On Wednesday, Netflix “accidentally” released 10 of the 13 episodes set to make up season 3 of House of Cards. For a brief period of time, users could watch the leaked episodes (your correspondent watched episode one). Before the whole lot goes live Feb. 27, here are the descriptions for the first 10 episodes complete with predictions for what will occur.
Episode 1 (Chapter 27)
A rocky start for the Underwood Presidency. Frank wants to introduce an ambitious jobs program, while Claire sets her sights on the United Nations.
This will set the tone for the first part of the season, Underwood is coming into an unstable presidency with an ambitious wife who wants to make a name for herself away from being in Francis’s passenger seat. Meanwhile Frank wants to make a mark with his version of the New Deal.
Episode 2 (Chapter 28)
Claire’s U.N. bid runs into trouble. Frank fights off mutiny with a bold address to the country.
Underwood’s new policies will likely be controversial and receive ire from both sides of the Congress he hopes will pass his plan. Stamper meanwhile is likely still to be lurking behind the scenes, making power plays from his hospital bed.
Episode 3 (Chapter 29)
The Russian president’s state visit becomes a cold war of wills, and some punks heat things up.
In an interesting parallel to the situation in Ukraine right now, it looks like Russia will be taking the leading role of the “bad guy” in this series. With Claire getting set up at the U.N., the husband and wife duo will probably show off some intricate web-weaving while Frank stands up to the Russian menace.
Episode 4 (Chapter 30)
Claire bypasses Russia at the U.N. Frank tries to outmaneuver a potential challenger and ends up face to face with a higher power.
Due to Frank’s unique way of gaining power, he will be facing election soon and despite focusing on the presidency, there are obviously forces at work in his party hoping to take advantage of the fragile situation and take the office he has only so recently gained.
Episode 5 (Chapter 31)
Frank declares war on Congress to jump-start his jobs program. Claire spars with the Russian ambassador.
While the Russian issue continues to play out, Frank will likely adopt some classic Underwood tactics to get his controversial plan through the Hill. This could mean more dead journalists, or scandals, probably with the assistance of Stamper on one of the two sides. It is unclear if he will come back around to Frank’s side.
Episode 6 (Chapter 32)
Frank and Claire travel to Moscow to negotiate the return of an imprisoned U.S. citizen. Claire takes a stand to jeopardize their plans.
This description is pretty self-explanatory but it’s also clear that the tension of season 2 between Claire and Frank is nowhere near to being fully resolved.
Episode 7 (Chapter 33)
The damage is done and the Underwoods must repair it. But deep wounds don’t heal fast, and sometimes not at all.
Things clearly didn’t go to plan in Russia, and the divide between the power couple is clearly an issue. This bears a strong resemblance to the power dynamic that developed between the original British series’ Francis Urquhart and his wife.
Episode 8 (Chapter 34)
A hurricane endangers more than just the entire East Coast and Frank must make a difficult choice.
Putting aside the family problems and the large foreign concerns, the focus for the president is one closer to home. Frank in the series so far has never had to deal with a disaster on the size of a hurricane and will likely open him for attack, or finally give him the chance to shine so close to an election.
Episode 9 (Chapter 35)
The Jordan Valley erupts in chaos just as Frank’s campaign is picking up steam. Claire gets disturbing intel and counsels him.
The typical danger zone, the Middle East has flared up again, a long-running trope in political dramas. The final part of the description indicates that perhaps the new foe in the Russian president is involved, and will require Frank to make difficult (deadly? evil?) decisions.
Episode 10 (Chapter 36)
Frank needs to deal with Petrov one on one while Claire tries to preserve the peace-keeping mission. Sacrifices must be made.
The showdown between who we can assume is the Russian president and Frank is set to take place. Claire must obviously have to decide whether to put the interests of her new focus, the U.N., before those of her husband’s and America’s. The delicious soap opera table is set.
Screengrab via Netflix