This Jodie Foster-directed episode has a very "Dexter"-esque cold open.
We see Freddy, preparing for his day. He does some exercise, before walking to work. When he arrives at his place, he finds the morning paper, with news of Claire's scandal splashed across the front page.
At the Underwood residence, Claire and Frank huddle with Doug and Grayson, trying to figure out how best to play their reaction to the scandal. Claire assures everyone that she can handle things, and asks everyone to follow her lead.
Freddy meets with his franchisee, who walks him through his plan for a satellite location in Silver Spring. Despite not being wholly satisfied with the plan, and specifically with the kind of light that Freddy and his place are going to be painted in, he signs off on the deal.
Later, Freddy visits a home, where we see him meeting his grandson for the first time, perhaps. We see that Freddy's son lives there, with the child, DeShawn. Freddy offers to buy them a house with his new restaurant money, but his son turns him down, at first, saying that they hadn't spoken in five years. He soon has a change of heart, though, mends fences with his dad, and starts working for him.
"I need you to deny it," Claire tells Adam on the phone. She tells him to deny the affair and taking the photograph and to get rid of any physical or digital copies of the picture, which he agrees to do. "It's a shame it takes this for us to talk to one another," Adam laments. He tells Claire that he has a new girlfriend, which she doesn't take well. Adam falls in line with Claire's plan, and makes a public statement.
"I find it very painful that anyone would suggest I'm capable of being unfaithful to my husband, whom I love dearly," Claire says, while making a public statement with Frank by her side.
Claire goes on to say that Adam had taken the photograph in question, and that perhaps he lied about doing so to protect himself from media scrutiny. Adam looks on in disbelief, as his former muse throws him under the bus on national television. "Confirm our version. Say you lied because you were scared," Claire tells Adam during a phone discussion, later. Adam isn't sure of how he wants to play things.
Frank meets with Grayson and Doug, to plan their next move. When Frank excuses himself, Doug turns on Grayson, accusing him of gunning for his job. "Upward mobility has a ceiling with the Underwoods. I'm the ceiling," Doug warns him.
Remy pays Adam a visit and threatens Adam's fiancee's family in Colombia unless he offers to help Remy and Tusk take the Underwoods down. Remy asks for another way to link Claire to him. Adam obliges, releasing a photo of Claire in the shower to the press, blindsiding the Underwood team.
Meanwhile, in St. Louis, Ayla Sayyad interviews Tusk. Tusk sure has quite the work ethic, doesn't he? If I had $40 billion, I don't think I'd be spending my time fielding potentially damaging interview questions from a newspaper reporter. I think I'd pretty much be on a beach every day.
Ayla has continued to dig, and uncover links between Tusk and Feng and the bridge and everything. Tusk threatens to crush her career, but she seems intent on doing her job anyway. When Ayla leaves, Tusk calls Remy and asks him to leak another Underwood-linked scandal to the press.
This one is a real cheap shot, as it digs up an old armed robbery that Freddy was charged with more than 30 years earlier. Freddy pleaded guilty to that crime to avoid a manslaughter charge, after he wrecked a vehicle carrying two senior citizens on his getaway drive after the robbery. Seth is off working on a way to potentially bury the first scandal when Frank asks him to come to the house to help manage the second.
"A vice president whose wife cheats on him and who is friendly with a former gangbanger?" Grayson asks rhetorically, as Frank vows to make a statement backing Freddy publicly.
Grayson brings up Freddy's son, mentioning his checkered past as well, and asks Frank to back off. Frank won't listen, though. "I won't leave one of my own bleeding on the field," Frank tells us.
Freddy and his son, Darnell, are walking to work when they're accosted by photographers. Darnell loses his cool and pulls a gun on one of the men, a bad move, as the photographer snaps a photo of Darnell holding the gun, with Freddy in the frame. This will damage Freddy's business deal, and could send Darnell back to prison for violating parole.
Grayson hires a model to pose for a photo similar to Claire's leaked shower shot. He and the model go on CNN, where Grayson posits the theory that the photo of Claire was a fake, and that Adam is lying.
Frank gets word of Darnell's incident and wants to visit Freddy. "Freddy is dangerous, because you care too much," Claire warns him. "When we care too much, it blinds us." Frank reluctantly agrees, but respects Freddy enough that he tells him in person that he'll have to distance himself from him. "With all that's going on, we can't add fuel to the fire," Frank explains.
Freddy tells Frank that he has to get out of business for financial reasons. His franchise deal fell through thanks to a morality clause, and the money that he'll get from selling his current location had to go to cover Darnell's bond. Frank offers to front Freddy the money to stay in business, but he declines. "I ain't taking your guilt money," Freddy tells him. "You was a good customer, that's it. You ain't gotta pretend to be my friend."
"Do you think I'm a hypocrite? Well, you should," Frank tells us. "The road to power is paved with hypocrisy... and casualties. Never regret."
Adam travels to Washington to meet with the Underwoods. He explains that he turned on them to protect his fiancee's father, and balks at Frank's suggestion that he could help rectify that situation, as long as Adam plays along. "Because of you, I will always be the man who placed her father in danger. I can never erase that," Adam says. "I'm sorry I ever met you. All you've ever done is cause me pain," he tells Claire. "We're giving you an out, Adam. And if you choose not to take it, I will bury you," Claire replies. Adam has no choice but to play ball.
Remy tries to reach Adam, but learns that Frank has already used Cathy Durant to take away most of Tusk's leverage. "You know, I hired you to destroy Frank. You're failing," Tusk tells Remy. "I'm your lobbyist, not your henchman," Remy says. Tusk tells him to find a solution, quickly.
With Adam making a public statement, saying that the photo leaks were nothing more than a publicity stunt, life for the Underwoods is set to return to normal. Frank tells Doug that he wants to hit back at Tusk for trying to ruin him. "I want him obliterated," he says. "More than that. Let's make him suffer," Claire adds.
"I don't know whether to be proud or terrified," Frank tells us. "Perhaps both."