Netflix's "House of Cards" returned for a third season on Feb. 27, 2015, with 13 new episodes of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), his wife, Claire (Robin Wright) and their ruthless dealings in Washington.
From political scheming to double-crossings and murder, we're looking back at some of the most shocking moments from the series (so far).
If you haven't seen the first two seasons, consider yourselves warned: Spoilers ahead.
Frank kills a dog
"Chapter 1" (Season 1, Episode 1)
The first scene in the first episode of "House of Cards" shocks right off the bat -- Frank Underwood (at this point, just a South Carolina congressman -- emphasis on "at this point") calmly strangles his neighbor's dog after it was hit by a car. It's a mercy killing, sure, but it shows just how ruthless Frank can be. As he puts it, "Moments like this require someone who will act, who will do the unpleasant thing, the necessary thing."
Frank and Zoe (and Claire)
"Chapter 5" (Season 1, Episode 5)
Frank's relationship with Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) turns sexual, but the most shocking part isn't their age difference or how unethical it is – her being a journalist, him a congressman – it's Claire's reaction. "The reporter? … What does she offer us?" she asks her husband. As long as it furthers their interests ("She can be controlled," Frank assures her), she's OK with it.
A brick through the window
"Chapter 6" (Season 1, Chapter 6)
When pressure mounts for Frank to drop his education bill in the wake of an escalating teacher's strike, he arranges to have a brick thrown through his window -- then uses that to argue that the strike has gotten out of hand. That forces a confrontation with the head of the strike, which leads to the endgame Frank wanted the whole time: The strike ends, his bill passes. Victory, Underwood.
RIP, Peter Russo
"Chapter 11" (Season 1, Episode 11)
Poor Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), another casualty of Frank's quest for power. As if driving the recovering addict to relapse and subsequently torpedoing his campaign running for Pennsylvania governor weren't dastardly enough, we get full-on murder when he leaves Russo in a running car to die from carbon monoxide poisoning, making it look like a suicide.
"Chapter 12" (Season 1, Episode 12)
When President Walker sends Frank down to St. Louis, he's told it's to vet Raymond Tusk as a potential candidate for the next vice president. Turns out, the game's on Frank – Tusk and the president are old friends, and the trip is really so the billionaire businessman can vet Frank, not the other way around. And then he gets it. Hello, Mr. Vice President.
RIP, Zoe Barnes
"Chapter 14" (Season 2, Episode 1)
Talk about a twist hitting you like, well, a speeding train. Frank, wanting to remove all connections tying him to the death of Peter Russo, dispatches of Zoe by asking her to meet covertly at a Metro station and then shoving her in front of an oncoming train. Yikes.
Claire's TV bombshell
"Chapter 17" (Season 2, Episode 4)
During a live TV interview essential to furthering their aspirations, Claire proves she's as adept at her husband at manipulating situations for political gains. After being pressured into admitting she had an abortion, she lies and says the pregnancy was a result of her rape by General Dalton McGuinness. She's compromised her own truths here for the couple's ambitions -- Claire did have an abortion (another evasion -- she's actually had three), and she was raped by McGuinness in college, but viewers know these events were not related.
"Chapter 24" (Season 2, Episode 11)
This is a recap of shocking "House of Cards" moments, so you knew this one was coming. Frank. Claire. Meechum. Threesome. Do we have to say anything more?
"Chapter 26" (Season 2, Episode 13)
Frank's chief of staff, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), gets his head bashed in with a brick by Rachel -- the prostitute he forcibly put into hiding on Frank's orders and subsequently became obsessed with -- and is left for dead in the woods. Whether or not he's actually dead, however, is something viewers will have to find out in season 3.
"Chapter 26" (Season 2, Episode 13)
All the pieces in Frank's plan fall into place and he gets his ultimate goal: the presidency. President Walker realizes too late that Frank had been out to get him ever since he passed him over for Secretary of State in season 1. Facing impeachment and left no choice left but to resign, Walker exits and Frank assumes the role of Commander in Chief, complete with that double knock on the Oval Office desk.