In the beginning of the first episode of the third season of House of Cards, Frank asks to be left alone, then seen urinating on his father's grave after saying:

I'll tell you this though, Pop. When they bury me, it won't be in my backyard. And when they pay their respects, they'll have to wait in line

Before that he also had a "dialog" with his late father, but nothing really explains the hatred required to perform such an extreme action, not to mention the risk he takes if someone will see him.

Is there any official/logical explanation to this behavior, or was it added just to boost rating?

  • 1
    Oh, I remember I read an interview with Spacey adressing that scene. Trying to find that.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Apr 6, 2015 at 14:57
  • Thanks @Napoleon and also thanks for the edit, blonde moment on my side. :/ Apr 6, 2015 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Frank absolutely detests his father. Throughout the series Frank tells the audience of this fact (while everyone else thinks he's a dutiful son who loved his father). We know that Frank grew up poor and his father was an unsuccessful peach farmer. Frank hated the confines of his poor small town upbringing, and a lot of that resentment was focused on his father. Frank described his father as a coward with a weak personality and a drunk. A major point that illustrates this is the time that Frank's father tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the mouth, but couldn't pull the trigger, so he asked Frank to do it for him. Frank regrets that he didn't do it, and lived the rest of his life hating his father's lack of courage and constant abuse.

In his letter to President Walker in episode 13 of season 2, Frank wrote:

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, pap' 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.

  • Good points, I watched all the chapters, and didn't remember all of this, especially the suicide part. Apr 6, 2015 at 17:42
  • @ShadowWizard - I've added the relevant quote Apr 6, 2015 at 17:47
  • Last episode? Might be, If you can add some links e.g. to short clips or quotes it would be great. Haha, you just did while I was writing the comment. :-) Apr 6, 2015 at 17:49
  • @ShadowWizard - There you go! Apr 6, 2015 at 17:50

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