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'House of Cards' recap, Season 2, Episode 11

"From the lion's den to a pack of wolves. When you're fresh meat, kill and throw them something fresher." -- Frank Underwood

Frank faces questions from Special Prosecutor Heather Dunbar about his link to the campaign contributions, and, more specifically, Feng and Lanagin. Frank handles the prosecutor with some glib Southern charm, but we get the sense that he might soon be in over his head.

While Frank is dealing with his issues, Claire meets with Tricia, who informs her that she'll be pulling her public support for Claire's legislation, at least for the time being. It seems that the Adam Galloway scandal has made Claire something of a political leper. "I'll help you as much as I can, quietly," Tricia tells her. Claire huddles with Seth to determine what her next step should be.

Dunbar continues to question Frank, and seems to have a pretty accurate idea as to how the PAC debacle started. Frank has to stonewall her, though. "Is there a theory here, or are you just grasping at straws?" he asks. "The bridge leads to Feng. Feng gives me Lanagin and Tusk," Dunbar explains. The prosecutor then drops the hammer on Frank, showing him a photo of Doug at Lanagin's casino, and flight records, showing that Doug flew to China. Frank sits in silence.

Doug is attending an AA meeting, telling the group about his complicated feelings for Rachel. "I should cut her off, the way I did with booze," he says, trying to talk himself into something he doesn't want to do. Doug meets a guy named Fitz at the meeting. Where are The Tantrums? Fitz passes Doug his number and offers to serve as his sponsor, if he likes.

Remy is riding in a car with Lanagin, who accuses him of serving him up to Dunbar in an attempt to protect Tusk. Remy insists that isn't true, and tries to assure Lanagin that Frank is the man he's looking to victimize. Lanagin is considering turning on Tusk, an idea that Remy tries to talk him out of.

"I've never seen you this stressed before, Frank," President Walker says after a meeting. Frank tries to convince Walker that the investigation will wrap soon, but his nervous body language is telling a different story. "Lie after lie. First to a prosecutor, then to a president. I feel exposed, like the skin where my ring used to be. Even Achilles was only as strong as his heel," Frank tells us.

"Jackie did what she had to do. I'll never forgive her, but I understand why she did it," Ted Havemeyer tells Remy, as Tusk's fixer visits the man who Jackie betrayed. Remy claims to be vetting Jackie for a position at his firm should she lose her reelection bid, but it seems maybe he's actually trying to determine who exactly she is.

Frank asks Doug whether or not he' s drinking again, after giving him a lecture for being caught on camera in the casino. Doug explains that someone had to have given the prosecutor a specific tip to be able to find him, but Frank seems to have it in his head that Doug is losing it. "I've never given someone a third chance... until this very moment," Frank tells Doug.

Doug offers to take the fall for some of Frank's connection tho the scandal, but Frank suggests that they go down together. Later, Frank tells Claire that he plans to tell  the prosecutor a selective version of the truth.

Claire brings Megan in for a visit. With Jackie dodging her and Tricia pulling her support, Claire needs to put a face on her legislation. She tries to talk Megan into going public. "It needs to be your voice. A clear voice," Claire tells her. Megan talks to a reporter and gives some good answers, tossing some verbal grenades at both her attacker and Jackie.

Doug calls Seth in for a meeting and tells him that he wants to bury the hatchet. He'll need help if he intends to continue serving the Underwoods, and he's decided, at least for now, that Seth can be an ally. Doug also breaks his phone, seemingly severing any ties to Rachel.

Frank tells Walker that he told Dunbar the truth, and that he intends to hand over his travel logs to her. This doesn't sound like things are winding down, as Frank had promised Walker they would, and the president is concerned. Frank suggests that Walker do the same, even though it would make the Walker's marriage counseling a matter of public record.

Remy travels to California to try to manipulate Jackie after a day of campaigning. HE threatens to tell the public how she got her job as whip. He suggests that she perjure herself in front of Dunbar, and claim that Frank tried to make sure that their stories lined up. This would distance her from Frank, and give her s hot at reelection.

Jackie spurns his offer. "You'd really toss yourself off a cliff for Frank?" Remy asks Jackie. "I have zero allegiance to Frank Underwood," Jackie says, and assures Remy that she won't be manipulated by anyone, using some colorful verbiage. Whatever relationship there was between these two, appears to be over.

Frank appears before Dunbar again, and she asks once more whether or not he knew of a direct link between Feng and the campaign donations. Frank continues to deny, and with Doug beside him, says that Doug's casino visit was something that he had done on his own. Dunbar seems placated by Frank turning over the travel logs, so, the heat might be off, at least for a moment. Doug and Seth meet with Frank. They agree that the session with Dunbar went well for them. Frank compliments Doug on the job he did.

Claire has an encounter with Megan at the Underwood residence, where it becomes clear that she is not mentally stable enough to be the public face of Claire's legislative project, as Claire had hoped. Later, Claire drinks alone, while she ponders the possibility of facing defeat. Meechum walks in later, after Claire drops a wine glass. Meechum cuts his hand on the shards and Claire rushes off to find bandages.

Claire bandages Meechum, and he prepares to leave for the day. Claire apologizes for being drunk, then convinces him to stay and have some wine with her, as if that would take a lot of convincing. Meechum asks for bourbon instead, and we're off to the races.
 
Frank takes a secret meeting with Remy at a church. Remy had reached out to Frank, signalling that he might be willing to turn on Tusk. Remy offers to stop fighting Frank, to play things more neutral, in an effort to ensure that his career won't end if Tusk goes down. Frank agrees to consider Remy's offer. Elsewhere, a despondent Walker chokes down a pill of some sort.

Frank returns home and finds Claire and Meechum, together at the dining room table, drunk. Frank takes Meechum's hand and changes the dressing on his cut. Their hands linger for a moment, and Claire steps in, kissing both hands. Meechum kisses Claire, and Frank and Meechum kiss as well.

Doug shows up at Rachel's, and peers into her window, where he sees her in bed with Lisa. Doug leaves, not quite sure what to do next.

The next day, Frank and Claire talk as if nothing strange had happened, while Dunbar is alerted to the counselor's address that popped up in the president's travel log. If Frank has designs on the presidency, this is an important step.

"It's a beautiful day," Frank says.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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