Season 5 of Netflix’s much loved political juggernaut House of Cards returns this week as Frank and Claire Underwood hit the campaign trail. But as it’s been so long, and the real world of politics seems to have fused into House of Cards’ brand of shocking make belief, we thought you could all do with a Season 4 recap to see just where the Underwoods are at.

House of Cards Season 5 Preview/Season 4 Recap

Frank and Claire’s Marriage

America’s most terrifying couple were on the rocks at the start of Season 4, with Claire hiding out at her dying mother’s Texan ranch while plotting her own political career with new aide Leann. While initially wanting to run solo, she soon becomes fixated with becoming Frank’s running mate in the upcoming election, threatening him with divorce if he doesn’t agree; “I can be a part of your campaign, or I can end it.”

Frank Gets Shot

During a campaign rally Frank get shot by Lucas Goodwin, a reporter who was co-worker and former lover of Zoe Barnes, Frank’s former fling who he chucked under a train. Literally. On a mission to expose Frank as a murderer, Goodwin shoots Frank and is then shot dead by Edward Meechum (Frank’s bodyguard), who is also killed in the crossfire.

Frank has 3/4 of his liver removed and his life hangs on a thread while he awaits a transplant. Meanwhile, Claire heads back to the White House to guide Frank’s hapless VP, Donald Blythe. During a press conference, Claire shares Goodwin’s suicide note in which he accuses Frank of killing Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo. The note is brushed off and Goodwin is branded as ‘troubled’ and ‘mentally ill’.

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The Underwoods Reunite

Frank’s life is saved when he receives a new liver after Doug Stamper blackmails the Secretary of Health to push him up the transplant list. While Claire initially avoids visiting Frank, the Underwoods are eventually reunited when Frank is moved to the White House after surgery. Claire agrees to re-join him as First Lady. As well as having an affair with scriptwriter Tom Yates (encouraged by Frank), Claire eventually becomes Frank’s running mate for the election.

Remy Danton and Jackie Sharp

Throughout Season 4 Remy Danton and Jackie Sharp continue their affair. Leann, Claire Underwood’s aide, finds out about the relationship and blackmails Remy into helping Claire strike a US-China energy deal with Raymond Tusk. Jackie is against the new deal and ends things with Remy when she finds out about the blackmail. At the end of the season, Jackie leaves her husband and the pair are finally reunited.

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Will Conway

Having clinched the Democratic nomination, Frank then focuses his attentions on his Republican rival, a charismatic, young, handsome, ex-military man by the name of Will Conway. Frank attempts to smear Conway by leaking his connection to Pollyhop, a search engine which gives Conway access to voter data. The attempt fails.

In the final two episodes, Frank is forced to work with Conway after a terrorist organisation named ICO takes a US family hostage and say that they will only speak with Conway. After some dirty tricks on both sides, ICO release two of the hostages. Frank then puts the terrorists through to their leader, who snaps and instructs them to kill the remaining hostage.

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Tom Hammerschmidt

Throughout the season, Lucas Goodwin’s former boss Tom Hammershcmidt investigates claims of Frank’s corruption and murders. During a meeting, Frank admits to leaking stories to Zoe Barnes but denies all other allegations. Hammerschmidt still goes public with his findings.

‘We Make the Terror’

With just three weeks until the election, Claire suggests a change of tactic; “I’m done trying to win over people’s hearts…we can work with fear.” Frank then appears on TV to declare that the US is now at war with ICO, purposefully striking fear into voters. The season ends with Claire joining Frank in breaking the fourth wall for the first time and Frank stating: “We don’t submit to terror, we make the terror.”

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What to Expect from Season 5

Season 5 looks as though it will all be about the election. The first trailer starts with Frank exclaiming, “the American people don’t know what’s best for them, I do. I know exactly what they need.” We see scenes of the Underwoods attending a funeral, Claire being bundled into a car while a riot ensues outside the White House, and Thomas Conway revelling in polls which show a nation divided. The trailer ends with Frank promising “one nation, Underwood”, before reeling off all the years he plans to stay in office.

House of Cards Season 5 will begin on Tuesday 30th May as Frank Underwood runs for re-election. Check out the full trailer below.

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