While a new president ascends to power in the White House, a fictional one suits up to make his dramatic return. House of Cards season 5’s official release date has just been shared by Netflix: May 5, 2017. The teaser was posted with very deliberate timing – just hours before Donald Trump’s inauguration.
President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) will be ushering in the new season, after they basically declared all-out war on terrorism in season 4. Given that Trump himself has shared his priority for the strengthening and display of US military might, what kind of message could the fifth season bring?
Liberty And Justice For All
The clip uploaded by the show on Twitter depicts an upside-down US flag, fluttering in the wind. The camera zooms out steadily, until the audience can see the unmistakable shape of the Capitol Building in the background, under an ominous gray sky. Meanwhile, the voices of children chant the Pedge of Allegiance: an ironic choice, given the dark image of the upside-down flag. “We make the terror,” the tweet reads, echoing Underwood’s words toward last season’s end.
The grim undertones of the clip hint that the nation is certainly headed toward ominous times. At best, the timing suggests dark days ahead, not only in the world of Netflix, but in the real world as well. It’s a commentary on the worst of what a President like Trump might bring – something that his harshest critics have feared since campaigning began.
“At its most basic,” Salon.com writes, “the House of Cards promo co-opts a pessimistic postelection meme… Ironic juxtaposition is a shockingly powerful emotional prod.”
We make the terror. pic.twitter.com/VpChwGOSMj
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) January 20, 2017
What else can we expect from House of Cards season 5? Well, besides the glass-half-empty depictions of the US’s current state, expect some new faces. Scott Campbell and Patricia Clarkson will be joining the cast. Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese are also taking over the show from Beau Willimon.
Is This How We Make America Great Again?
More and more, Frank Underwood can be seen as a parallel to Trump. Spacey’s character certainly takes the cake in terms of notoriety. He’s a TV character after all, and he’s meant to be most memorable in his own narrative. But the criticisms for Trump remain as large as ever, and with him as president, so does the scrutiny. His inauguration speech already declared that for America to be great again, Americans need to be allegiant.
We were warned of terrorism and extremism. Perhaps, House of Cards season 5 wants to tell people that terror and extremists already reside in seats of power. The question is, are they invisible to us? Or untouchable?
House of Cards season 5 premieres on May 30, 2017.