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‘House of Cards’ Season 3 Episode 4 Recap: “Chapter 30”

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Look, I made it to episode 4!

Solicitor General Heather Dunbar is apparently on the Democrats’ short list of candidates for the 2016 election. As Heather presents her case at the military drone strike hearing, Frank begins to plot ways to take her down. Plan one is to prep Heather to replace Justice Jacobs before the election. She accepts. Later, Frank meets with Mahmoud, the civilian victim of the drone strike, to apologize for what happened.

“You didn’t ask me here to apologize. You asked me here to forgive you. I won’t forgive you, Mr. President. I don’t want to make it any easier for you to sleep at night. And knowing a few lines of the Qur’an does not absolve you.”

Claire’s attempts to bring a peacekeeping force to the Jordan Valley is shot down by the U.N. when the Russian ambassador vetoes it. Claire begins speaking with Ambassadors of other nations to go around the Security Council. Russia responds by arresting an American gay rights activist and using his release as a bartering tool to get Claire to drop the resolution with the U.N. Claire doesn’t, because doing so means they’d be opening themselves up to blackmail, but this also means that Frank looks like he’s doing nothing. Reporter Ayla gets her press credentials taken away for questioning Frank in the press room, and she swears revenge. I like her and want her to stick around, so I hope she tries (I also hope that Frank and Co. don’t destroy her too badly if she does.)

Gavin continues to look for Rachel, but because he needs more information about Rachel in order to narrow down his search, he stalks and tries to befriend Rachel’s ex-girlfriend, Lisa.

Frank speaks with Justice Jacobs to convince him to retire, but in between now and the last time they spoke, Jacobs has decided he wants to keep working. Frank’s desperate attempts at getting Jacobs to change his mind only make Jacobs suspicious. Turns out Heather herself was suspicious as well, because she does a press conference announcing she is a candidate for the Democratic nomination and later tells Frank that it was his actions that made her realize she needed to clean up the Presidency.

Doug offers to join Heather’s team and help her win using all the files of blackmail and information he’s collected over the years. Either he’s trying to take her down for Frank from the inside, or he’s really fed up with being babied by Frank’s people and he wants to get back into politics no matter whose side he’s on. I’m not sure which one yet. Everyone on this show is so backstabbity stab-stab.

Frank meanwhile is beginning to doubt himself. He held back when trying to convince Justice Jacobs to step down instead of “destroying” him, and he believes it’s because Mahmoud’s words truly affected him. He goes to speak with a bishop to ask about justice and faith.

“Love? That’s what you’re selling? Well I don’t buy it.”

When the bishop leaves, Frank spits on a statue of Jesus hanging from a cross. When he goes to wipe the spit off, the statue falls to the floor and shatters. Well, if that ain’t a sign from god…