Throughout the past two seasons of creator Beau Willimon’s pulpy political drama, Frank Underwood (devilishly portrayed by Kevin Spacey) has become the politician (and newly appointed President of the United States) every fan wants to hate but can’t help but love. Evil as he is, he’s almost like the nagging voice in your head that your inherent goodness cannot give a platform to. Thus, watching him on screen, ethering enemy after enemy with his cutting words, is almost a cathartic experience.
Now, before season three drops on Netflix on Friday, indulge in another wave of release with Frank Underwood’s best sonnings. Maybe even take a lesson or two from his playbook the next time someone crosses you.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 1”Frank to reporter Zoe Barnes: We’re in the same boat now, Zoe. Take care not to tip it over, I can only save one of us.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 1”Frank on former Vice President Michael Kern: I almost pity him. He didn’t choose to be put on my platter. When I carve him up and toss him to the dogs, only then will he confront that brutal, inescapable truth: “My God, all I ever amounted to was chitlins.”
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 2”Frank to a crazy man on the street: Nobody can hear you. Nobody cares about you. Nothing will come of this. Why don’t you let these nice gentlemen take you home?
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 2”Frank to former Press Secretary Remy Danton: Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t see the difference.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 4”Frank to Speaker of the House of Representatives Bob Birch: I know you take a lot of pride in your manhood, Bob, it’s impressive. But as big as it is, Linda can still shut the door on it.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 5”Frank Underwood to Representative Peter Russo: Everyone in that room wanted to cross you off the list…I stuck up for you…You show up at my house in the middle of the night, drunk, to whine, to try to shift the blame on me instead of taking responsibility for yourself and your own actions. Maybe they were right in that meeting. Maybe you are worthless. I’m the only person who believes in you, Peter, but maybe that’s one too many…It’s up to you, Peter. Oh, and if you do decide to take the coward’s way out, cut along the tracks, not across them. That’s a rookie mistake.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 6”Frank Underwood to American Federation of Teachers spokesperson and strategist Marty Spinella: You know the difference between you and me, Marty? I’m a white-trash cracker from a white-trash town that no one would even bother to piss on. But here’s the difference: I’ve made something of myself. I have the keys to the Capitol. People respect me. But you, you’re still nothing. You’re just an uppity dago in an expensive suit turning tricks for the unions. Nobody respects the unions anymore, Marty. They’re dying. And no one respects you. The most you’ll ever make of yourself is blowing men like me. Men with real power. Yes. I can smell the cock on your breath from here.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 7”Zoe Barnes: Am I only going to see you at bill signings? I haven’t heard from you in three weeks.
Frank Underwood: Insecurity bores me.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 7”Frank Underwood: [Meechum] would never go for you…You’re too intimidating.
Zoe Barnes: He’s the one with the gun.
Underwood: But you’re the one with the congressman.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 7”Frank Underwood: Aren’t you going to wish me a happy Father’s Day?
Zoe Barnes: You don’t have any children.
Underwood: Don’t I?
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 10”Peter Russo: You don’t understand, I’m not afraid of you anymore, Frank.
Frank Underwood: Then you’re misguided.
Episode: Season 1, “Chapter 13”Frank to billionaire industrialist Raymond Tusk: You can’t purchase loyalty, Raymond. Not the sort I have in mind. If you want to earn my loyalty, then you have to offer yours in return. And if we can agree to that, well, you’re a man with imagination.
Episode: Season 2, “Chapter 18”Frank Underwood: Add up all your billions together and you get the GDP of Slovakia. I have the Federal Government of the United States of America. You money doesn’t intimidate me. The most that you can buy is influence. But I wield Constitutional authority.
Chinese businessman Xander Feng: The strongest army doesn’t always win. Mao started out with only a few thousand men. He took over half a continent.
Underwood: Mao is dead, and so is his China.
Feng: But I’m not.
Underwood: Not yet.
Episode: Season 2, “Chapter 19”Frank to Remy Danton: Stubbornness is far costlier than obedience.
Episode: Season 2, “Chapter 19”Frank to Raymond Tusk: You may have all the money, Raymond, but I have all the men with guns.
Episode: Season 2, “Chapter 22”Frank to his wife Claire’s former lover Adam Galloway: Do not mistake the history you have shared [with my wife] for the slightest understanding of what our marriage is, or how insignificant you are in comparison.
Episode: Season 2, “Chapter 25”Newly-appointed House Majority Whip Jackie Sharp: Mr. Vice President, what you are asking is just shy of treason.
Frank Underwood: Just shy, which is politics.
[Photo Credit: Netflix]