Netflix’s critically acclaimed political thriller House of Cards returns for its fifth season this month, and it looks to be darker than ever before. The streaming provider has released the first full trailer for the upcoming season and follows the show’s lead protagonist Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) as he becomes an increasingly totalitarian leader.
According to Polygon, the action-packed trailer provides a first glimpse of what’s to come in House of Cards’ fifth season, and it certainly looks like Frank and Claire (Robin Wright) are stepping up their game for the new season. In that aforementioned new trailer, Frank talks to Claire about the stupidity of voters and how they don’t realize he’s the president they need.
“The American people don’t know what’s best for them. I do. I know exactly what they need,” he tells his wife and vice presidential running mate Claire. “They’re like little children, Claire. We have to hold their sticky fingers and wipe their filthy mouths. Teach them right from wrong. Tell what to think and how to feel and what to want. They even need help writing their wildest dreams. Crafting their worst fears. Lucky for them, they have me. They have you.”
Elsewhere in the trailer, Frank hints that his presidency is slowly turning into something of a dictatorship, promising countless terms of Underwood rule, despite being limited to just two four-year terms by the Constitution.
“Underwood, 2016. 2020. 2024. 2028. 2032. 2036. One nation, Underwood,” he concludes.
Frank’s transition into a more authoritarian leader is no surprise, however. In an interview with the New York Times, showrunner Frank Pugliese said that they began toying with Frank’s presidency taking a darker turn back at the end of the show’s third season, long before current real-life political events unfolded.
“But even starting Season 3, we were talking a little bit about a notion of some tyrannical force and some populism and what that would mean,” he said. “We had this idea of America Works, and it was in the air already. It seemed like an impossible possibility, but it wasn’t like we weren’t flirting with it ourselves.”
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From the trailer, it looks like Frank is fully intent on securing victory in the upcoming presidential election. However, his young challenger, Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman), still appears to be standing directly in Frank’s way. In fact, a glimpse of the electoral college map shows a close race between Underwood and Conway.
The trailer also provides a first glimpse of the characters played by Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott, who are both set to join the cast of House of Cards for its fifth season. Patricia Clarkson’s credits include Shutter Island, The Green Mile, and Friends With Benefits, along with a recent television as Ron Swanson’s wife Tammy on Parks and Recreation.
Scott, meanwhile, is best known for his roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. However, it remains to be seen as to what roles they’ll play in the upcoming season and how close they’ll be to the Underwoods.
The fifth season of House of Cards will hit Netflix on May 30. As with Netflix’s other original series, the show’s entire fifth season will be available on the streaming service in one release.
What’s more, Melissa James Gibson and the aforementioned Frank Pugliese, who both joined the show in the third season, will take over as showrunners following creator Beau Willimon’s departure at the end of the fourth season.
[Featured Image by Netflix]