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House of Cards  Episode #Pilot (2013)
Synopsis: U.S. Rep. Francis Underwood of South Carolina starts out as a ruthless politician seeking revenge in this Netflix original production. Promised the post of Secretary of State in exchange for his support, his efforts help to ensure the election of Garrett Walker to the presidency. But Walker changes his mind before the inauguration, telling Underwood he's too valuable in Congress. Outwardly, Underwood accepts his marching orders, but secretly he and his wife, an environmental activist, make a pact to destroy Walker and his allies. Based on the U.K. miniseries of the same name, the U.S. version offers a look behind the scenes at the greed and corruption in American politics. A number of real-life media figures make cameo appearances.

EXT. UNDERWOOD RESIDENCE - NIGHT

SLOWLY PULL IN on the front door of a fashionable DC

townhouse.

Off-screen, we hear the SOUND OF SCREECHING TIRES followed by

a LOUD COLLISION. A CAR ALARM blares.

After a moment, the door to the townhouse opens and A MAN

emerges, curious to see what the commotion is outside.

As the Man comes into the light we see he’s dressed in a

crisp TUXEDO with the collar unfastened, no tie. This is

FRANCIS UNDERWOOD - Richard III, Iago and Hannibal Lecter all

rolled into one. He has intelligent eyes, mischievous lips

and a deep baritone dripping with Southern charm.

Francis glances down the street. He see a CAR backing up

then PEELING AWAY from the parked car that it just hit. It

disappears around the block.

As Francis heads purposefully toward the scene of the

accident, we begin to hear a DOG WHIMPERING IN PAIN. Francis

looks down at the ground. Francis’ security detail guy STEVE

(40s) appears beside him.

FRANCIS:

Did you get a good look?

STEVE:

Blue Toyota Camry. First two

letters of the plate.

Francis and Steve gaze down at the suffering animal.

FRANCIS:

The Warton’s dog.

STEVE:

Looks like a broken back.

FRANCIS:

It’s not gonna make it.

(to Steve)

Go next door and see if they’re

home.

Steve heads towards the neighbors’ townhouse.

Francis kneels down beside the dog. It’s in awful shape. He

tenderly strokes the dog’s head.

FRANCIS (CONT’D)

Shhhh. It’s okay...

2.

Francis looks up at us. The sound of CAR ALARM FADES.

FRANCIS (CONT’D)

(to the camera)

There are two kinds of pain. Good

pain - the sort of pain that

motivates, that makes you strong.

Then there’s bad pain - useless

pain, the sort of pain that’s only

suffering. I welcome the former.

I have no patience for the latter.

With cool-headed deliberateness, Francis calmly places a hand

around the dog’s neck and begins to put it out of its misery.

FRANCIS (CONT’D)

(to the camera)

Moments like this require someone

like me. Someone who will act.

Who will do what no one else has

the courage to do. The unpleasant

thing. The necessary thing.

The Dog’s muffled whimpers cease. Francis looks down.

FRANCIS (CONT’D)

(to the dog)

There. No more pain.

He lets go. The sound of the CAR ALARM RISES again.

Francis stands as Steve approaches. The shook-up neighbors,

JACK and BARBARA WARTON, follow several yards behind.

FRANCIS (CONT’D)

(aside, to Steve)

We need to leave in ten minutes.

STEVE:

Car’s ready.

Francis turns his attention to the couple. He gently

approaches them with endless sympathy in his eyes.

FRANCIS:

It was a hit and run.

JACK:

(to his wife)

He must’ve jumped over the gate

again...

Barbara wells up. Francis lays a hand on her shoulder.

3.

FRANCIS:

I’m so sorry. I’ll have Steve file

a report. We’ll track them down.

INT. UNDERWOOD RESIDENCE - BATHROOM - A FEW MINUTES LATER

Francis stands at his sink, methodically washing his hands.

INT. UNDERWOOD RESIDENCE - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER

CLOSE ON FRANCIS’ HANDS zipping up the back of a woman’s

elegant evening gown.

We PULL BACK to see that the gown belongs to Francis’ wife -

CLAIRE UNDERWOOD. She’s the epitome of elegance and poise.

FRANCIS:

(taking her in)

Stunning.

CLAIRE:

(straightening his tie)

You too.

Francis looks composed, dignified. If we hadn’t known, we

never would have guessed what he was up to just moments

before. He offers his arm to Claire.

FRANCIS:

Ready?

INT. GRAND BALLROOM - SECONDS UNTIL MIDNIGHT

A loud, raucous count-down. DC's Democratic Party elite are

watching the Times Square ball drop on massive monitors.

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Beau Willimon

Pack Beauregard "Beau" Willimon (born October 26, 1977) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He is the creator of the Netflix original series House of Cards and served as showrunner for the first four seasons. more…

All Beau Willimon scripts | Beau Willimon Books

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"House of Cards Episode #Pilot Movie Script" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Mar. 2017. <http://www.scripts.comscript/53>.

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