Forget Frank: 'House of Cards' Season 3 Is Way More Focused On Women In Politics Than His Weak, Little Presidency
It's really cute that Frank still thinks House of Cards is about him. Talk to the camera all you want, buddy boy, but your flailing leadership and dismal approval ratings suggest that you should just hang up your spurs and let another candidate come along. In Season 3 of Netflix's House of Cards , it becomes more apparent than ever that Frank is losing while the women on every side are sliding into the spotlight and outshining him. House of Cards is absolutely more about women and power than it is Frank Underwood, at least this season. Warning: mild Season 3 spoilers from here on.
It all stems from Claire, who makes it clear in the Season 3 premiere that her political dreams are coming true, no waiting. She doesn't take Frank's "later" for an answer and sets out on her climb to the UN ambassadorship. As the season progresses, we see her whether the gender biases of politics both in the US and abroad and we see her find ways around the roadblocks in front of her. By midway through the season, Claire is a serious political player and she may even be out-maneuvering Frank.
Then we have Heather Dunbar, who Frank tries to manipulate for his own roundabout way of running for President after promising the party that he would not seek re-election. Heather will not be manipulated and when Frank tries to pull a bait and switch on her, she tricks him right back and whips out a surprise candidacy announcement. And with Frank's jilted ex-number-two Doug Stamper by her side, Dunbar looks like she just might pull out a win when the long haul is over.
But because the prospect of one woman running for president just wasn't delicious enough, the show hands us two political challengers to Frank: Jackie Sharp has her eye on the Oval as well and she's so ready to take power, she even gets engaged to make sure her lack of children doesn't act as a hinderance for the voting public. Jackie is ruthless and she's pulling out all the stops.
And as if Frank wasn't getting bested on all sides, another reporter who seems destined to avoid a Zoe Barnes-esque fate is hot on Frank's tail. After Seth gets Ayla Sayyaad kicked out the White House press corps (which honestly seems like it a casting move due to the fact that actress Mozhan Marnò has a new show in the works), a more experienced legacy of a journalist comes in to tackle the White House and as she points out, they can't oust two female reporters from the same publication — it's political suicide. This leaves Gone Girl actress Kim Dickens in a firm spot as the foil to Frank's crumbling administration and the odds are looking pretty good that she takes him down.
There is even an entire episode dedicated to the band Pussy Riot disrupting Frank's dinner with a Vladimir Putin stand-in, in which these two women (as well as Claire and the Secretary of State) arguably run the action of the episode, while Frank merely reacts to everything thrown his way.
This series has always had some fantastic women in its ensemble, but this season seems to be going all out to prove that politics doesn't have to be about a room of stuffy old white guys arguing over how not to get things done. Here's hoping that in the coming years, this House-of-Cards-based trend splashes over whole heartedly into our political reality.
Image: David Giesbrecht for Netflix (3)