House of Cards

The Underwoods are back, and they’re in the White House. House of Cards has finally returned with the masterpiece that is Season Three. The first episode, Chapter 27, opens with Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) acting as Machiavellian as ever: “You have to be a little human when you’re the president”, he says just before he pisses on his father’s grave. The Underwoods take ‘power couple’ to the extreme, together orchestrating Frank’s rise to power, while Claire (Robin Wright) also has her sights set on political office for herself.

The episode follows on a number of months after the Season Two finale. After the impeachment of the previous president, cunningly choreographed by Frank, we saw the accession of the vice president to the role of the executive.  But the power of the Oval Office doesn’t seem to be enough for President Underwood, as he struggles to get his measures through Congress and battles against his cabinet.

The sub-plot to the opening episode, and the rest of the series, focuses on Rachel. Where is Rachel? Remember last series when Doug (Michael Kelly) was attacked in the woods by Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan) when she thought he was trying to kill her? Well, he was just trying to relocate her as she sought a new life after being a sex worker. But you can never be too careful when it comes to sleazy government officials. Anyhow, Doug makes it – just about. But the series is going to be a struggle for him: physically, as he tries to get back on his feet, and also politically as he strives to get back into work but is repeatedly turned away by Frank.

Controversy unfolds when Claire gains an increaing amount of power in the government within her own role. As a result, her marriage to Frank is tested time and time again. On top of this are diplomatic tensions with Russia, as well as sexual tension between Claire and the Russian president Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) – watch out for the extremely awkward kiss in front of the President of the United States too, the cheek!

The Underwoods are thrown into a jungle of scandal, lies and manipulation as they reach the shiny echelons of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Are they strong enough to make it through the White House? – and better yet,  will they survive the election?

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