House of Cards (2013–2018)
10 user 21 critic

Chapter 29 

The Russian president's state visit becomes a cold war of wills.


Tucker Gates


Michael Dobbs (based on the novels by), Andrew Davies (based on the mini-series by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Francis Underwood
Robin Wright ... Claire Underwood
Michael Kelly ... Doug Stamper
Mahershala Ali ... Remy Danton
Molly Parker ... Jackie Sharp
Elizabeth Marvel ... Heather Dunbar
Derek Cecil ... Seth Grayson
Jimmi Simpson ... Gavin Orsay
Lars Mikkelsen ... Viktor Petrov
Jayne Atkinson ... Catherine Durant
Curtiss Cook ... Terry Womack
Larry Pine ... Bob Birch
Benito Martinez ... Hector Mendoza
Reed Birney ... VP Donald Blythe
Shawn Doyle ... Dr. Alan Cooke


Petrov, the Russian president visits in this episode. Claire vies for the ambassadors seat. Will she get it with or without help from Francis? Things heat up at a dinner party for Petrov. Francis makes a speech & in it declares he will not seek reelection, but will he? Doug still has Rachel on his mind. Written by Laura Donohue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

27 February 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Russian President Viktor Petrov is a clear nod to President Vladimir Putin, from his looks, cold demeanor, thug-like appearance to his anti-gay laws and even the initials VP. This is unlike other characters of the series, who are mostly based on the characters of the 1990 BBC's Mini-Series. Another nod to the reality can be Francis' program "Amworks", which bears close resemblance, in Congress resistance, presidential insistence and controversy, to the "Obamacare" program. See more »


Secretary of State Durant says to the First Lady while on board the VC-25 (Boeing 747) they are in, "You're the First Lady. It's your airplane." The First Lady has no official position in the United States Government. She just happens to be married to the President. While Secret Service agents are provided to her full time, for the obvious security reasons, she is not entitled to nor afforded the use of any aircraft. The Secretary of State would never make that statement, as the First Lady is basically just a civilian, and it's not "Her plane", especially if the President were not on board. See more »


Francis Underwood: This is your fist visit to the White House...
Viktor Petrov: Yes, yes. But my third President.
See more »


Russian folk song
Performed by Lars Mikkelsen and Peter Cincotti
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User Reviews

"You can't turn a "no" to a "yes" without a "maybe" in between"
2 July 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The previous two episodes started Season 3 on a more than promising note. "Chapter 27" was a little unsettled in the story direction but had a lot of great things and did so well in making Doug an interesting character. While not quite a high point for the show "Chapter 28" was an improvement, with the story more settled and absolutely loved the tension and how Frank, Claire and their chemistry dynamic were written.

Despite seeing and hearing a lot of praise elsewhere for "Chapter 29", the episode has also garnered a lot of criticism here with the main one being "anti-Russian". Some may find that nit-picky when reading before seeing the episode (am guilty of this myself), as for me when seeing it can actually see why people have been insulted, the portrayal of the Russians (especially Petrov) is not flattering and also not subtle. Whether "Chapter 29" is better or weaker than the previous Season 3 episodes will be up for debate, personally think despite it being higher rated here that they were better, while still considering this well done and doing well at setting things up. Do not think respectfully that it is anywhere near as bad as has been said here, the great things are many and even if the episode didn't do much for me it would have been rated at least a 4.

"Chapter 29's" biggest problem, and it is a fairly big one, is the presence of Pussy Riot. They felt very shoe-horned and their inclusion felt very out of place and ham-handed, feeling talked down to is not a nice feeling watching something and that's how it felt here. It was like they were trying to make some kind of point that didn't belong in the show, can understand what the episode was trying to do with a subject worth addressing in today's society yet one to address carefully but it just didn't feel right here somehow.

Also agree that their credits song completely juxtaposes in a bad way with the mood of the episode and 'House of Cards' in general and is as unnecessary as their presence. It doesn't even work as a song on its own. Am not trying to hate on them, far from it, they just didn't work here.

What does work however in "Chapter 29" is a lot of things, things that work greatly and strengths that are typical for 'House of Cards'. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are both superb and both Frank and Claire fascinate, their ruthlessness increasing all the time without over-dominating or un-balancing (did find that at times in Season 2 with Frank). Love the tension and Petrov is a good foil for them. Not a subtle character by any stretch but an interesting one, played with absolute conviction by Lars Mikkelsen (brother of the better known Mads). Some may argue that Petrov will have worked better with a Russian in the role, Mikkelsen in my mind though does just fine. One of "Chapter 29's" biggest strengths is the riveting tense dynamic between Petrov and Frank, especially towards the end. Have no problem with Doug and the episode wisely doesn't overuse him while not losing any of his interest value. Michael Kelly has lost none of his intensity. Another interest point was the Claire and Catherine dynamic, that was also beautifully done, making one think how genuine is the friendship, and Jayne Atkinson does some lovely work here.

The writing is sharp and biting as well as provoking a lot of thought, Frank as ever has some real corkers and his exchanges with Petrov are very tautly and intriguingly written. The political elements deliver on the sense of unease and it does feel like things are progressing enough, there are elements that are familiar (namely Frank's scheming, which is what is present in all the Seasons 1-5 episodes, but the approach feels different now with this conflict introduced. The story is deliberate, without being overly so, yet compelling, especially towards the end and the dynamic between Frank and Petrov carries it. The episode looks very stylish visually and Tucker Gates does more than credibly with the directing.

Overall, well done but it really could have done without the inclusion of Pussy Riot. 8/10

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