Episode 10 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.
“We’re going to need more beer”. So says dogged reporter Tom Hammerschmidt to Remy Danton as they play a game of ‘Never Will I Ever’, Danton’s silence at Tom’s questions acquiescence of what he has seen and knows. Tom’s getting close to real answers now returning to his newspaper’s fold and an assembled ‘Spotlight’-style secret team of reporters to start the real digging and investigation of Lucas Goodwin’s accusations. “Underwood may be a crook,” he tells his boss, “But he isn’t a killer.” Oh Tom, open your eyes!
Frank is still not fully recovered from his liver transplant surgery and is under doctors orders to rest and recuperate, hard things to accomplish when one is in the middle of the election campaign. As Claire heads off around the country on Air Force One, accompanied by increasingly-creepy Tom Yates as de-facto speech writer but actual lover, Frank stays in the White House. There he bumps into Freddy Hayes, one-time confident and friend when Freddy ran his BBQ joint and Frank was a frequent visitor. You may remember it was Freddy’s association with Frank that scuppered plans to franchise his business a couple of years ago. Now a lowly flower arranger in the White House – a scrap thrown by Frank – Freddy reveals he’s leaving soon to go work in a relative’s florist. Completely missing the contempt the principled Freddy is trying not to show, Frank insists he cook ribs for him one more time. Tired of being taken for granted, Freddy lets rip at a shocked and disbelieving President and walks out. Freddy, Remy – people used and abused by the Underwoods are starting to turn on them.
Frank is rankled but there is business to conduct. ICO (ISIS by any other name) is proving a thorn in his side, with Conway making political capital out of the fact the President seems impotent to the situation in Syria. So Frank takes the obvious, hugely immoral and dangerous step of ordering action and American boots-on-the-ground in Syria without permission, far more as a campaigning measure whilst stuck in the White House than anything remotely concerned with world peace. Secretary of State Cathy Durant is against such action but as Frank tells us, “When a dog is bitten, either you put it to sleep or put a muzzle on it”, clearly leaving his options open when it comes to the poor woman.
Meanwhile, Doug continues to stalk the man he had bumped from the top of the transplant list in favour of his President. His large and generous donation to on online fund set -up in honour of the recently deceased man has been noticed, and a meeting is agreed between Doug and his widow so she may meet this generous man in person and say thanks. Doug (bless him?) turns up with flowers. He could almost be mistaken for thinking this was some form of date. It all seems utter madness until you remember he’s has been here before; he became obsessed with the unfortunate Rachel last season, and look how that turned out. It seems clear he is once more on the path of self-sabotage, subconsciously wishing for everything to come crashing down and thus freeing him from Frank. The fact he’s completely clueless to this could make one feel a little sorry for the man. Almost.
Creepy Tom Yates earns his place at the Underwood’s table, both figuratively and physically. Frank lets him know that not only is he aware the the sexual relationship between Tom and Claire, he’s fully in favour of it. And so after Tom sleeps over with the First Lady, he takes his place at their breakfast table, a fine addition to a thoroughly dysfunctional First Family.