It's time for everyone to clear their weekend schedules, because Netflix is preparing to unleash an outbreak of binge-watching with the return of gripping political drama House of Cards. Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) has clawed his way into the White House, leaving behind a trail of casualties and bringing partner in crime Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) with him, but what will Frank do now that he's finally achieved his goal of becoming President?
Don't ask the trailers for House of Cards season 3 that question, because they're (thankfully) not giving much away. Over the weekend Netflix has recently released two new promotional videos: the first, titled Traces, is effectively a short film directed by Wright and doesn't show any actual footage from the next season, instead merely foreshadowing events to come; the second is shorter but features clips from the show, including shots of Frank campaigning for the continuation of his presidency after 2016.
There's plenty to be parsed from both these trailers, and fans are already speculating that the way Claire's shoes fall in Traces is an omen of what will happen to the Underwoods in season 3. Given House of Cards' ability to continually surprise its audience, however, it's probably not worth trying to predict what showrunner Beau Willimon has planned.
There are certainly signs of discord within the Underwoods' marriage, however. A previous clip showed Claire flinching away from Frank during a photo shoot and being confronted about it by him, and in the new trailer she admits that she's "starting to question all of it." Considering their partnership is as political as it is romantic, a war between the Underwoods could be enough to bring everything tumbling down.
Kevin Spacey picked up the Best Actor at the Golden Globes this year, where House of Cards was nominated for two additional awards. Alongside Orange is the New Black it's easily one of Netflix's most critically-acclaimed original series (though we don't know much about its audience numbers) and the streaming service is looking to massively expand its original programming in the coming years.
Whether House of Cards will remain as a tentpole show for Netflix and continue into further seasons remains to be seen, but if the third season is also the final one then we could see a dramatic end to Frank Underwood's reign.
House of Cards season 3 will premiere on Netflix on February 27, 2015.