Chapter 32

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Drama, USA, 2015, 54 min.

Synopsis Aboard Air Force One, on the way to Moscow, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) admires the Northern Lights. Elsewhere in the plane, President Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) tells stories about his youth to writer Thomas Yates (Paul Sparks). Francis gets Tom to admit that one of his books was based on "a friend" who "turned tricks" for a living. Claire shows Francis a draft of the statement that she will give Michael Corrigan (Christian Camargo), the American gay activist imprisoned in Moscow, to read publicly so the Russians may release him "for humanitarian reasons." Francis is hopeful that he can wrap up Corrigan's release and a Jordan Valley solution in one fell swoop. Back in the U.S., "Max"/Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) tells Lisa Williams (Kate Lyn Sheil) a phony story about his promiscuous past. She asks him to get tested for HIV. At the Kremlin, President Viktor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) gives a formal welcome to the Underwoods. Then the two presidents sit down for a private dialogue. In Washington, presidential candidate Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) solicits advice from Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), who is undergoing rehabilitative therapy. In a Moscow prison, Claire is taken into Corrigan's cell. She reads him the statement that he's expected to deliver the following day, after his release, apologizing to the Russian people for breaking their law on gay activism. Corrigan refuses to apologize and asks that the so-called "gay propaganda" law be repealed and that several Russian activists also in prison be released. Claire asks the Russian security men to leave them alone in the cell. She tells Michael to be realistic and go along with a meaningless apology. "It's just words you can disown as soon as you're back in U.S. soil," she tells him. In Petrov's Kremlin office, Francis and Petrov negotiate the terms of the Russian and U.S. presence in the Jordan Valley. The talks seem to be positive, but when Petrov is told by an aide that Claire has asked that a listening device be removed from Corrigan's cell, Petrov suspects a U.S. plan to embarrass him. If Corrigan refuses to give an apology, the Jordan Valley agreement is off the table, he tells Francis. Back in the States, "Max," faking despair, tells Lisa a lie: he has been found HIV-positive, he says, to gain her sympathy. In Petrov's office, Francis offers to make the public apology that Corrigan refuses to read. Petrov insists that the apology must come from Corrigan. Petrov admits that he doesn't believe in the law on homosexuality ("two of my Cabinet ministers are gay ... personally, I don't care") but "I need to show strength. Religion, tradition, for most of my people, are in their bones." If he shows any weakness, others will pounce on him, Petrov says. He fears a revolution, Petrov says. "I don't take chances." The dialogue becomes acrimonious. "I should never have invited you here," Petrov snarls at Francis. In the cell, Claire tells Corrigan that she'll not leave Moscow without him. He tells her that he needs time to think and invites her to take a nap on his cot. "I will, for a few minutes," she answers. In Lisa's apartment, "Max" asks Lisa to tell him about Rachel and asks her if she knows where Rachel is. Lisa says that Rachel would have liked to move to New Mexico. In the Kremlin, Petrov writes a statement for Francis to deliver publicly, instead of a statement from Corrigan. "This looks good," Francis comments. "We have a deal." They shake hands. But when the guards open the cell door to tell Claire and Corrigan about the deal, they find Claire asleep and Corrigan hanging from the window bars. He had hanged himself with Claire's scarf. At a press briefing moments later, Claire delivers an impulsive comment: "Michael was willing to die for what he believed in," she says. And then, angrily, she turns to Petrov. "He was brave and his voice deserves to be heard. If it weren't for this unjust law, and the ignorance and intolerance of your government, Michael would still be with us. Shame on you, Mr. President!" And she stalks off. Francis follows her. Petrov glares at them, furious. In Air Force One, flying back to the U.S., Francis informs Claire that Petrov has cancelled the whole Jordan Valley deal. Francis accuses Claire of "sabotaging the peace plan that we spent months working on!" There is an angry, loud exchange. Corrigan "was a coward and I'm glad he's dead," Francis says. "He had more courage than you'll ever have," she replies. "I should have never made you ambassador," he says. "I should have never made you president," she retorts, and walks out of Francis' office. Francis turns to the camera. "What are you looking at?" he asks the viewer. EPISODE ENDS.

Directed by James Foley  

Starring Liam Ferguson, Kevin Spacey, Mike Hayes, Robin Wright Penn, Robert Poletick, more...

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