'House of Cards,' "Chapter 30": A New Threat Rises

 Frank's obstacles are getting tougher and tougher as the season continues on.

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, Chapter 29.

[Warning: spoiler ahead for the House of Cards episode "Chapter 30"]

Now that Frank (Kevin Spacey) has reached the mountain top, his completion is smarter than ever.

While Frank easily outsmarted most people he encountered in the previous two seasons, Solicitor General Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) quickly sees through the President's motive for wanting to put her on the Supreme Court (hint: 2016).

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

Dunbar throws her hat into the ring, with the above-reproach candidate posing a great threat to Frank's 2016 plans. Frank, who has publicly said he will not run but clearly has plans to, would have serious trouble defeating Dunbar, who though a Democrat, went after unpopular President Walker (Michel Gill), showing she cares more about honor and justice than party. That'll play well with the U.S. public, which has been fatigued by the scandal of the Walker administration.

But not only that, she may have Doug (MIchael Kelly) on her side. In a game-changing move, Doug — spurned by frank — offers her his slimey services. Will she make a deal with the devil in exchange for the White House?

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

Other key developments:

— Ayla Sayyad (Mozhan Marno) is kicked off the press corps for going after Frank during a White House press conference, suggesting he was dodging the question of his gay marriage stance because he was running in 2016.

—Hacker Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) is taking his skills offline to find former call girl Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), infiltrating the support group she used to attend in order to cosy up to her lover Lisa (Kate Lyn Sheil).

—Frank spits on the statue of Jesus … which then crashed to the ground. If this doesn't make Frank believe in omens, nothing will. 

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