What can we expect from House Of Cards season 3?

Feature Patrick Sproull 29 May 2014 - 06:54

Patrick looks ahead to what we might see in season 3 of stunning political drama, House Of Cards. Major spoilers ahead...

Warning: this article contains major spoilers for House Of Cards seasons one and two.

Thank God for Netflix. The online streaming website has gone on to become a necessity for the viewing public around the world and has soared in popularity, becoming a hotspot for binge-watching and telly addiction. Weekends get taken over by the oh-so-tempting ‘next episode’ button and holidays are split-second affairs, consumed by Breaking Bad marathons.

I was introduced to House Of Cards early this spring and I finished it early this spring. The rule was two episodes per night – outrageous in the eyes of regular Netflix viewers – and it was swiftly devoured. The first season was engrossing; the second season more so as we watched the rise and rise of Frank Underwood, former Vice President of the United States, and now the most influential man in the world.

The third season of Netflix’s homemade political drama can’t come sooner – and while the climax of the second run gave us some answers, it didn’t tie everything up. As the saying goes, when one door closes another one opens. So what can we expect from House Of Cards next year now that the Underwoods are residing in the White House?

More metaphors

Frank Underwood, ex-House Majority Whip, ex-VP, double killer, longtime figure of speech addict. Before you sit down to watch House Of Cards you can easily draw up a tick-list of requisites. Firstly, Frank must always address the camera directly (in Chapter 14, the second season opener, as an in-joke to the audience he does not break the fourth wall for the majority of the episode and then, with an all too familiar smirk, says, “Did you think that I’d forgotten you?”). Second of all – and this ties in with the first item – Frank has to glance at the camera exasperatedly whenever someone is talking hokum to him. It’s such a wonderfully scathing look. Lastly, the metaphors and similes: Frank’s signature.

Over the two seasons we’ve had such figurative gems as, “The president is like a lone tree in an empty field - he leans whichever way the wind is blowing” or “He’s in the darkness now and I’m the only beacon of light. Now to gently guide him towards the rocks”. Frank Underwood is like a lion, he must use… no, I’m not good at these.

The repercussions of Peter Russo and Zoe Barnes’ death

Ah, Miss Barnes and Congressman Russo. The latter was one of the saddest of House Of Cards’ cast of characters and while he received a properly rounded arc, it was a tragic one. He fought substance addiction and prejudice from top-drawer politicians in order to achieve a highbrow gubernatorial position – and he very nearly did, until Frank sent him tumbling down, leaving two young children behind. Russo’s case was on the verge of being cracked at the beginning of season two before Frank bumped off the ringleader, his lover, Zoe Barnes – and this sent her co-conspirators, Lucas Goodwin and Janine Skorsky scurrying (though the former didn’t go down without a fight).

What House Of Cards has yet to do is show any cracks. At no point has Frank contemplated what he has done or shown any remorse or upset. The show is bottling every single wrongdoing up and, either in the third season (this seems likely) or in the possible fourth season, it will all spill out and have devastating emotional and physical ramifications.

Rachel Posner and the ‘death’ of Doug Stamper

Doug Stamper, Frank’s trusted aide and close friend, met his untimely ‘demise’ in the last half hour of season two as he was clobbered by Rachel, a young woman he had been infatuated with and whom he had manipulated. Now, we saw Doug’s bloodied body lying on the forest floor and he just might not be dead. The man behind him, Michael Kelly has refused to comment on whether or not he perished so Doug’s fate hangs in the balance. For now let’s say he’s dead, given how likely it seems – if he is alive one theory to nurture is that he’ll probably be comatose for much of season three.

Doug was a slimy character but another one of House Of Cards’ wretched characters. An orphan, he had little life outside of work and his unrequited lusting for Rachel was both creepy and incredibly sad. By the end of season two Frank was uninformed of Doug’s death but his passing – or not – will surely be addressed in the third season opener. What’s all the more saddening is that Doug never got to see his boss ascend to presidency, something he had helped him reach.

Rachel, twisted almost beyond repair, has had her life ruined by Doug and offing him was probably the best and worst thing she’s ever done. Rachel now has her freedom but the question of how she will get away with Doug’s murder remains. Easily, she could claim self-defense because she fled into those woods for fear of her life but Frank could step in and have her locked up in one fell swoop. Of all the story arcs that we’ll be seeing in season three, this is the one I’m most looking forward to – as well as finding out if Doug really is dead.

The further adventures of Gavin Orsay and his sidekick, Cashew.

When the story of FBI informant Gavin Orsay first appeared I was quite baffled. He’s a cliché, a geeky, floppy-haired hacker with a pet guinea pig whom he is devoted to, and as a character, is just that bit unconvincing. Gavin was brought in by the Feds to ensnare Lucas, who was on a mission to discover the truth about Zoe’s death, but after the journalist was successfully trapped and incarcerated, Gavin was still around. The last we saw him he was trying to extort his freedom from Doug but if he’s really dead then how will Gavin break away from his position as an informant?

Undoubtedly, Gavin’s guinea pig has more charm than him. The black-and-white rodent has faced a lot of trauma in its short little life and I’m sure we all bit our lip when Gavin’s handler threatened to trample his pet. What fate will season three bring little Cashew?

More Robin Wright

Robin Wright is a complete scene-stealer. Her svelte, icy-cool presence is one of House Of Cards’ strong points and she works incredibly well with her onscreen husband, Kevin Spacey. Spacey is also magnificent but Wright more so and Claire Underwood, Frank’s equal in so many respects, is the most fascinating character on the show. In Chapter 26, the second season finale, she was seen breaking down after visiting Megan Hennessey, a rape victim who had approached Claire after a candid TV interview and who had tried to commit suicide. Claire weeping is the first sign of guilt in either of the Underwoods and it was always going to be Claire that was the first to give way; nobody is quite as evil as Frank. The question is, when will she crack?

The second season of House Of Cards was significantly different to the first in that it widened its scope and zoomed out from Frank, extending the limelight to the likes of Lucas, Gavin, Rachel, Remy Danton and Jackie Sharp amongst others. Claire’s role was also expanded and we were given a fair bit of drama in her workplace, initially. Going by Claire’s involvement in season two and the fact she’s now the First Lady, I’ll wager that she’ll get a fair bit more to do in season three.

Someone else in Frank’s road

In the first season we had Michael Kern for a brief time and then in the second season it was Raymond Tusk, an unctuous businessman who happened to be close friends with the former President. Raymond was surprisingly good at getting his way and sweet-talking the President though he was no match for Frank. Still, things started to get nasty in the Tusk vs. Underwood war of season two and there were casualties, namely Frank’s BBQ ribs dealer Freddy who got caught in the crossfire. The ex-President, Garrett Walker also proved a threat to Frank when he finally, after so very long, cottoned on to his Vice President’s machinations. But now with Walker disgraced, Tusk behind bars and Frank sitting comfortably in the Oval Office – who could possibly stand in his way?

Read our reviews of House Of Cards season one and season two.

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I wonder if they will look to The Final Cut for inspiration... we get to see Frank losing it a bit more...

I don't know if I'm just an evil person, but I want Frank to win.

I like him too much to want him to lose, and I found Zoe, et al, to be irritating as hell.

Frank has now risen to the top, there is only one direction to go now. The house of cards will collapse. Can't wait for season 3.

You and me both.

I wonder how much Frank's story will parallel Francis Urquart's from the original series. FU mark I had two seasons as PM. I suspect FU mark II will get similar. Interesting to see if he will share the same fate.

Not only. (Though i didn't hate Zoe) I want Frank to get away with it all. He is a horribly bastard but ultimately charming.

I'm looking fowards to this, but at the same time, I hope it's the final series.

But FU mark I had far, far shorter seasons.

One would think that the third season will parallel the original. What troubles me about this, hmmmm, story? article? better late than never piece of bandwagon crap? Is that I have a feeling the person who wrote it, months after season two ended, has no idea that there even is an original. And if they do it's only because someone probably casually mentioned it in passing because there's no way this idiot took the time to watch it.... I just have one question: did they pay you for this review/non-preview?

Does it make you feel good, to throw petty insults at people? And no, there is no guarantee that the third season will parallel the original series. Unless you can see the future.

How rude and unmerited.

I state that an article/nonsense that is written 2 1/2 months after the show aired in full is meaningless and you call me petty? Someone else says I'm rude and my thoughts are unmertied? Hmm, do your mirrors not match it's reflection because I seem to have been attacked but a bunch of condescending hypocrites. This is what I know- the author of this crap said nothing. They pretended to have an insiders view of the series, yet they didn't even bother to watch it until well after it aired. So please take your collective high and mighty words of wisdom and stick it where your thoughts truly originate. Because if any of you had taken a moment to pay attention to what it was that I was actually pointing out you might have noticed that you're defending a person who wasted all of our time in writing nothing

Maybe he has a run in with the Supreme Court?

He systematically knocks off each member of the court by season 4, its nothing

I still can't see how people believe Doug ruined Rachel's life. In Frank Underwood's world people like Rachel are disposed of, instantly Rachel is alive simply because of Doug. That's it. That's the reason she's breathing. And she tries and almost manages to kill him? Jeez, talk about scorpion and turtle tale

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