House of Cards Season 3, Chapter 35 Summary – Innocence Lost
This episode opens with Kate Baldwin (Kim Dickens) sleeping with Thomas Yates (Paul Sparks) skipping President Frank Underwood’s campaign speech in Iowa. During the speech, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), passes Frank a note that eight Russian troops were killed in the Jordan Valley. Frank cuts his speech short and tries to get Russian President Viktor Petrov on the phone.
Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) gives Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) talking points and they discuss her not feeling great about being Frank’s #2.
Frank invites Thomas to sit upfront during flight back to Washington on Air Force One. Frank addresses the press and tells him that he has not heard from Petrov. Clarie tells Frank that Israel is gearing up troops. Frank finally gets a hold Petrov who is mad and blames the President and the U.N. for putting his troops in harms way. Petrov is pissed and tells Frank he is going to do what he must. The situation is heating up and Frank must try to keep all sides at peace.
Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) meets with Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) in exchange for information on Rachel’s information. Gavin tell him that Rachel has been killed. Doug has flashbacks to Rachel talking to him, reading to him, etc. We realize how important Rachel was to him. Doug call Seth Grayson and tells him he needs to see the President. Doug gets drunk and misses a call from Dunbar. However, he does make it home and throws up on the floor. Seth calls Doug and arranges the meeting. The President shows kindness to his only friend. Doug reveals he is working for Dumbar.
During a Presidential Press conference Kate questions the President about campaigning on Air Force One. She saw the President talking with Harlan. Consequently the President decides to distance himself from Harlan.
Remy gets pulled over after taking Harlan Traub (Frank Ridley) to the airport. The police don’t recognize Remy and harass him. He gets out of it, but goes to Jackie’s place after he feels raddled.
Claire meets with Russian Ambassador, Alexi Moryakov (Alexander Sokovikov) in an unbugged room in the U.N. Alexi is alluding that President Petrov killed their own innocent troops and is covering it up to disrupt the peace talks. When revealing this information in the situation room, President Frank decides to send in a covert opts to verify its truth, it ends badly resulting in one innocent American killed and three wounded.
Petrov calls Frank and tells him he knows that the covert operation was his. Frank chews out Dunbar for employing and almost killing Doug. She takes it well, hangs up and continues her conversation with Harlan. The episode ends with Frank typing a letter to the next of kin for the lost innocent special ops soldier.
Baldwin was right, those eight bodies, give Petrov options. He’s not shedding tears. He is popping champagne corks. I can hear them.
Fred Campos’ Thoughts on the Episode
This is a tough episode where basically anything and everything for the Underwood’s goes wrong. Whether it be peace talks that are blown up by the Russians, or Doug finding out Rachel has been killed, we see innocent carnage everywhere. Bad decisions are made and innocent people die. Many of the scenes are filmed in low lighting further expressing the dark parts of death and war.
It was chilling to listen to the covert operation live and know that military people die every day based on a weighed presidential decision. It is fitting to see Frank typing his own letter to the next of kin even though he expresses the death as a “training exercise.”
Four Stars for Chapter 35.
Images from Netflix.com House of Cards.