House of Cards 2.12: Asylum? I Hardly Know ‘im!

Yesssssss! Perfect title!

This episode wastes no time getting right down to bid-ness. We open on Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar and her nameless crony, as they attempt to get information on the contents of Garrett’s therapy sessions from his and Tricia’s marriage counselor slash spiritual guidance guy. The reverend-doctor, or whatever he is, says that he is not at liberty to reveal anything discussed in those meetings because Jesus, obviously. Dunbar threatens to subpoena him, but he says the only way he will ever talk is if either Garrett or Tricia waived their confidentiality privilege. Then he puts on a dumb smile, like he knows that’s never gonna happen.

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Next we cut to the Oval Office, where Garrett is doing the classic “president gazing out of a window” pose and looking about as presidential as you’d expect, which is to say, not very! Frank comes in and it’s all friendly conversation about Floyd Mayweather’s earlier visit to the White House and consequent go at the punching bag of deception that Frank gifted Garrett with all those episodes ago. Garrett goes into weird detail about Mayweather’s technique and it turns out he is building up to a metaphor of his very own!

“He dances and dodges, then picks the perfect moment to strike,” Garrett says. “Does that sound familiar?” Frank is like, “Whatever do you mean?” and Garrett confronts him with Dunbar’s discovery of his secret therapy, then lets loose about how Frank screwed everyone — Linda, Raymond, the former vice president Jim Matthews — and set everything in motion in order to challenge Garrett’s seat in 2016. Frank’s face is like, “I don’t know that we have to wait until 2016,” but his mouth is like, “Everything I’ve done has been in service to you and to the party.” Garrett will hear none of it, though, and while he can’t force Frank to resign without making the whole situation worse, he doesn’t want to see or hear from him ever again. “And if I do, I will put you on your goddamn back!” It’s basically the leadership equivalent of Alicia and Peter Florrick’s marriage!

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That evening, Claire and Francis smoke their cig and try to come up with a way to leak the info about Garrett’s Xanax without being too obvious. But since the only other person who knows about it is Reverend Doctor Larkin, how will they ever get one of the Walkers to waive their confidentiality privilege?

Meanwhile, Jackie gets wind of the NYT Magazine article on Megan, complete with some choice quotes about Jackie’s own character. Recognizing Claire’s influence in the article from a mile away, Jackie wages war on Mrs. Veep. “I’m gonna beat this bitch down!” she declares. Hahaha, ummm relax, Jackie? It’s only the magazine, after all?!

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In another part of town, Gavin Orsay is munching on some very heavily processed yet delicious looking snacks (I haven’t eaten junk food in THREE WEEKS, you guys!) and listening to some “noise,” is what your parents would call this music. He gets an angry visit from some FBI cronies (so many cronies in this episode!), who immediately handcuff him because I guess he has been missing some scheduled meetings and check-ins. Gavin coolly just asks to speak to Agent Green, while directing Crony 1’s attention to one of his many computer screens. Crony 1 is like, “Um, what am I looking at?” and Gavin is like, “The access grid to all eight of AT&T’s data centers, so put Agent Green on the fucking line, yeah?” It’s a cool scene and satisfying for an underdog to finally win one, but I ultimately hate it because Cashew is nowhere to be found. I hope that when Green finally does show his face at Gavin’s, Cashew pees on his shoe in retaliation for the near-squishing!

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Back at the White House, Frank has a plan, the first part of which is convincing Cathy Durant to grant Xander Feng asylum in the United States, since he is once again persona non grata in his native China. I’ll let you guys guess whether or not she does it. Let me repeat: I’ll let you guys guess whether or not something Frank Underwood wants to happen actually happens. Yeah. We then cut straight to Durant and Dunbar (D Squared!) trying to make the deal with Feng in exchange for his confirming that Lanagin’s casino laundered foreign contributions.

Xander confirms the intel, which is very bad news for Raymond, who now sports a spiffy white beard. He calls a meeting with his team of lawyers/advisors, which is a funny sight gag that I don’t even have to caption:

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Over in Joppa, Lisa exits a grocery store and enters her recently tampered-with car. Doug shows up outta nowhere to offer her a jump start, then helps her with her groceries all the way into her apartment, because I guess some girls just never watched a single serial killer movie based on a true serial killer. Properly rattled, Rachel follows Doug outside for a private moment, during which Doug tells her to get rid of Lisa. Rachel calls him out on his jealousy, but he stands firm. What follows in this storyline is basically this:

Very sad. That’s all I have to say about that. It’s just really fucking sad.

The next day, Megan’s publicity tour makes a stop at the Chris Hayes show. She presents relatively well until Congresswoman Jacqueline Sharp calls into the show unannounced just to call Claire Underwood a coward and an opportunist, prompting Megan to stammer some half-baked defenses before ultimately falling victim to the full-blown yips on national television.

Meanwhile, Claire visits Jackie, except that instead of destroying her with a withering stare, Claire offers to withdraw her version of the bill and apologizes for Frank’s exploitation of Jackie’s personal relationship with Remy. “We’re deeply sorry for the way we’ve treated you, and we want to rebuild the trust we’ve lost.” So obviously the Underwoods need Jackie for something yet unbeknownst to us, and this isn’t lost on Jackie. Later, Claire ambushes Tricia to tell her that she will be withdrawing her bill because heaven forbid Jackie go after the president next. Smooth. Tricia also lets slip that Cathy’s unilateral decision to grant Feng asylum is making Garrett feel pressured to waive the confidentiality privilege with the reverend-doctor. Aha!

That evening, Francis thanks Claire for her sacrifice and assures her she will not end up having to “divorce a convict.”

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Meanwhile, it’s reckoning time over in Agent Green’s discreetly parked car! Gavin shows up and threatens to expose Green for having framed Lucas Goodwin, and he has the text messages between Green’s wife and her lover to prove it. Gavin demands that he be released from his indentured servitude to the FBI and that all charges against him and Barrett Brown be dropped in exchange for his silence on the matter. Presumably Green will get right on that because what other fucking choice does he have. Still no sign of Cashew.

Later, Claire calls Megan over just to tell her she’ll be pulling her bill off the floor and teaming up with Jackie to revise it closer to her specifications. “We have to accept incremental reform,” she says. Megan storms out in a huff, but not before she calls Claire a “fucking coward.”

Remy also gets the boot, from Raymond, briefly in town for his testimony. Seth totally tattled on Remy’s clandestine church meeting with Frank from the last episode, you see, and now Raymond is feeling a bit betrayed.

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Meanwhile, Heather Dunbar’s investigation has finally won Dr. Reverend Larkin’s voluntary testimony. Unfortunately for Garrett, Dunbar’s questioning quickly reveals that Larkin’s evasive answers are obviously rehearsed. In light of the revelations that not only is Garrett receiving psychological treatment but that his chief counsel also coached a witness on his testimony, the Republicans waste no time in calling for Garrett’s impeachment. “Who knows what else he’s lying about?” our old pals Hector Mendoza and Tea Partier Curtis Haas tell the clamoring reporters.

Next, it’s Raymond’s turn to be questioned, and he basically just pleads the fifth for the entire thing, just like Frank predicted.

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Finally, Frank calls none other than Ayla Sayyad for an interview rife with overwrought praises of Garrett’s character and patriotism. In secret, however, he and Claire meet with Jackie and come clean (well, almost) about their intentions; they want her to whip the votes in FAVOR of impeaching Garrett, so that the next phase can begin sooner rather than later, and they make sure to mention she will be rewarded handsomely for her efforts once Frank becomes president.

Jackie seems appalled that they would suggest something “just shy of treason.” But then Frank is like, “Just shy. Which is politics.” Then Jackie bumps into Frank’s Civil War model replica, and he’s like, “Be careful, it’s delicate . . . It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time, and it’s nearly finished. Jackie, help us finish it.” YUUUUUUUCK! And I mean that about the heavy-handed writing, not Frank’s oiliness.

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So basically, Jackie has to choose between her ethics and her ambition. GEE, I WONDER WHICH WAY SHE’LL SWAY! Thank goodness there’s only one episode left to recap of this entirely too predictable second season. Until next week! More murrrrrrrrder awaits!

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About Commentatrix

First-wave millennial.
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2 Responses to House of Cards 2.12: Asylum? I Hardly Know ‘im!

  1. flanny says:

    I teared up just watching that scene from White Fang without sound. 😦

  2. That Where’s Waldo MS Paint job is perfection.

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