Well, that was something.
Season three of House of Cards seemed to be about showing Frank Underwood is not invincible. OK, not a bad idea. And maybe it was about his taking others for granted to always do what he needs or wants them to do. He lost Jackie and Remy that way. He still pulls off a victory in the Iowa Caucuses, but he seems to have lost Claire, perhaps for good.
I don’t believe that for a minute for what it’s worth.
Ignoring the substantial subplot of Doug finding, kidnapping, releasing, and then ultimately killing Rachel Posner in his own personal Murder Van, a subplot that asks the audience to care about whether or not Doug Stamper can be redeemed (he’d have to have shown himself as a decent human being beforehand instead of just Guy Who Is Always Loyal To Frank), let’s look at Claire and Frank ending the season with her leaving him.
What, exactly, is her problem?
I mean, I get that she wants to feel appreciated, but Frank’s the president. Of course he needs to agree to give her any position she wants! It’s not like she can run for UN Ambassador on her own. He consults her on every major decision, so what does she want?
Frank’s an awful dude, to be sure, but I can’t figure her objection out. That was the position they were working towards, and it isn’t a co-chair kind of thing. She surely knew this after his long political career? Again, when and where Claire’s own ambitions came from I can’t guess because they didn’t seem to exist prior to season three, but how exactly was this whole thing supposed to work in her mind? And that’s not a slam on Robin Wright. She holds her own with Kevin Spacey in the argument scene, but the writing of it makes no sense even before Frank says so.
I like to bring in the Shakespeare comparison to House of Cards. It’s generally apt. In the world of the Bard, when the wrong man gets into power (and it’s almost always a man), the whole country suffers. Nothing good gets done. We saw that this season as Frank, in the role of Richard or a Macbeth, can’t get anything done aside from win in Iowa. But the fall would have to include Claire. She’s not innocent. She plotted with Frank the whole time.
So, yeah, I don’t buy the split for a minute.