Chapter 40

Chapter 40 Claire

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Production number

Running time

Original airdateMarch 4, 2016

Nielsen rating

Written byBeau Willimon

Directed byTucker Gates

"Chapter 39""Chapter 41"


Chapter 40 is the first episode of Season 4 of House of Cards. It aired on March 4th, 2016, along with the rest of season 4.


Because of Claire's absence during the campaign, Frank starts having problems due to rumors of marital problems. Claire wants to build for herself.


The story opens with former editor-in-chief Lucas Goodwin sitting atop a bunk bed in a jail cell. He tells an erotic story as the camera pans away to show a masturbating cellmate beneath him. The cellmate then ejaculates and tells Goodwin, "damn, you're good with words".

After this we see Frank Underwood practicing his speech for the New Hampshire caucus. Doug is by his side, and Frank asks where Claire is. Doug Stamper tells him she is in Texas, and Frank is frustrated because of it. Frank realizes in his speech he mentions Claire so he decides to revise the speech. He then presents the speech at a New Hampshire warehouse, and they applaud.

Next, we see Claire arrive at her mother's home in Dallas, Texas. She enters and attempts to actually see her mother, and knocks on the door, but gets no answer. We then see that her mother - Ms. Hale is inside her room purposely ignoring Claire's knock.

Frank is questioned as to why Claire isn't with him in New Hampshire - including Seth - the press secretary. Frank, naturally blows off the question by talking about his plans for presidency.

Next, we see Lucas Goodwin and his cellmate talking about the crimes for which he is incarcerated. His cellmate is in for murder, and Goodwin tells him he believes he is innocent and didn't do it. The cellmate admits he "didn't have a choice" and "it didn't matter what he did or didn't do". Then we see the conversation is being recorded and listened to by an FBI agent. Later, Lucas Goodwin is released from prison and placed into witness protection.

Frank returns to his hotel room after the speech, and asks if his head of security - Edward Meechum will stay with him a bit. Frank then tends to some paperwork, but eventually falls asleep and starts dreaming. In the dream him and Claire are both trying to kill one another. He is awakened, mid-dream by Meechum, who tries to remove Frank's glasses, but Frank asks Meechum to leave.

Back in Dallas, Claire meets with Congresswoman Doris Jones of the 30th district. Doris is planning to retire soon and wants her daughter, Celia, to replace her. Claire tries to convince Celia to wait two years to run because she wants the position for herself. She believes that holding a position in Congress will give her much better chances at being elected governor in the future.

Claire's plan to run for Congress does not go well. Both Doug and Frank sabotage her plan along the way, and they make threats against Claire's new campaign manager, LeAnn Harvey. Additionally, Doris does not believe that Claire can win; she doesn't want to risk a republican beating Claire and taking over the spot.

Meanwhile, Frank must do damage control after word gets out that his marriage to Claire is in turmoil. Frank reveals to Claire, unbeknownst to her, that her mother's cancer is back. Frank convinces Claire to lie to the media, telling them the reason for her being in Dallas was to visit her sick mother. In return, Frank agrees not to interfere anymore with Claire's campaign aspirations.

Frank and Doug are watching the election results on the news. Frank ends up losing New Hampshire to Dunbar. It is also revealed that a republican candidate named Conway has started polling well, representing another potential threat to Frank's campaign.

The episode ends with a distraught Claire talking to her mother. Speaking about Frank, Claire's mother says, “You’ve got to put him in his place.”


Season 4 Episodes

401. "Chapter 40"
402. "Chapter 41"
403. "Chapter 42"
404. "Chapter 43"
405. "Chapter 44"

406. "Chapter 45"
407. "Chapter 46"
408. "Chapter 47"
409. "Chapter 48"
410. "Chapter 49"

411. "Chapter 50"
412. "Chapter 51"
413. "Chapter 52"

See also: S1S2S3S4S5S6