House of Cards Season 3, Chapter 30 Summary – Getting the Ear of God
This episode opens with Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) addressing the Supreme Court to admit responsibility for a presidential airstrike that harmed a civilian who became crippled as a result. The scene fades into President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) attending the funeral of three Navy Seals at Arlington Cemetery, then returns again to the hearing. Dunbar ironically defends the Office of the President to make such executive decision when necessary. During that interchange Chief Justice Jacobs stumbles in his thoughts thus foreshadowing his possible removal from the court.
U.N. Ambassador Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) urges the council to vote ‘Yes’ on the Jordon Valley Project, which her Russian counterpart debates a ‘No.’ Speaking French, Mrs. Underwood calls on the French to help over turn the Russian vote and tries desperately to maintain all the votes needed.
Frank calls Heather into the Oval Office in an attempt to prevent her from running against him by offering her a seat on the Supreme Court–revealing that Justice Jacobs has Alzheimer. Surprised by his offer and pressed for a decision she agrees and tells him…“Yes.” Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) hacks into the FBI files and looks up information on Rachel for Doug, but not before almost getting caught in the process. With no leads to go on, Gavin goes investigating on his own. We find him purposely getting to know Rachel’s Ex, Lisa Williams, himself at a recovery meeting.
President Underwood meets with Kaseem Mahmoud (Waleed Zuaiter) to ask for his forgiveness for becoming crippled in the drone strike. He doesn’t give it. Now a second time, Frank calls Justice Jacobs into to his office. This time to persuade him to step down. Ironically he shows no interest in doing so. Things go from bad to worse, as the Russians arrest Michael Corrigan in retaliation for the UN Israeli resolution. Seth Grayson is forced to take away Ayla Sayyad’s credentials as White House Press after embarrassing the President at the press conference.
But the biggest embarrassment comes in a surprise announcement from Heather Dunbar herself…she announces her run for President of the United States on the steps of the Supreme Court. Furious President Underwood calls her into his office. Mrs. Dunbar far more cunning than expected leaves stating… “See you in Iowa.” Doug Stamper catches up with Heather and offers to help her on her campaign. She is reluctant unknowing whether Frank put him up to this.
Frank sensing he is losing in everything around him gets a much needed pep-talk from his Claire. Clearing his mind, he calls Bishop Eddis and meets him at his church. The Bishop tells him that he wasn’t chosen, just Him (referring to Jesus). Asking for a moment alone, Frank insults the statue of Jesus on the cross, before it falls and shatters. Bending over and picking up the ear, President Underwood states, “I’ve got God’s ear now.”
…You may hate me, you may hate the office I hold. But here is the reality. I must make decisions everyday that I hope are justice. I don’t know right from wrong all the time. I wish I did. But what I can’t be is indecisive.”
Fred Campos’ Thoughts on the Episode
I love the flipping between Heather Dunbar addressing the Supreme Court and President Underwood attending the funeral. The compare and contrast of events getting worse continues threw the entire episode for both Clare and Frank. Finally after confronting both Kaseem, Dunbar, and even his wife, Frank finally confronts Jesus.
As sacrilegious as possible and yet showing a turning point in the show, Frank overpowers the statue of Jesus and walks away with the hand of God. I hate to admit it publically, but I love the dark character Kevin Spacey plays. I often wonder how much of the personal struggle of power really exists in politics. Quite scary to ponder for sure.
Keeping with the theme of taking matters into your own hands, we see Gavin taking initiative to find intelligence on Rachel. Heather Dunbar choosing against Frank’s wishes to run on her own and finally Frank not yielding to God but becoming the god himself he wants to be as president. There’s a fine line between railroading your way and seeking help from others. It will be interesting to see which way the writers go!
Four Stars for Chapter 30!
Images from Netflix.com House of Cards.