House of Cards Season 3, Chapter 28 Summary – Frank Underwood Decides No Re-Election
President Underwood (Keven Spacey) tries hard to rally his party to back his American Works bill. Instead of hearing him, they propose that he not seek re-election in 2016 in an effort to unite the party. Things aren’t going well for Claire (Robin Wright) either. Claire’s U.N. ambassador bid runs into trouble when she makes a miss quote during her confirmation hearing.
Frank and Claire work the phones in an effort to get support for both their causes. By evening Frank has gotten no supporters and wrecks his desk lamp and sits exhausted on the floor. Claire shows support by engaging him in encouragement sex. They both start their next day confident but Claire loses the confirmation by two votes. She shows great courage and speaks well to the press.
Frank then comes up with an idea to address his plan directly to the public. Frank finally agrees with his Democratic party, of not seeking re-election, but does an excellent job of pushing his American Works agenda in a bold address to the American people.
Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) still feels lost not working for the President and continues to turn to drugs and alcohol. The President asks Seth Grayson (Derick Cicil) to visit and check in on Doug. Seth appears to show up at the right time to keep Doug from taking his addiction too far. Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) is unhappy with her position as Whip. She is working Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) to consider her for a Vice-President nominee.
I’ve always said, that ‘Power is more important that money.’ But when it comes to elections, money gives power… well a run for it’s money. … We have to reverse our thinking. When the wind is blowing at Gail forces, there is no point in sailing against it.” – Frances Underwood
Fred Campos’ Thoughts on the Episode
This chapter has good character development and a very realistic twist in that Claire doesn’t automatically win her confirmation as an U.N. Ambassador. The show makes me feel sorry for Claire loosing only by two vote (52-48), but I was impressed she was able to multitask and stayed calm. She did great without prep in her immediate press conference, showing she learned her lesson from the conformation hearing and this time kept her cool. The episode certainly shows how tough politics and “the process” really can be.
I loved the split screen view of both Claire and Francis during the scene of them rounding up support. In the previous episode, as well as others, they mostly exhibited a business relationship and sleep in separate beds. Excellent use of jazz music as Frank sat on the floor exhausted and distraught after obviously having it out and destroyed his desk lamp. I am not sure that sex solves everything, but I was pleased that Claire tried to connect and encourage her husband. It appears Frank and Claire are trying to work together and may perhaps love each other. I would like to see their relationship grow deeper.
Once pushed to a corner, Frank was up to his old tricks of appearing to be working with people who don’t support him. He continues to twists situations to his advantage and was certainly doing this with his American Works program. Jackie is becoming more dark and cunning as a character. I think she’ll be the new “Zoe Barnes” this season, as she’ll do anything to get what she wants. I am intrigued as to where to writers will go with her in future episodes.
The show ends with a pregnant pause and close up of Claire’s frying pan eggs. Season three is certainly off to a sizzling good start. I love it!
Four Stars for Chapter 28!
Images from Netflix.com and Wikimedia. Some licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
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