|House of Cards Season 3 (Source)|
WARNING: SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
Season 2 ended with Frank capturing the ultimate political prize, ascending to the Presidency of the Untied States of America.
Season 3 begins, not with Frank, but with Doug. Instead of picking up with Frank banging his ring on the Presidential desk, Doug is shown in the hospital beginning to recover from Rachel's attempt to kill him. Fearing for her life, rightly so, she hit him on the head with a rock and took off.
This season deals with hunger amongst the main characters. They all hunger for something and it drives them to commit unspeakable acts to quell the hunger. This is what I found:
Claire is hungry for power - although highly unqualified for the position of Ambassador to the U.N., she forces the issue with Frank until he gets her the job. She ultimately losses the position and in the last episode, demands a larger role than she has as the First Lady.
Heather Dunbar is hungry for the Presidency - She was the Special Prosecutor attempting to impeach Frank. She failed and now has to report to him. She indicates her possible intention to run for President. Through a potential opening in the Supreme Court, Frank wants to nominate her to take her out of the running. She sees through his ruse and declines the nomination, only to infuriate Frank.
Jackie Sharp and Remy Danton are hungry for each other - Jackie and Remy had a short affair in season 2. Frank installed Jackie to replace him as Majority Whip and for favors at a later date. Remy used to work for Frank, then worked as a lobbyist for SanCor. Now Remy is Frank's Chief of Staff. Jackie got herself married partly to improve her image for a potential run for office at a later date. She is also the eyes and ears for Frank. In return for being his inside woman, she wants to be on the ticket with Frank. Remy flat out rejects the notion, so in retaliation, she runs for President as well. Even better, they resume their relationship. Jackie knows she cannot win, so she drops out of the race and supports not Frank, but Heather.
Doug Stamper is hungry to get back to work - working for Frank is literally the only thing Doug has in his life. It is revealed in season 3, he has a brother and is an uncle. It appears Doug has no hobbies, relationships (prostitutes don't count), or interests. His only function in life is doing whatever it takes to keep Frank afloat and keeping Rachel in line. During his recovery he "works" from home, by writing reports and staying on top of the political news. His entire existence is him waiting in vain for the President to send word for his return. It does not come and Doug becomes more desperate, resorting to drinking booze again (he is a recovering alcoholic) and hiring prostitutes. Frank tells Doug there is a place for him, but not now. The implication is two-fold: Doug has to recover physically and Frank can't have Doug working for him until Rachel is taken care of. In the end, Doug recovers and finally closes the book on Rachel Posner. Frank, true to his word, rewards him with the position of Chief Of Staff.
Frank is hungry to be elected, "to leave a legacy" - Instead of taking the position by default he wants to be elected by the people. The Democratic Leadership does not want him to run in '16, so he acquiesces (wink, wink), then turns right around and runs for President. We know he will win, but what treachery will he commit to win.
Rachel Posner is hungry to start a new life - Poor Rachel! She was just a lost soul who unfortunately turned to prostitution to find closure in her life and was murdered for it. She was hired by Doug to set up Peter Russo and was the only person who could tie both Frank and Doug to his murder. Doug eventually finds her and sets her up with an apartment and job outside of Washington to keep tabs on her. Doug explains in no uncertain terms only her silence is keeping her alive. He becomes obsessed with her not allowing her to talk to anyone, make new friends, or go out on her own. When she enters a relationship with Lisa, he forces her to end it to her utter dismay. Rachel has now reached her breaking point and tries to kill Doug with a rock to the head. Rachel has made her way to New Mexico where she is trying to live anonymously.
Gavin Orsay is hungry to escape the clutches of the FBI - Gavin is a hacker that got caught by the FBI and to avoid the next 30 years in prison has to work for them. He sets up Lucas Goodwin, a reporter looking into the possible murder of Zoe Barnes by Frank, then gets him branded as a cyberterrorist which hands Lucas in jail for 7 years. Now he under enormous pressure from Doug to find Rachel. Gavin strikes a deal with Doug: he finds Rachel and Doug releases the lock on Gavin's passport. Gavin tricks Doug into thinking Rachel was killed in a car accident, Doug removes the lock, and Gavin flees the country.
And then there's the stalemate between...