In “House of Cards” Season 3, Episode 5, “Chapter 31,” Frank’s aide officially joins another campaign. Meanwhile, Claire’s actions at the U.N. may possibly start a war with Russia. Find out what happened in this episode in the recap below.
Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is definitely going to run in 2016 and as the episode opens, he’s talking to Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) about this. She’s going to have to announce that she’s running for the top post, too. But she will be quitting in the middle of her campaign. Underwood will succeed in his America Works project. He will then step up and announce he might as well run for office and take Jackie as his veep. Jackie isn’t quite sure about this plan, worried it may affect her credibility. But she later agrees with Pres. Underwood.
Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) is already with Heather Dunbar’s (Elizabeth Marvel) campaign and they’re talking payment. Doug wants $250,000 yearly for his work, but Dunbar offers much less. They sit down in a secret meeting where he gives her a document that proves Clair Underwood (Robin Wright) didn’t have an abortion because she was raped (as she claimed in the second season). But Dunbar tells Doug she’s not using the information. She offers $150,000 to him with the remaining $100,000 as bonus if she gets nominated. Despite this arrangement, Dunbar still doesn’t trust her completely with Doug. Is he really switching camp, or is he spying for the Underwoods?
Pres. Underwood’s America Works project is pushing forward in Washington. He gets the mayor of D.C. involved and Frank basically takes money from FEMA to fund the initiative, citing that the problem with unemployment is also disastrous, thus it needs to be addressed immediately. The president basically circumvents Congress with this move and his head of Homeland Security is fired because of this.
Back at the White House, as Frank and Claire end their day, they discuss why they’ve actually been sleeping in different bedroom all this time. It’s been hinted that the first lady moved into her new bedroom when she became sick with a cold and hasn’t left since then.
At the campaign trail, Dunbar has enlisted the husband of the gay rights activist Michael Corrigan (Christian Camargo). He’s sent to prison in Russia for protesting against human rights violation. The Petrov government has been using him as leverage for the peacekeeping efforts Claire is doing in Jordan. She’s thinking of sanctioning Russia for going against this.
Meanwhile, the president’s aide Remy (Mahershala Ali), who also happens to be Jackie’s ex-lover, shows Jackie how Dunbar is succeeding in her campaign. Jackie realizes she needs to get married to earn votes from female votes. Sometime afterwards, she announces to Remy that she managed to get engaged to her fiancé. The path is set for her.
The first lady holds a meeting with the Russian ambassador in the women’s bathroom and it’s one of the most subtle yet intimidating scenes on the show. As she does her make-up and pees in the urinal stall, she talks politics with the very uncomfortable ambassador. She discusses what Russia needs to do with Middle East efforts. Why won’t the Russians agree, when they have been outmaneuvered? Claire also asks Frank for military assistance without having to seek Congress’ approval and her husband promises her this.
At the press room, there’s a new reporter replacing the one Seth (Derek Cecil) banned in the last episode (“Chapter 30”). Kate Baldwin (Kim Dickens) is a Pulitzer winning journalist and she immediately gets a scoop. She writes about how the president used FEMA funds for America Works and how an official was fired for it. The president is not pleased with her. Meantime, Pres. Underwood has hired Thomas Yates (Paul Sparks) to write his book. He will use this as a propaganda for America Works, which will also seal his legacy.
The episode ends with thousands of people lining up for jobs outside the White House. The first ever jobs project set up by Frank Underwood and endorsed by the mayor of D.C. is now at play, and who does one find there at the lines? Frank’s old friend, the restaurant owner Freddy (Reg E. Cathey). He’s seeking a job after his restaurant closed down in the last season.
Now, that’s the recap on “House of Cards” Season 3,, Episode 5, “Chapter 31.” The show’s full season can be seen on Netflix since Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Keep following Movie News Guide (MNG) for more about this show.
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