Warning: House of Cards Season 5 spoilers ahead! That Frank Underwood thinks he is just so smart, doesn't he? He's the perfect example of that guy who buys his own hype; I mean, sure he managed to manipulate the United States Congress, the Senate, the American voters, all to become the president... but he forgot something along the way. He wasn't in it alone. For the first time ever, Frank decided to go it alone with his mischief-making. And it was a pretty stupid mistake. Because the odds of Claire pardoning Frank on House of Cards for his many (now public) misdeeds are not in his favor. Not after hanging her out to dry like he did.
Season 5 of House of Cards was all a ruse. All of it. I felt so betrayed, guys, so you can imagine how Claire must have felt. As Frank seemed to be floundering, growing increasingly more paranoid as the Senate judiciary committee began to investigate him for his past alleged wrongdoings, it turns out it was all a ploy. Frank was his own mole in the White House, leaking information to the Washington Herald editor Tom Hammerschmidt about Zoe Barnes' murder. Claire, meanwhile, was working with her new adviser Jane Davis, trying to figure out her way to the presidency without ruining everything for Frank.
Frank, in turn, decided to take what I like to call the "Bannon route;" (affectionately named for White House puppet master Steve Bannon) as he noted in Episode 12, when he resigned his presidency and thrust Claire in the oval office without any warning: "It's the power behind the power that matters." Claire is confused' after all, the Underwoods are a team. Throughout five seasons of House of Cards, they've made it perfectly clear that they really only trust each other. And now Frank is telling Claire he's been manipulating without her? And he's "made" her the president, so long as she promises him a full pardon? Oh, I don't think so, Francis.
Claire initially agrees, after letting him dangle. Despite the fact that he has put her in an incredibly precarious position; if she immediately pardons a president who has admitted to breaking the law, what does that say about her as a leader?
Frank, meanwhile, happily goes about pulling his puppet master strings, working with Claire's closest adviser, Jane Davis, to manipulate Claire, and attempting to pick out her cabinet members. He thinks he's in power... until it's time for Claire's first presidential address. Ostensibly speaking of terrorist organization ICO, Claire says:
A leader that would sacrifice the physical and emotional well-being of his citizens, that would treat his people as pawns, just to stay in power? Well, that leader needs to be stopped.
Cut to Claire in the oval office, breaking the fourth wall for the last scene of Season 5. She looks right at us and says two magical words: "My turn."
Frank Underwood, it was nice knowing you, my friend. I don't see that pardon happening, however you slice it.