Kevin Spacey’s ousting from Netflix’s House of Cards surely set up a bizarre final season. The showrunners dealt with his sudden absence by killing off President Frank Underwood and inserting his widow, Claire, into the highest office of the land. There was plenty of speculation over how (despite Claire previously serving as Acting President and being Vice President) the writers could gracefully manage such a transition, but one thing is certain — after teasing an assassination attempt, the season’s first trailer shows Claire catching hell from all ends. We first see cable news talking heads refusing to accept her leadership without a fight, and that’s only the beginning of her problems.
Claire finds herself under fire for past crimes committed by both Frank and herself, and to complicate matters, a pair of maneuvering siblings (who are inspired by the real-life Mercer family, the mega-donors whose deep pockets line the GOP) are here to make Claire’s seemingly constitutionally guaranteed ascent much more difficult. They would be Annette Shepherd and Bill Shepherd (played by Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear), who run “a leading industrial conglomerate whose family foundations exert a powerful behind-the-scenes force in the American political landscape,” according to Netflix.
Further, the streaming service alludes to a “complicated past” between the siblings and Frank, and in the trailer, Annette tells Claire that she once slept with her late husband. In other words, Frank may not be physically present, but he’ll very much haunt the final season, which should be about as drama-filled as the show’s tradition allows.
House of Cards‘ final batch of episodes hits Netflix on November 2.