'House of Cards,' "Chapter 29": Frank Meets His Match
[Warning: spoiler ahead for the House of Cards episode "Chapter 29"]
Frank (Kevin Spacey) has finally met his match.
Russian president Victor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) completely and utterly disrespects President Underwood during a state visit — topping it off with an inappropriately long kiss on the lips with Frank's wife, Claire (Robin Wright).
—Telling Frank: "Russia has nothing to gain from peace in the Middle East. And more importantly, nothing to gain from working with America."
—Alluding to Claire's affair with British artist Adam Galloway (Ben Daniels)
—Telling Claire she's a better First Lady than diplomat.
—Rejecting Frank's offer to dial down U.S. presence in the region by telling him he wants a Lexus, not a shitty car. (In other words, he wants all of the defenses removed.)
—Putting his cigar out on Frank's wall.
And the list goes on.
Frank finally makes his own power play, sending Petrov home to Russia early, and then publicly praising the women of Pussy Riot, who the night earlier disrespected the Russian Petrov at the state dinner.
Meanwhile, hacker Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) agrees to help Doug track down former call girl Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), who attacked him in last season's finale.
Claire cozies up to Secretary of State Durant (Jayne Atkinson), challenging her to beer pong. Is she doing this to help Frank, or is she hedging her bets, deciding that she needs to play nice with Durant in case Franks' career falters?
What's next: Surely Cards hasn't seen the last of Petrov. He was too good and his role was too built up for him to be a one-episode guy.