'House of Cards,' "Chapter 28": Claire Fights for Her Future

Note to aspiring politicos, never say the words "The U.S. military is irrelevant."
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To mark the debut of House of Cards season three, THR will be breaking down the biggest moments from each episode every day through March 11. Read the breakdown of the premiere here.

[Warning: spoiler ahead for the House of Cards season-three premiere, "Chapter 28"]

Season three is off to a juicy start, with episode two solidifying that the series is still super hot (and quite steamy, it turns out, in one particular scene.) Here's the three major developments the second chapter leaves off at:

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—Claire (Robin Wright) appears before Senate judiciary committee to seek their nomination for the position of UN ambassador and gets raked over the coals by Senator Mendoza (Benito Martinez). Her admittedly rushed words under the hot lights, “The U.S. military is irrelevant” get twisted by Mendoza, resulting in him calling her a “hot-head” with "no experience." Despite her pleading with various senators via phone later that day to give her a chance, she finds out she’s lost the nomination 52-48 – ruining a perfectly good afternoon spent selecting colored commemorative eggs for the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll. (She chooses the red one by the way.) Undaunted, Claire pushes Frank to approve her for the UN position during the Senate Recess. He agrees do it with a simple, “OK, I’ll do it.”

— Yikes. Frank’s (Kevin Spacey) team tell him they don’t want him to run for President in 2016 citing low approval ratings. Frank goes into fight mode. “Polls go up and down; we can’t let ourselves be held hostage by public opinion.” In another closed-door meeting, he assures them he won’t merely be a “placeholder” for 18 months and that he “intends to govern,” using America Works as his strongest currency. He announces to the nation that the program will be put into action effectively immediately. And knowing Frank, that whole not-running thing is most likely not off the table.

—Doug (Michael Kelly), now nursing a nasty broken arm from that shower slip, is still recovering at home from his brain injury and developing an interesting habit for coping with the pain (a little whiskey squirt via syringe anyone?). Hard to blame him considering that Remy (Mahershala Ali) and Seth (Derek Cecil) are encroaching on his territory as Frank’s most trusted adviser.

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—And the scene that will likely have everyone gabbing at the virtual water cooler is when, for the first time, viewers see Claire and Frank share an intimate moment -- by themselves. (Remember that impromptu three-person party from last season?) After Claire returns from a run and finds Frank in tears, on the floor, and needing a bit of stress relief, she climbs on top of him (still in her sweat-drenched running clothes) and allows Frank to enjoy a rare moment of total submission. Awww, who said they weren’t match made in heaven?

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