This is enough to convince the Washington Herald editor to give Tom a small team of reporters and legal protection in hopes that he'll break a big story and bring down Frank. I'm not optimistic. And what the heck happened that the focus of this investigation changed?
While Claire is off doing stuff and Tom is planning to end his political life, Frank deals with the ICO threat in Washington. "I will not be satisfied by blocking the serpent's path, gentlemen. I want to cut off it's goddamn head," he says in a meeting with top military advisers. He cooks up a plan that will enlist Russia's help in taking out ICO, in exchange for oil drilling zones."The Russians do the dirty work, we take all the credit," he says.
Thanks to his guy on the intelligence committee, Conway gets wind of Frank's plan, and does his best to derail it in congress. Frank finds out about it, and gives Gov. Sexypants a call. "Fifty times a day, you say we should destroy ICO, and now you're deliberately preventing us from doing it," Frank charges. "Put politics aside and do the right thing," he says. Conway declines, leaving Frank scrambling, and he chooses the undesirable option of sending in American forces on the ground.
Doug also brings up a key point to Frank. If Conway has a guy on the intelligence committee, he's just a step or two away from finding out about the surveillance operation. He brings in LeAnn's analytics guy, to make sure, I don't know, that he has a firewall or something? "I've got everything masked," the guy says. Well, good. I'm glad we spent time on that. All this was so Frank could hear the word "beyond", which opened him up to the idea of going "beyond" marriage.
Doug gets a voicemail from Laura Moretti, thanking him for his generation to her husband's memorial fund. Doug plays the voicemail over and over, then calls the woman and sets up, like, a date. Laura seemed kind of into it, but this was one more first date with Doug Stamper than I ever wanted to be a part of. No, no, no, no, no.