"There are two types of vice presidents: doormats and matadors. Which do you think I intend to be?" --Frank Underwood
The president is working on his State of the Union address, in front of a room filled with staffers and advisers, including Christina, Linda, Frank and Tusk. Christina makes a suggestion that the president likes.
Tusk is less than thrilled that the speech is mostly focused on domestic issues, and privately voices his concerns to Frank. I don't read other recaps before I do my own, because I don't want to have my opinions influenced, but I assume that everyone is doing Major Dad shtick on Tusk?
None of that here, but only because I can't think of any good Major Dad shtick. Actually, there is no such thing as good Major Dad shtick.
Frank tells Tusk that the key issue facing the government is a pending shutdown, which would happen the day after Walker gives his speech, unless Frank can cut a deal with the Republicans.
Something tells me that Frank will come out on top here. Has he ever lost, even once? Tusk doubts Frank can get a deal done in time, but agrees to help Frank out, by trying to persuade Walker to compromise with the GOP.
While Frank deals with the Republican senate majority leader, Senator Mendoza, Lucas ambushes Christina, asking her to talk to him. He tries to convince her to hear him out, playing on the fact that she loved Peter Russo, telling her that Russo would still be alive if not for Frank. She wants no part of Lucas and his crusade, and warns him that she will turn him in to the Secret Service if he continues to stalk her.
After a meeting with Linda, Doug talks to a security agent who made him aware of some Deep Web activity related to Frank. Doug demands that they track down the person responsible, who is, of course, Lucas. Doug asks the agent to set up a sting operation to snag the culprit.
We check in with Rachel, who is working as a telephone pollster in Joppa. She decides to break Doug's rules and make contact with her mother, who works at a nearby children's hospital. She ends the phone call with her mom before speaking to her, but we see that she's getting restless.
Claire is vetting potential staff members for Frank, and she interviews the terrible, terrible man that walked out on Joan on "Mad Men."
She's impressed that the man that wants to handle media relations for the vice president's office did some homework on her, including a trip to South Carolina to watch old interview footage at a local news affiliate.
At The Herald, meanwhile, Lucas has his computer hacked by someone who flashes him an image of Zoe and promises to give him the information he's looking for. Seems legit.
The contact demands access to The Herald's internal servers. Again, seems legit.
Lucas agrees.While Frank continues to work on his grand compromise with Republicans, Doug alerts him that Lucas is on to him. Lucas goes to Janine, who is working as a professor now, and asks her to help him in his investigation. He tells her that his contact is solid, but she seems reticent to involve herself in this mess again.
Jackie has to deal with the fallout from betraying her friend Ted. She fields an angry call from his daughter's mother, who refuses to tell her how the girl is. To deal with the stress, Jackie goes to a tattoo shop to have some work done. We see that she already has some intricate art on her back, and she asks for more. I have no idea what to make of this woman.
We see Rachel taking the bus home after her work day. She encounters a young lady, Lisa, who asks to listen to her music, before offering her some religious literature to read. Doug pays her a visit and finds the literature. He warns Rachel not to make contact with anyone. Later, Rachel visits Lisa's church anyway.
Frank and Claire are having lunch and theorizing that perhaps the president and Christina are having an affair, when Doug interrupts to tell Frank that his bipartisan compromise is falling apart because Tea Party loyalist Curtis Haas has cold feet. The president sees the deal failing and gives Frank a verbal thrashing.