Let's be frank: It's been a long time—over a year!—since Netflix released a new season of House of Cards featuring the dastardly Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey, also do you get the joke at the beginning of this sentence?) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright). A lot has happened. Shows have come and gone. Real-life politics seem like scripted dramas and comedies. It's been interesting. Before you hop into another season of political back-stabbing (and perhaps literal back-stabbing), get reacquainted with your favorite wheeling and dealing DC power players and what happened with them in season three.
Frank struggled with the press at the start of the season and in an attempt to leave a legacy, he started America Works, a new jobs program. But, well, it didn't work out that well. He attempted to defund FEMA to fund an America Works trial in DC, but a hurricane came around and everything went down the crapper. Still, he reunited with his old pal Freddie and got him a job at the White House. Frank also appointed Claire as the United States' ambassador to the United Nations, which proved to be disastrous. The two were caught up in a whole mess of problems with Russia and the Jordan Valley. The strain revealed the cracks in their marriage, especially after Frank forced her to resign and began trotting her out on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Frank grew close to author Tom Yates (Paul Sparks), tried his best to manipulate Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker) and squared off against Heather Dunbar (Elizabeth Marvel) for the presidency.
Looking to do something more, Claire asked Frank to appoint her as ambassador to the United Nations. The senate didn't pass her through, but Frank appointed her anyway using a recess appointment. However, Claire's time in the United Nations was met with many hiccups. An eye-opening conversation with an imprisoned LGBT rights activist in Russia sent shockwaves through her marriage. A series of mistakes cost her the United Nations job and she was regulated to being Frank's hype woman on the campaign trail. You've watched House of Cards, you know that was something that wasn't going to please her. At the end of the season, she announced she was leaving Frank. Yes, at the very moment he needed her the most.
After being left for dead, Doug (Michael Kelly) made a recovery, but couldn't go back to work. Still obsessed with Rachel, he had Gavin use FBI resources to try and track her down. While all this was going on, he offered his assistance to Dunbar (having been spurned by Frank) and even provided her with information about Claire's secret abortion. He also relapsed, but got back on the straight and narrow and even got his job back with Frank. Oh yeah, he eventually found Rachel (Rachel Brosnahan), stalked her for a spell and then killed her. Normal chief of staff stuff.
Always the political animal, Jackie went after Frank early in the season and sided with those asking him not to run. However, Frank of course was able to change her mind. Or was he? He pushed her to run for president to draw attention from Dunbar and himself and promised he'd make her vice president under him once he gets the nomination. But things don't always go the way Frank Underwood promises. She dropped out of the race and endorsed Dunbar. While this was going on, Jackie also called off her relationship with Remy (Mahershala Ali) and got engaged to some guy with kids. Zzzzz. And then she and Remy got back together.
David Giesbrecht for Netflix
A rising star, Frank tried to derail her from an eventual presidential run by offering her a seat on the Supreme Court. Tempted by it, she eventually decided to give the whole presidential thing a go and challenged Frank every single step of the way during the season. As everything heated up, she hired Doug, but at first said she would not use his info on Claire against Frank. That changed, as did Dunbar, but then Doug went back over to the other side. She had no proof anymore, but was still gunning hard for Frank in the race for president.
And now you're ready for House of Cards season four…basically.
House of Cards season four premieres on Netflix on Friday, March 4.