'House of Cards,' "Chapter 32": What Was Claire Thinking?

Mrs. Underwood takes a bold stand.
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To mark the debut of House of Cards season three, THR will be breaking down the biggest moments from each episode every day through March 11. Read the previous breakdowns: Chapter 27Chapter 28, Chapter 29, Chapter 30, Chapter 31.

Claire (Robin Wright) has toppled Frank's (Kevin Spacey) delicately negotiated plans.

After Frank and Russian President Viktor Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) make a historic pact that could dial down aggression and even help bring peace to the Gaza Strip, everything is undone when Claire reveals the true nature of the death of gay rights activist Michael Corrigan (Christian Camargo), who hanged himself in protest rather than accept release.

Claire gained some newfound convictions and decided to blast Viktor in a public speech. Claire's stand, while admirable, also torpedoed an agreement that in the long run might have saved many lives — and also ensured Frank wins the 2016 election. (Afterall, it was said in an earlier episode that Frank's plan could even have earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.) 

See more 'House of Cards': Frank Underwood's Most Ruthless Moments

"You want to know what takes real courage? Keeping your mouth shut no matter what you're feeling. Holding it all together when the stakes are this high," Frank says in the final scene.

Claire retorts with interesting point. She refers to the couple as "murderers," while Frank calls themselves "survivors." Claire says if they can't honor "one brave man" and not accomplish their goals, she'd be "disappointed" in themselves.

Read more 'House of Cards' Creator on Season 3 Obstacles, Netflix Leak and Killing Characters

But Claire has quite the case of selective vision on this one.  They do have major blood on their hands. In addition to Frank's murders, Claire has seen her husband order an air strike that killed dozens of civilians. But in Claire's mind, that doesn't matter as much as the stand she took in honoring Michael. No matter how unjust his imprisonment and the Russian anti-gay law are, Claire argued earlier in the episode that nothing Michael said or did could change that. 

As for Frank, he is angrier than viewers have seen him — ever. But he's ready to plot his next move. The big questions: can Frank forgive Claire? And can he make up for the damage she's caused?

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch 

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