'House of Cards' recap, Season 3, Episode 11

Gavin calls Doug on all of his phones, telling him that Rachel is still alive, because why can't this storyline just end?

Gavin sends Doug some images that he's captured the last few months and says he knows exactly where Rachel is and he always has. He promises to tell him where, if he gets Gavin's friend the same hall pass that he got him.

Doug snaps and smashes his computer in the sink, throwing his phones in, too.


He stops himself on his way out to buy some alcohol. Has Doug finally gotten over Rachel?

A pit bull and a president

Frank and Jackie go over their strategy for the upcoming debate with Heather Dunbar. Jackie feels uncomfortable with trying to paint Heather as sexist, and also disagrees with Frank's suggestion that they make her kids attending private school a focal point.


Jackie's step-kids go to private school, after all. Frank is persuasive, though, and Jackie comes around. "I'll play the pit bull, Mr. President," she says.

But whose side is Jackie on? She meets with Dunbar and proposes that they team up on Frank in the debate, do a number on him, and then Jackie will drop out and endorse Heather. "You get my people, you have a clear win ..." Jackie says.

Jackie petitions for a Secretary of Defense position in Heather's cabinet in exchange for the endorsement.

"I would love your support, Jackie, but I offer you nothing," Heather says. "Then I'm sticking with Underwood," Jackie counters.

The great debate

It's time for a debate and Frank starts off by hammering at Heather and Jackie's lack of experience. Heather hits back with, "As president, he has failed at everything he's done."

Heather continues to go in on Frank, but Jackie plays her role well, going on the offensive.

She hits Heather with the sexist label and asks her what she has done for gender equality.


Heather brings up her position as Solicitor General, to which Jackie counters, "...what did that do for 150 million women out there?"

Jackie continues to hammer Heather, raising the issue of sending her kids to a private boarding school. Heather balks at that line of attack, and says that she would never bring kids into a debate.

She calls Jackie out for using the sexist label again and says that she would never use children as a talking point if Heather was a man.

Frank, never one to miss a chance to throw someone under the bus, then attacks Jackie for sending her step-kids to private school as well. Jackie is shocked, and left speechless at the attack.

Cleaning up

Jackie cancels her events in Iowa the next day and flies back to Washington to confront Frank.

"I humiliated myself," she says.

"You got a little beat up, that's all," Frank replies.

He tells her they didn't hit a home run, but that she did a good job. "I had to hit you hard so she wouldn't," Frank explains.

"I'm not comfortable with the dynamic we've established," Jackie says. "You're taking me for granted."

"If anything, you're taking me for granted," Frank counters. "This is not a partnership of equals. Nothing close to it," he says. Frank tells her to get back in line and stop questioning him. Jackie turns tail and leaves.

Claire campaigns

Claire is on the campaign trail and Tom is with her, angling for some one-on-one time for the book. After dodging him for days, Claire finally relents while she's giving blood in New Hampshire.

"You are literally giving your blood," Tom tells her, saying that she is letting Frank feed off of her to fuel his run for office.

Claire starts to get light-headed, and talks about jumping off a bridge, then spouting off about her arrangement with Frank.

"He proposed, and I said seven years. If it's still good, another seven. If not ... every seven years."

"I don't hate campaigning. What I hate is how much I need us," Claire says, before passing out.

Tom calls Frank and fills him in. "She doesn't need a doctor. She needs you," he tells Frank. So, Frank goes to New Hampshire. But when Claire sees him, it's not a look of love that she gives him.


Jackie decides not to go quietly after all, and in dropping out of the race, she endorses Heather Dunbar for president. Seth and Remy watch the announcement together on television, and Remy then gives Seth his resignation.


The best of Frank and Claire
Frank patronizing Donald in the mock debate.
Claire owning the room in every campaign event.
Robin Wright should win all of the awards for the blood drive scene. She underplays, sure. But that's why that scene worked. This was really her episode.

WTF moment
Frank tossing Jackie under the bus.

Best Frank Underwood quotes
"Thank you for taking you role so seriously, Donald. You should consider a career on the stage."
"Such a pity how much ruthless pragmatism gets weighed down by family values."
"What? Am I supposed to be appreciative of your lackluster enthusiasm?"