I'm at a loss to explain the flashbacks to Claire's childhood this season. "Chapter 70" begins with yet another one. This time around, she's outside a school tux. It's nighttime, and she's all alone. Then, someone comes running outside shouting for her. Apparently, she's meant to be part of the school play, but she's skipped out on her part for the sweet release and rebellion of a cigarette. Claire takes off her costume, hands it to the friend, and runs into the night. Claire, is beyond me. What does it mean? They're snippets of Claire being "formed," I guess, but they surface level insights at best.
Thankfully, the flashbacks are minimal, and "Chapter 70" thrusts us right back into Claire's controversial presidency. Things have only gotten worse since Cathy's memorial service. Claire has been holed up for three straight weeks, refusing to leave. Bill Shepherd is on TV to give a rare interview, which allows him to tear down the president and the deal with Russia, which is just another tax on American business.
Claire has not been totally MIA though. She has enough time to pardon Doug Stamper, a little bit of information that's easy to miss because of the episode just moves. Anyways, with Claire putting on her head, weeping in the White House and telling us that she's just not leaving, the Shepherds are in panic mode. They meet with Mark to discuss their options. In the midst of this, Bill suggests using the 25th Amendment, which would allow you to remove Claire from office. He said he would not be able to do that. Mark is not thrilled about making it a drastic, historic move, but as usual, he'll do whatever the Shepherds ask him to do.
Here's the thing though: Claire has anticipated these moves. She knew they'd use the 25th on, which means she's more than a few steps ahead of them. She just has to be patient because she knows Bill Shepherd is getting impatient, Sure enough, in a poker game with Mark and a bunch of old white dudes with too much power and ego, they all discuss how essential it is to remove Claire from office. It seems confident and can be done.
Meanwhile, Doug is not just curious about Cathy's death, asking for her husband's questions, but he wants to know about Frank's. So, he tracks down his shrink and quietly sits in his dark, remote cabin until he returns. He scares the hell out of him, and then punches him in the face, demanding to know what in the will. The shrink caves in no time, Frank said: "You know Doug is just so damn happy that Frank did that. Now, he's absolutely against Claire. He does tell her he thinks Cathy Durant is still alive, but there's no way he's not going to come after in these last few episodes. (Recap continues on next page)