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Chapter 3 (House of Cards)

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"Chapter 3"
House of Cards episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 3
Directed byJames Foley
Written byKeith Huff
Beau Willimon
Produced by
  • Karyn McCarthy
  • Keith Huff
Featured musicJeff Beal
Cinematography byEigil Bryld
Editing bySidney Wolinsky
Production codeHOC-103
Original air dateFebruary 1, 2013 (2013-02-01)
Running time52 minutes
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Chapter 2"
Next →
"Chapter 4"
List of House of Cards episodes

"Chapter 3" (or "Episode 103") is the third episode of the first season of the American political thriller drama series House of Cards. It premiered on February 1, 2013, when it was released along with the rest of the first season on the American streaming service Netflix.


Frank (Kevin Spacey) is in the middle of negotiating the education bill with Marty Spinella (Al Sapienza), head of a teacher's union, when he learns that a 17-year-old girl has been killed due to texting while driving in his hometown of Gaffney, South Carolina, while being distracted by a peach water tower that Frank had advocated to keep standing. County administrator Oren Chase (Murphy Guyer), a Republican rival of Frank who wants his congressional seat, urges the girl's parents to file a lawsuit against him.

Despite Linda (Sakina Jaffrey) and Spinella's protests, Frank leaves for Gaffney. There, he meets the girl's parents and delivers a eulogy at her funeral, offering a settlement of $150,000 and promising to sponsor billboards warning against texting while driving. When the parents don't seem satisfied, he asks Reverend Jenkins (Bill Phillips) to arrange morning's service to give him the pulpit. Meanwhile, Claire (Robin Wright) tries to recruit Gillian Cole (Sandrine Holt), who owns her own organization WorldWell. Skeptical of Claire's motives, Cole tells her that Larry Page and Sergey Brin into the Clean Water Initiative, but is refused. Unfazed, Claire follows Gillian home and, noting that she can't afford treatment for her chronic illness, promises to care care of her health insurance.

Zoe (Kate Mara) makes numerous media appearances as a result of her leak of Durant's (Jayne Atkinson) nomination for Secretary of State. Her off-the-cuff comments during interviews lead to a rift with Hammerschmidt (Boris McGiver), who grounds her for a month. Russo (Corey Stoll) starts making efforts to put his life back in order to maintain his relationship with Christina (Kristen Connolly), who is considering taking a job with the Speaker of the House. He gets rid of all his drug stash and tells Christina that he doesn't want her to leave.

In South Carolina, Frank continues negotiating the education bill via conference call. After phoning Claire, Frank sends flirtatious texts to Zoe, leading to intimate conversations. During the mourning service he demonstrates how his oratory skills helped him rise in Washington, and gives a passionate old-school sermon around the "idea of hate", going so far as to yell "I hate you, God" in front of a South Carolina congregation. He's then able to connect to the parishioners by making them equals, saying they've all done this before when feeling soul-crushing loss, and two among them are feeling that today.

Frank invites the dead girl's parents to lunch, where discussions get heated, with Underwood asking them if they want him to resign. He ends up on good terms with them, announcing a Furman Scholarship in their daughter's honor. In order to take Oren down, he finds out that the responsibility for guardrails is the county's - but none have been built. Along with the mayor, Frank visits Oren, and faces him with that responsibility: "if there were guardrails the car wouldn't flip three times and the county administrator didn't build those guardrails and now she's dead." He also tells Oren that the planned power lines that the mayor has blocked because they would fall on Oren's property can go up this year if he claims it as "eminent domain." Just keeping his intentions to warn him, Frank offers his support to Oren's run for the fourth district congressional seat.


Following is the list of billed cast.

Main cast[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]

Guest characters[edit]

  • Bill Phillips as Reverend Jenkins


The episode received positive reviews from critics.[1][2] Ryan McGee of The A.V. Club said, "the episode traversed in those soon-to-be-forgotten tales, even if the impact of them will be felt for the rest of this series."[3]


  1. "House of Cards (2013): Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  2. "Netflix's 'House of Cards' Earns Rave Reviews, CEO Reed Hastings Promises Hollywood Takeover". International Business Times. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  3. McGee, Ryan (September 5, 2016). "House Of Cards: "Chapter 3"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 25, 2014.

External links[edit]

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