Netflix original programming hit a new tier of mainstream visibility with House of Cards, and the show is now proving the long-term viability of the streaming service model, as it continues to create buzz and anticipation going into season 3 – the sort of momentum most network (or even cable) shows find it difficult to maintain.

When we last left things at The Hill, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) had done the impossible and threaded the needle in his grab for power, taking hold of the presidency. Even still, there are flimsy foundations on Frank’s house of cards, and as seen above, just one wrong gust of wind – in any direction – could blow the Underwoods’ hot new cards clear out of their grip. But America’s Macbeth couple won’t give up the hand they’ve seized so easily – now that the stakes are higher than ever.

This third season seems to focus on the two-fold reality of the Underwoods’ new situation: they have all the power they’ve ever craved, but being in the Oval Office is also like being in an aquarium: now everyone is watching how these two sharks swim, leaving them less room for their predatory maneuvers, and zero margin for error, lest they become chum for other big sharks in the water.

House of Cards Season 3 poster fan made 570x864 House of Cards Season 3 Trailer: Holding Onto the Hand Dealt

Fan Poster by Hessam@DeviantART

Coming off a Golden Globe win for his role as Frank Underwood, Kevin Spacey is positioned better than ever to shine in this new season. Of course his Lady Macbeth, Robin Wright, will likely continue to get fleshed out, in more expansive storylines and episodes of her own (as evidenced by season 2).

What will be interesting to see is whether or not expanded focus is given to other supporting characters like suave lobbyist Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali), former president Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) or hacker-turned-government lackey Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) – all of whom seem to have new status quo positions in the era of the Underwood administration.

House of Cards Season 3 will premiere on Netflix on February 27, 2015.

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