walker's revocation of his nomination as Secretary of State and Frank hinting that he would make him Treasury Secretary if he becomes President makes it easier.Raymond Tusk is hit by a double shocker on the way to his hearing. Linda calls up to tell him the pardon is off the table. As his lawyers talk about a Fifth Amendment strategy, the news comes that Remy Danton is volunteering to testify before the Dunbar Commission. Disappointed, Tusk understands that Frank is behind both moves. Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) impatiently waits for Remy with her associates. Tusk takes the Fifth in front of the Grand Jury. But when repeatedly badgered by the Congressman from Alabama and a Congresswoman from Tennessee (Corina May), he angrily gives up the President and his knowledge about the whole 'money laundering'. He also connects Xander Feng (Terry Chen) to the whole process.Remy cancels his appointment with Dunbar while she was listening to the dramatic twist of Raymond Tusk. Dunbar confronts Tusk and his lawyers outside the Judiciary Committee room. Tusk holds up his hands for cuffing but Dunbar says that handcuffs won't be necessary if he cooperates. Tusk sarcastically says, "Well, that's a shame. Handcuffs were another item on my bucket list." His lawyers offer Dunbar a plea in exchange of bond to which she appears to agree.The media as well as political leaders are up against Walker with condemnation and criticism. Reporter Ayla Sayyad (Mozhan Marno) talks impeachment on a TV interview, Kern gangs up with Tea Party Senator Curtis Haas (Michael Park) and Republican Senator Hector Mendoza (Benito Martinez) against the President. Walker is distraught when he calls Frank. He realizes he is almost finished. Frank offers his advice and convinces him to call Kern, whom he has already bought out.Doug meets with hacker Gavin Orsay in a restaurant, both threaten each other. They realize they have too much to lose. Gavin wants Doug's protection, but the meeting ends inconclusively as Doug wonders whether he can trust Gavin, who walks out. Doug realizes that Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan) is his loose end. So he goes to her place, wakes her up and tells her to pack. They travel in Doug's car as it appears that he is relocating her. Rachel feels insecure and Doug's intimidating nature doesn't help. So when the car stops at a traffic light, Rachel unbuckles her seatbelt and runs into the woods. Doug follows her and while he tries to find her, Rachel comes from behind and hits him in the head three times with a large stone. She realizes that he's unconscious and possibly dead, so she leaves in a panic. She jumps into Doug's car and drives away.The Judiciary Committee votes for impeachment and sends the motion to the full House. Frank and Claire share a smoke, realizing the battle is won. Bodyguard Ed Meechum (Nathan Darrow) tells Frank that Walker plans to resign and takes Frank and Claire to Camp David, where the transfer of power will take place. Frank pretends to be Walker's friend and tells him to fight. But Walker realizes he has no grasp whatsoever and rather decides to resign and leave with dignity. He returns Frank his letter, which Frank throws in the fireplace.Walker gives his resignation speech, Frank takes his oath. He is now the most powerful man of the free world. He immediately get Secretary of State Cathy Durant (Jayne Atkinson) to call the Chinese president and then successfully ends the conflict in his first act as commander in chief. Xander Feng's asylum is revoked and he is deported back to China.Doug lies in the woods, apparently dead, as his colleagues and Frank look everywhere for him. Frank instructs Seth and former secretary Nancy Kaufberger (Elizabeth Norment), who has rejoined him, to work together on finding him.Frank shakes hands with representatives, senators, military chiefs and secretaries on his way to the Oval Office. Claire gives him a ring that replicates the one he buried during a Civil War ceremony. He goes in the office, alone, resets his chair, stands, takes a look around to the very place he always cherished. Then after a long stare at the camera, he pounds twice on the table, instead of tapping twice with his ring as he usually does. Episode ends.

Directed by James Foley  

Starring Shawn Gonzalez, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright Penn, Michael Kelly, Sakina Jaffrey, more...

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