Equality is important on “House of Cards,” if only when it comes to the balance of power between First Couple Frank and Claire Underwood.
Tip the scales in Claire’s favor, then, as the show’s fifth season finally lets actress Robin Wright address her audience.
Since its 2013 debut, the Netflix series has seen Kevin Spacey’s Frank address the viewer directly as an aside to whatever is happening in a given scene. The technical term is “breaking the fourth wall,” and has been an intimacy only enjoyed by Spacey and his viewer until now.
With Tuesday’s release of Season 5, Claire gets in on the action — largely considered a tribute to Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and other plays that deploy the narrative device — and you may not like what she has to say.
[Do not read on if you don’t want spoilers from “House of Cards’ season five].
In episode 11, Claire is roaming the house looking for Frank to seek counsel. She can’t find him, but stops in her tracks and looks squarely into the camera.
“Just to be clear, it’s not that I haven’t always known you were there. It’s that I have mixed feelings about you. I question your intentions” Claire tells us.
Leave it to the Underwoods to be suspicious of faceless viewers at their laptops and Xbox consoles.
“I question your intentions, and I’m ambivalent about attention. But don’t take it personally, it’s how I feel about most everybody,” Claire concludes.
It’s safe to say she may not check back in, but it was cool of her to stop with all the plotting and talk to us for a second.
There was a previous indication that Claire might break the wall. In the final moment of season four, the first couple are watching a live broadcast of an Islamic terror cell beheading an American civilian.
We’ve established that they intend to use the outward display of terror to scare the American people and secure themselves the White House using fear tactics. Frank addresses the camera and says, “We don’t submit to terror.” Claire breaks from her stare and looks at the camera as well, while Frank concludes, “we make the terror.”
Check back with TheWrap for our ongoing coverage of “House of Cards” season five, streaming now on Netflix.