Stills from the upcoming season of the Netflix show tease some newcomers.
It’s time to meet the Shepherds.
On Monday, Netflix released a number of photos from the sixth and final season of House of Cards, showcasing some new power players that Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) will have to contend with. In the images, Underwood is rubbing elbows with Annette and Bill Shepherd (played by Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear), a sister-and-brother duo who run a leading industrial conglomerate and are looking to exert some serious influence in Washington, according to a press release.
In one image, Underwood appears to be holding up Annette’s hand at some type of charity event or blood drive. In another, Underwood is showing Bill Francis Underwood’s “Sentinel” ring, a memento from his days at a military academy. This is particularly interesting because, following Kevin Spacey’s firing from the show after several sexual misconduct allegations arose, speculation has swirled regarding how Netflix will explain Francis’ absence after handing over the presidency amid a number of scandals in season five.
Francis buried his original ring in season two at a Civil War battlefield where his ancestor died. When he is named president at the end of that season, his wife had remade the ring for him. This image of Claire with his ring seems to hint that he no longer needs it.
Also appearing in the newly released images is actor Cody Fern, who is portraying Duncan Shepherd, Annette's ambitious son who has his own plans in politics.
When Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Series at Netflix, spoke at the streaming giant’s Summer Television Critics Association press day, she discussed making the final season, stating that she is “proud” of what the cast and crew accomplished.
"It's a fitting end. We had always planned for season six to be the final season," she said. "I'm very proud of what Robin [Wright did]."
After Spacey’s departure from the show, Wright discussed the shocking turn of events on the Today show in early July, explaining that she and the now-disgraced actor had a strictly working relationship.
"Kevin and I knew each other between action and cut, and in between setups where we would giggle," she said. "I didn't really -- I didn't know the man. I knew the incredible craftsman that he is."
Get more details on Wright's Today show interview in the clip below.