In the second episode of House of Cards Season 5, characters make reference to Tim Corbet, someone from Frank Underwood’s past who has gone missing. So who, exactly, was Tim Corbet, and why is he important to the Frank Underwood storyline?
As established in House of Cards‘ first season, Tim Corbet is someone who went to school with Frank Underwood at the Sentinel. He and Frank, along with their friend Ken Caswell, sang together in the Riflemen Singers.
In a Season 1 episode, Frank Underwood meets up with Tim Corbet again and they reminisce, with it being said that they lost touch after college but were extremely close for a time. Tim moved to Colorado after school and started a white water rafting company.
It is highly implied in Season 1 that Frank Underwood and Tim Corbet had a sexual relationship, and this is our first indication in the show that Frank is bisexual.
We don’t hear much about Tim Corbet again after this episode until Season 3, when Tim calls Frank after being contacted by Thomas Yates, the man who is writing a book about Frank and Claire Underwood. We find out at this point that Tim now has children who are in college.
Early Season 5, Tim Corbet becomes an important character again. Claire Underwood runs into Ken Caswell, another one of Frank’s friends from college who sang with Frank and Tim in the Riflemen Singers. Ken informs Claire that Tim Corbet has gone missing, and he makes reference to Frank and Tim’s relationship. Claire is very concerned that this information might go public, especially after Ken says that he has a big mouth.
We’ll find out soon whether this information about Frank Underwood’s past will become public knowledge in this season of House of Cards.