'House of Cards,' "Chapter 29": Frank Meets His Match

The Russian President proves even Underwood isn't unflappable.
David Giesbrecht

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 previous breakdowns: Chapter 27Chapter 28.

[Warning: spoiler ahead for the House of Cards episode "Chapter 29"]

Frank (Kevin Spacey) has finally met his match.

Russian president Victor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) completely and utterly disrespects President Underwood during a state visit — topping it off with an inappropriately long kiss on the lips with Frank's wife, Claire (Robin Wright).

See more 'House of Cards': Frank Underwood's Most Ruthless Moments

Among his other big disses:

—Telling Frank: "Russia has nothing to gain from peace in the Middle East. And more importantly, nothing to gain from working with America."

—Alluding to Claire's affair with British artist Adam Galloway (Ben Daniels)

—Telling Claire she's a better First Lady than diplomat.

—Rejecting Frank's offer to dial down U.S. presence in the region by telling him he wants a Lexus, not a shitty car. (In other words, he wants all of the defenses removed.)

—Putting his cigar out on Frank's wall.

And the list goes on.

Frank finally makes his own power play, sending Petrov home to Russia early, and then publicly praising the women of Pussy Riot, who the night earlier disrespected the Russian Petrov at the state dinner.

Read more 'House of Cards' Creator on Season 3 Obstacles, Netflix Leak and Killing Characters

Other key developments:

Meanwhile, hacker Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) agrees to help Doug track down former call girl Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), who attacked him in last season's finale.

Claire cozies up to Secretary of State Durant (Jayne Atkinson), challenging her to beer pong. Is she doing this to help Frank, or is she hedging her bets, deciding that she needs to play nice with Durant in case Franks' career falters?

What's next: Surely Cards hasn't seen the last of Petrov. He was too good and his role was too built up for him to be a one-episode guy. 

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch 

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