House of Cards (season 5)

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House of Cards (season 5)
House of Cards season 5.png
Blu-ray cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)
Season chronology
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Season 4
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Season 6
List of House of Cards episodes

The fifth season of the American web television drama series House of Cards was announced by Netflix on January 28, 2016, and released on May 30, 2017. This is the last season of the show to feature Kevin Spacey.


Casting began for the season on June 17, 2016.[1] Filming had begun by July 20, 2016,[2] and finished by February 14, 2017.[3]

On January 28, 2016, Netflix renewed House of Cards for a fifth season. It was also announced that series creator Beau Willimon would step down as showrunner following the fourth season.[4] It was announced in February 2016 that Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese, who both joined the show in the third season, would serve as co-showrunners for the fifth season.[5] In October 2016, it was announced that Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott had been cast for the fifth season.[6] The first trailer for the season was released on May 1, 2017.[7] The season was released on May 30, 2017.[8]



No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateProd.
531"Chapter 53"Daniel MinahanFrank PuglieseMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-501
Chaos erupts when Frank steals the floor of the House and demands that Congress formally declare war on ICO. When the Speaker insists that Frank yield the floor, he insists that he "will not yield." Later, Frank and Claire attend Jim Miller's funeral, which is also attended by Will Conway and his wife. During the service, Jim's daughter Melissa blames Frank for the death of her father, before whispering something in his ear. Claire appears on Charlie Rose to debate Hammerschmidt, who claims that Frank's war on ICO is a diversion. Meanwhile, Conway goes into damage control when his wife claims that the mother of wanted terrorist Josh Masterson is a victim, too. Claire speaks with Ms. Masterson and asks that she tell her son to surrender. The manhunt for Masterson heats up as the FBI closes in on a location on the Virginia border. However, Frank has been holding Masterson captive in an unknown location and has him summarily executed, informing the press that he "wishes" Masterson had been taken alive. Frank calls to speak with the Millers, but Jim's widow hangs up on him. Afterwards, Frank and Claire greet people outside the White House, telling them they have nothing to be afraid of.
542"Chapter 54"Daniel MinahanMelissa James GibsonMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-502
At an event in New York City, Claire is informed that one of Frank's old friends has gone missing and is presumed dead. Meanwhile, Frank hosts a luncheon of the nation's governors, seeking to gain the support of the governors from five critical swing states. Catherine Durant states her opposition to Frank's "war" on terror, while Donald Blythe believes it has helped his poll numbers. Meanwhile, Aidan Macallan attempts to hack into a telecom switching center and delete everything that may implicate him and the Underwoods. As Aidan nervously awaits the file deletion, electronic devices around the Washington, D.C. area are affected in what Frank claims is an ICO cyber attack. He uses the incident to pressure Congress to accept his declaration of war. Meanwhile, Conway takes his kids trick-or-treating, but as the military mobilizes in response to the cyber attack, he has an outburst on live TV which Frank and Claire drink to.
553"Chapter 55"Alik SakharovJohn MankiewiczMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-503
The day before the 2016 election, Conway holds a 24-hour live-stream call-in with voters and is asked a question by someone who knows about his time in the military; Hannah insists that Will is too humble to discuss the topic. While Claire and Frank campaign together in Pennsylvania, Doug confronts Governor Matthews for not following through with establishing voting centers or bringing in the National Guard. Back in D.C., Cathy alerts Frank to a Syrian national with strong ICO connections named Mohammad Kalabi. With Conway getting all the publicity, Frank calls into the 24-hour live stream and tells Conway that he can ask him any question he wants. Will responds by asking why he was never given a chance to complete the mission and save Mr. Miller after successfully negotiating the release of Miller's wife and daughter. Frank says the terrorists could tell Conway was weak, meaning Frank had to step in and take control. Frank's last-minute call grabs the morning headlines. However, the Underwoods are given worrying news: voter turnout is unsettlingly low across the country. Frank, however, insists that they are not going anywhere.
564"Chapter 56"Alik SakharovKenneth LinMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-504
On Election Day, voter turnout for Frank and Claire is low, and the polls are working in Conway's favor, yet he remains cautious. Frank calls the governor of Tennessee and tells him that the home of a suspected terrorist has been raided and a plot to bomb the state's polling stations has been uncovered, urging him to shut them down. A riot caused by a bomb-sniffing dog occurs at one Tennessee polling station and injures several people. Frank is able to convince the governor to halt voting and declare a state of emergency. A curfew is enacted, much to Conway's dismay. Amid terrorist threats, the governor of Ohio calls Frank and says he is considering closing down polling stations, while Frank adamantly tells him not to, pretending that he does not want that to happen. After Conway wins the state of Pennsylvania, Frank calls him to concede the election, but slyly says to the camera audience, "What, do you think I learned nothing from Al Gore?" In the wake of the call, Conway, his wife Hannah, and some of his advisers are elated, but his campaign manager Mark Usher remains skeptical. Several hours pass and Frank has yet to publicly announce his concession, frustrating Conway. At that moment, the governor of Ohio makes a national TV broadcast to announce he felt he had no choice to close the Ohio polls due to the potential terror threat and that the results are not certifiable as a result. Several more states hold their election results as well, thereby leaving the election contested. In the Oval Office, Frank and Claire discuss remaining in power for decades to come.
575"Chapter 57"Michael MorrisLaura EasonMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-505
Nine weeks have passed since the unresolved election, which will now be decided by a contingent election in the House. A frustrated Conway believes he was fairly elected, and begins to show signs of a potential breakdown. Despite Frank's approval rating falling to 19%, Claire says they are done winning the American people and must now win over Congress. Hammerschmidt meets with Lisa Williams to discuss information regarding Doug, but he is hesitant to believe her. Frank tries to convince Alex Romero, a Democratic congressman, to sway other House Democrats to vote for him. Aidan, who had previously gone missing, calls LeAnn to tell her that he will leak incriminating information on the Underwoods if she does not get the authorities off his back. While LeAnn is able to flip a vote from Maine, Doug fails to win New Hampshire. On the day of the vote, Claire asks Donald to prevent a filibuster and keep Republicans off the floor. When he refuses, Claire begins insulting him and his late wife. Neither Conway nor Frank receive the 26 votes in the House needed to win, meaning that the Senate's vice presidential selection between Claire and General Ted Brockhart will assume the duties of the Presidency until the House votes again. Claire, alone in the White House residence, walks toward the camera and briefly looks directly at the camera audience as the episode ends.
586"Chapter 58"Michael MorrisBill KennedyMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-506
Claire becomes Acting President of the United States until the House votes again. Frank congratulates her on the position, even if it is just for a few weeks. Durant informs the Underwoods that a research facility in Antarctica has been taken over by an unidentified military group, suspecting the Russians. Meanwhile, it appears that Aidan has been kidnapped and may be forced to reveal secrets. Conway's campaign manager Mark Usher is able to secure a meeting for Conway with the Congressional Black Caucus, in the hopes they will consider supporting him instead of Frank, but the meeting goes very poorly. On a private plane back to New York, an exasperated Conway finally cracks under the pressure and curses out Usher, threatening to leave him on the tarmac upon arrival, then berates the pilots for not allowing him to fly the plane and declares maniacally that he will be President. Sean visits Lisa then tells Hammerschmidt, who fires him after discovering that Sean looked through his notes. Hammerschmidt later investigates the death of Zoe Barnes. To avoid a mixed-ticket White House, Frank and Claire are able to convince Usher to support new elections in Ohio and Tennessee, so long as the Speaker approves. Claire, Frank, and Cathy learn it is the Russians who have kidnapped Aidan.
597"Chapter 59"Alik SakharovTian Jun GuMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-507
Claire and Frank argue over Mark Usher and are briefed in the Situation Room about the potential location of Ahmed Al Ahmadi, the leader of ICO. The generals believe Ahmed is in Damascus, but they are divided on how to approach the situation. Hammerschmidt continues his investigation into Rachel Posner and her possible connection to Doug. Claire holds a meeting with Cathy and Jane Davis, but the three are moved to a bunker underground when a truck carrying radioactive material is missing. Doug calls LeAnn and Seth from the bunker, telling them to keep calm. Frank and Claire question Jane's security clearance. Doug informs Frank of a hot-mic recording where Brockhart says he would actively tell his troops to disobey orders if Frank put them on the borders of Syria. Frank leaves the bunker and accuses Brockhart of orchestrating a fake terrorist threat in order to make them evacuate D.C. and effectively stage a coup d'etat to sabotage his election; after Brockhart names the general behind the plot, the truck is "found." The general is forced to resign, but not before telling Claire that neither she nor her husband deserve to be in the White House. The next day, the Underwoods accuse Usher of being involved in the incident, playing the Brockhart audio tape. When Usher insists he stop, Frank says "it gets so much better".
608"Chapter 60"Roxann DawsonJohn MankiewiczMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-508
Frank attends an elite weekend retreat to firm up support for the upcoming elections in Ohio and Tennessee. Among the attendees are Usher, Brockhart, Raymond Tusk, and Benjamin Grant, the head of Pollyhop. Claire is awakened in the middle of the night and hurried into the Situation Room, informed that a Russian research vessel carrying 100 people is sinking in the Antarctic. The next morning, Frank and Brockhart chat about the Al Ahmadi situation. After negotiating trade deals with China, Jane reveals to Claire that they are willing to aid the rescue, as there is an American aboard the Russian ship. Claire asks for proof of the American's presence before moving forward. In the woods, Frank contacts Doug and tells him that Brockhart is making a deal with Tusk, and orders Doug to stop it. Frank remembers something that Tusk mentioned ("A little restraint would be unexpected") and tells Doug not to act on it. Claire plays hard ball with China on the rescue operation and a trade deal. Though China is hesitant at first, the rescue mission goes through and China gets credit, but the lost American is not found. On his way out, Grant gives Frank a recording of Conway's tirade on the plane. The next day, Frank and Claire meet with Usher in the Oval Office and inform him of the recording. With that leverage, the Underwoods are able to recruit Usher, who advises them how to release the recording.
619"Chapter 61"Roxann DawsonBill KennedyMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-509
After winning the Ohio election, Frank becomes President-elect of the United States. Frank offers Conway a menial position when he calls to concede, prompting Conway to curse him. Frank and Claire celebrate with champagne in the Oval Office. Doug believes it is unwise to allow LeAnn and Usher into the administration; Frank agrees that LeAnn's connection to Aidan is worrisome, but Usher should stay. Meanwhile, LeAnn has lunch with Kate Baldwin, revealing she is being kicked out because Aidan stole NSA files and might leak classified material in Russia. Tom informs Claire that he is finished being her speechwriter. Romero threatens the Underwoods, saying he will convince Congress to reopen the Declaration of War Committee to investigate them. He demands two seats on the dais at Frank's inauguration and a line in the inaugural address about Medicare. Frank is sworn in, but his address does not mention Romero or his concerns. Aidan unwillingly agrees to do an interview in Russia with Kate. However, he calls LeAnn, who tells him policemen have come to arrest him. During the inaugural ball, Frank and Eric Rawlings, the civil war re-enactor and personal trainer, share a darkly intimate moment. In the halls of the West Wing, Frank tells Claire that Congress is reopening its investigation into Frank. As the party breaks up, Frank blackmails Tom and tells him not to cheat on Claire again. Meanwhile, Hammerschmidt contacts Zoe's father, who reluctantly meets with him and says he had no idea that Zoe was in trouble. LeAnn, under the impression that giving up Aidan would save her job, is shocked when Doug fires her. In the Oval Office, Claire and Frank meet with Jane. Frank says he wants Aidan back on American soil.
6210"Chapter 62"Agnieszka HollandKenneth LinMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-510
As Frank discovers Jackie Sharp will be testifying before the Declaration of War Committee, Claire is informed that the American from the Antarctic expedition froze to death. Claire wants the body to get lost in transit. With Romero heading the committee, Frank tries to get in his good graces again by offering him the position of party whip. Romero, however, is not looking to negotiate. Jackie pleads the Fifth during her testimony. LeAnn becomes concerned about Aidan, who is not willing to reveal what he told the Russians. Jane makes it clear that what is important is learning what Aidan divulged. She also informs the Underwoods that a gas attack is imminent in Homs, Syria, advising that they send in 30,000 troops after the attack and divert the committee's attention. When Frank and Claire tell Durant, she begins questioning the operation and later voices her protest to Jane. Doug confronts a frightened Lisa, who then calls Hammerschmidt and tells him about the encounter. During pillow talk, Claire confesses to Tom that Frank killed Zoe and Peter. LeAnn is confronted in a parking garage by Aidan, who is alive. The two share a close moment before he leaves. Mark informs Frank that Garrett Walker will be testifying. Though Walker is expected to plead the Fifth, tension arises when he and Frank meet before the hearing. Walker breaks his silence, revealing that it was Frank who got him involved in the Chinese money dealings. That night, LeAnn is given a voice recording revealing that Aidan has been murdered in his hotel room. Meanwhile, Jane shreds files regarding the dead Antarctic worker and Aidan.
6311"Chapter 63"Agnieszka HollandLaura EasonMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-511
On the Rachel Maddow Show, Seth and Hammerschmidt debate Walker's credibility in the wake of his testimony. Frank, Claire, Doug, and Usher discuss impeachment and the idea of censure, which Frank and Doug oppose. The next day, Hammerschmidt discovers leaked information that the White House staged the terrorist threat on Election Day. Seth panics in his office, while Frank discusses spying on all White House personnel to identify the leaker. While alone one night in the White House residence, Claire truly breaks the fourth wall for the first time in the series and speaks directly to the camera audience. She tells them that she has always known they have been there, but never acknowledged it because she is suspicious of them and their intentions as well as "ambivalent about attention." The FBI tells LeAnn that Aidan's death looked like a suicide, but the gun is missing. Meanwhile, Claire tells Tom she wants him to leave. Frank is confronted by Bob Birch and Terry Womack, who want Frank to consider resignation. Frank is speechless, partially because Womack himself is under investigation. Doug spies on West Wing staffers and is intrigued when LeAnn receives something unknown from Aidan. After confessing to Laura Moretti that he is the reason her husband died, Doug goes to LeAnn's apartment and the two have sex. An article drops the next day reporting that a source within the White House confirmed that Frank used questionable intelligence to close polling stations during the election. Frank confronts Cathy about this; she is cooperating with Romero. Frank later states that he believes Cathy is the leak, and that he has held on to her resignation. News breaks that Cathy will testify before the committee. An unknown source gives Hammerschmidt a "birthday card" containing a USB flash drive.
6412"Chapter 64"Robin WrightFrank Pugliese & Melissa James GibsonMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-512
In the Executive Residence, Frank tries to dissuade Cathy Durant from testifying before the committee, but she adamantly refuses his request. On her way out, Frank then pushes her down a flight of stairs, knocking her unconscious, and calls for help, claiming she's fallen. Cathy is hospitalized and thus prevented from testifying. Frank holds a press conference in the Oval Office regarding the Syrian gas bombings. However, reporters ask him about the growing possibility of impeachment. Frank is informed that Hammerschmidt is investigating Zoe's death and believes that it was not an accident. Needing to focus attention away from them, Frank and Claire agree that someone must take the fall for this alleged investigation. The next night, Claire and Frank hold a dinner for Doug, where they try to convince him to take the blame for Zoe's murder. Though initially off-put, Doug goes to LeAnn and "confesses" to the murder, though she does not believe him. It is revealed that Doug is in possession of birthday cards similar to those sent to Hammerschmidt. Claire discovers that Tom has been continuing his manuscript, which includes her confessions about the deaths of Zoe and Peter Russo. She goes to visit Tom to convince him not to publish his recent work, but he refuses and threatens to blackmail her. Claire and Tom have sex, but he suddenly dies from poison Claire had put in his whiskey. Mark then comes home the next morning and discovers his body, whereupon he is forced to quietly "dispose" of it. LeAnn and Nathan Green give their testimony. Frank, watching, debates whether he should testify as well. While he is urged not to, Frank goes to the committee, and while he claims to have done nothing wrong, he accuses the committee of trying to sabotage his presidency and that he respects the office too much to allow the investigation to go on. As a result, he announces he will resign the following day.
6513"Chapter 65"Robin WrightMelissa James Gibson & Frank PuglieseMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)HOC-513
Claire protests Frank's resignation, but he concludes it is the best outcome for everyone. Frank reveals that he has been planning this since the weekend retreat before the Ohio and Tennessee elections, where he concluded that the real power is not in who occupies the White House, but who “owns” it. He reveals he is behind the leaks to Hammerschmidt. Claire then confesses to him that she has killed Tom Yates and that there is no way it will lead back to them. After Frank resigns, Claire is sworn in and assumes the presidency, whereupon she leads an operation to track down Yusef Al-Ahmadhi, the elusive ICO terrorist plaguing the U.S. Doug gets interviewed by Hammerschmidt, who is continuing his investigation into Zoe's death. LeAnn is appointed as Claire's Chief of Staff with the agreement that she turns over everything she knew about Aidan to Jane. However, shortly after she does so, Claire, Davis and Usher claim that the impending war means a more experienced Chief of Staff is needed, and LeAnn is presumably fired or forced to resign. That night, on her way to meet with Doug, LeAnn's car is run off the road and she is presumed dead. Seth is also replaced at Claire's behest. Frank asks for a public pardon from Claire for both him and Doug. She agrees to do so in her upcoming TV broadcast, but tells Frank that for their secret arrangement to work, he has to leave the White House and make it appear that they are estranged. Frank reluctantly does so. That night, Claire gives her first televised address as the new President, informing the nation that they have killed Ahmadhi and that the U.S. is going to war with ICO. However, she gives no mention of a pardon to Frank or Doug, despite having agreed to do so. Frank, who has been watching the broadcast from his hotel room, angrily calls her, but Claire rejects the call, and stares towards the camera audience and coldly declares: "My turn."


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an approval rating of 72% based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 7.46/10. The consensus reads, "House of Cards enjoys a confident return to form this season, though its outlandish edge is tempered slightly by the current political climate."[12] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13]


House of Cards received four major nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, Kevin Spacey for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Robin Wright for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and Michael Kelly for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.[14]


  1. ^ Zumer, Bryna (June 17, 2016). "Another casting call for 'popular political drama' set for Saturday in Bel Air". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "'House of Cards' Spotted Filming Around Baltimore". CBS Baltimore. July 21, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Wright, Robin (February 14, 2017). "last day of @houseofcards Season 5. Happy Valentine's Day 🌹#HOCinMD". Instagram. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  4. ^ Steiner, Amanda Michelle (January 28, 2016). "House of Cards renewed for season 5, showrunner exits". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Littleton, Cynthia Michelle (February 26, 2016). "'House of Cards' Promotes Pair as Showrunners For Season 5". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 21, 2016). "'House of Cards' Adds Patricia Clarkson, Campbell Scott (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Stanhope, Kate (May 1, 2017). "'House of Cards' Season 5 Trailer Hints at Underwood Victory". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  8. ^ Birnbaum, Debra (February 26, 2016). "'House of Cards' Season 5 Gets Premiere Date, Teaser". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Stack, Tim (April 21, 2017). "House of Cards: 'The battlefield for season 5 is the American psyche'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Allen, Ben (May 22, 2017). "Meet the cast of House of Cards season 5". Radio Times. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "House of Cards". Netflix. January 21, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  12. ^ "House of Cards: Season 5 (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  13. ^ "House of Cards: Season 5 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  14. ^ Bacle, Ariana (July 13, 2017). "Emmys 2017: See the full list of nominees here". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2017.

External links[edit]