House of Cards

2013 • Netflix
4.1K reviews
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Season 1 episodes (13)

1 Chapter 1
With the election over, House Majority Whip Francis Underwood expects newly elected President Garrett Walker to deliver on his promise to make him his secretary of state. When he arrives for what he believes will be a face-to-face meeting with the president-elect, Francis is stunned when Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez tells him that the State Department position is being given to Michael Kern, and that Walker wants Francis to usher his agenda through Congress instead. Though he agrees to the change of plans, Francis abandons his previous obligations to the new administration so he and his wife Claire can use their considerable political muscle to advance his career. Meanwhile, following a chance encounter at a high-profile Washington social event, up-and-coming Washington Herald reporter Zoe Barnes targets Francis as her source for the inside story on Capitol Hill. As his Chief of Staff Doug Stamper researches the list of other candidates for secretary of state, Francis meets with Vasquez to get his first assignment -- a major education bill being drafted by ultra-liberal Congressman Donald Blythe that the president wants to sign in his first 100 days. However, after sending Blythe back to the drawing board to come up with something that can get congressional approval, Francis undermines both the congressman and the new administration by secretly releasing the controversial first draft to Zoe. While working behind the scenes to scuttle Kern's nomination and make Congresswoman Catherine Durant the new secretary of state, Francis helps Pennsylvania Representative Peter Russo get out of a drunk driving arrest in exchange for his unquestioning loyalty in the political battles to come. On the eve of the inauguration, Zoe hands over her story to her editors at the Herald. So even as Francis promises to help Blythe craft a bill that will allow the president to deliver on his pledge, the story he planted rocks Washington's political landscape, setting in motion a ruthless yet subtle political war aimed at making Underwood more powerful than ever.
2 Chapter 2
Just as Francis planned, the release of Donald Blythe's draft education bill has jeopardized the new administration's agenda. Assuring lobbyist Remy Danton that the situation is under control, Francis tells President Walker's Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez that he will get the bill passed by the president's deadline. After assembling a team of young staffers to begin working in secret, Francis manipulates Blythe into relinquishing his leadership role. Meanwhile, as Claire Underwood initiates a shakeup of the staff at her Clean Water Initiative office, Francis shows reporter Zoe Barnes a 1978 college newspaper editorial that could derail Michael Kern's nomination for secretary of state. Thanks to Francis' trap, Kern is forced to deny the editorial's anti-Israel stance. Calling in a favor, Underwood aide Doug Stamper uses the affair between Representative Peter Russo and staffer Christina Gallagher as leverage to convince Russo to go to Massachusetts and see Kern's college classmate, fringe political blogger Roy Kapeniak. Bonding over their mutual love for alcohol and drugs, Russo persuades Kapeniak to lie and say that Kern alone wrote the editorial. Meanwhile, as Stamper pays a call girl to forget anything she knows about Russo's recent drunk driving arrest, Claire completes the housecleaning at CWI by firing her longtime office manager. In the media firestorm ignited by the editorial, Kern withdraws his name from consideration as Francis asks Zoe to start beating the drum for his replacement, Catherine Durant. As promised, Francis delivers an education bill that is on track for the president to sign into law within his first 100 days. Keeping a low profile as Zoe's hints about Durant begin to ricochet around the Capitol, Francis prods Sanchez to consider the appointment, while quietly assuring Danton that everyone can live with Durant as secretary of state.
3 Chapter 3
As negotiations for the Education Reform and Achievement Act heat up in Washington, a car accident that claims the life of a teenage girl in his home district demands Francis' immediate attention. Over the objections of White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez and teachers' union spokesman Marty Spinella, Francis heads for Gaffney, South Carolina, to comfort the girl's family and negotiate the fate of the beloved local landmark that is being blamed for the tragic accident. Once there, Francis locks horns with Oren Chase, a longtime rival who is advising the grieving parents, Dean and Leanne Masters. While working to keep the negotiations on track in Washington, Francis wrests control of the crisis in Gaffney, beginning with a settlement he hopes will satisfy everyone. When Dean Masters balks, Francis must find a way to both address the tragedy and minimize Chase's ability to challenge him in the next election. Meanwhile, with Claire courting water supply activist Gillian Cole to join her CWI staff, Zoe's recent high-profile articles impress Herald owner Margaret Tilden, even as they irritate Managing Editor Tom Hammerschmidt. As Claire moves to address Gillian's concerns about working at the CWI, Russo staffer Christina Gallagher considers taking a new job so that they can stop hiding their office romance. In the face of resistance from Masters and Chase, Francis delivers a heartfelt church sermon to lay the groundwork for a settlement. So as Claire allays Gillian's fears about joining the CWI, Francis orders Stamper and Spinella to keep the unions at the table while he persuades the Masters family to settle and gets Chase to reconsider his plans to challenge him for his seat in Congress. Finally, as disagreements with the teachers' union threaten to derail the education bill, Zoe ramps up her flirtation with Francis as Hammerschmidt tells her to keep a low profile following her latest TV appearance.
4 Chapter 4
Though he's committed to getting the Education Reform and Achievement Act to President Walker's desk within the first 100 days of the new administration, Francis continues working behind the scenes to increase his own influence. After White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez takes credit for softening the bill's anti-union position on collective bargaining, Francis turns around and undermines her by encouraging Walker to stand firm against pro-union Speaker of the House Bob Birch. Meanwhile, when SanCorp lobbyist Remy Danton offers to double their financial commitment to the CWI, Francis tells Claire to refuse the money so they won't owe the company more favors. Pressured by Washington Herald owner Margaret Tilden, Managing Editor Tom Hammerschmidt reassigns White House Correspondent Janine Skorsky and offers her D.C. job to Zoe. For the next step in his power play, Francis encourages House Majority Leader David Rasmussen to oust Birch. Unwilling to rock the boat, Rasmussen refuses while promising not to say anything to the speaker. Despite Rasmussen's refusal, however, Francis offers Black Caucus Chairman Terry Womack the Majority Leader's post in exchange for supporting Rasmussen over Birch, and agrees to save a military base in his district even though it means closing another in Russo's. Meanwhile, as she struggles with what to do about SanCorp, Claire stands firm against rekindling her affair with photographer and prominent CWI supporter Adam Galloway.Though it could mean the end of his political career, Russo accepts the closing of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. After drowning his sorrows at a bar, he arrives at home to find that Christina has stepped in to care for his kids in his absence. But when Russo tries to explain his sorry condition, Christina quits her job and calls off their affair. As his scheme continues unfolding, Francis blindsides Rasmussen by implicating him in the coup, forcing him to step aside for Womack while securing Birch's support of the education bill. Finally, told that taking the White House Correspondent's job could jeopardize her relationship with Francis, Zoe turns it down. So when Hammerschmidt fires her for insubordination, she turns to Francis for comfort.
5 Chapter 5
Having spent the night with Zoe advising her on what to do now that she's left the Herald, Francis heads for a showdown with teachers' union lobbyist Marty Spinella. Claiming he was lied to about the education bill, Spinella threatens a nationwide teachers' strike if its union-busting provisions aren't changed. Unwilling to give in, Francis undermines Spinella by convincing one of the two major teachers' unions to stand down from the threat. Meanwhile, even as Russo comes under attack by union members for sacrificing their naval shipyard jobs, Francis floats him as a possible candidate in an upcoming special election to fill the Pennsylvania governor's seat left open by the election of Vice President Jim Matthews. Increasing the pressure on Francis, Spinella persuades a hotel to cancel an important CWI fundraiser in order to avoid a strike. Blocked from using the banquet rooms, Claire and Francis immediately begin restaging the event on the hotel's front steps. Upon learning of the change in plans, Spinella summons pickets to pressure the attendees. Yet, to Claire's delight, the guests increase their support to the CWI anyway. Meanwhile, as Zoe resumes her career at the upstart online news service Slugline, Tom Hammerschmidt loses his job for firing her from the Herald. As Francis presses Zoe to ply the fundraiser's guests for useful information, he and Claire further undercut Spinella by feeding the hungry union members on the picket line. So, with his back against the wall, Spinella calls for a nationwide teachers' strike. Finally, as Zoe's story about the CWI event hits the Internet, Francis and Claire arrive home to find a drunken Russo waiting on their doorstep. But after Francis challenges him to take his own life as a way out of the predicament with his constituents in Philadelphia, Russo wakes in the morning ready to do Francis' bidding and consider running for governor.
6 Chapter 6
Nearly one month into the teachers' strike ordered by Marty Spinella, things aren't looking good for the president or Francis. With public opinion against him, President Walker wants the education bill watered down to placate the unions and get teachers back in the classroom. Insisting that backing down would be a mistake, Francis asks Linda Vasquez for one more week to resolve the issue. When a brick is thrown through the front window of his house, Francis ramps up a media campaign that blames Spinella and an out-of-control union. Fighting back, Spinella agrees to a televised debate. However, while Francis hopes to use the appearance to regain the upper hand, the plan backfires when Spinella catches him off guard, making him a laughingstock in the media. After maintaining his sobriety for a month, Russo tells Francis that he's game to make a run for governor of Pennsylvania. To help Russo regain union support, Francis asks Claire to craft an environmental bill that will replace the lost shipyard jobs. In the wake of Francis' disastrous appearance on TV, President Walker demands that he rewrite the bill. Yet, despite the beating he's taking in the press, Francis stands up to Walker and refuses to change it. Meanwhile, a bitter deathbed confession by their former bodyguard forces Claire to confront the compromises she's made to stay married to Francis. When an eight-year-old boy is killed in a drive-by shooting in Washington, Francis enlists Zoe to blame his death on the teachers' strike and get Spinella back to the bargaining table. While Spinella is expecting a compromise, he's stunned when Francis refuses to budge from his previous position, and even admits to engineering the brick-throwing incident to discredit the union. His patience at an end, Spinella loses his temper and slugs the congressman, leading Francis to threaten him with arrest unless the strike ends immediately.
7 Chapter 7
As Russo honors his sobriety pledge by joining Underwood aide Doug Stamper at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Francis heads to the Oval Office to see President Walker sign the Education Reform and Achievement Act. While the signing underscores Francis' increasing power in Washington, it also hints at the tense relationship between Walker and his vice president, former Pennsylvania Governor Jim Matthews. Though Matthews balks at Russo being groomed to replace him in the Pennsylvania statehouse, Francis asks that he keep an open mind as the process gets underway. Meanwhile, as Francis looks to Zoe to nullify his past indiscretions, Russo questions running even as Claire is crafting legislation to rehabilitate his image following the shipyard closing. While Stamper is pressed for more money to buy a prostitute's silence about a drunk driving arrest, Russo details his checkered past for campaign consultant Walter Doyle. When facing up to his past amplifies Russo's concerns about campaigning, Francis asks that he hold off on deciding to drop out. So after Francis persuades Christina to sign on as his deputy campaign manager, Russo decides to jump into the race. Meanwhile, Zoe offers Herald White House Correspondent Janine Skorsky a chance to write the Russo profile in an attempt to court her for Slugline. As Doyle suggests Russo admit to some of his problems while sweeping others under the rug, Stamper asks Francis' secretary to provide the prostitute with a place to stay while he helps her get her life back on track. With Russo on for the campaign, Francis tries selling the idea to President Walker and his chief of staff. Finally, as Zoe convinces Janine to interview Russo, Francis continues to draw her into his web of deceit.
8 Chapter 8
In the wake of the battle over the education bill, Francis is in South Carolina dedicating a library bearing his name at his military college alma mater, the Sentinel. At a reception on the eve of the unveiling, he runs into his former press secretary, lobbyist Remy Danton, whose client SanCorp paid for the building. Noting SanCorp's displeasure over Claire's decision to turn down their donation to CWI, Remy worries that the watershed bill she's drafting for Peter Russo will impede the company's gas drilling plans. Ahead of a community meeting in Philadelphia, Russo reluctantly heads to an assisted care facility to visit his cold and unfeeling mother. Adding to his disappointment, his unemployed childhood friend Paul Capra refuses to get the shipbuilders' union members to hear him out regarding the bill and his run for governor. Returning to the reception, Francis is delighted to see that his old a cappella group, the Riflemen, has come together to perform. Though the official party is winding down, Francis and his pals are just getting started with a raucous all-night reunion. Fueled by bourbon stolen from the bar, they sneak into a condemned campus building where Francis and Tim Corbet reminisce about their days at the Sentinel -- and an intimate relationship that went far beyond just being classmates. Meanwhile, after fending off Remy's invitation to join him in his hotel suite, Claire heads back to her room to call her friend, photographer Adam Galloway. Despite Christina's efforts, the community meeting spins out of control as the laid off shipyard workers direct their rage at Russo. Desperate for another chance to make his case, he ambushes Paul at home to ask for help. Though their verbal showdown quickly turns into a fistfight, Paul ultimately goes to bat for Russo and convinces the community members to hear him explain the watershed bill's benefits. Finally, after his all-nighter with Tim and company, Francis abandons his prepared speech for remarks that are far more honest and revealing.
9 Chapter 9
As the vote approaches, the watershed bill that is at the core of Peter Russo's gubernatorial campaign is coming under fire from nearly every direction. With SanCorp coordinating the oil and gas industry's considerable opposition, Francis has his work cut out for him to corral the votes he needs for passage. With Christina and Russo joined on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania by a reluctant Vice President Matthews, Francis turns his attention on Representatives Abrams and Vanderburgh, the potential deciding votes. Meanwhile, when a CWI drinking water project is blocked by the Sudanese government, Claire asks Francis to intervene with Secretary of State Catherine Durant. Although Francis says there is little he can do, he doesn't hesitate to ask Claire for help getting SanCorp to end their opposition to the bill. Out on the road, Vice President Matthews shows little interest in helping Russo and the watershed bill. But when Russo wants to drop him from the bus tour, Francis counsels him to show some resolve and confront the Vice President directly. As Stamper gets personally involved when the ex-prostitute he's helping out is sexually harassed and then fired, Zoe heeds Janine's advice and tells Francis that she wants to keep their relationship strictly professional from here on. Angry with Francis for refusing to help with Sudan, Claire gets payback when she tells Remy that CWI won't work too hard behind the scenes to pass the watershed bill. Meanwhile, though he won't openly endorse the watershed bill, President Walker orders his chief of staff to help Francis in whatever way she can. As Russo's vigorous defense of his candidacy and the watershed bill impresses Matthews, Claire refuses to press Abrams and Vanderburgh for their support. Upset at being ignored, Zoe summons Francis to her apartment where, following some uninspired sex, he assures her that the watershed bill will pass. Finally, after Remy steps in to solve CWI's problems in Sudan, Claire learns that Gillian is going to be sidelined by a pregnancy. But as the watershed bill comes before the House, Francis' confidence turns to vengeful anger when it falls two votes short.
10 Chapter 10
Under fire from President Walker for failing to pass the watershed bill, Francis deflects blame away from Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez and takes responsibility for getting the vote count wrong. As Francis looks to secure Vasquez's loyalty by intervening to get her son admitted to Stanford University, Zoe reveals that Claire doomed the bill when she told Representatives Abrams and Vanderburgh that they were free to vote no. When Francis confronts her, Claire says that she did what she had to do to guarantee Remy Danton's help with fixing CWI's problems in Sudan. Meanwhile, when Russo complains about being left hanging in the wake of the bill's failure, Francis and Stamper step up their plan to keep the shaky congressman in line. Following his showdown with Claire, Francis asks her CWI colleague and Stanford alumna Gillian Cole to ask the school's provost to reconsider rejecting Vasquez's son. As Francis pushes Danton to provide Russo with industry support if he reverses course and comes out for gas drilling in Pennsylvania, Claire escapes to New York to spend a few days with photographer Adam Galloway, but not before warning Zoe of the consequences of a personal and professional relationship with her husband. Meanwhile, after setting Rachel Posner up with a new apartment, Stamper enlists the former prostitute in the plan to rein in Russo. Over Christina's objections, Russo decides to court oil and gas interests in Pennsylvania to revive his campaign. On the night before a radio interview where he's going to float his pro-drilling agenda, Rachel finds him at a fundraiser and lures him to her hotel room for a night of drinking and sex. Not remembering their prior encounter in Washington, Russo wakes up the next morning and struggles to regain his composure in time for his much-anticipated radio appearance. But when Zoe's story about the disastrous interview torpedoes the campaign, Francis' plan to keep Russo on a short leash is in danger when the disgraced candidate disappears. Finally, as Francis enlists his bodyguard in a search for Claire, Zoe turns to Herald editor Lucas Goodwin for a place to stay while she reconsiders the choices she's made to advance her career.
11 Chapter 11
With Russo gone missing after his disastrous radio interview, Francis approaches Vice President Matthews about a candidate who can salvage the Democrats' chances in Pennsylvania. Reminding both Matthews and President Walker of their testy relationship, Francis proposes that the vice president run for the governor's seat he once held, leaving Walker free to choose a more compatible replacement. Meanwhile, as Christina tracks down Russo and encourages him to announce that he is ending his campaign, Claire remains in New York with Adam. When Francis summons Zoe to his house to discuss their future, she agrees to keep their relationship strictly business. After helping float the idea of Matthews returning to the Pennsylvania statehouse, Linda Vasquez suspects that Francis is using her to get himself named vice president. Though hesitant at first, Francis admits that he would like to replace Matthews, and tells Vasquez that he helped her son get into Stanford as a way to ensure her support. Slipping out of his apartment unnoticed, Russo heads for the police station where he asks to be arrested for the drunk driving charge that Francis helped bury. As Claire and Adam question the future of their relationship, Zoe turns to Washington Herald editor Lucas Goodwin for help putting her affair with Francis behind her. Alerted by the D.C. police, Francis and Stamper track Russo down and offer to help him get his life back on track. However, when Russo passes out drunk, Francis leaves him with his car running inside a locked garage, where he dies in what appears to be a suicide. Finally, as the president agrees to the plan to send Matthews back to Pennsylvania and Francis begins to position himself as his replacement, word of Russo's death brings Claire back home to be at her husband's side.
12 Chapter 12
With Jim Matthews' re-election as governor of Pennsylvania virtually certain, Francis and Linda Vasquez start pushing President Walker to select Francis as his new vice president. Blindsiding them both, however, Walker sends Francis to St. Louis to vet his own choice, billionaire businessman Raymond Tusk. As Christina begins courting Paul Capra to run for his late friend Peter Russo's House seat, Slugline reporter Janine Skorsky gets wind of the plan. When Capra avoids her questions, Janine asks Zoe what she knows about Russo's involvement in the decision to close the naval shipyard. Meanwhile, when SanCorp wants to feature a CWI water filtration project in Botswana in their corporate PR, Claire orders a reluctant Gillian Cole to help. Unwilling to back away from the Russo story, Janine accosts Christina in the Capitol cafeteria. Though it's Stamper who steps in to stop her, Janine suspects that Francis is the one behind the obstruction. So when Janine suggests a connection between the education bill and Michael Kern's botched nomination for secretary of state, Zoe agrees to head to Massachusetts and interview the man who helped sink Kern, fringe political blogger Roy Kapeniak. En route to the airport for her flight, Lucas Goodwin presses Zoe into admitting to her affair with Francis. Meanwhile, Claire is stunned to learn of Gillian's refusal to cooperate with SanCorp and suggests she take some time off to think about her commitment to CWI. As he's wrapping up his assignment in St. Louis, Francis learns that, contrary to what he's been told, Tusk is Walker's close friend and political confidant. So when pressed for a decision about the job offer, Tusk reveals that he's actually been vetting Francis to be named vice president. But when Tusk demands an undisclosed favor in exchange for his endorsement, Francis refuses and heads home. Finally, as Kapeniak's girlfriend raises some disturbing questions regarding Russo's death, Francis enlists Stamper and Vasquez in a plan to force Tusk's hand.
13 Chapter 13
Determined to gain the upper hand over businessman and presidential confidant Raymond Tusk, Francis turns to SanCorp lobbyist Remy Danton. Noting that Tusk's nuclear power investments could pose problems for the future of SanCorp's natural gas business, Francis asks Danton to convince his client to initiate a pre-emptive strike. But when Danton cautions that it will take time, Francis heads to Atlanta to see CEO Scott Cunningham himself. Meanwhile, as Gillian claims she was fired from CWI because she was pregnant, Zoe asks Lucas to get more information about Russo's drunk driving arrest. After warning her of the dangers of investigating police misconduct, Lucas tells Zoe to find Rachel Posner, a prostitute who was arrested on the same night as Russo. Upon meeting with Cunningham, Francis learns that Remy hasn't alerted him to the problems Tusk poses. With Remy continuing to insist on handling the situation his way, Francis turns to Vasquez, asking her to make it look like Walker is considering House Speaker Bob Birch for vice president. After Francis uses Zoe to leak the story to Janine, Walker, Birch and Tusk are all caught off guard by the press corps' cascade of uncomfortable questions. Meanwhile, despite Claire's apology and an offer to settle out of court, Gillian remains determined to punish CWI for its corporate connections with a painful lawsuit. Having ignited a media firestorm that's upended the search for a new vice president, Francis is summoned to a secret meeting where Tusk reveals that he's fighting SanCorp's effort to undermine him by purchasing a large block of their stock. In order to preserve his chances of replacing Matthews, Francis agrees to be Tusk's ally inside the administration, particularly on some thorny trade issues with China. With Lucas' help, Zoe tracks Rachel down -- but after Zoe presses her about Russo, Rachel turns to Stamper for help avoiding the investigation's crossfire. Finally, as the Slugline investigation threatens to connect him to Russo's death, Francis completes his daring power play when Walker asks him to be his vice president.

About this show

Ruthless and cunning, Congressman Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) stop at nothing to conquer everything. This wicked political drama penetrates the shadowy world of greed, sex and corruption in modern D.C. Kate Mara and Corey Stoll co-star in the first original series from David Fincher and Beau Willimon.

Ratings and reviews

4.1K reviews
Kevin Spacey Jam
December 2, 2017
So glad this show got cancelled. I can't believe after all these years, I've never realized until now that the main actor, Kevin Spacey was pedophile. How did I not notice that before? How blind was I back then? You know what? I don't care anymore. I just hope this scumbag goes to jail. And i hope he stays there for 10 years or longer. Because that's what you get for raping children. He deserves no sympathy whatsoever. And I mean that. I really do.
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George W. Startz
April 24, 2020
This is an interesting series. I am, however, confused as to why all episodes of Season 6 are not available in a season bundle as Seasons 1 through 5 are. I could purchase all episodes of Season 6 individually, but that would cost me $5.93 more than it would cost to purchase them in a season bundle… money is tight during this COVID-19 lockdown, and every penny counts!
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Private Citizen
April 30, 2014
Great show, loved it as much as Boss. But i want to complain about why alot of shows on google, including this one, are missing the buy season button? Must we really have to hand buy 15 or 20 seperate episodes, get 15 different credit card charges tripping bank fraud prevention, and get 15 email receipts? And since we are not subcribed to the season no notification when the next episode comes out. Hey google... Ease of shopping? Friendly UI?
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