Episode 7 Recap & Review is here.
Clearly there are multiple SPOILERS ahead so don’t read unless you’re up to speed with the nefarious Frank Underwood.
Tom Yates is back. Remember him? Last seen being turfed out on his ear by the Underwoods after they discovered the biography he was writing was actually an expose of their marriage, he’s courted by Will Conway. He’s transformed his work into a work of fiction, albeit one in the style of Primary Colors, and Conway wants it published before the election, the better to hurt Frank and increase his own chances of becoming President. But Tom, wary that the Underwoods are still keeping secret the fact he didn’t actually write his first, hugely successful novel, holds off and allows Frank and Claire the opportunity to counter-offer. Which they do quickly, for they both sense a kinship with Tom and perhaps something more. With Meecham dead, they’re missing the third in the threesomes they occasionally indulged in. Watch yourself Tom. Or enjoy yourself.
With Aidan MacAllan’s tech firm having (elicit) access to NSA databases, unprecedented robocall campaigning is available to the gun control lobby, meaning Claire’s bill looks set to pass. And with Meecham dead and Frank shot, both by a gun bought without background checks this bill would mandate, nothing could be closer to their hearts, right? Of course not. All this is merely the long-game, a ploy designed to eliminate vice president nominee Dean Austin, NRA pawn and favoured by the party leadership, from contention. As each VP running mate suggestion of the party is discarded, Claire’s path to the office gets shorter.
And so the bill gets dumped, and with it Austin from the ticket, by some quick political manoevering by Claire and Frank. Tom Yates, still clearly a little wet behind the ears, asks Leann if the First Lady actually cares about gun control. Her response – “What’s that got to do with it?” – sums up her m.o. succinctly. You really had to ask Tom? This is politics, nothing more, nothing less.
Meanwhile, Zoe Barnes’s former boss Tom Hammerschmidt has picked up her mantle and begins investigations, first at her low-rent flat where she and Frank used to meet. Asking around, he comes up short before a fast food vendor happens to remark that the man currently on the tv was around a lot. That man? Meecham. Tom realises he’s got a smoking gun and begins piecing together a comprehensive timeline of Meecham’s movements from public records freely available. How long do we think Hammerschmidt is for this world should he go the whole Lucas Goodwin route?
The next stage of Frank and Claire’s masterplan is put into action. What about Cathy Durant for running mate? The idea is met with immediate approval but Frank urges caution. He shouldn’t choose her, the party at large should, at the forthcoming Democratic convention. The stage is now almost fully set for the people to choose Claire, a situation the party couldn’t countermand, whatever their reservations.
Pretty much a scene-setter, chapter 47 still grips. Watching Frank and Claire play people and situations is akin to a ballet in a crowd, a fine balancing act performed by complete professionals at the top of their game. It feels almost amoral to root so much for a couple so depraved. But root for them we do.