I resisted jumping on the “House of Cards” bandwagon for years. If you’re familiar with my GIF bio, you know that I love offbeat, often cult pop culture, so I was skeptical of HOC’s popularity. When I saw Kevin Spacey speak at my university in November, I began to crumble. And in the heat of a stressful finals season, with no new episodes of “Twin Peaks” or “Buffy” to turn to, I finally caved to my partner’s enthusiasm for HOC. And boy, did I binge watch. I have been counting down the days to Netflix’s release of Season 3 since December.
For the uninitiated, “House of Cards” is a smart, suspenseful political thriller that tracks fictional politician Frank Underwood on his ruthless rise to power. The series was created by and released exclusively on Netflix, and its wild popularity seems to confirm that Netflix original series are here to stay.
In case you haven’t seen it, the trailer for Season 3 is jarring and promises a dramatic new season:
With only days left to prepare for the sedentary slugfest that will be my weekend of burning through the new season, my boyfriend and I are putting our plan for the ultimate viewing experience into action—starting with a recap of the first two seasons and a freezer stocked with Ben & Jerry’s.
FROM HERE ON, THERE BE SPOILERS. If you haven’t finished the first two seasons, stop reading right now and go watch them.
Season 2 left us with plenty of cliffhangers. Here’s a refresher on the major characters’ plotlines to help you prepare:
As Stamper’s possessive relationship with Rachel spiraled out of control, Rachel was forced to end her budding romance with Lisa. But her resistance to Stamper’s creepy habit of showing up in her efficiency apartment at odd hours boiled over when he attempted to relocate her. She leapt out of his car at a stop light and beat him to death with a rock before speeding off to an unknown destination. The last episode of Season 2 showed Stamper’s body abandoned in the woods. The murder investigation—or cover up—will surely become a major plot line in Season 3.
Jackie Sharpe’s success as Majority Whip might depend on distancing herself from Frank Underwood. In the aftermath of a failed romance, Remy noted that Jackie has become colder. She has opposed the Underwoods before, when she declined support for Claire Underwood’s bill regarding sexual assault in the military, and now that she is gaining power in Washington, it’s unclear whether she will prove to be the Underwoods’ strong ally or formidable foe.
After being set up for treason, Lucas is in prison awaiting trial. Although he has been written off as crazy, he senses the truth behind Zoe’s death (murder, at the hands of Frank Underwood). The promotional materials so far haven’t shown Lucas, but without Stamper to perform damage control, Lucas might have the chance to make a comeback.
In global politics, previous seasons have explored the United States’ relationship with China. The situation there will surely continue to develop, and the trailers have suggested that Russia may become the focus of the new season.
For fun, my boyfriend and I have been also debating some more specific guesses of what’s to come. Here are some of our best:
Rachel and Gavin (the hacker) will surely team up at some point during Season 3. Rachel is the missing piece to Gavin’s plan to free himself and his friend from the FBI’s clutches. But in the meantime, will Rachel return to Lisa or try to start over, with no ties to the past? We’re worried that Frank might bury her before she’s able to testify that she killed Stamper in self defense, but we’re also confident that Gavin, who has been tracking the GPS on Stamper’s car all along, will find her first.
Near the end of Season 2, Claire momentarily breaks down, secretly sobbing on the staircase of the Underwoods’ tony, newly fortified townhome. We also know that she doesn’t share Francis’s hatred of children from her trips to a gynecologist to learn more about her fertility options. With her nonprofit gone, her sexual assault bill in limbo, and her surreptitious relationship with photographer Adam Galloway utterly destroyed, Claire may not hold up to the pressures of her conscience—and her own ambition. We have seen abundant proof that Claire can be ruthless, but she’s restless after putting Frank first for two straight seasons. Frank’s presidency will certainly challenge their status as a political power couple, and if fallout occurs, my bet is that Claire will come out on top.
We’ve also had some fun guessing cabinet appointments: Kern will be Treasury Secretary and Durant—VP? Is Linda back in the White House after getting burned?
Tusk, that slippery lizard, will most likely plead guilty but buy his way out. But will he continue to be a thorn in Frank’s side, or will they somehow forge a partnership?
We’ve also seen major security breaches in the past, from anthrax to the bomb left near the Underwoods’ home. Meechum will presumably continue his role as security expert/discreet threesome participant, but how will Frank’s presidency threaten the Underwoods’ safety? Personally, I would love to see an assassination plot unfold.
But there’s still plenty that has us completely speechless. What makes Claire gasp as Frank guides her away? Who is that menacing figure at the end of the hall? What prompts hipsters to take up their megaphones in protest? None of these questions even address the possibility of new characters entering the series.
Until Friday, the only thing I can predict with 100% certainty, is that I will never get over the fact that Gavin (Jimmi Simpson) was once hilariously horrifying, incestuous Liam McPoyle on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Got a hunch of what’s to come? Tweet your predictions @litdarling!
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