10:00am PT by Brian Porreca
'House of Cards,' "Chapter 38": White House, White Hair
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 27, Chapter 28, Chapter 29, Chapter 30, Chapter 31, Chapter 32, Chapter 33, Chapter 34, Chapter 35, Chapter 36, Chapter 37.
Over the past 37 Chapters of the Netflix series, audiences have watched Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) kill a dog, toss Zoe (Kate Mara) in front of a train, stage a suicide, impeach a president, have a threesome, and fire his wife Claire (Robin Wright), all without breaking a sweat.
Now, as the president fights to hold on to power, audiences are introduced to the historical White House, white hair. Is Underwood's hair a symbol of his time running out? Of course it is, and in season three, episode 38, the clock is definitely ticking.
Here are the most memorable moments from the third season's second-to last episode:
Meechum reads. "Yes, I read," Meechum (Nathan Darrow) answers Yates (Paul Sparks). The writer has fought to unveil the hidden truths behind “the unsplittable atom of American politics,” and Meechum has read through Yates' intentions all along. Even though Yates didn't even see them himself. "You honestly believed he'd go for this?" Kate Baldwin (Kim Dickens) asks the author, pointing out that he was crazy for believing that a story revealing so much would fly with Frank. It may be part jealousy, but the all-knowing Meechum predicted the storm that Yates has brought to the White House and the tornado that has hit the President's marriage.
Smoky back rooms. "It is not that I have changed, Robert, that ambition has clouded anything. It's that I was blind to this until now, what I am meant to be. And I am meant to be president of the United States." No, that's not from the sketch that Kate McKinnon did of Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live, but it's close. Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) tells Justice Jacobs (Jonathan Hogan) that her destiny is to be president. She even stoops to attacking Frank where it hurts: Mrs. Underwood. Dunbar has tried to keep a moral compass throughout her campaign, but in order to get ahead she blackmails the president about Claire's public lie about having an abortion."You're finally one of us … the men, in their smoky back rooms," Frank tells Dunbar, but before the former special prosecutor can seal a victory and enjoy a cigar in the "smoky back room" her plan goes up in smoke, literally. Doug lights what could have been $2 million on fire.
The new chief of staff. What could be the most important storyline to come out of season three, Doug Stamper is the new chief of staff. Applause. Although his journey outside of the White House may have kept him sane, Stamper got what he truly wanted. He even sacrificed $2 million to slip back into the White House as Frank Underwood's right-hand man. When he starts his duties as the new chief of staff, he finds an ally in Seth (Derek Cecil) who has been in Underwood's corner all season long. It seems that even with old troops leaving Frank behind, he is able to call up a new army as we head into the finale. There is just one person missing …
Legacy is their only child. There is no question that this season's intrigue has been kept up by the crumbling marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Underwood. A once unstoppable alliance is on the ropes. "We've been lying for a long time, Francis," Claire tells her husband. And while Frank thinks she is referring to lying to voters about their treacherous timeline, she stuns him by confessing, "Not to them, to each other."