It’s been almost a year and a half since season five was released, and now the sixth and final season of Netflix’s House of Cards will finally bless us with its presence on November 2. Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood is taking over as both the President of the United States and the fantasy HBIC we all deserve—minus all the evil stuff.
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 Spaceyand 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.
Throughout the show, we’ve seen Claire navigate the contentious terrain with an air of cool and adaptability. She’s maneuvered out of controversy and kept her husband’s agenda together, but in season five, we saw Claire at her most focused and dangerous. In a deadly move, Frank and Claire snipped loose ends, which, among others, included the death of her lover and White House scribe Thomas Yates. While we’ve seen Claire dutifully defend her husband’s cause, this fatal act demonstrated Claire’s tenacity when it comes to advancing her own position. Now that she’s fully removed from Frank’s shadow, Claire’s White House comes with a new set of rules.
It’s impossible to ignore the symmetry of what happened behind the scenes and how the show’s story is unfolding. Robin Wright played an integral role in ensuring the show’s continued production in the wake of Spacey’s transgressions, while Claire Underwood attempts to guide the country after her corrupt husband’s death. The show’s final season underwent narrative surgery to explain Spacey’s absence while giving Claire the platform to shine on her own. Will she serve as POTUS unscathed by her husband’s legacy? Will Claire outsmart her long list of foes? Or will karma bring the Underwood presidency down for good? All bets are off.