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Chapter 5 (House of Cards)

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"Chapter 5"
House of Cards episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 5
Directed byJoel Schumacher
Written bySarah Treem
Produced by
  • Karyn McCarthy
  • Keith Huff
Featured musicJeff Beal
Cinematography byEigil Bryld
Editing byMichelle Tesoro
Production codeHOC-105
Original air dateFebruary 1, 2013 (2013-02-01)
Running time52 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Chapter 4"
Next →
"Chapter 6"
List of House of Cards episodes

"Chapter 5" (or "Episode 105") is the fifth episode of the first season of the American political thriller drama series House of Cards. It premiered on February 1, 2013, when it was released along with the rest of the first season on the American streaming service Netflix.


Frank (Kevin Spacey) is still at Zoe's (Kate Mara) apartment. She tells Frank about the job offers she is getting from different media outlets including "Slugline" – a Political journalism organization similar to Politico. She also talks about Hammerschmidt (Boris McGiver), who fired her from The Washington Herald and all the press that both of them are getting. Frank drops her phone into a glass of water to avoid any press leak of their conversation, and buys her two phones: one for work and other for their conversations. When Frank returns to Claire (Robin Wright), she asks about Zoe. Frank says that she is a "mouthpiece and can be controlled."

At Russo's (Corey Stoll) office, Christina (Kristen Connolly) packs her stuff and leaves, to his distress. Frank has a heated conversation with Marty Spinella (Al Sapienza), the head lobbyist for the teacher's union, who is infuriated because Frank lied to him. Meanwhile, Zoe decides to take the job at Slugline. At the Democratic National Committee, Frank attends a meeting led by DNC chair Patricia Whittaker (Suzanne Savoy).

A friend of Russo's, Paul Capra (Wass Stevens), comes into his office to ask him to stop the closure of the shipyard and save the 12,000 jobs it provides. Paul reminds him that his promise to keep the shipyard open was what got him elected in the first place. Peter cannot reveal that Frank forced him to refuse to give testimony against the closure at the hearing, and Paul leaves, angrily declaring that Peter isn't the person he used to be.

Frank suspects that Martin is organizing a massive teacher's strike and he and Doug (Michael Kelly) think of a plan to stop him. He also reveals that he wants to make Russo Governor of Pennsylvania, but he has a bigger agenda behind this. After turning down Remy (Mahershala Ali), Claire is having doubts, because the gala is only raising half a million dollars. She calls Adam, who ignores the phone after seeing Claire's name. Moreover, Frank pledges to do all he can for Claire's gala and starts inviting every person he knows. Margaret Tilden (Kathleen Chalfant) fires Hammerschmidt in the wake of his calling Zoe a cunt and his going against her despite her warning.

At Zoe's apartment, Frank tells her that they cannot have a relationship without protection. To give him leverage over her she lets Frank take nude pictures of her. Martin gets enraged when the National Education Association (NEA) backs out from a partnership with the American Organization of Teachers and Education in the middle of his plan. Spinella contacts the union workers at the Cotesworth Hotel, which is hosting the fundraising gala, and gets them to refuse to work for the event.

Claire calls Frank, who despite all his efforts cannot get the hotel to side against the union. As the gala is just hours away, Claire decides to have it right outside the hotel, and Frank gets his entire staff to help out. While the hotel staff and Martin resist, fire regulations mean they can't lock the gates to prevent it. Martin brings in union members to protest for the media in front of the gala, but at the end of the dinner, Frank makes himself look good by handing out food to the protesters on camera. The gala is enormously successful, and raises enough money for Claire's project.

In the end, a drunk and disheveled Russo awaits on the steps of the Underwood's home for their arrival. Without saying anything, Claire and Frank invite him in, make him a sandwich and coffee, and ask him to stay the night in their guest suite. In the suite, privately, Russo blames Frank, and lashes out at him for ruining his life. After listening to him quietly, Frank takes Russo to the bathroom and tells him that he is the only person who still believes in him, and that he wants him to run for Governor of Pennsylvania - but only if he can pull his life back together. Frank also leaves him a razor blade, if he thinks everything is really over. In the morning, a chastened Russo - now well and truly Frank's man - leaves the house, thanking his hosts.


Following is the list of billed cast.

Main cast[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]


The episode received positive reviews from critics.[1][2] Ryan McGee of The A.V. Club said, "House Of Cards doesn't have a woman problem because we understand Frank and Peter better than we do Claire and Zoe at this point. But it does have a narrative problem when only 50% of its central storylines engage the audience on an emotional level."[3] He further said, "We don’t need to know everything now. But we need a toehold, at least, in order to understand why we need to care about these two for the next eight hours and beyond."[3]


  1. "House of Cards (2013): Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  2. "Netflix's 'House of Cards' Earns Rave Reviews, CEO Reed Hastings Promises Hollywood Takeover". International Business Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 McGee, Ryan (September 5, 2016). "House Of Cards: "Chapter 5"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 25, 2014.

External links[edit]

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