“House of Cards” recap (2.12): Stacking the Lies


And just as you knew he would from the moment Claire decided it would be valuable, Larkin answers questions from special prosecutor Dunbar. She walks him right into work-related pressures, the President getting enough sleep, and whether or not Larkin prescribed any medications that might have impaired the President’s judgment.

Larkin gives a carefully vetted, delicate answer, and Dunbar is on him like a mountain lion tearing into a weenie roast. Has anyone coached him on his responses? If he tells her now, that counts as a timely declaration and keeps his butt out of jail. Larkin tries to weasel and Dunbar holds him by the collar and slaps him around just for the hell of it before dunking him in a tasty marinade and rubbing cracked pepper and garlic into his flesh. She’d like to know if deliberately lying to her is part of Larkin’s precious ethical code.

And now Claire is lying to Megan, telling her they’re withdrawing the bill because it couldn’t pass. She says they need to accept incremental reform. Oh, and Claire is working with Jackie Sharp now, and hey, at least the issue is on the radar, right? Megan is pissed to discover that they’ll be fake-doing good instead of doing it for real. She calls Claire a fucking coward, so nice knowing you, Megan. Claire says she’s sorry, but there were political realities they couldn’t ignore. “You want to know why so many people hate Washington?” Megan riddles on her way out the door, “It’s because of people like you using phrases like that.”

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Remy arrives to see Tusk and Seth admiring a lovely D.C. sunset. Seth has just been telling Tusk about a certain meeting between Remy and Frank in an empty church. Tusk does not care for people who play both sides unless they are named Tusk. Seth takes off to avoid the carnage. Remy tries to reason with Tusk—including pointing out how much Tusk has lost just by refusing to let Frank have the upper dick  hand—but he’s already as good as gone. Tusk tells Remy he’s just made 42 billion enemies, but Remy reckons it’s more like 39.5; Tusk’s fortunes are already tumbling. Have we forgotten that Claire said that Tusk should suffer? Because I don’t believe that Claire has.

Frank watches the news of White House Counsel Bill tampering with testimony. Uh-Oh. The Republican Senators we got to know earlier in the season are already peacocking for the cameras, taking umbrage over the coached testimony and over the President seeking psychological help without the American people knowing. They believe their colleagues in the House have enough to consider impeachment.

Frank is rolling now, surfing atop the chaos he’s unleashed. He tells Seth to fully support the President and calls for Ayla. Remy can twist in the wind for a little while, but Jackie should come to Murky Towers tomorrow. DRAGON FIIIIIGHT!

Tusk arrives for his testimony, full of indignation at being subject to actual human laws. Dunbar would like to know about Lanagin, money laundering, and political favors. Tusk would like to plead the Fifth.

212HoC 7Photo by Nathaniel Bell. Image Courtesy of Netflix

Doug, you ratbag. Lisa is scrubbing the tears off her face while Rachel tries to explain. How does one explain a Doug in your life? Rachel says it’s been so fast and she’s not ready for the relationship. Lisa calls bullshit. Rachel pretends she’s not ready for this new life, and again Lisa calls bullshit, more confidently this time. Lisa brings out more relationship truths and Rachel can’t stand it. She tells Lisa to leave for her own good, that she’ll get Lisa hurt, but Lisa thinks she means for the usual reasons and in the usual way, not that Doug is waiting outside right now, deciding how painful things are really going to get.

Lisa knows Rachel too well and won’t believe her, and won’t leave, and it’s awful. And so poor Rachel says the only things she can to save Lisa: “I don’t love you the way that you love me. I was using you because it felt good to have you around.” Rachel keeps going as she watches Lisa break, telling her she wasn’t in love, that she just said the words. Rachel keeps punching: Everything she needs to say until she’s hurt Lisa enough to get her to go.

Lisa won’t even take her stuff. She just leaves. Rachel collapses sobbing. Oh, fuck.

212HoC 8Photo by Nathaniel Bell. Image Courtesy of Netflix

Doug drives through the night, listening to a soothing voice read A Tale of Two Cities, just like his mom used to. He gets a text: “It’s done.” Go to hell, Doug.

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