House of Cards (2013–2018): Season 1, Episode 11 - Chapter 11 - full transcript

Following the collapse of Russo's campaign, Francis launches a risky ploy to join the Walker administration.


This is Russo.
Please leave a message.

He's not
answering my calls.

It's over,
and he must know it.

You don't think there's
any way he can recover?

The Republicans will
play that interview

on every radio
and television station

from now until
November 5th.

I sympathize with the kid, but this
was my concern from the beginning.

And I should've
listened to you, sir.

I thought he could
handle the pressure.

Okay. So he withdraws.
We need to replace him.

You have any ideas?

With less than
two months to go?

If the President hadn't shut me
out of the early discussions,

I could've come up
with some good options,

but I don't know
anyone who's got

the name recognition
and donor base

to start a campaign from
scratch just seven weeks out.

Let me think.

Everything hinges on
the next few minutes.

All my months of planning,
every move I've made.

There is one person.


You, Mr. Vice President.


If you ran to
reclaim your seat,

I think you'd
win by a landslide.

Resign the Vice Presidency?

Only if you win.

Walker needs me for 2016.

Are you entirely certain he's
gonna keep you on the ticket?

I mean, it's no secret

the two of you
don't exactly get along.

What has he said?

Oh, you're putting me in a very
awkward position, Mr. Vice President.

Has he been
bad-mouthing me?

Well, the exact phrase he
used was "pain in the ass."


That fucker.

He's got no idea how to
lead, no sense of respect.

- Is this his idea?
- No.

His way of
getting rid of me?

No. It struck me

and I just thought it
was worth suggesting.

But, no, I haven't
discussed this with anyone.

And you shouldn't.

People don't leave the White
House to become a governor.

May I ask you
a personal question, sir?

Do you want to be
the Vice President?

Peter said that when you were
out on that campaign trail,

you had so much
enthusiasm and energy

that he thought you maybe
missed being the Governor.

I do miss it.

Then why not go back?

You could be the hero
of this election

and secure Pennsylvania
for the Democrats in 2016.

Garrett would never go along
with something like this,

even if he hates my guts.

It would make him look weak, like he's
lost control of the administration.

Not if it was
a mutual decision.

Look, let me talk to Garrett. I
won't mention that we've spoken.

I suppose there's no harm in
finding out what he thinks.

Thank you,
Mr. Vice President.

Slogans for $400.

"He's making us proud again."

- A. J.
- Who is Carter?

- No. John?
- Who's Ford?


Slogans for $600.

- Peter, are you here?
TREBEK: "Grandfather's hat fits Ben."

- Claudia.
- Who is Benjamin Harrison?


Presidential Slogans
for $800.

TREBEK: 1900.
"The full dinner pail. "

On the train ride down,

I almost called the police
to have them break in

and make sure you
hadn't hurt yourself.

I'm not even gonna ask you what happened.
It doesn't matter right now.

What matters right now...

What matters...
(SLURRING) Who is Goldwater?

TREBEK: Claudia.
Who is Goldwater?

Barry Goldwater. Yes.

Cuts Like a Knife
for $800.

The official

Oh, come on.
Hey, I'm watching that.

What matters is the 50 reporters
in front of your building

and the 150 campaign staffers who
don't know if they still have a job.

It's over.

I know.

So, tell them to go away.

What, are you just gonna
hole yourself up in here

and hope it all goes away?

Yeah, that's pretty much
the plan.

Well, I won't let you.

Hey, put that down. Hey.

Hey, put that down!


We need to put out
a statement.

Call me when you're
prepared to do that.

I'll be at
the headquarters in Philly.

CLAIRE: I was scared that I was
starting to feel too much for you.

I think,
that's why I ended it.

And you have
no room for fear?

No. Being afraid doesn't
accomplish anything.

It's not true.
When I'm overseas,

rational fear of
disease or violence,

that sort of fear
keeps you alive.

Back here, God, I find
myself afraid of things

that I can't name
or point to.

It's like,
how little am I seeing?

Or have I wasted
this day or this moment?

Yeah, I think that sometimes,
whether my life will add up.

Francis would roll his eyes if
he heard me talking like this.

Does he know
where you are?

No, he doesn't.

If he's looking for you,
that's where you are.

Over there.

Before you met Frank.



Absorbing everything.

You have no idea what I was
like when I was a girl.

Did he ever know
that side of you?

He wasn't interested
in that girl.

And neither was I.

What were you
interested in?

CLAIRE: Being more
than an observer.

You wanted to be seen.

Not just seen.

I wanted to be significant.

There's no
historical precedent.

Aaron Burr ran for governor,
Calhoun for the Senate.

Two hundred years ago.
One shot a man in a duel,

the other believed
in slavery.

Is that really the sort of
company we want to share, Frank?

Mr. President, we stand losing
control of an important swing state,

our majority in the House,

and quite possibly your
second term in office.

Preventing all of that may
require unconventional measures.

It would look like
I'm pushing him out.

Or worse, that he's abandoning
the administration.

You make a joint statement.

You say he won't
resign unless he wins.

If he loses, he stays
on as Vice President.

No one could accuse either of
you of disloyalty to the other.

Did Jim come
to you with this?

No. It's entirely
my idea.

I wouldn't dream of speaking
to the Vice President

without passing it
by you first.

I think he'd take
it as an affront,

like I'm trying
to get rid of him.

Honestly, sir,
I think he might be

more interested
than you imagine.

Why is that?

Well, I hesitate
to bring this up,

but when he was
campaigning for Russo,

he spoke quite
freely about you, sir.

Tell me.

Of course, I'm getting
this secondhand from Peter,

but the gist of it
is that...

That you lack
entirely in leadership,

and that you have
no sense of respect.

And he wants
more responsibility?

And how do I give him
that when he shows

absolutely no discretion,
no discipline?

Well, that is entirely my point.
Now, look,

I take full responsibility
for backing Russo,

but there could be
a silver lining in all this.

You could
accomplish two goals.

Secure Pennsylvania
for the Democrats

and find an honorable way
to replace Matthews.

What do you think?

I think it is
a very big decision,

and we do not want to
make it impulsively.

I agree. I'd like to put
some more thought into it.

Well, that is very prudent, sir.
Just bear in mind,

seven weeks out,
that every day counts.


Hi, sir.

How much is it?

Oh, I got your
receipt right here.

No, no, no.
It was just $40.

Yeah. Don't tell
anyone, all right?

No. I never say
anything about our tenants.

- The press still outside?
- Yeah.

I told them you weren't
here, like you said.

Most of them left.
There's still a few, though.

If I wanted to leave,
is there a place

I could do it
without being seen?

Yeah. The freight elevator
down to the garage.

I could call you
a cab or...

All right. Thanks.
I'll let you know.

Mr. Russo...

Sir, it's none
of my business,

but my uncle, he fell off
the wagon a few times.

When he did, the best thing for
him was just not to be alone.

I'll give you this money back,
I'll take that bag off your hands,

come in here,
keep you company...

I appreciate it. I'll let you
know if I change my mind.



Sit down.

Where's Claire?

Not here.

So what is this,
tying up loose ends?

I wouldn't presume. People like
you can't be neatly tied up.

But I thought
perhaps we could start...


It's very tasteful.

This is the dress
she wore to the gala.

I believe so.

It is.

I recognize it.

Go back
into the bedroom.

I'm amazed how well
you got her in focus.

What should we call her?

Why does she
need a name?

I never photograph anyone
without knowing their name.

You didn't take
the photograph. I did.

I think we should
call her Claire.

She doesn't even
look like me.

Not even a younger version.
Why do you keep saying that?

Not her features,
her expression.

Hey, we should mount it. You
can hang her in your house.

Would Francis object?

Can we please not
discuss Francis?

You brought him up
in the park.

I know I did,
and I shouldn't have.

So we have to pretend
he doesn't exist?

I thought we could
talk about anything.

He is a presence here.
You must admit that.

When you walked
through the door yesterday,

he walked right in
with you.

It's just me,
nobody else.

You keep telling yourself
that, it might come true.

How do you think she'd feel if
she knew I was wearing this?

I don't know.

You don't think
she'd be upset?

She'd probably say you
look very beautiful in it.

It's like steel.

You should put it back.

I think I'll keep it.

I'll buy you one of
your own, if you'd like.

No. I want this one.

She came into my bedroom. She
should know I came into hers.

Is your bed always
so perfectly made?

It's a habit I formed
at military school.

What side of the bed
does she sleep on?

That side.

She can keep it.

Fits her better anyway.

Listen, Zoe...

Whatever just
happened upstairs,

whatever these past
six months have been,

can we agree that it
is time to simplify?

What does simple
look like?

We maintain our
professional arrangement,

as you suggested,
which I will honor.

You still trust me?

What choice do I have?

You didn't hurt me or discard
me like you said you would.

I'm glad I didn't have to.

Yes, we'll agree
to simplify.


LINDA: Sorry I'm a few
minutes late, Frank.

Please, have a seat.

I have a pretty good idea why
you asked for this meeting.

Have you and the President
had a chance to speak?

We have.

Is he leaning
one way or another?

He's torn.

- And what about you?
- I'm a little less torn.

My instincts tell me
it's a mistake.

You want to
convince me otherwise?

Well, look,
if your instincts tell you

this is not the way to go,
I'm not about to...

Frank, I'm gonna ask you
two very direct questions,

and I would appreciate
direct answers.

When you got
my son into college,

were you anticipating
a moment like this?

I don't follow.

Honestly, Frank?

Was I antici...

I would be happy to answer you directly
if I knew what you were asking.

All right. I will ask
you my second question.

Do you want the Vice
Presidency for yourself?

I would serve at the pleasure of the President.
If that was his...

You proposed this idea so that
you can take Matthews' place.

- I did not say that.
- But it is what you want.

What I want is in the...

The President
makes you VP,

he keeps you on
the ticket in 2016,

and you use that as a
springboard to run in 2020.

Tell me that trajectory
has never entered your mind.

Well, Linda,
I make a habit of

considering all trajectories
in any given situation.

But that's a practical
exercise, not a personal one.

So you refuse
to admit it.

Admit it's what I want?
That's irrelevant.

You're the one who asked
for this meeting, not me.

This meeting's about
trying to solve a problem,

not fulfill some
personal ambition.

But if both could be achieved,
you wouldn't object.

I think this is
a sound course of action

regardless of who the President
taps to replace Matthews.

I must gamble
everything I have right now.

If I'm honest,
she may use it against me.

If I'm not,
she won't lift a finger.

I've used this
same tactic myself.

Once someone is exposed,
they're at your mercy.

She wants to hear me
say the words.


I want to be
the Vice President.

And, yes, I helped
your son get into college

in the hopes that you
would return the favor.

But I can't force
you to do so, Linda.

But I also think that we would
make a formidable team.

Look what we've
been able to accomplish

even when we've been
at odds with each other.

Now put your mind to what we
could accomplish if we weren't.

Thank you for
taking the time, Linda.

I'll call you back.
How'd it go?

She's holding her cards
very close to the chest.

- Any word from Peter?
- Nothing.

Christina said he wouldn't
leave the apartment.

But I called the doorman, and
he said that Peter was gone.

- Where?
- He doesn't know.

He needs to officially withdraw
to put pressure on Walker.

I'm trying
to track him down.

Why'd you let him out of your
sight in the first place?

I thought he
was showering.

He disappeared when I was
on the phone with you.

There was a plan here, Doug.
He explodes, he withdraws,

we put him back together,
and he quietly goes away.

made no public appearances

since allegations
that he was inebriated

during a radio interview on WZPZ
Pittsburgh yesterday morning.

Sources among the Democratic
leadership have suggested

that the party is currently
considering options to replace Russo.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate
Jack Swofford's lead

has jumped to
a 24-point margin,

according to an overnight
CNN poll of registered voters.

The Swofford campaign
is also reporting

a sharp spike
in contributions.

Nearly $500,000
in the last 20...

I saw that this morning.

Francis got Peter to run.

Do you know him well?

We weren't close.

Do you need to make calls? 'Cause
I can head into the other room.

I don't think so. Thanks.

Where are you going?

To the lab.
I should've gone in today.


- Adam...
- Just go. Go. Leave.

How long do you think this
can possibly go on for?

We have never spent more
than 48 hours together.

Maybe there's
a reason for that.

A part of me
still loves you.

Which part?

I can't be just
a pit stop, Claire,

- or some sort of escape...
- Oh, come on. You're more than that.

Or a top-up on whatever
Francis can't provide.

Oh, fuck off!
He's my husband, Adam.

We've gone through more
than you could ever imagine.

I envy your free spirit,
and I'm attracted to it,

but not all of us
have that luxury.

Which is what I find so
frustrating about you, Claire.

You had a choice.

You chose
not to be free.

No. What I chose was a man I
could love for more than a week.

I shouldn't have
said that. I...

At least you're
being honest.

I can't live moment to
moment like you, Adam.

I have a history with Francis,
I have a future with him,

and it's bigger
than a moment.

Then you should kill it.

Whatever part of
you still loves me.

If you can't,

I will

- Adam...
- No.


SARAH: Hello?
Hey. Hey, sweetie.

How's it going?
Are you with your mom?

She's downstairs.
You want me to go get her?

No. No. I just wanted
to call and say,

you know,
hey to your brother and you.

Is he there?

He's in his room, I think.

Okay. You want to
go get him?

Hold on.

He says he doesn't
want to talk to you.

Why not?

We've seen the news, Dad.

There were all sorts of TV
cameras at our school yesterday.

Mom's making us
stay home this week.

I want you to do something.
I want you to go to

your bedroom
window and look out.

You see that black car?


That's me.

You shouldn't be here, Dad.
Mom would be really angry.

Well, we don't need
to tell her. Right?

It'll just be...
It'll just be...

It'll just be
our little secret.

Your voice sounds weird,
like it did on the radio.

You heard that?

I have a computer.

I'm sorry.

Sometimes your dad
makes mistakes.

- I better go.
- No.

I don't like to hear your
voice when it's like this.

It makes me sad.
Bye, Dad.

Sarah, please...



Where are you?


I'm not doing so well.

Where are you, Peter?

I'm in my car.

Are you driving?


Tell me where you are.

I'm outside my kids' house.

- You mean Madeleine's?
- Yeah.

I need you to stay
right there. Okay, Peter?

You'll stay there?


are you still there?




I'd like to turn myself in.

For what?

A few months ago,

I was pulled over
for drunk driving.

They let me go.
I should've been convicted.

Well, if you were let go, sir,
we can't arrest you for it now.

Well, I drunk drove here.
Arrest me for that.

We can put you
in a detox tank...

I want to be
formally arrested.

My name is
Congressman Peter Russo.

I was arrested in January
on Michigan Avenue.

Please have a seat,

I gotta make
a few phone calls.




FRANCIS: Have you found him?
DOUG: I'm in front of his ex-wife's house.

But Christina said
he called from there.

He's not there?


But his phone is.
I found it by the curb.

So we have no
way to contact him?

Not unless he
reaches out to us.

This isn't good.

Want me to alert
the authorities?

Let's give him a little longer.

LUCAS: How long did it last?
About six months.

He was older.

A lot?


Was he a journalist,
or did he work on the Hill?

I'd rather not say.

All right.

He was someone I looked
up to for a while.

Why did it end?

He has a wife.

We both knew it was
going to end eventually.

I mean,
it was really...

It was fucked up.

The first night
we spent together,

he told me he was gonna hurt
me and then discard me.

And when it ended, I told
him that he'd done neither.

But it does hurt.

I won't hurt you.

Yeah, you can't
promise me that.

Yes, I can.

DOUG: Has anyone
else seen him?


He's in an interrogation
room by himself.

I never should've got
mixed up in this fucking mess.

We're way behind
regret time, Barney.

Just have your guys
keep him out of sight.

I'll need
a back exit.

- I got him. Thanks.
- Yeah.

Come on.

Hey, Peter.

Where's your car?

It's down the street.

I'll drive you home. You go back
to mine, have Meechum let you in.

- This way?
- Yeah.

FRANCIS: What were you
thinking, Peter?

I need to take responsibility
for my actions.

By getting yourself
thrown in jail?

Real responsibility.

Like they talk
about in the meetings,

not the lies we
told for the campaign.

What you just did
was extremely reckless.

I don't care.

I'm making a statement
tomorrow, Frank.

About pulling
out of the race?

That's not enough. I...

I need to stop hiding.

Well, let's work
together on the language.

I have to do it on my own.
It's gotta be in my own words.

Look, Peter, this isn't just
about you anymore, all right?

- Let me help you.
- I don't want your help.

I didn't ever ask your help
when I got arrested.

When has your
help ever helped me?

You can live your
life the way you want to.

I'm done being
told how to live mine.

Well, there has to be
a way to take responsibility

without shattering everything.

Are you at least willing
to have that discussion?

Do you want me
to come upstairs?


I know you're in
a lot of pain, Peter.

But I don't want you to
feel any pain tonight.

Here. You can
start fresh tomorrow.

Go ahead. I won't judge you
Hell, I'll even join you.

Just relax.

You're home now.

Whatever it is you
have to face tomorrow,

you don't have to
face it now.

Right now,
it's just you and me.

The rest of the world
doesn't matter.

Your children,

they will forgive you,

because you're loved,


I failed myself.

I failed my family.

I failed the campaign.

No, you haven't, Peter.

May I?

You know, when Claire and
I were first married,

we talked about
having children.

I told her flat out
I didn't want any.

It was selfish
but honest

I didn't have a particularly
happy childhood.

I suspect
you didn't either.


You see, no person
avoids pain.

And I just didn't
think it was right

to bring a child
in knowing that.

But now when
I think back, I...

I realize that
was cowardly.

I see you,

and I think, well, there's a
brave man, far braver than me.

I'm so tired.

When I think about

I'm so tired.

You should
close your eyes.

Let it all go.

We have all
the time in the world.



I walked back.

Whatever happens in
the next few hours,

whatever you hear,

we will never
speak of it.


I heard from Linda
about a half an hour ago.

The President
wants to meet with you.


About what?

I don't know.

WALKER: Frank.

You know, when you brought
up this idea, I wasn't sold.

It struck me as both
desperate and careless.

But then Linda
laid out all the pros,

and they clearly
outweigh the cons.

I explained our
reasoning to Jim and hoped

he wouldn't think
I was off my rocker.

I did at first, but the President
made some very good arguments.

It's a bold move, Frank.
I'm very impressed.

Well, thank you, sir,
for being open to the idea.

And thank you, Mr. President,
for taking the risk.

We'll need to work
this out step-by-step.

The execution
has to be perfect.

Where are things
with Russo?

Any word from him yet?

We're still
trying to locate him.

Well, is there any cause for worry?
It's been two days.

I am a bit worried,
I have to admit.

I mean, this must be an extremely
difficult moment for him.

We're hoping he'll
reach out shortly.

Let's get our people on it.
I want to know where he is.

Now, once he withdraws,
we have to move quickly.

We'll make a joint statement,
as you proposed.

It's a clear message,
I think.

Pennsylvanians matter to us, and
we're not gonna let them down.

WALKER: That's right.
I'll say that Jim's

an invaluable asset
to the White House,

but that I have great
admiration for the sacrifice

he's willing to make for
the people of his home state.

And you should not accept his
resignation until he's elected.

That will show your
continuing commitment to him.

WALKER: I think that's
a very good idea.

MATTHEWS: As long as I can devote
myself wholly to the campaign, I agree.

Now, should Jim win,
we'll need to

nominate a Vice
President immediately.

Linda, are you putting
together a list of names?

Yes. And you can begin
the vetting process

as soon as you
narrow down the choices.

I already have a short
list of top contenders.

WALKER: I want your
input on that, Jim.

More than happy.




FRANCIS: We can use
the existing infrastructure.

Are you okay
with Nash Aarons?

I like Nash, but I'll want to
bring in some of my own people.

Well, that won't be a problem.
Nash is a team player.

And we can reallocate
some of your

existing 2016
reelection funds...

Excuse me. Linda.

Peter Russo is dead.


He was found in his garage
with the car still running.

I'm so sorry, Frank.

May I have a moment, sir?
Of course.

I will get more information and
start drafting a statement.

Let's reschedule. Whenever
is best for Frank.


REPORTER: Congressman Peter
Russo was found dead

early this morning
in the parking garage...

CARLY: Why didn't
we break this?

U. S. Secret Service Agents discovered
his body after reports that

Russo had been
missing since Saturday.


His body was transferred
to the D. C. Coroner's office

where an autopsy is expected to
confirm his death as a suicide.

A junior congressman from Philadelphia...

- Russo was 36 years old...
- Zoe. Look at this.

...and is survived
by two children.

I gotta get
to the office.

REPORTER 2: Russo was in the
midst of a heated battle

for the governorship
of Pennsylvania.

He was last heard publicly during
a morning political radio show

on Pittsburgh
station WZPZ.

Now, during the interview,

he slurred his words,
he sounded disoriented...

- Christina.
- ...leading many to believe

that he had relapsed...

Can you get me
a train back to D.C.?

Right here on this TV station for
all your late-breaking details

about this major news story, the
suicide of Congressman Peter Russo.

FRANCIS: I find it very
difficult to express

everything that I'm
feeling right now,

and I know Claire
feels exactly the same.

CLAIRE: Peter was
very special to us.

A sort of magnetic presence that
electrified everyone he touched.

And my husband
and I became very

close to him in
the past several months.

Peter was more than a
colleague, more than a friend.

He was family.

Our hearts go out to his
children and to his mother,

to all of those who knew him and
worked with him and loved him.

We would ask that
all of you respect

their privacy and
honor their loss.

Today is indeed
a sad day

for the United
States Congress,

for the state of Pennsylvania,
and for all of us.

Thank you very much.