House of Cards season three is finally upon us. After a miserable year of scrolling through Netflix without something addictive to watch, Kevin Spacey is about to give our lives meaning once again.

Season two left us with our jaws on the floor; Frank Underwood was the President after his Machiavellian power play paid the ultimate dividend, Stamper was lying half-dead in a forest somewhere after being clonked on the head with a rock by Rachel and hacker Gavin successfully infiltrated the AT&T servers.

With so much left to be resolved, here are five reasons why you must watch the third season.

Frank’s Presidency

After successfully manipulating power to the point where he now occupies the Oval Office, the tale of Frank’s presidency will be the central focus of the third season. After the disastrous end to Walker’s tenure, the country is in disarray and Frank will face his toughest challenge yet in trying to reclaim the trust of the American people.

Having ended the dispute with China – his first act as president in the season two finale – Frank will now focus on problems on the home front. After scheming his way into being President, can Frank deliver now that he has what he wants?

Gavin’s Crusade

One of the most intriguing sub-plots to season two was Gavin – an extremely sophisticated hacker – who lured the Washington Herald’s Lucas into collaborating with him before going behind his back, ultimately leading to Lucas’ arrest.

It was revealed during season two that Gavin is a rather reluctant informant for the FBI. However, will the guilt of Lucas rotting away in a jail cell force him to sever his ties with the Bureau so he can uncover the corruption that exists at the government’s highest levels?

Is Doug Alive?

The last time we saw Stamper, he was lying lifeless in a pile of leaves off the beaten track. After believing that Rachel was in danger, his attempts to get her to safety were interpreted by her as a murder plot and she lashed out at him, hitting him on the head with a rock before stealing his car and fleeing.

Doug has been a pivotal cog in the Underwood rise to power so surely he must be alive? If not, Frank has a lot more work on his hands.

Claire Is Starting To Lose It 

From the look of the latest trailer– released this week- not all is right with Claire. The trailer opens with her ploughing away on the rowing machine with a more than tense expression slapped across her face before hearing her say to Frank: “I’m starting to question all of it Francis. what are we doing it for?”

It is obvious that, especially considering Claire ran away temporarily in season two to be with Adam Gallaway, the marriage of the Underwoods is put to the sword during season three. Claire’s conscience is beginning to haunt her by the look of it and it will be compelling viewing to see how Frank balances an unhappy wife with being the leader of the free world.

The Acting Talent

What has stayed constant throughout the ups and down of House of Cards has been the brilliance of the two central characters and their supporting cast.

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright have been exceptionally compelling in leading the series while they have been supported admirably by the likes of Michael Kelly (Stamper), Michel Gill (President Walker) and Molly Parker (Jackie Sharp).

In a political drama, it is essential for the actors to keep the viewer enthralled as we dip into the policy-heavy scenes and the collective talent in House of Cards succeeds with skill and depth.

Expect more virtuoso performances in the third season. Expect more gripping drama too.

Matt Gault

House of Cards season three will be available on Netflix from Friday 27th February. All thirteen episode will be released at once.