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‘House of Cards’ Season 3 Episode 3 Recap: “Chapter 29”

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My current mantra: “If I can finish this before I pass out on my keyboard I will only have one episode left and then I win.” It’s a mouthful, I know.

The binge watch continues with “Chapter 29,” which introduces Russian president Victor Petrov as he meets with the White House. Petrov’s grand entrance comes with a special chant: “Victor Petrov! Fascist jerk-off!” Protesters have assembled outside the White House to object to the Russian President’s homophobia and silencing of the press. Apparently Pussy Riot is going to be here too. Plus, this is the guy who kissed Claire in the trailers right? This is all going to end so badly.

The meeting between Frank and Petrov already starts off on a bad note, as Petrov immediately rejects Frank’s plan for the Jordan Valley. Claire meanwhile seems to have succeeded in the recess appointment and gotten her seat as Ambassador for the U.N., and is working closely with the Secretary of State in dealing with Israel and Palestine.

“Russia has nothing to gain from peace in the Middle East. And more importantly, nothing to gain from working with America.”

Doug interviews to work for a Congressman, but seems uncomfortable with the amount of money the man offers him. He obviously suspects that Frank set the job up for him, and asks Seth as much later when they hang out. Gavin is still working at his job at the FBI, and is being pressured into giving up names of his friends. Gavin and Doug meet up in secret, and Doug offers to get Gavin out of the country if he gives him Rachel.

A fancy dinner party with Petrov hits some road bumps when Pussy Riot members give a passionate speech denouncing Petrov’s treatment of Russia, and when he aggressively kisses Claire at the after-dinner party in full view of everyone. Frank is not happy. He pulls Petrov away with the promise of cigars and an attempt at discussing the Jordan Valley plan again. “I’d push him down the stairs and light his broken body on fire just to watch it burn if it wouldn’t start a world war.”

Claire and Cathy bond with the aid of a lot of alcohol, and they begin planning a different way of getting troops into the Jordan Valley without having to partner up with Russia. Meanwhile Petrov finally tells Frank what he’s after: he wants the entire missile defense system gone. By the next day Frank seems to have caved, so long as it’s all kept under wraps, but Petrov wants it to be announced publicly.

“I want the Lexus, and you’re trying to sell me a Lada.”

Frank refuses and sends Petrov home, before using the press conference originally intended to announce the Jordan Valley plan to praise the Pussy Riot members who called Petrov out at the dinner party and announce that the talks with Petrov didn’t work out because Petrov doesn’t prioritize peace. “Peace should be its own reward, and we will achieve it with or without him.” He speaks with Cathy and Claire on how to bypass Russia’s veto power in the U.N. The episode ends with a Pussy Riot music video.