'House of Cards,' Chapter 33: Secrets Come Spilling Out

Frank opens up in a surprising way.

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, Chapter 30, Chapter 31, Chapter 32.

How long does it take Frank (Kevin Spacey) to forgive Claire (Robin Wright)?

As it turns out, about one month.

After Claire's stunt in Russia, which foiled Frank's carefully laid plans,  the president gives her the cold shoulder, going as far as rebuking her during a cabinet meeting when she proposes an aid plan to Zimbabwe, which is run by brutal leader. She, meanwhile, flinches when he puts his hand on her shoulder during a photo for the presidential portrait. But thanks to a parallel story set one month in the future, viewers see early on that the pair will renew their vows.

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Frank helps to heal with help from Tom Yates (Paul Sparks), who he buddies up to with some booze. Frank opens up to Yates about the state of his marriage, while Yates eventually reveals it was his best friend who wrote the first half of his hit book Scorpio before killing himself. Like Frank, his career is based on a secret. Though Frank's involves way more murder. 

House of Cards has shown revealing secrets can mark doom,though it appears that in this case, the revelations will only serve to make the book Frank commissioned from Tom stronger.

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Meanwhile, America Works is coming up roses for Frank, who is praised by a bipartisan panel on Meet the Press. Frank also ultimately goes for Claire's aid plan to Zimbabwe, which she says will help her pass her resolution in the UN — and ultimately get the peace on the Jordan Valley he lost when talks broke down with Russia.

The episode deals with the impermanence of everything — both the good and the bad. Monks from Tibet spend weeks creating a beautiful canvass with colored sand, which is then intentionally dismantled. (The art is known as Mandala, and its creation is seen as helping its artists down the path of enlightenment.) Frank's childhood home is shown to no longer exist. And even Social Security is soon to die, as Frank notes it served its purpose but is no longer right for America.

The exception to this impermanence? Frank and Claire.

 "Nothing is forever, except us," Frank writes in a note attached to a picture of the monk's art.  

That's enough to help heal their wounds, and get them back into bed together. United, they go forward. 


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