House of Cards (2013–2018): Season 4, Episode 4 - Chapter 43 - full transcript

Claire threatens Frank while Frank makes a politically bold move that may provoke Russia.

Less than 20% are comfortable

with a president and a vice president
being related in any way.

Less than 10% approve of someone
who's never held elected office.

- But if we can move the needle...
- Forty points?

It's how we frame it.

Her favorables are decent.
They're better than mine.

In a void, but when it comes to her time
as the UN ambassador,

they fall off a cliff.

Performance and experience
are big factors.

Then we have to amplify her strengths,
not her weaknesses.

We're looking for a VP who's an asset.
This research proves she isn't.

Your job is not to dissuade me,
but to figure out how we sell it.

Sir, there are so many people
to choose from.

If the goal is to win,

- and we're bending over backwards--
- Seth.

The president asked us to develop a plan,
so that's what we'll do.

I'll meet you in my office.

- You know he's right.
- Well, of course he's right.

Maybe we offer something else.

She won't listen.

What about LeAnn?

Yes, I was thinking that, too.

Question is how to co-opt her.

She likes paychecks.

No, it's gotta be more than money.
She wants coattails.

We swap Claire's for mine.

- Campaign manager?
- We could use some fresh blood.

That I agree with, but LeAnn?

I mean, there's no guarantee
that we can control her.

Yeah, but if she can convince
Claire to change her mind,

that's all I need.


They're ready for you
in the Situation Room, sir.

I'll be right there.

You could work with her if you had to.

I don't have to like her to work with her.

- Good, make the call.
- You still want Seth on the plan?

Yes, until LeAnn's on board.
Do I have to worry about him?

We dug pretty deep.
Nothing in his emails or phone records.

He's smart enough
to cover his tracks.

I'll talk to him.

- What do you think of this painting?
- I'm not sure.

Walker and I sat here one night,
stared up at a painting,

the blue one that's in the Oval now.
They replaced it with this.

That's not the American flag.

No, it's the rebel flag...
sinking into oblivion.

Is that a lightning bolt?

Oh, I assume...

Unless it's just a bad attempt
at making the ship a unicorn.

Do you see that?

Colors are nice.

I hate it.

I guess I hate it, too.

I suppose it's not a good idea to have

the Confederate flag
hanging here in the White House

after everything that's happened
in South Carolina.

Even if it is sinking.

What do you think we should put up?

I don't know.
Something you like better.

Do you have that marker
I sign things with?

Put your hand up on the wall.

- Sir?
- Put it on the wall.

Spread your fingers a little bit.


Yeah... That's enough fun for today.

Doug, I don't know how to do
what he's asking me to do.

- There is not some magical--
- The leaks.

- Was it you?
- Are you serious?


I handed over all of my correspondence,
just like everyone else.

Doesn't prove anything.

I'm trying to save this campaign.

If I wanted to sabotage it,
I'd let the president do it himself,

instead of fighting back
on this VP thing.

Or that's just a cover.

I've been in the trenches
for the past year

while you've been gone,
and now you doubt me?

I don't need this.

You got this job by digging up dirt.

If you can't trust me by now,
I don't know what I'm doing here.

Are you saying you wanna resign?

That is the last thing that I want,

but you're not giving me
any incentive to stay.

All right.
Fuck it.

Seth, I'm choosing
to believe you right now,

but if I come to regret that decision--

You won't, because it's not me.
I still think it could be Meechum.

It wasn't.

- You're sure?
- I'm positive.

And so is the president.

May I go?

Or did you want to discuss
the plan for the First Lady?

I have some calls to make.
I'll come to your office after.

Get me LeAnn Harvey.

Milkin will be staying
with this man, Anton Khalski.

He owned the second-largest bank in Russia
until Petrov seized it in 2013.

Khalski fled across the border to Estonia.

We'll have Milkin's plane fly to Tallinn,

then he'll travel by boat
to Khalski's summer house on Saaremaa.

Tomorrow we'll unfreeze
Milkin's American assets

and transfer them
to Khalski's Swiss accounts.

Khalski will reach out
to his Russian military friends

and then start buying them off.

Are the FSB monitoring Khalski?

They'll know we're behind this.

- When Moscow confronts us?
- We'll deny, of course.

Are we prepared if Petrov overreacts?

The Sixth Fleet has a presence
near the Bosphorus,

we have patrols in the North Sea.

- Draft the order.
- Sir, if I may?

- Yeah, we've discussed this, Cathy.
- Yes, sir. I feel obligated

to raise my very strong objections.
The diplomatic cost to us--

If diplomacy were working,

we wouldn't have to consider
this course of action, would we?

- I've voiced my concerns.
- Thank you, everyone.

You're not going to surprise me
by putting the president on, are you?

No, it's just us.
He filled me in, though,

- on the First Lady's request.
- And?

We wanna make you
campaign manager.

Look at your email.

- What is this?
- Our research.

- It all boils down to the same thing.
- You ran a few polls, so what?

- Focus groups, too.
- Meaningless.

Not these numbers.

Claire can't be on the ticket.
You know she can't.

This isn't something
you can isolate on its own.

If gas prices hit $6 a gallon,
you're fucked.

- You lose every key demo.
- We're well aware.

But if the president makes
Claire his running mate,

it makes the conversation
tactical instead of economic.

That buys you time on the Russia crisis.

You solve that,
confidence in the president

translates into confidence
in his choice--

I didn't call you to be convinced.
I called to offer you a job.

- Only to get to Mrs. Underwood.
- This isn't just about her.

We need you.
You'll turn this campaign around.

I'm surprised, Doug.
I didn't think you were very fond of me.

I'm fond of talent.
So is the president.

- My loyalty is to the First Lady.
- All I'm asking is that you talk to her.

I'll tell you what.
I'll show Claire your research

if you show the president mine.

I can agree to that.

I shouldn't even
be talking to you, Heather.

I'm seriously concerned
that there's been an abuse of power.

Madam Attorney General?
Mr. Stamper, um, is ready to see you now.

I'll be right there.

I gotta go.

The agent in charge of the operation
got a promotion directly after.

- Listen--
- Martha, if the president,

or one of his staff...
If anyone strong-armed the bureau

into pursuing Lucas Goodwin,
then you know that's an abuse of power.

I work for the president.

I am about to sit down
with his Chief of Staff.

- The law is the law.
- This is politics, not the law.

Not true. You brought me on as
solicitor general because of my integrity.

I am bringing this to you
because of yours.

Madam Attorney General.

I really need to go.

- If a sliver of Goodwin's story holds up--
- How did you even find this?

Did your oppo team
speak to someone in WITSEC?

Because if that's the case,
then that sort of breach is not--

- I spoke to him myself, personally.
- You what?

He came to me.
He tracked me down.

I'm not touching this, Heather.

Doug, sorry about that.

- No--
- I was just on with the Chief Justice.

- Don't be silly, come on in.
- Thank you.

- This way.
- Thanks so much.

I don't know.
She didn't do that well as ambassador.

She wasn't experienced enough.

- Hold on, she was an ambassador?
- At the United Nations.

Chris, don't you watch the news?

How many of you feel the same?

Any other reasons,
besides lack of experience?

Well, she was really impulsive
when she had that outburst in Moscow.

Well, she never should've
been there in the first place.

I mean, the Senate voted her down,
and then her husband just appoints her?

That's not right.

Okay, see, I like her
as a person, but I agree,

she should stick to being First Lady.

So, he's hoping
you'll convince me to let it go.

Look, I'd make a killing
compared to what you've paid me,

but you and I talked about
making a real mark.

My father really liked Francis.

But as my daddy, he said to me,
the day before we got married,

"You have one life, Claire.

Are you sure this is the man
you wanna spend it with?"

What did you say?

I said I didn't want
to live my life full of doubts.

Well, I think Francis
wants me to doubt myself.

- What was that?
- My mother... killing a lizard.

- I'll get the door for you, ma'am.
- I can open the door myself.

Watch your step.
There's blood on the floor.

I want you to take this
to the president, in person.

- Try to get on a plane tonight if you can.
- Of course.

This one's for you.

- It's warm.
- At least it's free.

I may need to cash in my insurance.

What's going on?

Tell me what my position would be
if she wins the nomination.

Is it the attorney general?

- The what?
- Never mind.

For running mate?

It's way too early for running mates.
He hasn't even won.

- Are we talking about the same thing?
- You go first.

- Uh-uh. It doesn't work that way.
- Well, you're the one looking for a job.

You can either involve me,

or you can start reading headlines
about Dunbar pushing a marriage story.

That would blow you up.

Doug's already suspicious.
I've got nothing to lose.

So which is it?

Lucas Goodwin.

He was an editor... at The Herald,
the one who--

- We spoke to him.
- Isn't he in prison?

Not anymore.

He's scheduled to depart
at 0930 hours.

That'll put him in Tallinn
shortly before dawn.

Our station chief is standing by
with the escort to Saaremaa.

This is the executive order.

- Sir--
- Cathy, I've made my decision.

- Hourly updates once he lands.
- Yes, sir.

Thank you all very much.

Tell Doug I'm ready.

Please, have a seat, LeAnn.

I'm delighted you've agreed
to come on board.

It's my understanding
there is a condition attached.

Well, yes.

And she understands that condition?
You've spoken with her?

Oh, my apologies, sir.
I wasn't clear.

I meant our condition, not yours.

On Super Tuesday.

It's a long trip
to deliver this in person.

Well, it's not the sort of thing
you'd want to end up in the wrong hands.

- Are you staying here in Washington?
- No, I'm going straight back.

Is there anything you'd like me
to tell the First Lady?

Tell her she'll have her answer
by this evening.

- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Have a safe trip back, Ms. Harvey.

I'll show myself out.

For quite some time, the
president and I have been growing apart.

Have Meechum step in here.

We've attempted
to save our marriage,

but after great effort,
I've come to the conclusion

that it can't be saved.

It is with great regret
that I announce today

I'm filing for divorce.

- We have to stop her.
- Before she gets to the airport?

No, I mean Claire.

You asked for me, sir?

Come in.

Both the cell and the landline--

We're on lockdown, ma'am.
We had to scramble all the--

What are you talking about?

I'm gonna need you to stay in the house.

- What--
- I'm sorry, ma'am.

You can't force me to stay in here.

There is a current, highly credible
threat to your life--

I need to speak to your supervising--

I am the head of your detail
here in Dallas, ma'am,

and I've been ordered
to keep you securely in this house.

Go Underwood!



Do you know what they're chanting?

And if I were their English professor,

why, I would give them all
an "A" for cleverness...

...but a "D" for accuracy.

But that's part of being president.

You make enemies,

and you can hear some of mine
just outside, right now.

So, I am grateful
to each and every one of you

for coming out and showing
your support today.

It's because of you
we will win this nomination,

and that's why I came
to your college today.

Now, of course, I knew that there
would be protesters here today...

and I could've chosen not to come,

or I could choose
to avoid them as I leave,

but I'm not going to do that,

because those students out there,
your fellow classmates,

I'm their president, too.

And whether they vote for me or not,
I have to lead them as well.

So, it's important to hear them,
to talk to them,

to listen to their ideas,

because, just as you're learning
in college,

a diversity of ideas makes us all wiser,

and that holds true
even for your president.

True leadership is not running away
from those who disagree with you,

but embracing them,

and that is exactly what I intend to do
when I'm done today.

I'm gonna go out
and embrace that entire crowd.

- Shouldn't we be taking a military plane?
- That would draw attention.


Everything's been worked out.
You're in good hands.

Here, get some sleep.

It's gonna be a long trip tonight.

Blunderwood! Blunderwood!

- Any news?
- Everything's secure, sir.

We love you, Underwood!

Thank you all for coming out,

even those of you
who don't entirely support me.

- Way to go, Mr. President!
- Thank you.

I wanna try to hear what it is
that you disagree with me about.

I understand not everyone's for me.

- No more wars!
- Go back to Gaffney!

Hello, how are you?
Thank you for coming out.

Hello, thank you for coming out.

- You're doing a great job!
- We know what you are!


All right,
I'm here to try to listen to you,

but probably one at a time
is gonna be a little better.

Okay, maybe we could have a conversation,
more one-on-one.

It's difficult to hear you.

I understand what you don't believe in,
but what are you for?

That would be a good question.
All right, how about you?

You've been yelling at me
for a little while.

What do you think
I should be doing differently?

- You should resign.
- Well, now,

I'm not asking for your vote,

but what would you do
if you were president?

You're ruining our country!

I came out here to try to listen
to what you wanna say,

but if all you're gonna do is scream--


Let's go! Let's go!

- Move! Move!
- Go, go, go!

There has been an attempted
assassination of the president.

President Frank Underwood has been shot.

It occurred about ten minutes ago
during a campaign event

at Hammond University
in Washington, D.C.

We do not yet know how severely
the president has been wounded.

He is en route
to Jefferson Memorial Hospital.

We don't know how serious
his condition may be.

Footage of the assassination attempt
is still making its way to us,

and we expect to have that shortly.

Witnesses are reporting that there was
a quick succession of gunshots,

four or five,

a lone gunman whose identity
we are still trying to determine.

We've been told the gunman was killed,

as well as at least one
Secret Service agent,

but we don't have
definitive confirmation of that yet.

We don't yet know who the gunman
may be or who the agent is.

- What's happened?
- The president's been shot.

I'm hearing now
that the president

received at least one gunshot
to the abdomen, possibly more,

that he clutched his stomach,
that he fell instantly to the ground,

and there were screams,
people panicking,

that it has been very chaotic
at that scene.

We have very little information
at this time,

other than shots were fired,
the president wounded.

But as I say, he is alive.

We've gotten no official statement
from the White House as of yet,

either the president's precise condition

or the whereabouts
of Vice President Blythe.

He is believed to be at the White House.
We cannot confirm that,

nor do we know if he will
take over as acting president,

assuming the duties of the presidency

under the terms of the 25th Amendment
to the Constitution.

That would seem likely, however,

if the president's wounds are
as serious as we believe them to be.

This is a difficult moment
for the country.

It is not the first time
that a president has been shot

in my lifetime or in many of yours.

But even for those of us
who have experienced this before,

it is no less of a shock,
it is no less terrifying.

It is the moment
when our nation's resilience,

when our collective strength,

the moment when all of that
is tested the most.

And we can only imagine how difficult
it must be for the First Lady.

- Francis--
- Michael told me.

I have to go back to Washington.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Do you expect me to console you?

No, I just...

- Goodbye, Mother.
- Claire.

I hope he dies.

Claire, I can't imagine
how difficult this must be.

Is there anything I can do?

I appreciate the call, Mr. Vice President,

but I'm sure you've got
a lot to take care of right now.

- Is there anything I can do to help you?
- I'll be making a brief appearance

once we have a better sense of...
where things stand.

Would you like me to be there?

I think it would be good,
the country seeing the First Lady.

I think it's more important
that they see your steady hand.

If you're by my side,
it would certainly make it steadier.

Of course. Anything you ask.

I'm gonna be praying for you.
For both of you.

Thank you, Don.


This way, sir.

Thank you, sir.

The acting president needs to be briefed
on a highly classified matter.

Everyone without military clearance,
we'll need the room.

It was in fact two shots.

One that grazed the torso
just beneath the right arm

and the second which entered the abdomen,
possibly into his liver.

Obviously, it was that shot
that did the greatest damage.

The president is currently
reported to be in critical condition.

The Secret Service agent

that was killed protecting the president
was Edward Meechum.

He is the head of the president's detail,
and we can confirm that now.

After being shot and before he died,

he killed the assailant
whose identity is still unknown.

We're waiting now on a press conference
from the White House

from Press Secretary Seth Grayson,

and we expect to have that
beginning in just a few moments.

We confirm nothing unless
you run it past me twice first,

- I don't want--
- Mr. Grayson...

I'm on my way.
We don't want any rumors, only facts.

There's a student who's claiming
it was the Secret Service

- who fired the first shot.
- What did I just say?

- Do not waste my time with that bullshit.
- Sir, the press is waiting.

All right, I'm... I'm coming.
Uh, where's my...

At 12:38 this afternoon,
Vice President Donald Blythe

was authorized as acting president
by the cabinet.

He is currently meeting with them.

Approximately 20 minutes ago,
the First Lady landed at Andrews.

She is expected to arrive
at the hospital shortly.

- Mrs. Underwood.
- How is he?

They're still in the OR.
Probably a few hours left to go.

Is he going to live?

He took a direct hit to his liver,
which is partially shattered.

Fortunately, part of the left lobe
is mostly intact.

Now, we think there's a decent chance
he will survive surgery,

but even if he does,
that's when the real fight begins.

I'd like to see him.

As soon as he's out,
I'll make sure you know.

Okay, thank you.

I'd recommend we call off this operation,
we turn the plane around now.

I disagree. It's well planned.
The president already signed off.

The president might die.

- Madam Secretary...
- We'll have no talk like that, Cathy.

My apologies, sir.

What I am trying to say is that
it is too risky to antagonize--

The point was to scare them,

To do anything of this nature while
the commander in chief is incapacitated,

- the Russians will take--
- We're at high alert.

We're prepared for all eventualities.

We don't want the military
to be the fail-safe here.

Mr. Vice...
Mr. President...

I believe it is our duty to carry out
the orders that the president signed.

- The circumstances have changed.
- The plan is sound.

So, what would you like to do, sir,
continue the mission or abort?

- Uh, I... I wanna think on it.
- He's scheduled to land in two hours.

I just want...

I've gotta think.
Let's take a break.

I, uh, I need to process all this.


- The president weighed everything--
- Cathy brought up some good points.

She's been against this
from the very beginning,

- but the president clearly--
- Just give me some time, Doug, please?

I've got too many people
barking in my ear.

The president is out of surgery,

and he is in stable
but critical condition.

Excuse me! Excuse me!
We are going to keep this orderly.

Dr. Saxon will finish his statement,

and then we'll answer your questions.
Thank you.

The surgery lasted six hours, 28 minutes.
Three quarters of his liver was removed.

A liver, even one quarter of a liver,

has the ability to regenerate
within six to eight weeks.

We will be conducting
blood tests every hour.

Enzymes, ammonia levels, PT times,

I believe these are all
explained in the handout.

...the medical report,
live from the White House,

which we will return to shortly.

But we have breaking news we're following.

The would-be assassin
was previously reported

as John Carlyle from Dayton, Ohio,

but sources in the Department of Justice
now say this was actually

an alias for Lucas Goodwin,
a former editor at The Washington Herald

who was convicted of cyberterrorism
nearly two years ago.

Now, if we freeze this cell phone footage
of the shooting

and we compare the shooter's face
to this picture of Goodwin...

well, the comparison is striking

and would seem to confirm what we're
hearing from our sources in the DOJ,

who say Goodwin was recently released
and is in a witness protection program.

It's so strange to think that I--

It was, what?
Just two hours before? Less than.

How did he react?

He was cold, I guess.
I couldn't really read him.

He looks so weak.

- Should I come back to Washington?
- Let's see how the next couple of days go.

Well, just say the word,
I'm on a plane.

All right, thank you, LeAnn.
Good night.

Good night.

Francis, can you hear me?


I just spoke to Eddie's parents, ma'am.
You said you wanted to call them?

Yes, thank you.

Edward was more than a hero, Mrs. Meechum.
He was our friend.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Please, let me know if there's anything
I can do for you and your family.

You can call me anytime.

Yes, ma'am, that is my private number.
And again, I'm so sorry.

- Lucas Goodwin?
- We didn't know he was out.

How can that happen?
He's released and you didn't know--

Ma'am... as far as threats go,

we've been far more occupied
with you lately.

I'm hoping that we can work together,
because I need your help.

- How?
- The vice president.

We spoke.
I told him I would appear with him.

Not the statement.

He's having trouble making a decision.

Can you come back
to the White House with me?

It's serious, ma'am.
I can fill you in on the way.

I'll grab my things.

- I can't let you go any farther, sir.
- I'm his Chief of Staff.

I'm sorry, sir.
Only doctors and the First Lady for now.



How are you?

- Exhausted.
- I'm sure.

You must be, too.

There's so much I don't know.
It's... overwhelming.

Sir, I briefed the First Lady
on the Milkin operation.

I thought she might have some insight,

given her experience
working directly with Russia.

I know you've had a lot of people
weigh in already.

I value your input, Claire.
I'm glad you're here.

- Douglas, will you give us a minute?
- Of course.

I'll be with the cabinet, sir.

You know that thing that people say,

"God never gives you
more than you can handle"?


My Marjory,
God bless her,

she said that was pure bullshit.

Oh, listen to me complaining while
your husband is fighting for his life.

Oh, it's okay.
Actually, I need the distraction.

Let's talk Russia.

I'm torn. Uh, we have this plane
circling over the North Sea...

- and I don't know what to do.
- Well, what does your gut tell you?

I've never been
a gut sort of guy.

I mean, if I had a gun to my head...

- Sorry, that was a poor choice of words.
- It's fine. Go on.

I understand what the president
hoped to achieve,

but the thought of provoking Russia...

And I'm just beginning to immerse myself
in all the complexities.

What would Frank do,
if he were in my shoes right now?

If he were here, he'd tell you that's
the last thing you should think about,

because he's not here, you are.

What would you do?

Proceed with the mission
or bring him back?

I don't like either.

Those are my options.

Well, if there's one thing I've learned,
28 years with Francis,

and he said it time and time again,

"If you don't like
the way the table is set..."

- "Then turn over the table."
- That's right.

He's said it to me,
more than once.

Then that's what you should do, Donald.

- But how?
- Well, let's figure it out.

Weren't we supposed
to have landed already?

- We're in a holding pattern.
- Why? Is something wrong?

All I know is we're in a holding pattern.


This plane's gonna run out of fuel soon.
We're gonna have to put it down somewhere.

I'll be making a statement shortly.
Let's notify the press corps.

- About the operation?
- No, to reassure the American people.

- Shall I meet you in there?
- Ten minutes. The cabinet?

- Still waiting on your decision, sir.
- Good.

Let's go.

I want you to land the plane in China.

China, sir?

There's no bailout without Chinese money.

We give them Milkin,
they have more leverage.

Sir, that gives away our leverage.

I'm not for regime change,
but that just--

It's the last thing
that Petrov is expecting.

They'll demand drilling access
in eastern Siberia.

And when they do,
we become the lesser of two evils.

Sir, at no time did the president
intend on bringing China into the mix--

Get the plane on Chinese soil.

And turn over Milkin's assets.
That's my decision.

- I asked for your help.
- And that's what I gave.

No, China wasn't part
of the president's plan.

It's part of the acting president's plan.

- You ready?
- Yes, whenever you are.

- Seth?
- Yes, sir.

Ladies and gentlemen,
the acting president.

Please, sit.

This is a difficult day for all Americans,

particularly for Mrs. Underwood,
who is gracious enough to be here,

to lend me strength
while I address an anxious nation.

Mr. President!

Uh... uh--