‘House of Cards’ Primer: Everything You Need to Know Before Season 3 Premiere

See where the Underwoods have been and where they’re going, before the streaming series debuts Feb. 27

Last Updated: April 8, 2015 @ 5:00 PM

Democracy is overrated, according to Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood, but Netflix’s highbrow hit “House of Cards” arrives this Friday with critical praise and delirious fanfare pinned to its lapel.

Murder, backstabbing, intrigue and lots of lingering stares will be made available on Feb. 27 at midnight, but before you binge, TheWrap offers some reminders on past events and things to look for in the new season, which  also stars Robin Wright, Molly Parker, Mahershala Ali, Derek Cecil and Jimmi Simpson.

Major SPOILERS ahead …

At the close of Season 2, we see Frank fulfill a promise hinted at in the pilot: He’s sabotaged President Garrett Walker into resignation, taking the highest office of the land for himself and for Claire, the nation’s new first lady.

Some loose ends for Frank:

Raymond Tusk: The Missouri billionaire and longtime confidant of Walker was Underwood’s nemesis in the second season. In last year’s finale, Tusk admits to laundering Chinese money into Super PACs that benefited both the Democrats and Republicans all under the watchful eye of Walker. While the President resigned leaving VP Underwood to take his place, we have no indication of Tusk’s fate. We imagine jail time, but this is a billionaire we’re talking about.

Some loose ends for Claire …

Gillian Cole: Cole was a fringe do-gooder who offered access to drinkable water in remote regions throughout the world. Her tech-forward spirit, boho chic and Ivy League education made her a prime acquisition for Claire’s polished but toothless non-profit the Clean Water Initiative. Their union was doomed from the start. After boycotts, threats and walkouts, Cole was finally wrestled down by Claire withholding her health insurance — at six months pregnant. In efforts to squash a lawsuit, Claire hands over the CWI to Cole no strings attached, confident she would have the much bigger office she now occupies in the White House. That doesn’t mean Gillian won’t use the well-positioned office as a bully pulpit to chase after Claire.

Loose ends for the First Couple …

Edward Meechum: The adorable and devout Secret Service agent to the Underwoods has a considerable secret of his own: he slept with both of them — at the same time. The Frank-Claire-Meechum threesome (“Threechum”) was easily the biggest water-cooler moment of Season 2. Now that they’re all under the White House roof, can we expect a ménage à trois in the Lincoln Bedroom?

And then there’s the problem of …

Doug Stamper: Chief of Staff Stamper once said, “Upward mobility has a ceiling with the Underwoods. I’m the ceiling.” Right as he may be, he still dropped the ball by obsessing over former call girl Rachel Posner — a young lady employed to assist in taking down season one character Peter Russo. After she plays her part, Posner becomes a liability for Team Underwood, and Stamper is charged with hiding her out. He does so to major consequences, as his caretaker role gives way to a dark obsession. In the Season 2 finale, Stamper tries to relocate Posner once again. She jumps out of their getaway car while at a stoplight, leads Stamper into the woods and knocks him out with a rock. It’s very likely he’s dead. Which begs the question …

Where is Rachel Posner, you guys? Posner is seriously missing, driving a car registered to Stamper and chock full of information about Underwood’s misdoings. Is there any place for her to hide?

And what of the democratic leadership? House majority whip Jackie Sharp was instrumental in delivering the presidency to Frank. What role will she play now? She seems primed for a serious title bump, in the ranks of fellow Underwood ally Cathy Durant, secretary of state. Then there’s Remy Danton — the shadowy figure previously employed by Raymond Tusk who agreed to switch sides in exchange for a White House gig. And Seth Grayson, the Underwood’s press secretary. Will he assume the same title in the Underwood administration?

And most importantly: Are the Underwoods still smoking? And they were avid runners, are they circling the White House lawn now?

“House of Cards” Season 3 is available on Netflix Friday, Feb. 27 at 12 a.m.

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