Frank and Claire Underwood

by Parker Dupris

I am more than a little taken with the Underwoods, the main characters of the Netflix TV show House of Cards. It seems to me that, aside from the cruelty they are willing to inflict on others in pursuit of their ambition, they have an amazing relationship. They give each other such wide latitude, are so unwaveringly loyal in ways that seem to transcend traditional values. They have an understanding of themselves as a couple that fascinates me, and has many erotic eddies. In the first episode we see an example of the bond – Frank has just been dealt a ruthless career blow, and has spent the entire day out of touch with Claire while he tried to sort it out. He comes home to this discussion:

Claire:  You didn’t call. You didn’t call me, Francis. Nine hours, you don’t not call me, not when it’s this big.

Frank: You’re right.

Claire:  When have we ever avoided each other?

Frank: I wanted the solution first.

Claire:  Do you have one?

Frank: Not yet.

Claire:  This affects me too, Francis. And it’s not the money I’m upset about, it’s that we do things together. When you don’t involve me, we’re in freefall.

Frank: I should have called you, and I didn’t.

Claire:  What happened?

Frank: She says they need to keep me in Congress.

Claire:  Linda said that?

Frank: Walker wasn’t even there. That’s what really gets me. He didn’t have the courage to look me in the eye.

Claire:  I knew you shouldn’t trust that woman.

Frank: I didn’t. I don’t. I don’t trust anyone.

Claire:  Then how could you not see this coming?

Frank: I never thought they were capable.

Claire:  You don’t usually underestimate people, Francis.

Frank: I know. Hubris, ambition.

Claire:  You should be angry.

Frank: I’m livid.

Claire:  Then where is that? I don’t see it.

Frank: What do you want me to do, scream and yell, throw a tantrum?

Claire:  I want more than I’m seeing. You’re better than this, Francis.

Frank: Well, I’m sorry, Claire. I am sorry.

Claire:  No, that I won’t accept.

Frank: What?

Claire:  Apologies. My husband doesn’t apologize, even to me.

I am so drawn to this in a personal way. I wonder if this kind of relationship is possible in a real life setting. Claire is extremely strong, and in some ways submissive to Frank ( and maybe only Frank ). Frank himself cares for Claire and is a pillar of strength for his wife.