And now, House of Cards presents “The Tale Of Two Toms”.
Three if you count me, but I’m not on the show so I don’t.
TALE ONE: TOM YATES
I’m not sure I saw fit to mention Tom Yates by name before. He was the novelist contracted by Frank to write a book about America Works (the now-forgotten thing that Frank talked about all the damn time before) and then was basically threatened into not publishing. He’d still like to publish, and the Conways are working him to get the book out since somehow exposing the Underwoods have a sham marriage based solely on mutual personal political gain would somehow hurt them.
Methinks the Conways are running on the assumption that they can win the presidency by merely pointing out nobody really likes Frank Underwood. If that weren’t an actual viable political strategy in the real world, I’d find that too silly for words. Besides, it’s not as if having a marriage where both spouses seem to even like each other has ever stopped anyone from getting into the White House.
As it stands, Yates’ general sense of decency leads him to make a counteroffer to the Underwoods. He sends both candidates (and their wives) a copy of one chapter, and Claire realizes with Meachum dead, there really aren’t many people who really “get” the Underwoods aside from Yates. As such, they make him an offer: become a speechwriter for the campaign for a period, at least to see about getting some gun control bill passed in a way that is the House of Cards Writers Room’s idea on how to handle the NRA, and Yates can get a real ending for his book. Since Yates basically figured out that Claire wasn’t really visiting her mother out of some sort of affection for the old woman, he really does know the two of them very well. As it is, the ploy seems to work for now as Yates won’t release his book before the election as the Conways asked.
Interesting to note that Will Conway doesn’t like Yates’ best-known novel and he and his wife argue over it. Will something more come of that? Maybe.
TALE TWO: TOM HAMMERSCHMIDT
Hammerschmidt, meanwhile, is going digging. He talks to Zoe’s father. He and his daughter weren’t close. He visits Zoe’s old neighborhood and interviews some locals, like the crazy homeless lady who calls Zoe a whore or the pizza shop owner who never knew Zoe or Frank, but sure as hell remembered Meachum coming in for coffee quite frequently at one point. There’s nothing particularly exciting about Hammerschmidt, which is all the more reason I think he may be the guy to actually get somewhere. But I think I’ve said that before.
So, while much of the episode showed Yates getting back inside, Hammerschmidt’s own quest for information is baring more fruit in terms of a long term plot.
Oh, and while all this is going on, Frank may have ruined some Senator’s career prospects over the gun bill when he pretends to consider the guy for Vice President, and the Conways are probably tapping some very recently retired general as a running mate because that how these things work. Really, at this point, the Conways are, like the opposite of the Underwoods in every way.