House of Cards season 5

Photo via Netflix

‘House of Cards’ season 5 is looking seriously dark

‘Welcome to Washington.’


Audra Schroeder


This post contains spoilers for House of Cards.

House of Cards’s fourth season ended with a big question mark over the Frank-Claire power dynamic. In season 5, President Underwood’s administration will be decidedly darker, as foreshadowed by a teaser trailer released on Inauguration Day.

How will President Trump factor into this stylized and soap-y version of Washington, D.C.? Series star Kevin Spacey says that they’ll try to be wilder than the real thing.

“This year, in particular, there’s been a lot of commentary about how we can’t compete in the real world, so it’s not going to be as interesting and the show can’t possibly be as crazy as the real world. And my answer to that is, just you wait. Just you wait,” Spacey told Bloomberg in May.

Spacey also called it among the “best” seasons of TV he’s worked on.

On May 22, former White House photographer Pete Souza, who worked with President Obama, took to D.C. to catch President Underwood, ever the man of the people, around D.C.

But as for the future of the show? On May 18 Robin Wright told the Cannes Film Festival that “Trump has stolen all of our ideas for season 6,” before adding: “Oh my God, we have four years of this.”

Life in the nation’s capital isn’t easy—as the show made clear in a tweet directed at Trump on Twitter, mocking his newfound rise to D.C.’s ruling class.

With a reality almost as strange as fiction, House of Cards season 5 has its work cut out for it.

President Underwood’s parting season 4 words—”We make the terror”—return in the teaser, suggesting that Frank and Claire are the “we” now.

House of Cards season 5 trailer

On May 1, the full trailer hit the web. Through a series of harrowing jump-cuts between escalating situations, Frank tells Claire an intimate key to his worldview: “The American people don’t know what’s best for them. I do,” he says with menace and fight. Indeed season 5 seems to be about control and prevailing power: Frank wants to lay the groundwork he needs to rule the White House well past his time in office.

Given the first fours seasons of this American adaptation, it’s clear he’ll use any ruthless method afforded to him.

On Feb. 20, the show released an ominous teaser to social media, simply titled “Sometimes I think the presidency is the illusion of choice.” Watch the 27-second clip below:

House of Cards season 5 cast

Showrunner and creator Beau Willimon left the series in 2016, causing rumors of its cancellation to spread. However, Spacey (Frank) and Robin Wright (Claire) are returning. The show has also added Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott to season 5. Mahershala Ali, who plays Remy, will not be returning. Writers Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese have stepped up as showrunners.

House of Cards season 5 plot

House of Cards season 5 will likely focus on the Underwoods’ ascent in D.C., but given the well-timed Inauguration Day teaser, it appears some real-world politics might seep in as well. However, season 5 was written before Election Day, so don’t worry about any (intentional) President Trump parallels.

“Sure, the resonance sometimes feels eerie. But Trump is an outsider who’s trying to blow up the system, and Francis is the opposite,” executive producer Melissa James Gibson told Entertainment Weekly on April 21.

“The battlefield for season 5 is the American psyche,” she added.

It seems like the season will follow the imminent campaign of the Underwoods running for the White House—remember, Frank has yet to win a presidential election.

Michael Kelly, who plays Doug Stamper, has also suggested we might see some “radical changes” this season. That may include some on-screen deaths from beloved characters, and certainly a boiling over of his power struggle with fellow Underwood aid and budding anti-hero, Neve Campbell.

“You lose characters that you love. We almost lost Frank, and I always have faith in the writers that no matter what road we go down, we’re going to come back to what the show is,” Kelly told Deadline.


House of Cards season 5 release date

House of Cards season 5 debuts May 30, 2017.

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