House of Cards season 6, episode 2 recap: Chapter 67


On this week’s House of Cards, The Shepherds continue to strong-arm Claire, but in true Underwood fashion, she isn’t someone you can mess with.

Claire Underwood is the first female president of the United States in the fictional House of Cards’ world. Yet many people want her to fail.

You have the Bill and Annette Shepherd, who have a ton of connections to characters on the show for having never been so much as mentioned in previous seasons.

You also have Doug Stamper, fresh out of the mental facility, who is loyal to Frank even after his death. And who know so many more people are against her.

The show opens with Claire speaking with Ohio Governor Olmstead over the phone about an environmental disaster in his state. He’s reluctant to call the State of Emergency, but she kindly reminds him of the Underwoods’ help to win him his seat as governor, so he gives in.

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Why is Claire so hell-bent on declaring the State of Emergency? Well, because the plant where the chemical explosion occurred, called Arcas, is owned by Shepherd Unlimited. And when Claire’s new Press Secretary mentions this tiny detail, a shot is now fired at the Shepherds since their name is dragged through the mud.

Don’t you love how the Underwoods make up calamities just to serve their own agendas? I wonder if this happens in real life…

Claire goes to Ohio to visit the facility and town affected by the explosion. Annette is also there helping out with relief efforts. The two begin to uncomfortably, yet politely spar over business responsibility and government support for businesses.

When Annette grabs Claire’s hand to lift over their heads, Claire recoils and that is caught by the media.

CNN then gathers a panel of political experts, including Tom Hammerschmidt and former Press Secretary Seth Grayson, to discuss the recoiling of Annette. Tom tells the panel (and the thousands of viewers) that Frank was about to be indicted before he died and that Claire was going to pardon him — not before divorcing him though.

It turns out, not only is Tom leaking info about the Underwoods, so is Annette’s son Duncan. I don’t know what his deal is yet, but if he’s anything like his mother and uncle, he’s up to no good.
The Shepherds are incredibly ingrained with the current cast of characters. Again, how have we never heard of them until now? It’s utterly unbelievable to me.

Annette and Bill are in bed with Usher, (Annette, it seems, also physically), and Annette slept with Frank in 1998. AND CLAIRE KNEW. Plus, Seth now appears to be working for Bill. If House of Cards hadn’t introduced the Shepherds so suddenly like they did this season, I don’t think I would question things so much. But it’s so far-fetched to see them so involved with established characters. It kind of pops the bubble of intrigue for me.

Anyway, back to Bill. He’s creepily taken on Frank’s hotel room. (Does Bill want to be Frank?) We discover that Seth is helping Bill the Shepherd Freedom Foundation, an identity and data-collecting app disguised as an app that helps people in disasters receive information.

But Janine (Constance Zimmer) is in Ohio writing a story about the Acars explosion, speaking to workers. She finds out that he downloaded the app. A similar explosion happened before, and they did nothing, even knowing it would probably happen again.

After Doug recants his statements with the U.S. Attorney, he heads home to find Claire. Now, we know that he had planned to turn the tables onto Claire so that she could be indicted, but Claire knows she needs him on her side. So, she uses some good-ol’ Frank manipulation to convince Doug to join her.

We’ll see if he falls for it. I don’t think he will.

Usher has had it with Claire not listening to him and basically tells her she needs to sign the bill that the Shepherds want her to sign. She finally agrees, on one condition, that Bill returns Frank’s ring to where he found it.

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As Bill puts his hand over Claire’s to sign the bill, I sensed a bit of sexual tension there. Obviously, they are alluding to them having more than a business/friendship/frienemy history.

Watch House of Cards anytime.