This past Friday, February 27th, Netflix released the third season of its original series, House of Cards. The political drama’s first two seasons focused on Francis Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) rise to power within the White House. Through manipulation, charisma, articulacy, and deceit, Francis climbed the ranks in Washington to presidency. The beginning of the third season picks up where it left off with Frank residing in the White House, though this season reveals Francis’ inner evil.
The season kicks off with President Underwood urinating on his fathers tombstone setting the tone for the rest of the season. Lacking any sentimentality, Underwood follows a destructive path that ruins his closest relationships.
His first call of action is the advocacy for a bill passing called, “American Works”, allocating funds from both wings of Congress. This plan requires billions of dollars to execute millions of jobs for the American people. As he faces opposition from all sitting members of the cabinet, he promises his staff that he won’t run for candidacy in 2016, given their support for the bill. They’re reluctant but they still agree.
The latter half of the season focuses on two major plots. First, with an impending war within the Jordan Valley, President Underwood reaches out to the Russian President Petrov to withdraw some of his troops from the Valley, in order to alleviate tensions between the Palestinians and Israelis. This ongoing problem results in Petrov’s interference in both diplomatic issues and Underwood’s personal life. Knowing where to hit so it hurts, Petrov demands that Frank forces his wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) to resign from the United States’ ambassador position she holds within the United Nations. This, among growing verbal tensions, causes a major riff between the President and the First Lady.
The season culminates in Frank breaking all ties with all of his closest staffers, while campaigning for the 2016 presidency. Going back on his promise not to run in order to launch America Works, Franks growing authoritative demeanor costs him his Chief of Staff, Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) and his lead Congresswomen, Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker.) Though the biggest surprise of all happens within the final minute, when the First Lady tells Frank, “I’m leaving you.” This season’s growing tensions between Claire and Frank are continually evident time and time again with verbal wounds that can’t be repaired.
This season had a few celebrity guest appearances from Meredith Vieira and Stephen Colbert. That, along with a ridiculously compelling plot line, a framing for the fourth season and an intense cliffhanger make season three a must watch. All thirteen episodes of Season 3, as well as season’s 1 and 2, are available and streaming now on Netflix. Binge watch away with all 39 episodes of House of Cards.
– by Yasmine Rimawi