'House of Cards' Season 2 episode 1: Frank goes into you like a train
Where we are:
It's so nice to be right about a TV show and yet still so sad in this case. We predicted that Zoe would die this season once she knew about Peter Russo being found in the passenger seat of his car. We didn't think it would happen in the first episode back, but as soon as Zoe showed up to meet Frank in the subway station, we knew he was going to throw her in front of a train.
That was kind of awesome of the show. Not that it was awesome at all for Frank to do that -- murder's bad, kids -- but kudos to the show for having the big brass ones to do that. We're only sorry that we don't get to watch more of the three musketeers figure Frank out. Hopefully, though, this doesn't mean a diminished role in the season for Lucas and/or Janine. Janine's packing up to leave Washington, but we hope she stays.
Back on the Hill, it's business as usual for Frank. He's going to be the vice president, so he's grooming his successor as majority whip. He wants Jacqueline Sharp ( Molly Parker), a three-term congresswoman with an armed forces service record. The way Frank figures it is that the two traditional frontrunners will divide votes and let Sharp sneak in there. She's on board, so we wonder at what point in the season does he kill her in a private garage in her parking structure?
Just kidding, Sharp is not Peter Russo. We love Parker from several things, but most notably her turn on "Deadwood." It should be fun watching her play against Kevin Spacey this season.
At home, Claire is still entertaining her flight of fancy about having a baby, but in the end, she gives up on both her literal baby and her metaphorical baby when she stops the fertility testing and hands the CWI over to Gillian Cole. Claire needs the lawsuit to go away and Gillian isn't budging. Claire gets her over a barrel by cancelling her health insurance and then makes Gillian an offer she can't refuse.
Thank goodness. Honestly, the Claire-CWI stuff bored us to tears in Season 1. This show is about Frank Underwood and his crazy Machiavellian dealings. Let's not get bogged down with frivolity like helping third-world countries dig wells.
Speaking of Frank's delicious scheming, he finally addresses the camera at episode's end, which was super cheeky but also really fun. "House of Cards" has nothing if not a sense of humor.
Oh, and Doug has Rachel Posner relocated because he kind of likes her and she's in danger. We're not quite sure where that's going yet. Surely Doug isn't going to play house with the former hooker in a Baltimore studio apartment.
Doug: "I'm the only one that can protect you, don't you see that? You have no idea how much danger you're in."
Claire: "I emptied it. You're another year older on Tuesday. And we can't have a vice president who smokes."
Frank: "Don't step out of the sunlight for no reason."
Frank: "I'm on the sidelines for this one, Terry."
Terry: "You're never on the sidelines, Frank."
Claire: "I'm willing to let your child wither and die inside you if that's what's required, but neither of us wants that. Now tell me, am I really the sort of enemy you want to make?"
Frank: "Service background, clean history, photogenic, the whole package. But more importantly: Ruthless pragmatism."
Frank: "Did you think I'd forgotten you? Perhaps you hoped I had. Don't waste a breath mourning Miss Barnes. Every kitten grows up to be a cat. They seem so harmless at first -- small, quiet, lapping up their saucer of milk. But once their claws get long enough, they draw blood. Sometimes from the hand that feeds them. For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: Hunt or be hunted. Welcome back."