Netflix’s “House of Cards” is 30 days from releasing its fifth season, and the streaming giant is campaigning for viewers with a full trailer starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as treacherous first couple Frank and Claire Underwood.
When we last left them, the Underwoods were on the threshold of inciting a deadly confrontation with Islamic extremists in order to distract their political enemies and the public from mounting evidence of their corrupt route to power. All in the midst of their bid for re-election, with Claire on the ticket as Frank’s Vice President.
From what we can gather, the action picks up shortly after where we left off: Protests have erupted outside the White House and the Underwoods continue to work the campaign trail against their charismatic Republican opponent Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman).
Here’s what we can deduce as new from the fast-paced clip, set against a seething monologue from Spacey about how much Frank loathes, well, the American people:
Claire’s hair is longer. Aside from being a major power aesthetic for the first lady, it suggests a pretty decent time lapse.
- Doug Stamper isn’t doing much better. Never prone to life the easy way, Michael Kelly’s Stamper is always wrestling one of his demons to the ground. It seems his sobriety is once again on the verge of collapse.
- The Conways are sweating. Joel Kinnaman kept his cool as one half of an aspirational couple challenging the Underwoods for the White House, but it seems a landslide is no longer in the cards. An electoral map flashed briefly in the trailer showed Underwood up 10 electoral votes over Conway in the general. We can’t be sure if it’s a projection or the real deal. But Conway is distressed, big time.
- Patricia Clarkson in the heez. There’s a two-second glimpse of Season 5’s new cast member. Campbell Scott is supposed to be floating around as well, though we didn’t see him.
- Where are your faves? Missing in action were a few key players like the gloriously underrated Jayne Atkinson as Secretary of State Kathy Durant, Paul Sparks as Claire’s paramour Tom Yates and Neve Campbell as political consultant LeAnn Harvey. We get a quick glimpse of Molly Parker’s Jackie Sharp, who hit the road after selling out the Underwoods in an on-the-record newspaper interview, though it looks highly likely to be a dream sequence.
- Dancing tech guy is still bopping. Damian Young’s data scientist character Aidan Macallan is still in the picture after using the firehose of security clearance to spy on citizens and attempt to sway their votes to the Underwoods. Things must be going great for him.
- Six more terms. At the trailer’s crescendo, Frank delivers a terrifying prospect:”Underwood 2016 — 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032, 2036 — one nation, Underwood.” It’s unclear how the childless pair would achieve that long of an Underwood reign. Frank himself is only eligible for one more terms as President. Claire could feasibly occupy the seat through 2024. We can’t wait to see Frank justify the math — or the constitutional amendment — necessary to achieve his goal.
Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese are showrunners this season on the Beau Willimon-created series, and they serve as executive producers along with David Fincher, John Mankiewicz, Daniel Minahan, Kevin Spacey, Joshua Donen, Dana Brunetti, Eric Roth, Robin Wright, Michael Dobbs and Andrew Davies.
“House of Cards” usproduced by Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix.