House of Cards: Chapter 43
March 16, 2016 6:01 AM - Season 4, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Claire plays what might be the ultimate trump card, threatening to divorce Frank in the middle of the campaign if she isn't on the ticket, but then something even bigger happens.

Frank takes his message to a group of protesters, but Lucas Goodwin is there with a pistol. He and Meechum kill each other, and Frank gets shot in the liver.

Acting President Blythe is brought up to speed on the Russia situation, and Claire seizes the opportunity to put her own stamp on the operation.
posted by Etrigan (22 comments total)
 
It really says something about this show that the attempted assassination of the President is a setup to the real climax of the episode.
posted by Etrigan at 6:02 AM on March 16, 2016 [3 favorites]




For Meechum.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:01 AM on March 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I felt pretty dumb after the fact for not realizing that the hand thing was a big flashing neon "THIS CHARACTER WILL DIE SOON" sign.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:38 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I felt pretty dumb after the fact for not realizing that the hand thing was a big flashing neon "THIS CHARACTER WILL DIE SOON" sign.

To be fair, Meechum's been fated to take a bullet for (or from) Frank since day one.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on March 16, 2016


And in one fell swoop the writers killed the one character loyal to the Underwoods who is not mentally unstable. Neve Campbell's character is clearly in it for the money.

I liked Meecham.

There is no one not broken to root for now.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:13 PM on March 16, 2016


The death of Lucas felt very quick to me, especially since this season had opened with him, or at least his voice. I didn't want a whole 'nother go-round with Stamper trying to get rid of him, so I appreciated the expediency from that perspective, but it felt like his release, attempt to speak to Dunbar, etc., could've taken place over a few more episodes.

And that would've given time for more Ellen Burstyn to hang in that huge house, so that's a win.
posted by minsies at 1:03 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The death of Lucas felt very quick to me, especially since this season had opened with him, or at least his voice. I didn't want a whole 'nother go-round with Stamper trying to get rid of him, so I appreciated the expediency from that perspective, but it felt like his release, attempt to speak to Dunbar, etc., could've taken place over a few more episodes.

I burned through 10 episodes before starting this season on FanFare (and finished the last three soon after), and when I got to this episode, I was amazed that the shooting already happened. Looking back, it seemed like it was much later in the season.
posted by Etrigan at 1:16 PM on March 16, 2016


And in one fell swoop the writers killed the one character loyal to the Underwoods who is not mentally unstable.
...
There is no one not broken to root for now.


I hope this isn't spoilery, because I can't remember which events happen in which episode, but...
posted by sparklemotion at 2:19 PM on March 16, 2016


I noted elsewhere that Meechum died March 27th, so there's still time to save him!!


I'm still upset.
posted by littlesq at 4:04 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


This was a weird one for me because I had a theory that Meechum would assassinate Underwood during this season.
posted by missmerrymack at 6:16 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


The death of Lucas felt very quick to me, especially since this season had opened with him, or at least his voice. I didn't want a whole 'nother go-round with Stamper trying to get rid of him, so I appreciated the expediency from that perspective, but it felt like his release, attempt to speak to Dunbar, etc., could've taken place over a few more episodes.

I agree. The pacing felt strangely rushed, like maybe there were originally three episodes worth of stuff that got cut to make room for other things. I like the show best when it is focused on people and their complex machinations, and I like it the least when it is trying to include Big Events (like the Russia negotiations, booooring). The jump here felt like a move from good stuff reminding me of Season One, to the dullness of Season Three.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:07 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I actually appreciated the Lucas story ending so quickly - after the whole Season Three drawn out Doug's storyline it was nice to see them just use a storyline and finish it. It also adds to the whole 'untouchable Underwoods' feel, as though even fate is protecting them - which I am not going to comment on any more (have seen the whole season, no spoilers from me)
posted by Megami at 12:18 PM on March 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


This was a weird one for me because I had a theory that Meechum would assassinate Underwood during this season.

I was really intrigued by one of the news reports immediately after the shooting saying that some witnesses were claiming that Meechum shot first.
posted by Etrigan at 12:27 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else see the assassination coming? About 30 seconds before Frank got shot, when he's talking to the students outside, I turned to mr. hgg and said, "Someone's going to shoot him."

Now, I actually *never* see stuff like this coming, but there was just something about the way the scene was filmed that immediately made me think it. I'm not sure what it was--maybe someone more well versed with cinematography would be able to articulate it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:43 PM on March 17, 2016


hurdy gurdy girl, if I remember correctly, there is a quick scene before the shooting when the camera is pov from someone hiding in the crowd. Then it zooms out and Lucas is shooting Frank.
posted by Become A Silhouette at 9:08 PM on March 17, 2016


Yes! I do remember that, now that you mention it. I think there were a few other things before that but I'd have to go back and re-watch. Maybe there were music/sound cues too...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:03 AM on March 18, 2016


I didn't exactly see it coming, but I do get a sense of foreboding whenever anyone is driving or in public. I also get that sense when watching The Americans, and a little bit when watching The Good Wife.
posted by Etrigan at 3:16 AM on March 18, 2016


The filming of that scene reminded me of that series of photos of the assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, probably because I had just seen the photos again a few weeks ago.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:21 AM on March 18, 2016


I wish Frank had pulled a machine gun from his under his jacket and started firing, while screaming "MEEEEEECHUUUUMMMMM!"

If you're gonna be ridiculous then go all out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on March 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love how Claire immediate takes amazing advantage of the situation. Poor Blythe thinks she's on his side, and he's really very wrong about that.

There's a scene right at the end where Doug realizes how thoroughly he's just been played by Claire. She's completely re-written the gameplan, she's made herself indispensable to the acting president. She's going in to stand by during the press conference while Doug waits in the next room. She's cut him out of the loop and he's got no leverage over her, and he's just stewing in it.

She's amazing.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:42 PM on March 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love this Claire arc! Blythe just needs an anchor and everybody in that room failed him, then Claire swoops in.
posted by rhizome at 10:06 PM on July 29, 2016


Claire should have been the politician, and Frank should have been the first gentleman. Except for the fact that he'd have been a useless asshole at it and she'd have ditched him pretty quickly.

And I suppose they'll never paint over that stupid hand drawing now [eyeball roll].
posted by orange swan at 7:47 PM on November 6, 2016


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