The second helping of House of Cards second season builds on "Chapter 14" and that episode's insane twist by pushing so far past it, it's almost hard to imagine a world in which Zoe Barnes was a central character. But such is life in the realm of Frank Underwood.
Still, when the episode opens, it's clear that while our world revolves around Frank, the real world does not. We find Frank angrily turning off Rachel Maddow, who's suspiciously on in the middle of the day instead of primetime and calling Frank a "placeholder" VP with no real "wow factor." If only she knew just how much wow he was really packing.
Downstairs, the secret service is working tirelessly to outfit Frank's home with VP-level security measures, which is such a great use of taxpayer money. Through all the noise, Linda pays Frank a visit to tell him the Whip race is getting ugly just in time for Buckwalter to chime in and say Webb "is trying to sodomize" him. Guess that means it's pretty bad. Frank later bonks Webb and Buckwalter's heads together (figuratively) and makes them agree to play nice (literally), but that won't hold.
Finally, the construction dies down for a moment, just long enough for Frank to be sworn in via an atypical private ceremony in his home. Of course, it's the perfect time for him to address the camera and remind us that he's "one heartbeat from President" and that the good people of the U.S. had no say in the matter. We get it, you're a scoundrel. (We kind of got that when you killed Zoe last week.)
With that out of the way, Frank is onto scheming with a better title and -- to further help him out -- Doug has placed Christina in a prominent White House aide position so she can keep them informed. It pays off when she clues Doug into a meeting between the President and Raymond Tusk and naturally, Frank and his buddy Cathy Durant "happen" to "run in" to Tusk just outside of the Oval Office. This gives Frank an opportunity to get really furious with Tusk, who has just made himself Frank's new enemy this season. Regarding trade talks with China, Tusk suggests they go soft while Cathy is concerned with bringing up the topic of cyber attacks. Ultimately, Cathy decides to go with her own idea, but now Frank knows just how much of a problem President Walker's pushy BFF is going to be.
Meanwhile, Lucas is hitting the barely visible trail of evidence linking Frank to Zoe's death as hard as he possibly can. He storms right into the police department and tries desperately to convince his detective buddy to reopen Zoe's case. The detective says there's no evidence that merits them doing so, but Lucas knows it was Frank so he keeps pushing. Unfortunately, the poor schmuck is only in for more heartbreak: the detective decides to show him the surveillance video of Zoe's death, hoping it will quell his craziness. As we watch, frame-by-frame, the subway train obliterate Zoe, it's clear there's no visible sign of another person's involvement. Lucas is out of sane options. Of course, that doesn't mean he's ready to stop searching.