House of Cards (2013–2018): Season 1, Episode 3 - House of Cards - full transcript

Francis heads for his hometown to deal with a crisis. Zoe negotiates the politics of being a journalist on the rise. Claire finds herself a new business partner.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
Page 43, section 7.

We'd like some

Section 7 has to do with the
evaluative measures by which...

"Evaluative measures."

What we're talking about here
are performance standards.

Plain and simple.

We can't have that.
We open that can of worms...

- Gotta take it out, Frank.
- The Administration wants it in.

Then we're all
wasting our time.

Now, look, I can cut down
the frequency of testing,

but it's got to be
a part of the overall...

That's the thin
edge of a 2-ton wedge.

No way. Non-debatable.
All right, hold on.

There's no harm in
hearing him out, right?

Frank, what do you
have in mind?

We adjust article 4.
Hand me article 4.

We go every three
years instead of two...

Frank, for us to
even consider testing...

Marty, we can't
negotiate time intervals here.

If, I'm just saying if.

The frequency could never
be more than five years.

Five is a little high. But
if you could bend on that...

Marty... Wait, wait, wait.
And it's not just frequency.

Veteran teachers
would have to be exempt

if they have a proven record of
excellence with the students.

Well, excuse me
for a moment.

Corey, will you
take the reins on this?

Right, so article 4,
in terms of exemptions...

I've been saying for years
that we should tear it down.

It's vulgar. It's an
embarrassment to the county.

But time and time again,
Frank Underwood

has fought to
keep it standing.

If it weren't for him,
the Peachoid

would've been
replaced ages ago.

And Jessica Masters
would still be alive.

The Congressman needs
to answer for this tragedy.

What exactly happened?

A 17-year-old girl
ran off the road,

texting her boyfriend.
And I quote,

"Doesn't the Peachoid
look like a giant..."

And then she lost
control of the car.


Oren's making a big
fuss in the local press.

- Hmm. - And he's pushing
the parents to sue Gaffney.

Sue Gaffney?
It's in his own jurisdiction.

It's worth throwing Gaffney under
the bus to drag you into the mess.

He's after my seat again. Has
he learned absolutely nothing?

It's a full-on
smear campaign, boss.

He's out to destroy you.
With this?

It's a peach
for Christ's sake.

Let him make
a fool out of himself.

No, he will make
a fool out of you.

If he spins this right,
gets national coverage.

National coverage?
It's a joke.

And you will be
the butt of it.

We can't afford
that right now.

Not when you're in the spotlight
with the Education Bill.

This thing has caused me
so much damn trouble.

I know.

So who should I call?

Phone call's not gonna cut it.
You need to go down there.

Can it wait until Monday?

We get on this thing right
now, we can contain it.

We wait until Monday,

and there's no way to know how
much this is gonna blow up on us.

I can't go down to Gaffney.
The unions have just...

- We postpone.
- They're gonna be livid.

Marty's reasonable, okay?
He will explain to them...

And they're just supposed
to understand and accept

that I had to get up
from the negotiating table

Because some 2-bit county
administrator wants to...

I don't want to
interrupt you, sir,

but this is not
just about Oren.

It's about the parents.

Now you think
about the lawsuit.

What happens if
you have to testify?

Subpoenas. Depositions.

You get dragged into a court battle,
there is no Education Bill.

We can't ignore this.

I just hate this
small ball crap.

It's called the what?

- The peach what?
- The Peachoid.

It's a giant water tower
in the shape of a peach.

Wow. I just googled it.
The Peachoid...

She was 17, Linda.

You're right. I'm sorry.

- I need another week.
- That's not gonna work.

The President makes his speech on Tuesday.
We've already announced.

Speeches can be rescheduled.

We have to show some progress
on Education, Frank.

The first 100
days is almost over.

We push back the speech, it'll look
like we're spinning our wheels.

All right. I'll work something out.
Thank you, Linda.

Frank, these are
the heads of the two

largest teachers
unions in the country.

I understand.

They flew here on a weekend.

Doug will lead the charge, Congressman
Phillips is well versed...

They flew here to see you, Frank.
You're managing this bill.

Put this in the other bag. And
I'll be in constant communication.

Anything big comes up,
I'm a phone call away.

It's a 300-page document.
We need you in that room.

I would stay if I could,
but this is my home district.

Now, Marty, cut me a little slack here.
We'll get it done.

You and I go way back.
Have I ever let you down?

No, you haven't.

And I don't
intend to start now.


- Gillian?
- Claire.

So nice to finally meet you.

I'm a little under the weather,
I don't want to get you sick.

Well, if you're
feeling ill, we can...

No, no, no. I'm fine.
It's just a cold.

Well, thank you
for coming in.

Of course.

Shall we talk in my office?

These are really
cool photographs.

Oh, thank you.

Adam Galloway took the pictures.
Have you heard of him?


I met him at the Whitney
Biennial a couple years ago

and commissioned him to do these.
He just had a big show at PS1.

I'm not up to date
on the art world.

That's all right,
we're not here

to talk about
photography, are we?

My office is over here.

- You run into any trouble, you call me.
- I got it covered.

Gene Clancy
know I'm coming?

Just spoke to him.

Get to it.

Your flight is booked. Leaves in 55 minutes.
Ed will be joining you.

Where's Steve?

He went home sick
about an hour ago, sir.

- I'll be filling in.
- What's your name again?

- Edward what?
- Meechum.

You drive fast, Meechum?

You wanted to talk to me?

Come on in, Zoe.

This is Mrs. Tilden,
owner of...

She knows who I am.

Mrs. Tilden liked your
profile on Catherine Durant.

No, l didn’t.

I loved it

In-depth. Uncompromising.

Normally I don't read things
before they go to print,

but Cathy's a friend.

Tell me how you knew she'd
be nominated before she did?

You want my source?

Tom says you won't tell him.

I haven't told anyone.

Well, I own the paper.

And I'm very grateful
to be working here.

So, you're not
gonna tell me either?

Which do you want,
my source or my integrity?


move Zoe's piece to the front
page of Sunday's edition.

Let me think that over.

You think it over as much as you want.
Then put it on the front page.

I've worked really hard to gain
a foothold with WorldWell.

Six years ago it was
just me and a MacBook.

I understand.

And I had to juggle two temp
jobs just to pay the rent.

It's your baby. You don't
want to let it go.

Well, I just...

And you wouldn't
have to, Gillian.

All I want is for you to grow
what you've already built.

I heard you fired
half your staff.

Yes, I did.

That worries me.

I let them go to
make room for you.

I'm just not sure
we're the right match.

To be honest, I'm a little
uncomfortable working with someone

who's commissioning
famous photographers

when I can't even buy my
volunteers bus fare to the office.

Do you know who
Nikki Hemler is?


Nikki owns one of the biggest
galleries in Chelsea.

She desperately wanted
to represent Adam Galloway.

I delivered on Adam,

and in return she contributes
almost 40 grand a year to CWI.

That money goes to impact studies,
lobbying efforts, research.

WorldWell could benefit from
that sort of money, Gillian,

and we can benefit
from your expertise.

Can I think about it?

Of course. We don't have
to jump into anything.

I grew up here,
in the up-country.

Bibles, barbecues
and broken backs.

Everything gets just a little
bit thicker this far south.

The air, the blood, even me.

I try to make it down here
at least once a month.

Every trip is a reminder
of how far I've come.

I hated Gaffney as a kid,
when I had nothing.

But now,
I've come to appreciate it.

It's not as
suffocating as it once was,

except when I have to deal
with the sort of nonsense

that makes me
want to hang myself.

Turn left on Route 120.

Don't listen to her.
I know a better way.

Yes, sir.

We don't have
the money, Frank.

The legal bills
alone will kill us.

How about a settlement?

I'll look
at the numbers.

What's it look like
to you?

Like a peach.

No, I mean,
what does it really look like?

As mayor,
I stick with a peach.

As a private citizen,

well it looks like the sun is
shining where it shouldn't be.

There's a better
way to handle this.

Really, Frank?
And what's that?

I'm not trying to
start an argument here.

Now, you make it sound like
I'm in the wrong.

You know exactly
what you're doing, Oren.

You're using this
poor girl's death

for your own
political advantage.

You're the one that fought me

when the Peach Farmers bitched and
moaned about me tearing it down.

You're the one who
took their money.

It's a water tower.
It's ungodly.

- Oren...
- This is cut and dry, Frank.

I fought to tear it down,
you fought to keep it up.

That girl's blood
is on your hands.

And I'm taking
you to task for it.

All right, I tell you what, Dick
Peters is gonna retire this term.

That means there's an open
race in the 4th district.

How about I help
you lock up that seat?

I'm not looking to
make a deal, Frank.

It's not a deal,
it's an opportunity.

I'll be just fine.

You may despise me, Oren,

but the classy thing
to do would've been

to invite us up for
some of that iced tea.

What are you doing?

You shouldn't run here.

It's disgraceful.

Have you no respect?

The criteria is
a starting point.

They're suggested,
not mandated.

We assemble a council of experts
who will determine exactly...

Nowhere here does
it say who these

experts are or how
they'll be chosen.

The President
selects the council.

With what sort
of oversight?

We'd like input
on the selection.

Doug, check with Linda.

Calling her now.

Okay, so, now, can we talk
about charter schools?

Charter schools
are a no-go.

They have to be in there.

You keep them in,
we walk.

The same goes for us.

Let's not jump to ultimatums.

Well, then let's figure out a way
to reduce non-public spending.

All right. Give me a few
minutes to think about that.

We can't move forward
without addressing this point.

I understand, but this is
the cornerstone of the bill.

Let's talk it out.

All right, give me five minutes, Marty.
I'll call you right back.

No, no...

If we consider
settling as an option,

We need to be
able to pay them.

But if we offer a
settlement, aren't we saying...

That's my point,
we're admitting that

the town's responsible
for this kid's death.

I say make the Peach
Farmers cough it up.

Oh, man,
talk about a shitstorm.

Y'all mind catching me up?

Wayne and Travis
want to go to court.

I don't think
that's a good idea.

We can't be pouring
money into a settlement

when we can barely
afford to run the city.

What do you think, Jamie?

I think that we gotta worry about
the Peach Farmers Association.

If there is a hint that
we're blaming the Peachoid,

they're gonna raise holy hell...
Who gives a crap?

- They gotta suck it up.
- Let him talk.

I'm just saying that we need
to keep them in mind.

She was breaking the law.
End of story.

You can't text
while you drive.

Yeah, but all the jury
is gonna see

Is a beautiful 17-year-old
girl who's now dead.

No offense, Frank,
but you just got here.

We've been dealing with this
for the last week now.

And where's
your solution?

What, you think you
know better than us?

I'm just trying
to be realistic.

Frank, I know you want to
swoop down and save the day.

But there's a principle
at stake here.

We allow ourselves to be extorted
because of this teenager...

When Oren gets a jury to weep a
river of snot over this dead girl,

when Gaffney goes tits up

because you can't afford to pay a
seven-figure award in damages,

when you all get booted out of
office, and I lose to Chase,

then you can chew my ear off
about principles,

because we'll all have nothing
but time on our hands.

Until then, you either contribute
or you keep it shut, Travis.

Now here's what
we're gonna do.

Gene, how much could we pull together
for a settlement if we had to?

About 150.
That'll work.

Jamie, get your boys down
at the hardware store

to build two billboards,
put them out

a mile out on
either side of the tower.

Have 'em read, "Drive safely.
No texting behind the wheel."

- Got it. - And get those
up by tomorrow morning.

I'll issue the permits.

And let's stop
lighting the thing at night.

The Peach Farmers
aren't gonna like that.

How much does
the electric cost?

$4,100 plus change per month.
About $50,000 a year.

Jesus, you could put a kid
through college on it...

Let's use that money to start a
scholarship fund in her name.

Meantime, you tell the Association if
they want it lit up, they can pay for it.

I'll deliver that
message happily.

And do me up a budget and a plan
for removing the sphincter.

The what?

He means
the emergency valve.

That's interesting, I've always
thought of it as a clitoris.

But it's on bottom. I believe
the clitoris is above the...

But if you imagine
a woman on her belly...


I want it done.

And, Gene, get me everything
you've got on road regulations.

County statutes,
not municipal.

And you remember
that power line business

we pulled up at
the last election?

Sure do.

Let's make sure
we're rock solid on that.

Does this very
expensive dinner

at least buy me an evening of
mind-blowing sexual congress?

It was good, but I don't
know if it was that good...

Fellatio good?

A hand job, maybe.
No promises.


Hey, um, Peter, there's
something I need to tell you.

I have been thinking lately,

you know, um, it might be
good to work somewhere else.

So I did some interviews.

And the Speaker's office
offered me Deputy L.D.


Christina, um...

I just thought it
could be good, right,

if we're going to
have any future.

To stop this boss-staffer thing.
Be a real couple...

We are a real couple.

I mean, not have to hide it,
like we do at the office.

And it's a great
opportunity. The Speaker.

Would you hate me
if I took the job?

Baby, I want
what you want.

I won't fight you on this. Not if
this is what you feel you need to do.

- Really?
- Yeah.

And you're right.
This is a great opportunity.

When do you have
to tell them by?

There's no deadline. I don't
have to decide right away.

Well, when you do decide,

just, you know,
help me find a replacement.

You know,
give me a heads up.

Yeah, of course.

I haven't even decided
if I'm going to take it.

We don't have to talk
this through right now.

I just thought
I'd bring it up.

Should we get out of here?


Let's go find the parents.

You hang back by the car.

It's a big crowd, sir.

If I get shot or stabbed
consoling two grieving parents,

I'm a hero from now
until the end of time.

Let's roll the die,
shall we?

Sir, I can't allow you to go
unescorted into all those people.

Allow me?

Let's get one thing
straight, Meechum.

You are never to dictate
what I can and cannot do.

The only two words I want to hear from
you when I ask you to do something

are "yes" and "sir."

Is that understood?

Yes, sir.

Good. Then we're
gonna get along just fine.

Mr. and Mrs. Masters, I'm Frank
Underwood, your Congressman.

I'm so sorry
for your loss.

I cannot begin to fathom...

You're right, you can't.

You have no idea.

Forgive me. I don't
mean to intrude. I just...

Well, you are intruding.

Dean, please...

What? It's his fault,
isn't it?

Anyway, I just wanted
to express my condolences

and say if there's
anything the two of you...

Dean, you don't want to be talking to him.
We got legal action pending.

Look, I know what Mr. Chase has
been saying, and believe...

Nobody invited you.

Nobody wants your condolences,
or your excuses.

Frank, please.

You shouldn't have to put
up with this right now.

I'm sorry.

Well, that went well.

Hang on a second.


Nice to see you again. I wish it
was under better circumstances.

- Terrible, isn't it?
- It's just terrible.

This is so thoughtful,
what you've organized here.

Least we can do.

Tell me, are the Masters
in your congregation?

They are.
They come every Sunday.

You think they'll be
at the service tomorrow?

I'd be surprised
if they weren't.

I'm wondering,
can you do me a favor?

Anything for you, Frank.

Oh, the blue toothbrush
is yours, right?

Uh, yeah,
the blue one.

- Yeah?
- Hey, Peter?

Where do you keep
the light bulbs?

The lamp in
the bedroom is out.

In the kitchen,
under the sink.

Here's what I think,

and l wish I could be bigger
than this, but I can't.

And I'm being selfish, and I
realize it's mostly about me,

but fuck it.

I have to say it.

Please don't take that
other job, Christina.

Anyway, that's how I feel.

I'm glad you told me.

Charters jeopardize our ability to
organize, which is reason enough.

But the bigger issue is that
measuring their success against...

Charter schools
would operate under

the same evaluative
standards that every...

Apples and oranges,
no matter how you look at it.

You can't use the same
standards to compare.

What, you're advocating
a more demanding criteria

for charter schools
than other schools?

Our point is simple, Frank.

Federal funds should only go to
public union school districts.

Hold on a sec.

Yeah, but we've already increased
non-charter funding by 10%.

The amount going to charter
schools is negligible.

It's the precedent,
Frank, not the number.

We're setting a lot of precedents, Marty.
That's the nature of reform.

Well, some of them we can
stomach, some of them we can't.

All right,
let's not get bogged down

in abstractions,
let's deal with specifics.

Corey, can you
walk us through it?

There is
a three-prong approach

to determining the amount
of funding a particular...

Miss me?

Maybe a little.

What's it been, 15 hours?


Not even long enough
to notice you're gone.

Tell that to Marty Spinella.

How's it coming?
It's coming.

Slowly. Painfully.

Hey, have we always had
tulips in the front yard,

or am I slowly going insane?

I planted them. Last fall.

You did not.

When I was down with
you for the campaign.

You've never gardened
a day in your life.

Not true. I have gardened
exactly one day in my life.

You were down in Spartanburg
doing some sort of fundraiser.

Gene's wife came over
with a bucket of bulbs.

And next thing you know I was
down on my knees in the dirt,

earthworms and all.

I can't even picture it.

Neither can I,
and I was there.

What else?

Distract me from giant peaches
and dead teenagers.

What else...


I went for a run today,
and the strangest...

I don't know, this woman...

That's interesting.

What is?

Text just came.
Zoe Barnes.


Oh, that reporter from
The Herald you met one night.

Oh, her. I remember. Yeah, go,
if you need to call her back.

No, she can wait.
I'm talking to my wife.

That's okay. I'm going to bed soon anyway.
See you tomorrow?

I hope so.
Wish me luck.

Bonsoir, ma petite Peachoid.


Good night.
Good night.

Yeah, all right,
that's fine, Corey. Marty?

Frank, had a little bit of explaining to do.
Here's our problem.

Frank? Frank, did we lose you?

Yeah, I'm here, Marty.

Look, we can talk ourselves in
circles about charter schools,

but here's what I propose...

In your profile you
go into great detail

about the sexism Durant faced
early on in her career.

That's right. Um, when she
was first elected,

it was still an old
boys' club in the Senate.

Journalism used to be that
way too not so long ago.

I feel really lucky.

I've had lots of
trailblazers come before me.

For instance,
my colleague, Janine Skorsky,

was the first
woman at The Herald

to become chief
political correspondent.

And that was
only five years ago.

Has it been those trailblazers who've
allowed you to rise so quickly?

You've moved up
from the metro pages

to the front
page Sunday edition.

Well, I don't know that
that would be possible

if Janine hadn't
already paved the way.

So does that
mean that The Herald

is not particularly

I think that they are.

Tom is very open-minded.

He's the reason
Janine got promoted.

That's Tom Hammerschmidt,
the executive editor.

Yes, we actually
call him "The Hammer."

"The Hammer"? Why?

Because he's tough.

How tough?

He's... Uh...

Tom has very high standards.

I love him.

He's a great mentor.

Um, it can be
frustrating at times. Um...

He makes you double
and triple-check things.

And you want to get the news
out the moment you have it,

and he makes you
rewrite until it's perfect,

but that's what makes
The Herald The Herald.

Is that a workable
model in the Internet age?

Our readers think it is.

You have
a declining readership.

But I don't lay
that at Tom's feet.

I think that that's
the times we live in, right?

Should newspapers
adapt to the times we live in?

It's not that
The Herald refuses to adapt.

We have an online presence.

Is that maybe not
adapting fast enough?

I wouldn't argue
with that statement.

We could do more.

We've got a special
guest with us today.

He asked for
the opportunity to share

a few words with
us this morning.

Our very own Congressman,
Frank Underwood.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Thank you, Reverend. And thanks to
the choir for that beautiful hymn.

I want to read
this morning from...


You know what no one
wants to talk about?


I know all about hate.

It starts in your gut.
Deep down here.

Where it stirs and churns.
And then it rises.

Hate rises, fast and volcanic.

It erupts, hot on the breath.

Your eyes go wide with fire.

You clench your teeth so hard
you think they'll shatter.

I hate you, God.

I hate you!

Oh, don't tell me you haven't said
those words before. I know you have.

We all have.

If you've ever felt
soul-crushing loss.

There are two parents with
us today who know that pain.

The most terrible hurt of all,
losing a child before her time.

If Dean and Leanne were
to stand up right now

and scream those awful words
of hate, could we blame them?

I couldn't.

At least their hatred I can understand.
I can grasp it.

But God's wantonness,
his cruelty,

I can't even begin to...

My father dropped
dead of a heart attack

at the age of 43,
43 years old.

And when he died, I looked up
to God and I said those words.

Because my
father was so young,

so full of life,
so full of dreams.

Why would God
take him from us?

Truth be told I never really knew
him, or what his dreams were.

He was quiet,
timid, almost invisible.

My mother didn't think much of him.
My mother's mother hated him.

The man never scratched
the surface of life.

Maybe it's best
he died so young,

he wasn't doing much
but taking up space.

But that doesn't make for a very
powerful eulogy, now does it?

I wept. I screamed, "Why, God?

"How can I not hate you
when you steal from me

"the person I most love
and admire in this world?

"I don't understand it,
and I hate you for it."

The Bible says in Proverbs,

"Trust in the Lord
with all your heart

"and lean not on
your own understanding.

"Lean not on your
own understanding."

God is telling
us to trust him.

To love him despite
our own ignorance.

After all, what is faith if it doesn't
endure when we are tested the most?

We will never understand
why God took Jessica,

or my father or anyone.

And while God may not
give us any answers,

he has given us
the capacity for love.

Our job is to love him
without questioning his plan.

So I pray to you, dear Lord.

I pray to you to help
strengthen our love for you,

and to embrace Dean and Leanne with
the warmth of your love in return.

And I pray that you will
help us fend off hatred,

so that we may all truly trust
in you with all our hearts,

and lean not on our
own understanding.



Your job is to the report
the news, not be the news.

I was promoting the paper.

You were promoting
Zoe Barnes.

Is this about how I said
we called you "The Hammer"?

Because if that
upset you, I apologize.

You're missing the point.

I don't want you talking about
anything that happens here.

Not nicknames,
not how progressive we are,

not whether we're
adapting to the Internet.

Any thoughts you have about this
paper you keep them to yourself

or you bring them to me.

You don't get on national
television and start...

I'm sorry,
I wasn't trying to...

Don't interrupt
when I'm talking.

You can speak to me
like an adult, Tom.

You don't have to
lecture me like a little girl.

You haven't earned the right
to be treated as an adult.

You think a few front page
stories and some face time on TV

makes you
the next Judy Miller?

You've got a long way to go.
Don't be so arrogant.

Okay, so you think
when a woman asks

to be treated with respect,
that's arrogance?

Are you accusing me of sexism?

Just making an observation.

No TV for a month.


You heard me. No interviews.

That's completely unfair.

You want to make it
no TV indefinitely?

We're done. You can go now.


Gillian, it's Claire Underwood.
Can I come up?

Have you seen a doctor?

Giardia's not so bad.
It'll pass in another week or so.

- You don't have health
insurance, do you? - Nope.

I'll make
an appointment for you

to see my
personal GP tomorrow.

Medicine doesn't
really do much.

You have to let
it run its course.

Well, we'll let it run its
course under proper supervision.

I won't take no for an answer on this.

I'll drag you to the hospital
myself if l have to.

You're going to the doctor.
No argument.


They're about to walk. They
won't listen to a word I say.

- Both unions?
- Yeah.

Put Marty on the phone.

Hang on. Marty.

Yeah. It's Frank?

This isn't working, Frank.

Marty, you have got
to keep them in that room.

They lost their patience,
all right?

They're upset you're
not in the room, Frank.

I'll be back this afternoon.

No. It's too late.

Look, tell them I'll come down on
subsidies for charter schools.

Even so, they're angry about
the performance standards.

We're not even
halfway through this thing.

There's so much
in it that they...

Then tell them
that I'll roll over on

performance standards.
Five-year intervals.

It should be you
telling them that, Frank.

You, here at this table.

I know that. You know, I'm
doing the best I can, Marty.

But I can't be in
two places at once.

Now look, I promise you,
if you keep them in that room,

we will get through this hump
as soon as I get back.

Marty, you are their lobbyist.
You know what's best for them.

Save them from themselves.

I'll see what I could do.

It's Stamper.

Do not let Spinella
out of your sight.

And lock the goddamn
doors if you have to.

You got it.

Here we go.

I know you're a busy man, I
hope we're not keeping you...

No, no, no. I've got
all the time in the world.

This is ham and these are turkey.
And there's some potato salad.

Shall we have a prayer?

Gracious loving God...

Have you had this before?

This is
the third time.

I'm used to it by now.

Well, I'm not used to it,
but it beats malaria.

You've had malaria?

In Zimbabwe.
That took me out for a month.

You make a lot of sacrifices.

I don't see it as a sacrifice.

You turned down
a six-figure salary

at Google to start
your own non-profit.

People don't get
malaria in Palo Alto.

You do your research.

When it's
someone I care about.

Claire, I turned down that job
because I would've hated myself.

It was a lot of money,
but for what?

So they could fill
their diversity quota

with an Asian girl
peddling a Stanford degree?

Not just any Asian girl
A valedictorian.

Let me offer you
what Google couldn't.

I know what it is to be capable
and beautiful and ambitious,

and be on people like Sergey
and Larry's checklist

of things that look
good to have on a shelf.

I'm not trying to
acquisition you.

What I see in you is a woman I
admire, which doesn't happen often.

I want to enable you. I want
to clear the way for you.

So that you can achieve what you
want to achieve, on your own terms.

Thanks for the tea.

And I will send a car to pick
you up for the doctor tomorrow.

When you're back on your feet,

do you think maybe
we can work something out?

Yes, I think we could.

That's her
at junior prom.


Here she is in
her letter-jacket.

She made varsity
as a freshman.

I remember
the day she found out.

Coach called, and Jessie
starts jumping up and down,

"Mom, guess what?"

I'm sorry.

Don't be. It's fine.

Why are we doing this?

Honestly. What's to be gained
dredging up all this stuff?

Remembering the good
things helps sometimes.

Not when it puts
my wife in tears.

I appreciate what you said at the
church, but it doesn't do us any good.

Neither does this.

Well, what can I do to help?

You can't do anything.

She's gone.

You're right.
I can't change that.

But I can make sure the city
offers you a sizable settlement.

You mean buy us off?

No, I mean help you avoiding
years of court battles.

Jessica was gonna go to
Furman, is that right?

On a volleyball scholarship?

Yes, a full ride.

Well, I spoke to the president
of the university this morning,

and we'd like to create a new
scholarship in your daughter's name.

If you'd like that.
It's entirely up to you.

But most importantly we have to make
sure that this never happens again.

We've got safety
billboards going up,

stopped lighting
the tower at night,

and we're putting
the guardrails in...

Should've done all that
before she ran off the road.

Would you like me to resign,
Mr. Masters?

Just say the word
and it's done.

If it will bring
you any satisfaction.

I asked the reverend once,

"What are we supposed to do in the
face of so much senseless pain?"

And he said to me,

"What else can we do

"but take what
seems meaningless,

"and try to make something
meaningful from it?"

He's right.

That's how God
works through us.

Will you let me work for you?

What you have to understand
about my people

is that they are
a noble people.

Humility is
their form of pride.

It is their strength.
It is their weakness.

And if you can humble
yourself before them,

they will do anything you ask.

Tell us more
about the scholarship.


- Hey.
- What're you doing?

On what?

The BRAC Commission stuff.
I'm behind on it.

It's Sunday.


You don't usually
work on the weekend.

Well, now I do.

There's coffee in the
kitchen if you want some.



If I decide to stay,
it's because it's what I want,

not what you want.

I understand.

Which draft are you reading
of the written testimony?

The one you sent
out on Thursday.

I actually changed it on Friday.
Can I show you?

Yeah, I was thinking that we
could start with job numbers,

and then go to
economic multipliers,

instead of
the other way around.

What do you think?

Let's see
what it looks like.

Picture this, a 17-year-old girl
traveling at 60 miles an hour

spins out of control in no
traffic, she hits a guardrail,

but if she's wearing a
seatbelt, which she was,

and her car doesn't roll over
three times down a 20-foot ditch,

which it did, then that
young woman is still alive.

But you know what?

The county administrator
didn't build those guardrails,

so now she's dead.

We looked up the statute. Guardrails
are under county supervision.

Are you trying to
turn this around on me?

That's not all, Oren.

Your easement.

You see every couple of years,
the Piedmont Electric,

they apply to bring power
lines through Gaffney.

The route comes
right through your lot.

Now Gene and I
always fight them off,

but this year,
if they were to re-apply? Hmm.

Eminent domain.

It'd be such a shame to have to
tear down this beautiful home.

Fuck you, Frank.

You can't just roll up on my
property and act like you own it.

Oh, but I can.

We just did

I've won this
district 11 times.

Do you think that's just luck
and a firm handshake?

But I'll tell you what.
I'm not a vindictive person.

I don't like for anybody to
lose if everybody can win.

So I'm gonna help you
get elected in the 4th.

You get to keep your house.
I keep the 5th.

We put the Peachoid behind us. And
everybody's happy. What do you say?

Well, that's alright.
You think about it.

I'm sure you'll
do the right thing.

Oh, and I'm looking forward to
having you in Congress, Oren.

It's always good
to have friends

on the other
side of the aisle.

I've been offered
a spot on Nightline.

You want my advice?

I don't want it,
l need it

Close your eyes.


It's 11:25.

Nightline is about to come on.
Millions of people are watching.

Where are you? Home?


At the studio?


And what do you see?

I see lights. I see a camera.

And that little red dot goes on.
Tell me what you hear.

I hear my voice.

And those millions of people,
what do they hear?

My voice.

And what do they see?

My face.

So you don't need my advice.

Hammerschmidt's gonna freak.

You don't want
to work anywhere

you're not willing to
get fired from, Zoe.

Treading water is the same as
drowning for people like you and me.

Good luck. I'll be watching.

Hey, wait.

- Yes?
- When do you get back?

When I get back, you'll know.

Hello, Nancy.

Welcome back, sir.

Linda Vasquez
called for you.

Tell her I'll call in a
couple hours with an update.

- Very well.
- Sir,

unless you need anything,
Kyle has you covered.

No. Go home.

You did well this weekend.

Thank you, sir.

Oh, and before you go home,
can you do me a favor?

Would you swing by my house and
make sure these get to Claire?

Yes, sir.

And thank you,
sir, for being so patient.