House of Cards Season 3 Keeps You Wanting More

Season Reiew


House of Cards, the award winning Netflix original-series, does not fail to impress in its third season. Other shows can get canceled or force their plots in later seasons, but House of Cards and its creator Beau Willimon separate themselves from the pack.

Previous seasons showed the anti-hero, Majority Whip Frank Underwood, and his wife Claire manipulate their way to power. The audience falls in love with the ruthless and seemingly machiavellian congressmen who will do anything to get what he wants, even if it comes at the expense of characters like Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo. However, the pair of Frank and Claire Underwood, which is almost a match made in heaven (or hell, depending on how you look at it), face some legitimate marital difficulties in season three. The show also takes a deeper look at Frank’s former right-hand man, Doug Stamper, who was left for dead at the end of season two. President Frank Underwood finds out rather quickly that it is not very easy being the leader of the free world.

Season three begins with the new President Underwood, visiting his father’s grave privately. Though, in case the audience forgot, Underwood displays his savagery by urinating on his father’s grave. This can serve as a reminder during the whole season, despite Underwood showing signs of vulnerability throughout, a vulnerability that is new to him and stems from being under immense pressure. Underwood no longer has to be the power thirsty, conniving congressmen. He is now the President of the United States. How much more power can a man have?

However, as essentially a placeholder president, Underwood fears that his legacy is in jeopardy. His newly proposed employment program “America Works” will make 10 million jobs and is the foundation of Frank’s campaign. Nonetheless, this initiative comes at the expense of medicare and social security for future generations. As expected, “America Works” is initially not very supported. But, as this is Frank Underwood we’re talking about, he will not take no for an answer. Therefore, by manipulating emergency funds and pairing up with the mayor of the District of Columbia, Underwood proves that “America Works” can work in the nation’s capital. Underwood uses his small success with “America Works” in Washington to be the basis of his eventual candidacy.

Moreover, season three also introduces foreign threats like the crisis in the Middle East and Russia. Russia’s president, Viktor Petrov, visits the U.S and immediately poses a threat to Underwood. Petrov is probably the only character that challenges Underwood’s ruthlessness and may even be more intimidating. Petrov’s and Underwood’s stubbornness are best portrayed when the two men rashly fly to the Jordan Valley to speak face to face.

Doug Stamper, in the meantime has been recovering from his serious injury sustained at the end of season two and his alcoholism. He is ready to go back to work but he is clearly ignored by Frank, who seems to have larger issues to focus on. Doug Stamper is forced to take matters into his own hands.

Meanwhile, Underwood is also campaigning in hope that he won’t just be a placeholder president. While campaigning, the Underwood marriage is magnified along with all its issues. Claire, who is constantly growing as a character, begins to realize that Frank may not win the coming election. This rather stressful presidency, where the president and first lady sleep in separate beds and flinch when one tries to touch the other, has really taken its toll. National and international events in season three magnify the couple’s deep marital issues.

In House of Cards season three, Frank Underwood is the most watched man in the world and every decision he makes will be criticized.Therefore, Underwood cannot do the same audacious and at times ridiculous actions that we saw in the previous seasons. All in all, we’re all left wondering what will happen in the seasons to come. What role will Doug Stamper have to play? Will Underwood’s secrets have to be addressed? Will the Underwood marriage survive? All these questions will surely be answered.