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On Edward Meechum from ‘House of Cards’ [Spoilers]
[Don't read on if you have yet to see season 2, episode 11 of Netflix's "House of Cards"]
Edward Meechum, Frank Underwood’s bodyguard, was on his way out midway through season 1, when he fired his gun down the congressman’s posh Capitol Hill street.
But Frank decided to stick his neck out for young Meechum, in a way he does for only his closest allies. In season 2, this led to a series of increasingly bizarre encounters with Frank and Claire, such as his on-duty beer summit:
Back in season 1, we were introduced to a new side of Frank — the homoerotic one — when he reminisced about his college days while up late drinking with old friends.
“[We were] more than brothers….I was so drawn to you,” he said.
His friend Phil responded: “C’mon we were kids Frank, we messed around a couple times.”
It was one of the only times in season 1 we saw a human moment from Frank, but it was also the only time we were given any hints that Frank might be a little further up the Kinsey scale than he lets on.
And at the end of episode 10, that continued. Meechum gets drunk with Claire after his shift ends, and Frank comes home to see these two objects of his affection together, drunk on wine and bourbon and lust. Meechum had cut his hand picking up a broken glass, and while Claire was replacing the bandage, the Meechsome began:
Frank and Claire have a strong marriage built on trust and understanding. But you never actually see them intimate together on screen, save for some PG-level cuddling. When Frank is nominated for veep, the two have veiled conversations about how they will no longer be able to sleep around. The terms of their marriage allowed for this, but the office of the vice president does not.
What remains to be seen is the reason behind that agreement. Do they no longer enjoy their sex life? Is monogamy simply not their thing? Or does Frank’s sexuality require a little dick on the side?
House of Cards’ writers are deliberate. Few storylines are introduced if they are not central to our understanding of either the plot or its characters.
This hunky Secret Service agent may just be an interesting sideshow; a way of toying with the viewer’s reasonable assumption that one of the most powerful men in the world can’t get away with being a closet bisexual. Or it could be central to Frank’s inevitable downfall. Sadly, we’ll have to wait another year to find out.