House of Cards Season 3, Chapter 29 Summary – Russian President Viktor Petrov
This episode opens with American protesters rallying freedoms as President Petrov’s (the Russian president) is scheduled to arrive. Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali) and President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) discusses Pussy Riot & Le Tigre attending this evening banquet knowing it will supposedly rattle President Viktor Petrov.
Before the Russian presidential motorcade arrives, Frank learns that his American Works bill, that promises 10,000,000 jobs, isn’t going to get far on the congress floor. When President Viktor Petrov arrives he immediately tells President Underwood that he has no interest in pursuing Frank’s plan–the Jordan Valley peace agreement. During a photo shoot, President Petrov is slow to shake Underwood’s hand. Frank tries to improve relations by offering Petrov a surfboard. Petrov insults Underwood by offering Frank and Clarie a visit to his place, stating it is “crawling with artists, she (Clarie) might find something she likes.”
Clarie Underwood (Robin Wright) is now appointed U.N. Council Ambassador but is still playing second fiddle to Secretary of State, Cathy Durant (Jayne Atkinson). Clarie says very little during the talks with the Palestine delegates who don’t address her in her role as U.N. Ambassador, but rather as wife of the President. Their relationship is tense and awkward.
Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) is meeting with Congressman Brad from Hawaii who offers him a lucrative job. Doug later accuses Seth Grayson (Derick Cicil) or the President of setting it up and turns it down. Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) is working out for the FBI but still being threaten to reveal names. He later meets with Doug to discuss other work options. Doug offers him an unlocked passport if he can find Rachel.
At the dinner, President Underwood toasts President Petrov. Petrov toast Claire Underwood and attempts to toast Pussy Riot & Le Tigre, who in turn make a scene and leave the dinner. Further during the dinner, President Petrov brings his own personal wine for all and starts drinking/toasting rounds again upstaging Underwood. Frank sings at the piano later, and again Petrov upstages by singing and dancing with the First Lady before planting a kiss on her lips.
Underwood momentarily shaken escorts President Petrov downstairs to smoke some Cuban cigars. Meanwhile Clarie and Cathy begin drinking games to get to know each other better. Cathy reveals that she doesn’t like President Underwood’s plan and suggests that they start with Palestine and Israel instead of agreeing to Petrov’s terms of “no missiles” in the region. The next morning, tired of the “one up” game, President Underwood sends Petrov home packing as the episode closes with Pussy Riot & Le Tigre singing, “Don’t Cry Genocide.”
What is the face of a coward? The back of his head as he runs from battle.
Fred Campos’ Thoughts on the Episode
This episode focuses on cold war feelings between President Underwood and Russian President Petrov. The men continue to reflect their testosterone and constantly try to upstage each other. This upstaging is mirrored in Clarie Underwood and Cathy Durant’s footing of trying to find who is doing whose job. The entire episode is a struggle for the Underwoods to gain control in their new roles. Claire appears to finally make progress by finding common ground in drinking games with Cathy. Francis final gains last minute control by sending Petrov home before the press conference.
The friction continues with Doug accusing Seth of setting up a job for him and then trickled down to Gavin trying to find info on Rachel for Doug. I’m not clear on where all these pieces fit together but look forward to more development. Bottom line, things aren’t going well for anybody in the show. I truly didn’t care for Pussy Riot & Le Tigre’s music. But then again, it just adds to the tension that we can expect with House of Cards!
Three Stars for Chapter 29!
Images from Netflix.com House of Cards.