House of Cards (season 4)

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House of Cards (2013-18) is a Netflix original series based on the British miniseries of the same name detailing the rise of a scheming American politician, Congressman Frank Underwood, a Democrat from South Carolina's 5th congressional district and House Majority Whip. He is passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, so he initiates an elaborate plan to attain power, aided by his wife Claire Underwood.

Chapter 40 [4.01][edit]

Frank Underwood: Claire is the First Lady of the United States, and you still think she made the wrong choice.
Elizabeth Hale: Reduced to tabloid gossip? She might as well be living in that trailer park you come from.
Frank Underwood: Well, it was a peach farm. But you're right, I am still white trash. I just happen to be white trash that lives in the White House.
Elizabeth Hale: Not even being president could give you any class.

LeAnn Harvey: I don't respond to threats.
Doug Stamper: You're speaking to the president.
LeAnn Harvey: Yes, I recognize his voice.

Elizabeth Hale: [to Claire about Frank] You're stronger than he is. But you gotta put him in his place.

Chapter 41 [4.02][edit]

Frank Underwood: You know, there was a boy that lived down the street from me in Gaffney, about my age. His name was Walter Wryson. He used to run away from home all the time and come to our house. Not for any good reason. His daddy didn't beat him. He had clothes on his back. The Wrysons had way more money than we did, but run away he would, at least once a month and come straight to our place. Now, usually, my mother would call his mother and she'd come and fetch him. But about the ninth or tenth time this happened, Walter ran outside, climbed up into a tree in our backyard, and wouldn't come down for nothing. Now, my mama said to his mama, "Why don't you let us keep him for a while, until he feels like coming home?" But man, oh, man, that boy was stubborn. Night came, and he was still up there. No food, no water no toilet. And just before I went to bed, I looked out my window and I heard him crying. And I said, "Walter, why don't you come on down?" And he just shook his head no. Well, the next morning, I woke up, I looked out the window and Walter was still up in that tree. So after breakfast, I walked over with a plate of eggs and I asked him if he wanted some. And again, he just shook his head. And I got angry. That boy had a good house, a good family, the sort I would've killed for, and he didn't even realize it. So I went into the tool shed and I took out an ax. And I said to Walter "You want to know what it's really like to live at my house?" And I gave that tree a good whack. And Walter cried out, but I kept on. I mean, you've never heard screams like the one coming from Walter as I chopped at that tree. He pissed his pants, and it came raining down on the ground, but I didn't pay it no mind. I just kept whacking away. Well it didn't take long before Walter was on the ground and running back to his house. You see, all he needed was a little motivation. So I'll give Claire some time. But for her sake, I hope she comes out of her tree before I have to bring out my ax.

Claire Underwood: I'm asking for your help. If you refuse to give it...
Elizabeth Hale: Help? You didn't lift a finger to help me when I got sick.
Claire Underwood: You didn't tell me you were sick!
Elizabeth Hale: Because you had turned your back on me! Oh, you are such a disappointment.
Claire Underwood: You don't want me to sell this house out from under you, but I will.
Elizabeth Hale: [pulling off her chemo wig] I am the mother. I am the mother!

Chapter 42 [4.03][edit]

Frank Underwood: [of Claire] It's as though she never left. And that's what I'm afraid of.

Frank Underwood: Listen, we need to stand together. I've endorsed Celia, and Claire can do a great deal for her in Texas.
Doris Jones: She's better off without the Underwoods at this point.
Frank Underwood: But what about your clinic?
Doris Jones: Imagine how that would look, holding our clinic for ransom.
Frank Underwood: I'm appealing to your good will, Congresswoman.
Doris Jones: When we stop getting beaten and shot, then you'll have my good will, Mr. President. Goodbye.

Claire Underwood: We make each other stronger. Can we agree to that?
Frank Underwood: When it's working, but it's not working.
Claire Underwood: We can make it work. We can accomplish that future I saw when we first got married. It was us, as partners, real partners. Let's run together again. Not just as husband and wife.
Frank Underwood: [stunned] You don't mean...
Claire Underwood: Yes.
Frank Underwood: I'm worried about you, Claire. You're not making any sense. You've let your ego get in the way...
Claire Underwood: I've always been your running mate. You just didn't want to see it.
Frank Underwood: As my vice president? Jesus, do you have any idea...
Claire Underwood: I've put a lot of thought into this.
Frank Underwood: You can't have thought it through! Because if you did, you have thought of a million...
Claire Underwood: She has no experience, she's never run for anything, no children, nepotism, arrogance. I've run through them all. You can't win without me.
Frank Underwood: I would rather have a spineless Donald Blythe as my vice president than a woman who has never held elected office.
Claire Underwood: You're losing to a woman who's never held elected office.
Frank Underwood: You don't deserve it. You have no idea what it means to have nothing. You don't value what we have achieved! I have had to fight for everything my entire life! [gets the picture of his father with a Klansman] Do you know why I kept this? Do you know why? Because it was the one time I was proud of my father. Because this man, in this moment, as despicable as it was, is fighting to survive! He is doing whatever it took! And so will I, with or without you. So no, I will not have this conversation. I refuse to indulge you any further. You have to let this go.
Claire Underwood: I can be a part of your campaign, or I can end it. I'll do whatever it take, too. Just like your father. But I will not let this go.

Chapter 43 [4.04][edit]

Frank Underwood: What do you think of this painting?
Edward Meechum: I'm not sure.
Frank Underwood: Walker and I sat here one night, stared up at a painting. The blue one that's in the Oval now. They replaced it with this.
Edward Meechum: It's not the American flag.
Frank Underwood: No. It's the Rebel flag, sinking into oblivion.
Edward Meechum: Is that a lightning bolt?
Frank Underwood: I assume, unless it's just a bad attempt at making the battleship a unicorn.

Elizabeth Hale: Watch your step. There's blood on the floor.

Charlie Gibson: There has been an attempted assassination of the President. President Frank Underwood has been shot. It occurred about ten minutes ago during a campaign event at Hammond University in Washington, D.C. We do not yet know how severely the president has been wounded. He is en route to Jefferson Memorial Hospital. We don't know how serious his condition may be. Footage of the assassination attempt is still making its way to us, and we expect to have that shortly. Witnesses are reporting that there was a quick succession of gunshots, four or five, a lone gunman whose identity we are still trying to determine. We've been told the gunman was killed, as well as at least one Secret Service agent, but we don't have definitive confirmation of that yet. We don't yet know who the gunman may be or who the agent is.
[Claire is told the bad news]
Claire Underwood: What's happened?
Secret Service Agent: The President's been shot.
[Cuts back to the newscast]
Charlie Gibson: I'm hearing now that the president received at least one gunshot to the abdomen, possibly more, that he clutched his stomach, that he fell instantly to the ground. And there were screams, people panicking, that it has been very chaotic at that scene. We have very little information at this time, other than shots were fired, the president wounded, but as I say, he is alive. We've gotten no official statement from the White House as of yet, either the president's precise condition or the whereabouts of Vice President Blythe. He is believed to be at the White House. We cannot confirm that, nor do we know if he will take over as Acting President, assuming the duties of the presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. That would seem likely, however, if the President's wounds are as serious as we believe them to be. This is a difficult moment for the country. It is not the first time that a president has been shot, in my lifetime, or in many of yours. But even for those of us who have experienced this before, it is no less of a shock. It is no less terrifying. It is the moment when our nation's resilience, when our collective strength, the moment when all of that is tested the most. And we can only imagine how difficult it must be for the First Lady.

Chapter 44 [4.05][edit]

Remy Danton: Sorry about Frank.
Claire Underwood: Oh, please, don't bother. I've had enough people say "I'm sorry", and I know you don't mean it.

Kate Baldwin: Courtesy never got me anywhere.

Tom Hammerschimidt: My advice is to let it go. You're gonna repeat the same goose chase we did.
Kate Baldwin: I had to ask.
Tom Hammerschmidt: What does your editor say?
Kate Baldwin: To let it go.
Tom Hammerschimidt: You see?
Kate Baldwin: He's not as good as you are.
Tom Hammerschimidt: Was.
Kate Baldwin: Wish you were at The Telegraph.
Tom Hammerschimidt: Yeah, let me know if anyone gets fired.

Doug Stamper: We can't afford any more shake-ups in the campaign right now, especially with the president in the hospital.
Seth Grayson: Mmm-hmm.
Doug Stamper: We also can't afford any more of your mistakes.
[Stamper knocks Seth to the ground, pinches his nose and seals his mouth over with a glass]
Doug Stamper: [both grunting] Shut up. Shut up! When I first woke up, I couldn't speak. I had to blink my eyes if I wanted to respond. Do you understand? If I can't get your loyalty, I will have your obedience!

Chapter 45 [4.06][edit]

Doug Stamper: The organ network. It answers to you.
Meredith Lee: Yes and no. In a regulatory capacity...
Doug Stamper: You have the power to modify the recipient list.
Meredith Lee: That's up to the network. They have an expert committee that determines...
Doug Stamper: The president's life will not be decided by a committee.
Meredith Lee: Let me show you something. [shows him a spreadsheet] He was number three yesterday. Number one got a transplant. That puts the president at number two. His chances are very good. But this man, Anthony Moretti, he's just hours away from dying.
Doug Stamper: Then let him die.
Meredith Lee: I'm not doing this. It's not just the law, it's the ethics.
Doug Stamper: Then change your ethics, or you can resign and and your deputy can make this call. And if he won't, then he can resign too. I will strip away this entire department until I find who I need.

Peter Russo: [in Frank's hallucination] You tried, Frank, which is more than most people ever do. Right now, it's just us. Rest your eyes. We have all the time in the world.

Viktor Petrov: You should talk to your husband.
Claire Underwood: I'm not leaving here until we have an agreement.
Viktor Petrov: But you're an amateur, Claire. You fly in, you puff up your chest and you pretend to play president. But what would you be without your husband? Nothing. A pretty face. So, yes, play the president if you like. Go. Tell the Chinese they get nothing on the Pacific. You think you can do that, Mrs. Underwood?
Claire Underwood: Your people are hurting. Six months at most, they're gonna be marching on Red Square. I'm done letting you have your dignity. The truth is you're a beggar on your knees, and you will take whatever we shove down your throat. Viktor. Take the deal. Get your dignity back.

Frank Underwood: Stay with me. It's us against them. Always. Otherwise, what's the goddamn point?
Claire Underwood: I can't do it, Francis. I can't come back and be First Lady.
Frank Underwood: Not that. Not that. I said you were nothing in the Oval without me. It's the other way around.

Chapter 46 [4.07][edit]

Frank Underwood: [to Claire] When Walker and Vasquez betrayed us and pulled Secretary of State right out from under my feet, there was no room for doubt, and you've made me remember that. We took a path, a difficult one because there was no guarantee of where it would lead us. It took a steel goddamn stomach, and so has everything else we've had to do since. So don't worry about you and me now. Find your steel, Claire.

Frank Underwood: Imagine a duel, me and Conway. Now, Conway has a powerful gun: a search engine. And it's powerful because with it, he can tell what you think, what you want, where you are, and who you are. He can turn all those searches into votes, and that's enough bullets to kill my chances of winning. But I have an even bigger gun. It's called the NSA. It's one of the perks of being president – that is, if the courts allow my surveillance request. Imagine the men on these walls wished they had a gun like that available to them. Your phone, the phone of the person sitting next to you, your neighbor's phone and everyone you know and the 300 million Americans you don't know. I can see you, and I can use what I see to rig this election. Now of course, a weapon like that... well, you can imagine how risky it is. [gestures at a portrait of Richard Nixon] It might have even given pause to an old crook like him. I mean, they roasted him on the spit for tapping into a few rooms at the Watergate. I'm talking about tapping into every single home in America, and a weapon like that can blow up in my hand. And that's why it's Plan B. Plan A is much safer. Expose that Conway is using his gun illegally and remove the weapon from his hand. [looks at the portraits of Kennedy and Reagan] All three of us took bullets. [looks at the Reagan portrait] Well, I know why we're smiling; we survived.

Claire Underwood: Thirty years from now, when you're dying in hospice care, you can look back and be proud of all the lives you saved. Or you can be forgotten, clutching onto the past with your cold, dead hands.

Frank Underwood: Conscience has an unmistakable stink to it, sort of like raw onions and morning breath. But a lie stinks even more when it's coming from someone who isn't used to lying. It's more like rotten eggs and horse shit.

Chapter 47 [4.08][edit]

Frank Underwood: [Gestures towards the man waiting in the oval office, addressing the viewers] Senator Dean Austen of Ohio, the leadership's top choice for running mate. [Starts counting with fingers] Twelve years in Congress, helps us with a major swing state, middle of the road, very few enemies, and most important to them, long-time friend of the NRA [raises all five fingers one by one]. Now his shortcomings are [starts counting with fingers again]: he's another middle aged white guy, underwhelming, unimaginative, and a long-time friend of the NRA. [only middle finger remains] So you can see how I feel about the leadership's choice.

Claire Underwood: [about Yates] You felt something for him.
Frank Underwood: Maybe for a moment. Did you?
Claire Underwood: No, I don't think so. I felt... I felt like he saw me.
Frank Underwood: Me too.

Tom Yates: Saying nothing says a lot sometimes.

Frank Underwood: The only problem with common sense is that it's so... common.

Bob Birch: You want the convention to be a circus.
Frank Underwood: Oh, Bob, I'm not sure if you've noticed or not, but politics is no longer just theater, it's show business. So let's put on the best show in town.

Chapter 48 [4.09][edit]

Speechwriter #1: You changed everything we wrote.
Tom Yates: There was no imagination to it, no rhythm.
Speechwriter #2: We've been writing their speeches since we took office. We know what we're doing.
Tom Yates: Do you want it to be good, or do you want it to be yours?

Frank Underwood: Do you know what separates politicians from the rest of the species? A politician is the one who would drown a litter of kittens for 10 minutes of prime time.

Will Conway: Oh, I always wear protection when I'm getting my dick sucked by the Democrats.

Frank Underwood: [after Conway takes a call in the bathroom] A fog of war. A backroom within a backroom. Whatever is being plotted in there, I can tell you it's no good for me. It's times like these that I wish I was Nixon - he had every nook and cranny bugged.

Chapter 49 [4.10][edit]

[Frank and Durant have a confrontation in the Oval Office about her plan to upstage Frank at the convention]
Frank Underwood: You know, when I was waiting for my transplant, I had the most vivid hallucinations. You wouldn't believe it. Do you know who I saw? Peter Russo and Zoe Barnes, right here in this room. Zoe was trying to seduce me right here on this couch, and Peter, he shoved my face up against this glass. Cigarettes, razor blades, sex, it was terrifying. All I wanted to do was to get out of this room that I worked so hard to get in. But of course it makes sense that they would have haunted me, because it's all true.
Catherine Durant: What is?
Frank Underwood: Everything Lucas Goodwin claimed. I killed them both, just like he said I did.
[Durant is visibly disturbed]
Frank Underwood: But of course nobody believes it, and nobody ever will. Because that's how good we are at making things disappear.
[Frank raises a letter opener and makes threatening advances towards Durant, then suddenly walks away laughing.]
Frank Underwood: No, we didn't kill anybody. But we would have. If it was necessary. So you're right, the time for negotiations is over. You will hand over your delegates and you will serve on in my cabinet, and we will forget that any of this ever happened. Because if you don't, I swear to God... I will never... ever... forget. Do you understand now?
Catherine Durant: ...Yes.
[Frank approaches Durant again and points the letter opener at her again before nonchalantly dropping it on his desk. His tone completely changes.]
Frank Underwood: Good. Now let's go decide what we're going to do about these terrorists.

Madam Secretary: The ayes have it! Our party's ticket for the 2016 presidential election will be Francis and Claire Underwood!

Chapter 50 [4.11][edit]

Catherine Durant: Are you interested in my input on this, or has it already been decided?
Frank Underwood: Cathy, I want to move fast. Unless you have a quicker option, it's probably best you keep it to yourself.
Catherine Durant: Yes, sir. [starts to leave]
Frank Underwood: Cathy. [she stops] Do we have a problem?
Catherine Durant: No, sir. I'll coordinate with Doug. [leaves]
Frank Underwood: [to audience] After a dog's bitten you, you either put it to sleep, or you put a muzzle on it. I've chosen a muzzle... for now.

Frank Underwood: You know what you should do before you go? You should come up here one night and cook us a rack of ribs. I realize oven cooked isn't nearly as good as the smoker, but I bet you'd make 'em delicious anyhow.
Freddy Hayes: Ribs... really. You want me to cook ribs for you?
Frank Underwood: Well, sure! Just like old times. What's wrong with that?
Freddy Hayes: I'm just the help, ain't I?
Frank Underwood: That's not true.
Freddy Hayes: I tell you I got something good goin', and your first thought ain't "Freddy, congratulations", it's "make me ribs". What's my big send-off? I get to cook you ribs!
Frank Underwood: No, look, you are being way oversensitive about this. You're misinterpreting what I meant.
Freddy Hayes: You're right. It's all my fault. I don't know how Claire does it.
Frank Underwood: What did you just say?
Freddy Hayes: Is this how you treat her? Is she part of the collection too?
Frank Underwood: I don't where all this is coming from, but it's extremely ungrateful, given all that I have done for you.
Freddy Hayes: What did you do for me, Frank?
Frank Underwood: This is the White House! You will call me Mr. President!
Freddy Hayes: You're a motherfucker!
Frank Underwood: Get out!
Freddy Hayes: My bad, my bad. You're a motherfucker, Mr. President!

Frank Underwood: Security. I have concerns.
Aidan Macallan: I've got everything masked. The algorithms for ICO and the campaign are identical. It's just a question of variables you input.
Frank Underwood: Give me English.
Aidan Macallan: One spoon. I can use it to stir my coffee, to eat soup, to boil heroin. All they see is the spoon, not what I do with it.
Frank Underwood: Or we could just get rid of the spoon.
Aidan Macallan: Shut it down? That would be a shame, especially after yesterday.
Frank Underwood: What happened yesterday.
Aidan Macallan: Beyond happened.
Frank Underwood: Beyond?
Aidan Macallan: What your wife said in South Dakota. Beyond what's pretty and perfect. Liberation from convention, from the past. Beyond surface, beyond bullshit, beyond the election.
Frank Underwood: Beyond marriage.
Aidan Macallan: Yes, exactly. You're not just husband and wife. You're not just running mates. You're both, and more. You're what's possible. The Conways are everything that everyone wants to be. You're everything everyone wants to become.

Chapter 51 [4.12][edit]

Hannah Conway: Do you regret it, not having children? Oh, I'm sorry. That's too personal.
Claire Underwood: Do you ever regret having them?

Ibrahim Halabi: The moment bigotry becomes a form of patriotism, America is no longer America.

Will Conway: I feel sorry for you. Two years. That's all you're going to get in here. You're not going to last any longer than Walker did. And what kills you is that I'll make a great president, the kind of president who'll actually be remembered. And isn't that worse than dying, Frank? Being forgotten?
Frank Underwood: You actually think you'd make a great president.
Will Conway: Today was just a taste.
Frank Underwood: Ninety-nine percent of this job is in the dark. You had your little moment in the sun today, but what are you going to do when you have to make a thousand little decisions that no one will ever hear about or appreciate? I think you're excellent at running for president, but I don't think you're equipped to actually be one.
Will Conway: Don't be condescending. I'm the Governor of New York.
Frank Underwood: Ooh, Albany, really? You're a pretender, Will. And if you win, you'll go from pretender to fraud.

Chapter 52 [4.13][edit]

Frank Underwood: Do you trust your instincts, Tom?
Tom Hammerschmidt: I always have.
Frank Underwood: Then look me in the eye. I've told you the truth.
Tom Hammerschmidt: What you said, is it on the record now?
Frank Underwood: Do you believe me?
Tom Hammerschmidt: Not for a second.
Frank Underwood: Then no, not a word.

Claire Underwood: We can't fight everything off one by one, Francis. But if we make this - we make it work for us.
Frank Underwood: Create chaos...
Claire Underwood: More than chaos.
Frank Underwood: War...
Claire Underwood: Fear.
Frank Underwood: Fear. Brutal. Total.
Claire Underwood: I'm done trying to win over people's hearts.
Frank Underwood: Let's attack their hearts.
Claire Underwood: We can work with fear.
Frank Underwood: Yes, we can.

Frank Underwood: My fellow Americans. Over the past two years, certainly within the last several days and hours, I have asked myself what does it mean to be president. What does true leadership look like? It's a question many of you have asked yourselves as November approaches. Right now, as I sit in this chair in this office – where so many of my predecessors have steered our nation through turbulent times – I realize that this job is one that transcends politics and rhetoric. Entrusted to anyone who sits behind this desk is something far more elemental: the very survival of our nation. And I, as your president, must confront the storm before us. That storm is terror, more dangerous and unpredictable than any hurricane. It has endangered us abroad. It has endangered us at home. And right now, it has placed James Miller in the gravest of dangers. We attempted to communicate with his captors. We hoped for a peaceful solution. We're relieved that Caroline and Melissa Miller are safe and sound. But terror is blind to reason. Given the opportunity to renounce terror, Yousef Al Ahmadi chose to encourage it. So unfortunately, we must now move beyond reason. We must respond with force. Because there is no scenario in which we will release him. He will remain in United States custody until his dying breath. If the captors call again, we will not answer. The time for conversation is over, no matter the consequences. Regardless of whether James Miller is released or not, rescued or not, killed or not, ICO will be destroyed. We are at war. It will be a war more total than anything we have waged thus far in the fight against extremism. Soldiers will die. Civilians may die. There will be pain. There will be suffering. We will be confronted with the most horrific aspects of humanity. We will confront the inhuman – evil itself – but we will triumph. It is not a war we will lose. And if the worst happens to James Miller, we must remember to mourn is not to fear, to grieve is not to admit defeat. God bless America, and all of those who believe in freedom and democracy.

Tom Yates: Is it true, what Hammerschmidt wrote?
Claire Underwood: No.
Tom Yates: That's the first time you've lied to me... since you stopped lying to me.

Frank Underwood: That's right. We don't submit to terror. We make the terror.