80 F

Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Review: House of Cards


Netflix delivers strong conclusion to original series

On Nov. 2, Netflix released the long-awaited finale to its original series, “House of Cards.” The release of the final season was delayed in the wake of sexual-assault allegations surrounding Kevin Spacey. Netflix concluded it would write out Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey’s character, from the series — opening up many plot avenues. Given the unprecedented events that occurred outside of the studio, the series had a strong finish.

Season five left the audience with a powerful cliffhanger where Claire Underwood, played by Robin Wright, uttered the words, “It’s my turn.” This was just after she declined a call from her husband, who was at the mercy of Claire as he awaited a pardon from her. The plot left the audience speculating how she would behave as the presidential incumbent.

The fight for power and influence between the private sector and the federal government was introduced in season five when Frank Underwood visited the secret society that allegedly covertly runs the country. However, the fight for power became the overarching theme that presided over the new season.  

A wave of new cast members were introduced this season. Power-siblings Bill and Annette Shepard, played by Greg Kinnear and Diane Lane, run The Shepard Freedom Foundation, which is rumored to be based on the Koch brothers — business partners that hold a strong influence over politics.

Melody Cruz, played by Athena Karkanis, is a White House reporter that was rejected by Claire Underwood early in the season after she proposed an interview with the President. Scorned, she left reporting and landed a job as a political commentator. It was clear throughout the season that her over-exaggeration of the White House’s actions that caused public outcry and polarization aren’t far from the realities of the current administration and their hostile relationship with the press.

Duncan Shepard, played by Cody Fern, is the son of Annette Shepard, who acts as a consultant of some sort. His back-door entry into the media allows him to actively play gatekeeper of the news. At one point in the season, he mentions simply acquiring a newspaper publication to filter what people can read and have access to. He was also involved in the creation of a phone application that secretly gave The Shepard Freedom Foundation access to personal information to influence voter preferences — sound familiar?

Claire Underwood certainly made strides for women in politics this season. Not only did she become the first female president, but she assembled the first all-female cabinet. Also, she is pregnant with Frank Underwood’s child, which she decides to keep. This plotline represents the idea that women don’t need to choose between career and family because they are more than capable of successfully handling both.

The series finale of House of Cards delivered several great performances and seamlessly incorporated the reality of the changing political world. The show tastefully touched on social issues that concern women in the present-day. All without Frank Underwood.

All eight episodes of season six of House of Cards are available for streaming on Netflix.


Written by: Josh Madrid – arts@theaggie.org




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here