With the sixth and final season of House of Cards arriving this Friday, we’re nearing the end of an era for Netflix’s original programming. It started 2013 when the streaming platform entered the premium content race with dramas Hemlock Grove, Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards—a thematically ambitious lineup that would rival fierce competition from HBO, AMC, and FX. And while the former ended without glory and fanfare, the latter two became Netflix’s flagship properties earning significant acclaim and cultural currency over the years to come. All good things must come to an end as both shows enter into their respective finales.
House of Cards’ final season is bittersweet, though. While quality from season to season has been the subject of debate since the beginning, the political reality created by Beau Willimon and led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright enticed viewers to stick with the highly suspect movements of the Underwoods. House of Cards became the first on-demand series to earn Emmy nominations and fueled Netflix’s early rise in original storytelling. But after serious sexual misconduct allegations were levied against Spacey, production for season six was suspended while Netflix and crew weighed their options. Moving forward without Kevin Spacey, and consequently, the death of Frank Underwood was the only appropriate course of action.
Season five ended on a series high as Frank Underwood’s calculated fall from the presidency in favor of the private sector lands Claire Underwood in the White House as the new commander-in-chief. Her appointment was a culmination of risky moves made by both Frank and Claire to ensure professional longevity and personal well-being in an increasingly volatile political arena. As Frank works to convince himself and us that Claire is loyal to the cause, a gripping final scene shows Claire unmoved by his command to be pardoned as she breaks the fourth wall for the third time with a decisive, “My turn.”
This led us to believe a showdown of sorts would go down between Frank and Claire as the two try to maintain power by any means necessary, including murder. Since the allegations and subsequent dismissal of Kevin Spacey, however, we’ve learned that Claire emerges victorious against her husband while she readies for battle against a horde of political enemies. To get you ready for the final season of House of Cards, we compiled a few things to keep in mind before entering Claire’s White House.