At a certain point, Francis Urquhart becomes less a ruthless but still somewhat in-line politician to someone who is blatantly power-hungry and evil.
That would be this episode.
We shouldn’t be too surprised at Francis’ actions for this episode. He first eliminates various rivals to the prime minster job using dirty he has on, well, all of them. That involves getting one to accidentally hit a wheelchair-bound man with a car, sending another anonymously some disgraceful photos, and then more or less blackmailing one that looks squeaky clean. Still, there isn’t much there that seems too out of line for a politician in the grand scheme of things. No one has been seriously, physically hurt. Most of them are just embarrassed and politically neutralized.
And sure, Mattie is suspicious, but asking Urquhart about it gets a stern, almost controllingly-evil lecture from the man she calls “Daddy”. And he’s giving it in front of a painting of Napoleon in case the moment is too subtle for you. Though, that said, it’s still about a thousand times more subtle than the American version.
But then the evil happens. First, with the camera framing him to look as evil as any man can look, Francis murders Roger the Cokehead by giving him some cocaine mixed with rat poison. All he needs to do is make sure Roger isn’t in Francis’ country estate when he tries the stuff out. The restroom of a highway rest station is bad enough.
See, even if you want to make excuses for the man’s behavior, or the way his wife seems to approve of it in the name of ambition or revenge, that doesn’t really excuse murder at all.
But then there’s Mattie. Though she refuses to believe it for the longest time, the pieces finally slip into place. Who in Parliament knows all the dirt, much of which isn’t getting into the press, but the Chief Whip, who keeps the secrets for everyone else in order to know people’s weaknesses and prevent problems? And sure, Mattie found things Urquhart told her don’t quite add up, but she really didn’t need to meet him on that rooftop where he can very conveniently shove her off. Her last word is a shouted, “DADDY!”
Does he feel guilty as he drives off to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen as the new Prime Minister? Hard to say. You might very well think that; he couldn’t possibly comment.
Wednesday “You Reap What You Woe”
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