'House of Cards' recap, Season 3, Episode 8

There's a storm coming, Mr. President.

After raiding FEMA's disaster fund to finance America Works, Frank finds himself in trouble when a massive hurricane threatens 12 states. In response, Congress offers to replenish the fund, and then some, but as long as Frank won't use the funds for America Works purposes again.

Frank is reluctant to sign what would probably be his pet program's death warrant. He asks his cabinet to try to scrape together some funding from their departments, but if they can't he will accept Congress' offer, even if it means the end of America Works.

Meanwhile, in Iowa

Heather Dunbar is on the campaign trail promising to raise the minimum wage, among other things, and her campaign seems to be gaining steam. Doug suggests that she meet with Jackie Sharp to discuss a plan for what to do when the storm makes landfall.

Heather suggests suspending their campaigns and encouraging donations to the Red Cross. She suggests making a joint announcement and appeals to Jackie's new motherhood.

While Jackie and Heather meet, Doug calls Seth, asking him to pass on to Frank that the two had just met and to tell him where he got his information. What is Doug's play here?

Weathering the storm

Frank and Claire discuss what might happen if Hurricane Faith makes landfall. We learn that Claire's U.N. resolution has passed (weird how this was buried in the middle of another conversation entirely), and Claire wonders if it's a good idea to celebrate that with a ceremony while a storm threatens the country.

"It's the one good notch we have on our belt since we moved into the White House," Frank says, insisting that the ceremony go on.


With Faith bearing down on the country, Frank finds himself more alone than ever, with even his closest allies growing restless. Remy is upset. Jackie decides to suspend her campaign, even after Frank tells her not to. "This is not just your campaign, this is our campaign," he tells her. Jackie tells Frank that he should sign the bill, or else they won't have a campaign anyway.

Tom reads an excerpt of his book to Frank. It doesn't once mention America Works. Tom's book has become a biography of Frank. Frank asks Tom whether or not he should sign the bill that could kill his version of the New Deal.


"People can't work if they're dead," Tom tells him.


Frank has Meechum track down Freddy to bring him to the White House for a visit. Frank tells Freddy that he's going to have to shut down America Works. "Freddy, you deserve a job and Congress is forcing me to take it away," Frank tells him. So Frank offers Freddy a job at the White House, and Freddy accepts.

America doesn't Work. Or does it?

Frank decides to sign the bill, the one that will kill his beloved program. He does so, then asks Claire to have one of the stewards wake him up when the storm makes landfall.

Claire wakes Frank up later with some incredible news. The storm turned away from the U.S., which sends Frank scrambling for a way to get the bill that he signed into law reversed.

F.U. 2016

When he can't get the bill overturned, Frank decides that the time is right to announce his candidacy for 2016. Emboldened by the program's success in Washington, Frank decides to make America Works the platform for his campaign.

"A vote for Frank Underwood is a vote for America Works," he says.

The best of Frank and Claire
Frank shining his shoes
Claire serving as Frank's life coach/alarm clock

WTF moments
Meechum grilling Tom. We get it, dude. You had a threesome with the president, once.

Best Frank Underwood quotes
"I want you to treat this office with respect."

"I gave you a position in the White House when no one would touch you. I don't owe you a damn thing."

"Imagination is its own form of courage."