The hit US political drama returns to Netflix May 30 and, with the election looming, we have 10 questions that need answering in the new season!
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright return to play the Underwood’s in the show where back-stabbing, extra marital affairs and megalomania is just another another day in the White House. Here are yhe questions that need to be answered in the new 13-episode season of House of Cards (available on Netflix from May 30).
1. Who will win the election?
Ok, straight in at the deep end here. We know the fifth season is centred around the battle for the White House, with the picture-perfect family man Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman, pictured) fighting it out with the fierce, firm and power-hungry Frank Underwood for the Presidency.
Judging by the fact the season is being released on a Tuesday (the day America votes) rather than a Friday, we can assume we’ll find out the result by the end of the season. However, with Frank being shot in the last season, will his health be an issue at any stage? With Frank predicting domination for the Underwoods for the next SIX elections, he obviously has no plans to lose this one.
2. Is Frank and Claire’s relationship fixed?
Last series saw the couple come to blows after Claire’s affair with Tom Yates (Paul Sparks), and her fleeing Washington to spend time with her dying mother. However, Frank and Claire managed to patch up their differences and went a step further by becoming running mates in the election! Is their relationship now fully fixed or are their more cracks on the horizon?
One interesting internet rumour we’d love to believe is true is Claire could team up with Doug and run against Frank in the election. Now THAT we’d like to see.
3. …or will Claire continue her affair with Tom?
Frank seemed to accept his wife’s extramarital affair with Tom last series, but will things take a different turn this time around? Hired by Frank as a speechwriter, Tom is liked by both of the Underwoods thus far, but many have suggested he could be the next person to fall foul of Frank’s wicked march to power. Will he get too close and find out details of Frank’s bloody past?
However Tom exits the picture, fans have speculated it won’t be pretty.
4. How will the current crazy world politics impact the show?
Whether it’s the bitter Trump v Clinton race for the White House or the Brexit fallout back at home, saying it’s been a crazy 12 months in world politics is a bit of an understatement. As a result many have asked whether House of Cards is tame in comparison. Will the writers raise the bar and deliver bigger and better storylines as a result? Here’s hoping!
Robin Wright even said in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival that Donald Trump has stolen most their ideas for season 6: “I don’t know what we’re going to do, seriously.”
5. What will the new writers do differently?
Beau Willimon (pictured above with Kevin Spacey), the US show creator and show runner, left at end of season 4 meaning this is the first series he hasn’t been a part of. The show, therefore, is likely to feel slightly different and if Kevin Spacey’s comments about this being the scariest season yet, it could be a change for the better. Although the new co-showrunners (Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese) have both worked on the show since season 3, they may want to make their mark straight away with some big changes. Here’s hoping!
6. How will the new characters fit in?
Two new big-name actors have been brought in for the fifth season: Patricia Clarkson (Six Feet Under, Pieces of April) and Campbell Scott (Royal Pains, Damages, The Amazing Spider-Man). Their characters have been kept under wraps, so whether they’ll be on the side of the Underwoods or the Conways remains to be seen.
In a show the size and scale of House of Cards, big name actors are a must and with Mahershala Ali (Remy Danton) not featuring in the fifth series, it will be interesting to see how the two new faces will fit in amongst the already seasoned cast.
7. Will Doug and LeAnn come to blows?
Claire’s advisor, LeAnn Harvey (Neve Campbell), and Frank’s right-hand man, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), have always had a bit of a confusing relationship. One minute it looks like a fight is about to break out, the next there’s chemistry in the air. With Frank and Claire now working together on the Presidential campaign, season 5 will see Doug and LeAnn working closer together. Could a relationship be on the cards or will it all end in tears for one or both of them?
8. Which Prime Ministers or Presidents from other countries will we be watching in S5?
As great as Russia’s President Petrov (Lars Mikkelsen) is, we’d love to see more Presidents or PMs from some of the other countries around the world. Although unlikely this series, whoever wins the US Presidency will no doubt travel to more countries other than Russia and we’d love to see the behind-the-scenes negotiations and meetings held between the US and other nations.
Will we get to see the House of Cards equivalent to the UK Prime Minister in the near future? Who should play him or her? At this stage it seems we can only speculate…
9. Will Claire break the fourth wall?
One of the beauties of House of Cards are Frank’s intimate monologues looking directly down the camera at the audience. Known as ‘the fourth wall’, it has been a feature of House of Cards ever since the first scene of season 1, but as of yet it has only been Frank who has done it. Considering the final moments of season 4 saw Frank and Claire both stare right down the camera to declare war on terror group ICO, combined with a recent trailer where Claire addresses the American people directly, could this be the season Claire also talks to the camera and breaks the fourth wall?
10. Will we see a major shock or any unexpected storylines this season?
The rumour mill, as usual, has been on overdrive dreaming up fantasy storylines for the future of the show. In the original British version of House of Cards, Claire assassinated Frank – could the US show have a similar outcome later down the line? Michael Kelly (Doug) has hinted big characters could die and considering the bloody path the Underwoods have taken so far, don’t put anything past them.
We see a state funeral taking place in the trailer but that is predicted to be linked to the civilians killed by ICO at the end of the last series. Also, a rumoured title for the final episode of season 5, ‘Now I’m Off’, described Frank resigning and Claire taking over power in the White House. Could things happen so soon? Never say never when the Underwoods are in charge…
All images credited to Netflix unless stated