House of Cards (season 2)

second season of the American television drama series

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House of Cards (2013-18) is a Netflix original series based on the British miniseries of the same name detailing the rise of a scheming American politician, Congressman Frank Underwood, a Democrat from South Carolina's 5th congressional district and House Majority Whip. He is passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, so he initiates an elaborate plan to attain power, aided by his wife Claire Underwood.

Chapter 14 [2.01] edit

Frank Underwood: Was there something different about these ribs this morning?
Freddy Hayes: Better or worse?
Frank Underwood: I didn't think that they could get any better, but these were something special.
Freddy Hayes: Well, tried a new butcher. Slow-bleeds his hogs. It ain't legal, but...
Frank Underwood: Well, I won't tell anyone.
Freddy Hayes: I don't know if I'm gonna go back to him. Went out to his shop. He's got a room in the back where he does it. Soundproof. A whole setup.
Frank Underwood: Why soundproof?
Freddy Hayes: 'Cause of how they scream. They can smell it comin'. You stick that pipe in their throat, next 10 minutes is hell. Bust your fucking eardrums. Now, the humane way to do it is to make it quick. Bring out a bucket of slop like it's feeding time, then bam, shovel right to the base of the head. No screamin'.

Zoe Barnes: I took a chance, showed up at your house and placed myself at your feet. Crossed ethical lines, professionally, physically, and I hold myself accountable for that. Those were my choices and I can live with them. I'd like to move forward, but I need to know exactly what I was a part of, that that I wasn't a part of someone's-
Frank Underwood: Finish your thought.
Zoe Barnes: A part of someone's murder.
Frank Underwood: Jesus.
[Frank stands and walks away. Zoe follows]
Zoe Barnes: I wanna believe you, Francis.
[Frank lunges out suddenly, grabs Zoe, turns her around and pushes her in front of an oncoming train]

Janine Skorsky: My entire career, I have always chosen the tough stories. I have been fearless. But, you know what? I’m really fucking scared this time. He’s got power; he’s got a lot to lose; and, right now, he is winning.

Frank Underwood: Did you think I'd forgotten you? Perhaps you hoped I had.

Frank Underwood: Don't waste a breath mourning Miss Barnes. Every kitten grows up to be a cat. They seem so harmless at first—small, quiet, lapping up their saucer of milk—but once their claws get long enough, they draw blood. Sometimes from the hand that feeds them. For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: Hunt or be hunted. Welcome back.

Chapter 15 [2.02] edit

Frank Underwood: One heartbeat away from the presidency and not a vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated.

Frank Underwood: So, how does it feel to be married to the Vice President?
Claire Underwood: Exactly the same. Just louder.

Tom Hammerschmidt: Grief demands an answer, but sometimes there isn't one.

Claire Underwood: [discussing her rape] When he was on top of me, I pressed my hand with everything I could, I pressed it into his face. I pressed it so hard, I broke his nose. That didn't stop him. He shoved the sheets in my mouth. I could barely breathe. Every time I think of her, pinned down like that, I strangle her, Francis, so she doesn't strangle me.

Chapter 16 [2.03] edit

Frank Underwood: If we never did anything we shouldn't do, we'd never feel good about doing the things we should.

Frank Underwood: There can be no false steps now. The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path.

Senator Curtis Haas: You can pass the amendment. I'll just filibuster the main bill.
Frank Underwood: No, you won't.
Senator Curtis Haas: Watch me.
Frank Underwood:As much as I'd like to see you hold your piss for two days, we struck a deal with Hector.

Frank Underwood: As for me, I used to be on the edge of the frame. Now, I'm only three feet away.

Chapter 17 [2.04] edit

Donald Blythe: When you've been in the wasteland as long as I have, you become immune to flattery.

[The Capitol is locked down during an anthrax scare]
Frank Underwood: I don't know about you, but if it really is anthrax and these are our final moments, I want to die with a buzz on.

Frank Underwood: There are realities, Donald.
Donald Blythe: Don't talk down to me about realities. My wife is dying! That's a reality! Other people will die, too, if your package succeeds! That's a reality!

Chapter 18 [2.05] edit

Frank Underwood: I personally take no pride in the Confederacy. Avoid wars you can't win, and never raise your flag for an asinine cause like slavery.

Lucas Goodwin: You think you're a badass because you're on some vigilante anarchy kick? At least I have the balls to put my name on the work I do.
Gavin Orsay: You've never faced 100 years in prison, you self-righteous prick! Most of my friends are locked up and rotting away because they poked the bear one too many times. Why? They wanted to expose government surveillance, the PRISM program, embezzlement, abuse, fucking torture, lies! You're a journalist? Who gives a shit? We're fucking soldiers. It's personal for me now. I don't have a choice, but you still do.
Lucas Goodwin: I don't have a choice.

[Frank refuses Feng's demands, suspecting that he is working with Tusk]
Xander Feng: Why did you want this meeting? To attack me?
Frank Underwood: To send a message. The President of the United States and I are not his puppets. Now you tell him that.
Xander Feng: Fine. The bridge deal is dead. There will be no saving it.
Frank Underwood: Stick a knife in its heart and put an apple in its mouth, I won't shed a tear.
Xander Feng: Your President will ascribe the failure to you.
Frank Underwood: I'll take the risk.
Xander Feng: Think strategically, Mr. Vice President. You're setting us on a very dangerous course.
Frank Underwood: Do you know how Grant defeated Lee? He had more men, that's all, and he was willing to let them die. It was butchery, not strategy, that won the war.
Xander Feng: Mr. Tusk and I have great resources at our disposal.
Frank Underwood: Add up all your billions and you get the GDP of Slovakia. I have the federal government of the United States of America. Your money doesn't intimidate me. The most that you buy is influence, but I wield Constitutional authority.
Xander Feng: The strongest army doesn't always win. Mao started out with only a few thousand men. They took over half a continent.
Frank Underwood: Mao is dead, and so is his China.
Xander Feng: But I'm not.
Frank Underwood: Not yet.
Xander Feng: Don't forget, your ancestor fought for the losing side. There is no sacred ground for the conquered.

Chapter 19 [2.06] edit

Frank Underwood: Two minutes in the office and Tusk may be back in his good graces. I need to disrupt the nuptials and prevent a second marriage.

Frank Underwood: You may have all the money, Raymond, but I have all the men with guns.

Frank Underwood: I'm a good Christian, Remy, like your mother. I would tell you the truth if you wanted more.
Remy Denton: You trying to send a message?
Frank Underwood: Perhaps.
Remy Denton: Which is?
Frank Underwood: That stubbornness is far costlier than obedience.

Chapter 20 [2.07] edit

Frank Underwood: Presidents who obsess over history obsess over their place in it, instead of forging it.
Garret Walker: Who said that?
Frank Underwood: I did, just now.

Dan Lanigan: You know what I like about money? I can stack it on a table, like this one. I can measure it with a yardstick. I can see it, smell it, buy things with it - houses, cars, clothes. Things that are real. You're going to have to show up with more than beads.

Claire Underwood: What should we serve the Walkers?
Frank Underwood: Cyanide.
Claire Underwood: I'm saving that for dessert. What about a main course?

Xander Feng: When you only talk business you stop appreciating beauty.
Doug Stamper: I don't have much time for beauty.
Xander Feng: That's a shame.
Doug Stamper: When people like you smell flowers, some of us have to pull the weeds.

Chapter 21 [2.08] edit

Remy Danton: You're nothing. You're a parasite.
Seth Grayson: So are you Danton. Just in a nicer suit.

Megan Hennessey: I'm not who you want to be your poster girl.

Frank Underwood: [advising President Walker regarding Linda's threat of resignation] Do I think she oversteps sometimes? Yes. Does she wrongly equate her advice with mine? Often. But the question that occurs to me is not about Linda. Let's say you refuse her resignation, if this gets out, and it could, won't you be sending a signal to anyone who works for you that you can be leveraged? She offered her resignation. She's already gone, even if she stays.

Frank Underwood: [following Linda's resignation] I've never thought higher of her than I do at this moment. She lost, but she played to win.

Chapter 22 [2.09] edit

Doug Stamper: [to Seth] You think I've survived with the vice president so long by being blind? Upward mobility has a ceiling with the Underwoods. I'm the ceiling.

Frank Underwood: A little sibling rivalry isn’t such a bad thing, especially between adopted boys. They either push each other to be the best versions of themselves, or one of them gets booted back to the orphanage.

Frank Underwood: Please, let me help.
Freddy Hayes: I ain't takin' your guilt money. When I was bangin', we used to clear 60 Gs a month. I seen guys shot down execution-style. I didn't give a shit. Then I got caught. Darnell was born my first year in. Never saw him once, not even a picture. I can't take back the bad I done. All I can do is to make my own way, like I been doin'. You understand. Ain't pride, Frank.
Frank Underwood: If you change your mind, you let me know.
Freddy Hayes: You were a good customer, that's it. You ain't gotta pretend to be my friend.

Frank Underwood: Do you think I’m a hypocrite? Well you should. I wouldn’t disagree with you. The road to power is paved with hypocrisy, and casualties. Never regret.

Freddy Hayes: I ain't one for lookin' back. Eyes ahead.

Chapter 23 [2.10] edit

Frank Underwood: I've always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful of men on their backs.

President Walker: Nobody walks away from something like this without bruises.
Frank Underwood: Well, bruises you can survive. I just don't know how we can avoid it at this point.

Claire Underwood: Are you unsatisfied?
Frank Underwood: There's just too much at stake now. No one we can trust. We don't have the freedom we once did.
Claire Underwood: Maybe it's better this way. No room for distractions. I don't mind the sacrifice.

Frank Underwood: The only thing more satisfying than convincing someone to do what I want is failing to persuade them on purpose. It's like a do not enter sign. It just begs you to walk in the door.

Chapter 24 [2.11] edit

Frank Underwood: From the lion's den to a pack of wolves. When you're fresh meat, kill and throw them something fresher.

Megan Hennessy: Mrs. Underwood was brave enough to go on national television and admit that--
Jackie Sharp: And where has she been since? Deflecting scandal and hiding from the press. You called me disgraceful in The New York Times, Megan, and you have every right. But I also have the right to say that Mrs. Underwood is disgraceful, because nothing is more disgraceful than running from a battle.

Claire Underwood: There were political realities we couldn't ignore.
Megan Hennessy: Do you ever wonder why so many people hate Washington? It's because of people like you using phrases like that.

Frank Underwood: [of Claire] I don't know whether to be proud or terrified. Perhaps both.

Chapter 25 [2.12] edit

Frank Underwood: Exile. I've managed to isolate the president from everyone, including myself.

Raymond Tusk: Well, Miss Dunbar, in 67 years on this planet I have never once been issued a subpoena. I can now cross it off my bucket list.

[Frank has just asked Jackie to help him get Walker impeached]
Jackie Sharp: Mr. Vice President, what you are asking is just shy of treason.
Frank Underwood: Just shy, which is politics.

Chapter 26 [2.13] edit

Raymond Tusk: [To Frank] When they put you in that box barely bigger than a coffin remember how beautiful the music was tonight. It might give you some small degree of comfort.

Claire Underwood: I've done what I have to do. Now you do what you have to do. Seduce him, give him your heart. Cut it out and put it in his fucking hands!

Frank Underwood: [in a letter to Walker] Dear Mr. President, I'm writing you on an Underwood portable my father gave me when I left for the Sentinel. It was the words my father said when he gave it to me that resonated even more than this 70-year-old machine. "This Underwood built an empire," he said. "Now you go and build one of your own." Those words have been a large part of what has motivated my life. I've only written one other letter with these keys. It did not fail me then. I hope it will not fail me now. You said I wanted to diminish you. The truth is I don't. You said I wanted to challenge you in 2016. The truth is I don't. You said I wanted the presidency for myself. The truth is... I do. What politician hasn't dreamed about what it would be like to take the oath of the highest office of our land? I've stared at your desk in the Oval and coveted it. The power. The prestige. Those things have a strong pull on someone like me, who came from a small South Carolina town with nothing. But since you assumed office, my only aim has been to fight, for you and alongside you. Whether that be in Congress, or as now, the battle over impeachment. Maybe one day I'll have my chance to serve as President. But not while you are the nation's leader. And in you, sir, I see a brave man. A just man. A president whom I would follow anywhere, no matter how strong the wind blows against us... I want to tell you something I have never told anyone. When I was 13, I walked in on my father in the barn. There was a shotgun in his mouth. He waved me over. "Come here, Francis," he said. "Pull the trigger for me." Because he didn't have the courage to do it himself. I said, "No, pop," and walked out, knowing he would never find that courage. The next 7 years were hell for my father, but even more hell for my mother and me. He made all of us miserable; drinking, despair, violence... My only regret in life is that I didn't pull that trigger. He would've been better off in the grave, and we would have been better off without him. I'm not going to put you in the same position as my father put me in. You will find enclosed, on a separate sheet, a confession to the crimes you have been accused of. They're false words, but my signature will make them true. Use them, if you must. If you truly believe that I have only served myself, then I have forever lost your trust. All I can do now is give you my freedom to save your own. I said I would take the fall for you. And now I give you the means to make that happen. I am pulling the trigger myself. We all must make sacrifices to achieve our dreams. But sometimes we must sacrifice ourselves for the greater good. It is my honor to make such a sacrifice now. Your loyal friend, still in my heart, if not in yours, Francis.

Remy Danton: When I left, Frank begged me to stay. Power vs. money, he said. Don't reduce myself to a tax bracket.
Jackie Sharp: He was right. And I doubt he begged.
Remy Danton: He was half right. Power is better than money, for as long as it lasts. But it never lasts.

Rachel Posner: [to Doug] All you have ever done is fuck up my life! You fucked up the Fellowship. You fucked up what I had with Lisa! Even when I did what you asked! Your sick fucking visits and reading to you like a fucking child! What is wrong with you?! Why can't you just leave me be?!