The second Underwood Administration is officially underway — and this time, it's Claire who is in charge of the country. But our new President Underwood won't have to worry about any interference from her husband, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), as the latest teaser trailer for the House of Cards' sixth and final season reveals that Frank Underwood is being killed off.
In the clip, which was released via Twitter on Wednesday, Sept. 5, Robin Wright's character stands in a cemetery, addressing her disgraced husband — who, at the end of Season 5 resigned as President in order for her to take over the Oval Office — about her legacy. Echoing a line that Frank himself said when he took over the presidency in Season 3, Claire says, "I'll tell you this, though, Francis: When I die, they won't bury me in my backyard. And when they come to pay their respects, they'll have to wait in line."
After that line, part of which was delivered directly to the camera in one of the show's trademark audience addresses, the camera pans back to reveal two headstones, one belonging to Frank's father, Calvin Underwood, and one belonging to the former POTUS himself, which reads "Frank Underwood, 1959-2017. 46th President of the United States."
Netflix and the political thriller announced that they were cutting ties with Spacey back in November, after sexual harassment allegations against the actor surfaced, including accusations of sexual misconduct from actor Anthony Rapp. (In a statement released on Twitter, Spacey claimed not to remember the former incident; he denied the rape accusations through his reps.) Other allegations of inappropriate behavior spanning decades soon emerged.
Production on House of Cards was suspended shortly afterwards, amidst CNN reported on allegations that Spacey turned the show's set into a "toxic work environment" during his tenure as star and executive producer. After Netflix decided to cut ties with the star, Variety reported back in December that producers were considering killing off Spacey's character, in order to allow Wright and the character of Claire to better take the spotlight — and now, it seems as if Frank is joining the long line of Washington operatives who have met the demise in the Underwoods' quest for power.
Season 5 of House of Cards ended with a significant twist, with some of Frank's crimes (including the Chinese money laundering scandal that took down his predecessor, and the death of Kate Mara's Zoe Barnes) catching up with him. In order to hold onto power, he resigned as President, leaving wife Claire in charge, with the hope that she would pardon him for his crimes. However, when the season concluded, Claire had yet to pardon her husband, and instead, turned to the audience and declared that it was "my turn" to lead.
Of course, while killing off Frank does help the show re-center itself around Wright as the star and Claire as the main character in the simplest and quickest manner, it does raise one big question: Did Claire have Frank killed in order to hold onto power? It wouldn't be too far out of the realm of possibility for the clever, conniving former First Lady, who killed her lover, Tom Yates, near the end of Season 5.
Plus, let us not forget that Jane Davis, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, played by Patricia Clarkson, had a pointed conversation with Claire in the season finale about the best way to have someone killed, and even made a specific mention about the fact that Frank had a liver transplant that "could fail." Even before House of Cards cut ties with Spacey, it seems as if they had been laying the groundwork for a possible attempt on Frank's life. Now, it's just a matter of time before fans find out what, exactly, brought the power-hungry former president down for good.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.