Warning: spoilers ahead for Season 5 of House of Cards! Claire Underwood has arrived, y'all. She's moved up the ranks as Frank Underwood's more palatable half, winning over voters even as her husband managed to alienate most of the country. She's fought and manipulated right alongside him, but that's the point. Claire was always on the sidelines, always there to support her Francis. No longer. In case you were in any doubt as to the meaning of Claire's final line on House of Cards, I'm going to sum it up for you. Our girl has arrived, and she's done playing second fiddle. As she makes perfectly clear during the final few moments of Episode 13 when she breaks the fourth wall in the oval office and firmly states: "My turn."
Claire started out Season 5 as a vice presidential candidate alongside her husband, trying to win over the American people and prove she had the chops to rule the country in the event of her husband's demise. Because Frank was feeling the effects of having to break in a new liver after having been shot, Claire was the one on the campaign trail. Claire's face was the one voters came to trust; indeed, even as voters were turning away from Frank in favor of fresh-faced presidential candidate Will Conway, the people still wanted Claire. And Claire is who they now have.
In the contested election, Claire was chosen by the Senate as the vice president, regardless of who became president. Frank made it back into the White House by the skin of his teeth, and it seemed the two would rule from the White House in peace. Even with Tom Yates, Claire's seriously unworthy boyfriend, solemnly drinking scotch and brooding from Claire's bedroom — she was in control of her own fate.
Claire seemed to be grooming her own version of Doug Stamper (except, in my opinion, considerably cooler), the mysterious Jane Davis. Who made no bones about wanting to see Claire become the first woman president.
Then it happened... the thing we've all been waiting for. Frank resigned under a cloud of suspicion in front of the Senate judiciary committee. He admitted to Claire that he had been the mole leaking information to the press from inside the White House. And he made it clear to Claire that he had "made her president" so that he could pull the strings from behind-the-scenes.
And Claire was all; nope.
She had to do some fairly despicable things to get where she was going. Like killing Tom Yates, which clearly wounded her (although I was sort of done with him anyhow). She made choices, and sacrifices. She built relationships, found her own support network. Sure, Frank was on her side... but really, he was always thinking about working the system to his own advantage. They might have been a team, but Claire got there on her own steam.
Now she's in the White House. She doesn't seem to be in a rush to pardon Frank. Because, as she said — it's her turn and she's waited long enough to get here.
Welcome, Madam President.