In House of Cards Season 3, Episode 10, Frank has a seismic, “diplomatic” meeting with the second most powerful man in the free world that shifts the course of the Middle East conflict. The synopsis to Episode on Netflix is:
Frank needs to deal with Petrov one on one while Claire tries to preserve the peace-keeping mission. Sacrifices must be made.
Frank & Claire Seek a Middle East Solution
The episode starts with Underwood in a Town Hall meeting discussing international matters with Jordan, Russia, Israel.
Claire, in a meeting with Russia and Middle East leaders, discusses matter that include: a one-third troop reduction in the region and a “No Fly Zone” over Jordan, which Israel later imposes before Frank can meet with the Israeli prime minster. This causes Frank and Claire to panic and scramble for a solution. Frank’s press conference the next day confirmed that the nation’s top priority remained de-escalation in the region.
The 2 Presidents Meet Again
Frank makes the suggestion to schedule a trip to the Jordan Valley to speak to Petrov face-to-face. Claire tries to speak to Ambassador to , but the phone call fails. Frank and Claire disagree on how to handle Russia — Claire wants to continue to approach the Russia situation from a diplomatic perspective, while Frank wants to tackle the issue head on in the meeting with Petrov.
Frank flies out to the Middle East and is heavily protected as he is arranged a meeting with Petrov. During negotiations both Underwood and Petrov both agree to deescalation, a missile scale back, but Petrov’s final request is that he wants Claire gone as U.S. Ambassador.
Once Frank returns home, he meets with Claire to discuss the terms of the negotiation. Frank admits that sending the Seals in to Israel was a mistake and an oversight because he trusted her and invested too much into her when dealing with the situation. She agreed to resign. Frank later apologized for leaving, but Claire smiled and told her husband that it was ultimately his choice to make. Later in the episode, she announces that she’s going back to being a blonde, a metaphor for her transition.
Characters Overcome Guilt
Characters overcoming guilt was a central theme in the episode.
Remy and Jackie discuss the strong, lingering feelings that each still has for the other, and Jackie is accepting to the situation.
Later, Jackie discusses the implications of her joining Frank as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election — feeling guilty about not being obligated to the campaign and not the family — but she’s reassured by her husband when he says: “like ‘surgery,’ once you’re in, you’re in.”
Frank calls Tom into a meeting in the middle of the night to confess his betrayal to Claire in an overwhelming expression of sorrow and guilt, alluding to his marriage potentially be in jeopardy. Tom reassures Frank that him and Claire have lasted 30 years and they will get through this.
Gary Helps Doug
Doug wants to see his brother’s children, despite the current state that he’s in. Later in the episode he meets his nieces, and one jumps on him and tackles him to the floor as soon as she walks in.
Gary later to Doug that him being cooped up, and not even being able to rely on Frank anymore, isn’t freedom.
Gavin Reveals His True Identity… Sort of
Gavin shows up on Lisa’s doorstep, and the two go upstairs and start to talk. He reveals that his name is not really “Max,” although he never actually discloses his real name to her.
Lisa, noticeably rattled, casks him who he really is, and he doesn’t answer. He tries to give her Doug’s number, saying: “if anything should ever happen” to him, she should call that number for help. Even more scared, she refused to take the number and then he left.