On Thursday, Netflix released the first trailer for the sixth, and final, season of its critically-acclaimed series “House of Cards.” This season will be the first without former star Kevin Spacey, who was fired after sexual assault allegations surfaced in October last year.
The first five seasons of the show, a remake of a BBC miniseries, starred Spacey as Frank Underwood, a manipulative politician who eventually ascended to the presidency. During the hiatus between the fifth season, which ended with Underwood’s wife, Claire, backstabbing Frank and taking over as president, a series of accusations against Spacey were made public.
Actor Anthony Rapp publically alleged that Spacey made sexual advances toward him at a party when Rapp was just 14 years old. After Rapp’s statement, 14 more men came forward with similar allegations, including four who alleged Spacey had assaulted them when they were minors.
In the wake of the allegations, Netflix shifted back and forth on whether the show would continue to produce its sixth season; originally, Netflix had canceled the series altogether but eventually determined that Season 6 would be the show’s last.
Star Robin Wright, who plays Claire Underwood, has said that she was relieved that Season 6 was allowed to continue, as she felt it would have been “unfair” to the cast and crew of the series.
Due to the allegations against him, Spacey was fired from “House of Cards,” with the upcoming season to focus on Claire’s term as president. One of the biggest questions about how “House of Cards” would proceed regarded what it would do to write Spacey out, and the trailer has confirmed his fate.
“I’ll tell you this though, Francis,” Claire muses, “when they bury me, it won’t be in my backyard. When they pay their respects, they’ll have to wait in line.”
The camera then pans out to reveal Frank’s gravestone, though the trailer does not reveal how he died.
In the wake of #MeToo, Season 6 of the show also presents a unique women-centered take on American government. In one brief scene from the teaser trailer, Claire can be seen addressing a room full of women, and, as BuzzFeed notes, it appears to be a cabinet meeting.
Although each president has a cabinet of 15 members, with members occasionally changing during the term, only 53 women have ever served as a member of the presidential cabinet, meaning that Claire’s fictional administration has the most women represented in government; the trailer indicates her vice president choice is also a woman.
In an age where women are still vastly underrepresented in American politics, and the Senate might confirm a man to the Supreme Court who has been accused of several violent sex crimes, it stands out that “House of Cards” would make the focus of its last season a government ran mostly, or entirely by, women.
The final season of “House of Cards” definitely will be one to watch.