Claire Underwood from House of Cards has always been one of TV's most interesting women. She defies many societal standards, particularly those set in place for women in politics, and it's been a joy watching her do so over the past four seasons of the Netflix show. But, there was one feminist moment on House of Cards Season 4 in particular that we need to talk about. Major spoilers ahead for the finale. This moment ushered in the new era of Mrs. Underwood. I'm talking about when Claire broke the fourth wall during the House of Cards finale. Those last few seconds of Episode 13 were unprecedented and spectacular for Claire — and for any women watching.
For four long seasons viewers have seen Claire battle for power. While her husband rose quickly through the ranks thanks mostly to murder and occasional big helping hands from his savvy wife, Claire has fought hard for her place in the political world. She is not your typical doting wife, and she has never been content playing second fiddle to her husband. Like Frank, she hasn't been afraid to make her own ruthless, calculated decisions throughout the show. And, when Frank dared to suggest that she'd be nothing without him, she walked right on out.
The first half of Season 4 saw Claire fighting for a place in the political world once again, first as a congresswoman and then as a vice president. She was also her husband's biggest challenger for a portion of the season. Us per usual, she never backed down, not even in the face of her mother, a terrorist leader, or Hannah Conway's rude remarks about whether Claire regretted not having children. Claire's icy response, "Do you ever regret having them?" will go down as my new favorite comeback to people who pry into other people's reproductive decisions.
But, it was that moment at the end that really stood out to me. After watching Frank steer the ship both politically as president and narratively via his asides to the audience, it was about time that Claire have a shot. In the closing moment of the finale, Frank addressed the audience as he often does. "We don't submit to terror. We make the terror," he said staring straight at the camera. During this harsh statement, Claire looked at him as though listening, and then she, too, turned and looked right at the camera.
Though she said nothing, the look in her eyes said it all. There is now a "we," and Claire is in on things right alongside him. She is finally, finally on equal ground with Frank Underwood — and even he knows it.
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