House of Cards (season 5)
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 53 [5.01]
- [a terrorist victim's young daughter has lashed out at Frank during her father's funeral]
- Claire Underwood: What did the girl say to you?
- Frank Underwood: She said she hopes I die, and that you become the president.
- Frank Underwood: Look down, straight down, across the lawn. Right to the gate. You see them? Those people want a voice. Some for, some against. And they're looking back across the lawn, toward the windows, and they're thinking, "I wonder what the President and the First Lady are doing tonight? And will they be able to protect us?"
- Claire Underwood: I should have been there.
- Frank Underwood: Where?
- Claire Underwood: When you got shot. I wish I had been there. Maybe I could have protected you.
- Frank Underwood: You see, all those people want is for someone to keep them from what they're afraid to know.
- Frank Underwood: I want you to let the world know that if they want to continue to come here for our hospitals, our colleges, our golf courses and God knows what else, they're going to have to deliver more than my head on the end of a burning stick.
Chapter 54 [5.02]
- Claire Underwood: The older I get, I learn that assumptions are dangerous.
- Tom Yates: I serve at the pleasure of the president.
- Stephen Haines: And the First Lady.
- Tom Yates: [warily] The Democratic vice presidential candidate. Her too.
- Stephen Haines: But you write speeches for both of them.
- Tom Yates: Most often for Mrs. Underwood.
- Stephen Haines: [quoting Yates] "Articulating what's on her mind and in her heart".
- Tom Yates: Mmm-hmm. I'm just a mouthpiece.
- Stephen Haines: Has she put you in charge of any other parts?
- Tom Yates: Wow. You're still an asshole, man. Good luck with the alimony.
- Frank Underwood: When, and if, Garrett Walker appears before this committee, do you think he'll betray the party?
- Jim Matthews: You mean you?
- Frank Underwood: Well, that would be the same thing...
- Tom Yates: What's my role?
- Claire Underwood: What?
- Tom Yates: What am I to you, anyway? Or you, to me? I mean, are you my girlfriend? And when you win does that make me, like, First Boyfriend? First Concubine?
Chapter 55 [5.03]
- Tom Yates: How's the president doing?
- Claire Underwood: He's acting like he's still 30 years old. We both are.
- Tom Yates: Is that good or bad?
- Claire Underwood: That depends on if we win or lose.
- Jim Matthews: You want the truth?
- Doug Stamper: Not interested. I had that coming in.
- Jim Matthews: It's over. Underwood's gonna lose tomorrow. He's done. And when he's done, you're done. You'll have nothing left, and then you'll just disappear.
- Doug Stamper: [getting up to leave] Thank you for your time, Governor.
- Claire Underwood: No regrets. No matter what.
- Frank Underwood: What does that mean? What does that mean, "no matter what"? You think we're going to lose.
- Claire Underwood: No. No.
- Frank Underwood: Are we together?
- Claire Underwood: Yes, we're together, no matter what.
- Frank Underwood: No, not no matter what. Are we together?
- Claire Underwood: We're together, Francis.
- Frank Underwood: Then don't ever bring up losing in front of me again.
- Frank Underwood: [to Claire] This is our house. We are not leaving.
Chapter 56 [5.04]
- Frank Underwood: I don't need to get to the party just yet. Sweaty palms eager to pay me their last respects, when what they really want to do to show their respect is to empty their bullets in my body to make sure that I'm dead.
- Frank Underwood: [after making a false concession to Conway] Oh, what, you think I learned nothing from Al Gore?
- Frank Underwood: The American people don't know what's best for them. I do. I know exactly what they need. They're like little children, Claire, children we never had. We have to hold their sticky fingers and wipe their filthy mouths. Teach them right from wrong. Tell them what to think and how to feel and what to want. They even need help writing their wildest dreams, crafting their worst fears. Lucky for them, they have me, they have you. Underwood, Underwood, 2016. 2020. 2024. 2028. 2032. One nation, Underwood.
Chapter 57 [5.05]
- Frank Underwood: The people are angry. Nine weeks ago we had an election in this country, but because two states refused to certify, neither Conway nor myself received the 270 electoral votes required for victory. So they gather here every morning to exercise their magnificent right, guaranteed by the First Amendment, to let their angry voices be heard. And so Thanksgiving, Christmas, and half of January have come and gone, and all three branches of government are in crisis: the Congress is in disarray, the Supreme Court is down a justice and doomed to deadlock, and the Executive Branch is without a boss. You see, my feeling is I think the Founding Fathers, they just got tired. And really, can you blame them? I mean, you can't think of everything — black swans, Murphy's Law. I mean, at a certain point, you just have to sign off and cross your goddam fingers and hope for the best. Or, adopt flipism, a pseudo-philosophy of life in which the most important decisions are made by the flipping of a coin. It was first introduced in the Disney comic book Flip Decision — one of my favorites — in which Donald Duck is persuaded by Professor Batty to make all of the most important decisions based on the flipping of a coin. "Life is but a gamble, let flipism guide your ramble." We've had this sort of trouble before: the election of 1800, Jefferson vs. Burr. They wound up in a tie, 73 electoral votes each — that was the number required then — and that's when Congress tried to address what the Founding Fathers just couldn't imagine. And poof, the Twelfth Amendment was born, and it says that if the states don't certify, it's the House that chooses the president and the Senate that chooses the vice president. Now, the House is a bit of a mess, but the Senate is rather democratic in how they choose the VP: one person, one vote. But, if there's a tie — and this is where Donald Duck comes in — it's resolved by the toss of a coin, a solution that's elegant as hell. But then there's no elegance in modern politics; it's mostly hell. The identity of the next president of these United States is once again in the hands of a bunch of self-serving, money-hungry, boot-licking, power-seeking politicians who can be seduced or sucker-punched or blackmailed into submission. And all I need is just one more vote than the other guy. As you can see, the Founding Fathers didn't plan for this. But I did. Meet your new daddy.
- Frank Underwood: I believe in you, Congressman. Do you wanna know why?
- Alex Romero: Tell me.
- Frank Underwood: Because I trust ambition.
- Alex Romero: So this is a straight-up bribe?
- Frank Underwood: Oh, no, Congressman. A bribe is something you can refuse.
- Claire Underwood: You're a fool, Donald. You always were. You and your dumb, dead wife who you never, ever shut up about. Principled? Idealistic? A champion of the people? What did you ever actually do? Nothing. The great crusader? I don't think so. You just liked the position of the bumbling idiot that you are. The optimist. The idealist. You liked it so much that you couldn't even make a deal or move a single thing forward. You have a legacy of nothing. Sign the measure, get the Republicans off the floor, start the vote now.
- Donald Blythe: Do you know what I just realized? Your initials. They're missing an "n" and a "t".
Chapter 58 [5.06]
- David Rasmussen: What did you think would happen when you came in here, Francis? That you could threaten me, tell me the DNC'll throw money at my primary opponent next cycle if I don't play ball? Or were you gonna flatter me? "Elder of the party" this, "bellwether senior member" that.
- Frank Underwood: You know, I'm somewhat delighted that you developed a personality at this late date. But I would ask you to rethink this. To come out this way on this thing in the twilight of your career will do nothing but sully your Wikipedia page.
- David Rasmussen: You have no idea, do you? No one hears you walking the halls of this building. Not anymore.
- Frank Underwood: Who are you working for?
- David Rasmussen: Excuse me?
- Frank Underwood: I served next to your jellied spine for two decades. You've never shown an ounce of courage. You don't have what it takes for revenge. So someone must have offered you something rather sweet.
- [Rasmussen says nothing. Frank turns to leave]
- Frank Underwood: Take all of the two hours you need to reconsider.
- Frank Underwood: Look at them. That is the look of contemplating loss. Loss, the only constituent that anyone in this room really listens to.
- Will Conway: If you don't start turning things around, you're gonna be out on your fucking ass, you understand?
- Mark Usher: I do. [pause] I should explain something to you, Governor. If you ever talk to me like that again, I will make sure that you never win another election in your life.
- Will Conway: Are you threatening me?
- Mark Usher: No. I'm enlightening you.
- Frank Underwood: [about Usher] I like Mark, because I always know where he stands. It's usually on someone's neck.
Chapter 59 [5.07]
- Jane Davis: I shouldn't be drinking coffee. I still feel a little shaky.
- Doug Stamper: You don't look it.
- Jane Davis: Feel my pulse.
- Doug Stamper: You seem very much in control to me.
- Jane Davis: So do you. What does that say about the two of us?
- Jane Davis: I've made a career out of dealing with problematic parts of the world. It's kind of my vocation to imagine the unimaginable.
- Claire Underwood: We brought this on ourselves. We pushed too hard.
- Frank Underwood: We've survived.
- Claire Underwood: We isolated ourselves, Francis.
- Frank Underwood: So what? We both know something the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge. There is no justice, only conquest. And let me tell you, we let them evacuate DC, we are done, Claire. We've lost.
- Frank Underwood: [about Davis] She's got a quality about her, doesn't she? Attractive and dangerous. Like the urge to pet a redtail fox.
Chapter 60 [5.08]
- Frank Underwood: This is where the real power is. No women or presidents allowed. The former, I am not. The latter, I will be again, because I have managed to reduce a national election down to one state. And while these men here can't swing the votes of an entire nation, one measly state? Well, that they can do. And that's why I'm here. So welcome to Elysian Fields.
- Frank Underwood: History is earned. You win the day. And then you win the day after. And then you do the same thing every day until you're dead. And you're remembered not for the winning, but because you never lost.
- Mark Usher: Oppenheimer was a member. That tree right over there, right under that tree, Manhattan Project was born.
- Frank Underwood: And right under this one, I'm relieving myself.
- Frank Underwood: I like dirt - and rocks - and facts.
- Ted Brockhart: No argument here. I trust only what I can hold in my hand or see on my horizon.
- Frank Underwood: Well, but you can't just sit back and admire the view. I've learned you've got to grab the present by the balls. That's where the American people live.
- Ted Brockhart: You sound more like a salesman than a president, Mr. President.
- Frank Underwood: Well, if we're Americans, then we are salesmen, right? That's our birthright. Cars and phones and a gallon of gas.
- Ted Brockhart: That's not how I see America. I'm a patriot. I serve.
- Frank Underwood: Well, then, we salute you, General. But you serve to what purpose? So the rest of America can sell. I mean, you and I, right now, this weekend, we're here at this camp selling ourselves.
- Ted Brockhart: Character speaks for itself. People want a president they can trust.
- Frank Underwood: No, they don't. They want a president they know. And I know them. The only future I'm interested in is the next four years. So, yes, I'm selling tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. I'm selling a boy who used to live on a peach farm who now lives in the White House. I'm selling a tomorrow that you can see and touch and feel. Now, you take that away, and I don't know what this country has left. Except a group of grown men standing around in a circle, all staring at a small screen. Looking in instead of looking out. Heck, give me a peck of dirt any day of the week.
Chapter 61 [5.09]
- Frank Underwood: Conceding defeat is never easy. Doing it in public is a living hell.
- Frank Underwood: Yes, here we go again. Secretary of State, that's what I wanted - that's all I wanted. That's what I was promised. And now here I am, President of these United States. You made this bet, America, you voted for me. Are you confused? Are you afraid because what you thought you wanted is now here? And there you are, staring back, slack-jawed, bewildered, wondering if this is what you actually asked for! This democracy - your democracy - elected me! And if you think it was hard getting here you are beginning to understand what I'm willing to do to stay. I look across this crowd gathered today, and I know that these are not my supporters. I'm looking at people who are waiting with a smile on their face for their turn, and the most vicious among them are the ones who are smiling and clapping the hardest. "Power is a lot like real estate" - remember?
- Frank Underwood: Tom, don't cheat on my wife.
Chapter 62 [5.10]
- Frank Underwood: "The dead sleep with their eyes open," my grandfather would say. "They're watching you from the past."
- Jane Davis: It never ceases to amaze me how talented men are at making a mess.
- Claire Underwood: What's the worst thing you've ever done?
- Tom Yates: It's hard to pick.
- Claire Underwood: I'm serious.
- Tom Yates: So am I. [pause] Pretending to love someone when I didn't. In a way, that was the worst.
- Claire Underwood: Did the person know?
- Tom Yates: [shakes his head] She pretended not to know. But she knew. It was awful for her, but I paid for that mistake, too. These types of things, they take a toll.
- Claire Underwood: It's strange how some choices mean nothing, and others govern the rest of your life. We've done some terrible things.
- Tom Yates: You don't have to tell me.
- Claire Underwood: Francis killed Zoe Barnes.
- Tom Yates: Claire...
- Claire Underwood: Francis killed Peter. And so many more are going to die.
- Tom Yates: Stop. [kisses her] You don't scare me.
- Claire Underwood: I should.
- [Walker has just testified against Frank]
- Claire Underwood: There has to be a way out, Francis.
- Frank Underwood: [to audience] Does there? Is there? Or is this my presidency: Forever with a target on my back, haunted and hunted.
Chapter 63 [5.11]
- Claire Underwood: The people want to forgive you. Let them.
- Claire Underwood: [to the audience] Just to be clear, it's not that I haven't always known you were there. It's that I have mixed feelings about you. I question your intentions. And I'm ambivalent about attention. But don't take it personally. It's how I feel about most everybody.
- Frank Underwood: History has a way of looking better than it was. Or perhaps Shakespeare was right: we're all just madmen leading the blind.
- Doug Stamper: I'm the reason your husband's dead. I forced the Secretary of Health and Human Services to put Francis Underwood in front of him on the donor list. I understand if you think I'm a monster, but I'd do it again. To save the president, I'd do anything.
- Laura Moretti: You really think that I didn't know, Doug? The timing gave it away. Come on, come on in. [Stamper pulls away] What did you think was going on here? Huh? I'm not fucking you because I like you - I'm fucking you because I hate you.
Chapter 64 [5.12]
- Frank Underwood: What I like about the Senate is what I hate. It's contagious. One of 'em gets an idea, and it spreads through the body like a flu.
- Doug Stamper: If it sounds like a fact, then it is a fact.
- Doug Stamper: You know what the president thinks? He thinks you're the leak.
- Nathan Green: I wish.
- Frank Underwood: Now, you accuse me of breaking the rules, and I tell you I am playing by the rules. The very rules that you and I all agreed upon. The very rules that you and I all wrote together. So yes, I'm guilty as hell, but then so are all of you. Yes, the system is corrupt, but you wanted a guardian at the gate like me. And why? Because you know I will do whatever it takes. And you have all enjoyed it, been party to it and benefited by it.
- [Frank addresses the audience.]
- Frank Underwood: Oh, don't deny it. You've loved it. You don't actually need me to stand for anything, you just need me to stand. To be the strong man, the man of action. My God, you are addicted to action and slogans. It doesn't matter what I say. It doesn't matter what I do. Just as long as I'm doing something, you're happy to be along for the ride. And frankly, I don't blame you. With all the foolishness and indecision in your lives, why not a man like me? I don't apologize. In the end, I don't care whether you love me or you hate me, just as long as I win. The deck is stacked. The rules are rigged. Welcome to the death of the Age of Reason. There is no right or wrong. Not anymore. There's only being in, and then being out.
- [Frank addresses the committee.]
- Frank Underwood: So I will not be a party to this any longer. I will not wear the target for any of you anymore. You have all used me for long enough. So the party's over, the ride's done. I respect the office too much to allow this to continue going on. That's why I'm announcing to this committee, and to the nation, that as of 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, I shall resign the office of President of the United States.
Chapter 65 [5.13]
- Frank Underwood: Claire, when you bring yourself down before someone else can, you control the way it happens. This was the only path to get us to this moment - where you and I can own it all.
- Tom Hammerschmidt: This is what you wanted? A job in a corrupt administration, a presidency in ruin?
- Sean Jeffries: I'm in the White House. Not out there, wondering what it's like in here.
- Tom Hammerschmidt: Not for long.
- Sean Jeffries: Once you're in, you're in. It's the American way.
- Frank Underwood: [as Claire is being sworn in] Here we are again. You know, if you ignore all the pomp and circumstance, the most perverse thing is that I actually believe in the presidency, its importance, what it means around the world, even symbolically - but I believe in power even more, for its own sake. Gore Vidal once wrote that power is an end to itself, and the instinctive urge to prevail the most important single human trait. I've always told myself that everything I did was for her, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe I love power more.
- Frank Underwood: [to Claire] No one will ever love you as much as I do. I hope you know that. Just as no one will ever love me like you.
- Claire Underwood: My turn.