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'House of Cards' Season 5, Episode 3 recap: Election Day woes

Let's break down Episode 3 of the fifth season of "House of Cards."

MAJOR PLOT POINTS

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As the election nears, Conway engages the public in a 24-hour video call session, fielding questions from anyone and everyone. The younger candidate's stamina draws a stark contrast to Frank Underwood, who has come down with a cough and whose hairpiece situation gets grayer by the day.

One of the soldiers who Conway is credited with saving calls in, clearly putting Conway and Hannah on their heels — but Conway deftly handles the situation. The man had been put up to the call by LeAnn, who arranged for him to press Conway on the fuzzy details of his war heroism. But the man got cold feet, irritating Frank, who orders LeAnn to involve Stamper. They must create doubt in the minds of voters. But is there reason for that doubt anyway?

Stamper, meanwhile, has been tasked with making sure that Frank's planned voting centers come to fruition. He ends up pushing too hard, and Frank is displeased. Stamper is advised by both the governor of Pennsylvania and a humorless bartender that everything ends. With his professional life threatened, he turns to the bottle, but is able to resist the urge to drink. For now. Desperate to leave some sort of lasting impression in Washington, Stamper carves his name into a desk drawer in the Oval Office.

Election Day arrives, and in spite of a last minute Hail Mary from Frank — calling in to Conway's video session — early numbers are not encouraging for the Underwoods. Turnout is low, and turnout was perhaps the only path to re-election.

Tensions are running high between Claire and Frank, and to distract themselves from the bad news they're receiving, they watch old movies in the White House theater and recall the early stages of their courtship. United, they vow to remain together forever, no matter what. That's strangely sweet, given all of the evil they have wrought.

"You know what this means, don't you?" Claire asks Frank. He does. "This is our house. We are not leaving," Frank says.

What scheme will they cook up to remain in power?

BEST LINE

"Do the people around us understand what it takes? Do they know what we have done to get this far?" — Frank

MOST EVIL MOMENT

Claire and Frank having a conversation about Yates humming in his sleep, while they sit on the edge of their marital bed, sharing a laugh. Let the poor guy sleep. And I suppose whatever morally bankrupt scheme that the two will concoct to stay in the White House will probably end up being evil, too.

BIGGEST SHOCKER

The Underwoods' polling numbers and turnout estimates were shockingly higher than the actual results. Can you imagine such a thing happening in a real presidential election?

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