'House of Cards': Frank Underwood's 10 Most Ruthless Moments (Poll)
Killing a dog and organizing political ousters are only the beginning of what Kevin Spacey's character did in season one.
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for House of Cards, season one.]
Frank Underwood is back Friday, with 13 more episodes full of political schemes, drawling monologues and (we can only assume) Kevin Spacey devouring plates of ribs.
Before tackling season two of the Netflix original series, take a few minutes to review the congressman's 10 most ruthless moments from season one. Vote for your pick at the bottom of the post, and let us know what we missed.
10. Killing the Dog
The first scene of House of Cards is among its most talked about – showing Frank will do what is necessary -- even kill a dog. Last year, show creator Beau Willimon told THR he was a little confused by the strong reaction the scene got.
"The double standards are laughable. People had no problem seeing on House of Cards some of the ways people behaved emotionally or physically violent to one another. But we killed a dog in the first 30 seconds and people freaked out," he said.
9. Leaking Donald Blythe's education bill
Frank constantly manipulates the press. The first time we see it comes when he shares a draft of Donald Blythe's education plan – after the congressman came to him for guidance. The move effectively got Blythe off the project and put it into Frank's lap.
8. Taking to the pulpit for political gain
Frank delivered a heartfelt sermon after the death of a teenager from his hometown. He spoke fondly of his dearly departed father (whom he didn't actually respect) and won over the grieving parents. And it was all so Frank wouldn't lose his congressional seat, not because he particularly cared about the dead girl.
7. Faking the brick throwing incident
Frank ordered his own man to toss a brick through his window, an act that would become the cornerstone of his "disorganized labor" argument for why the teacher's strike was out of hand.
6. Torpedoing Michael Kern's Secretary of State nomination
Frank wanted it. Senator Michael Kern got it, so Frank wrecked the Colorado legislator's chances of being secretary of state.
5. Faking a coup by the majority leader
Frank approached the majority leader, proposing a coup to make him speaker of the house. When the congressman declined, Frank organized his ouster by telling the speaker of the house the majority leader was organizing a coup.
4. Getting Russo to drink again
Poor Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) is on this list a lot. As part of Frank's quest for the vice presidency, he authorized Doug (Michael Kelly) to torpedo Russo's campaign. That involved getting him wasted and make a fool of himself during a key radio interview.
3. Forcing Russo to let the shipyard to be closed
Russo's short path to destruction began when Frank blackmailed him so he wouldn't protest the closing of an important shipyard in his district. The move put thousands of innocent people out of work and cost Russo the support of his hometown.
2. Using the death of a child for political gain
During the teacher's strike, Frank sat by the police scanner until something he could use came through. His opportune moment? The shooting death of a third grader, which allowed Frank to swoop in and exploit it, saying the child should have been in school. But really, the boy would have been in school if Frank hadn't been playing games with the teacher's strike.
1. Killing Peter Russo
Did anyone see this one coming? Frank is certainly ruthless, but murdering a man didn't seem to be in his playbook. (This isn't Breaking Bad.) But murder he did – without any apparent remorse.