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The Best Episodes of House of Cards

Updated May 18, 2020 897 votes 181 voters 8.9k views65 items

There are so many good episodes of House of Cards, but which ones really stand out? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of House of Cards are, let's rank every House of Cards episode from best to worst.

House of Cards on Netflix is a political thriller that originally starred Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. The series, based on the 1990 BBC miniseries of the same name, tells the story of Congressman Frank Underwood (Spacey) and his wife, Clair Underwood (Wright), as they plot to attain power in Washington D.C. House of Cards has received recognition from major awards organizations, including the Emmys, Golden Globe Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards; in 2013, it won the Peabody Award. Following sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, which surfaced in October of 2017, Netflix announced on December 4, 2017 that the final season of House of Cards would still take place, but without Spacey's involvement and with Wright's character as the new central figure.

Vote up your favorite episodes of House of Cards, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one House of Cards episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like. And for more political thrillers, check out these other shows like House of Cards.

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  • 1
    Season 2 Episode 13: Francis faces annihilation while the nation is in an uproar. Stamper must tie up loose ends. Claire feels the cost of ruthlessness.
  • 2
    Season 1 Episode 1: After he's denied the job of secretary of state by the newly elected president, Congressman Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) plots his revenge, aided by his loyalists on Capitol Hill and a brash young newspaper reporter who will stop at nothing to promote her own career.
  • 3
    Season 2 Episode 1: The Underwoods tackle two threats that could bring their plans to ruin. Francis grooms his replacement as Whip. Claire goes on the offensive.
  • 4
    Season 4 Episode 13: As the hostage situation continues, Claire secretly negotiates with Yusuf al Ahmadi. Frank confronts Hammerschmidt.
  • 5
    Season 2 Episode 3: Tension rises between Francis and Raymond Tusk as the situation with China deteriorates. A battle in the Senate pits Francis against the Republicans.
  • 6
    Season 3 Episode 6: Frank and Claire travel to Moscow to negotiate the return of an imprisoned U.S. citizen. Claire takes a stand that jeopardizes their plans.
  • 7
    Season 1 Episode 11: Following the collapse of Russo's (Corey Stoll) campaign, Francis (Kevin Spacey) launches a risky ploy to join the Walker administration.
  • 8
    Season 2 Episode 4: A terror scare at the Capitol traps Francis with a resentful Donald Blythe. Claire gives a live interview that rocks the media.
  • 9
    Season 4 Episode 4: Claire threatens Frank. Frank makes a politically bold move that may provoke Russia. An event at a campaign stop changes everything.
  • 10
    Season 1 Episode 12: As the search for a new vice president lands Francis (Kevin Spacey) in the middle of a billionaire businessman's own power play, Zoe (Kate Mara) and Janine (Constance Zimmer) close in on the truth behind Russo's alleged suicide. Guest starring Gerald McRaney.
  • 11
    Season 2 Episode 8: The war with Tusk intensifies. Claire influences Tricia Walker politically and domestically. Francis has a show-down with Linda Vasquez.
  • 12
    Season 1 Episode 5: As Francis (Kevin Spacey) and Zoe (Kate Mara) mix business with pleasure, a showdown with the teachers' union over the education bill threatens to derail Claire's (Robin Wright) CWI fundraiser.
  • 13
    Season 4 Episode 3: Claire joins Frank as he stumps in South Carolina, but he doesn't trust her. A disastrous scandal blindsides Frank's campaign on primary day.
  • 14
    Season 5 Episode 1: Francis (Kevin Spacey) diverts attention from a congressional investigation into his political misdeeds with his most audacious declaration ever.
  • 15
    Season 3 Episode 4: Claire bypasses Russia at the U.N. Frank tries to outmaneuver a potential challenger and ends up face to face with a higher power.
  • 16
    Season 3 Episode 7: The damage is done and the Underwoods must repair it. But deep wounds don't heal fast, and sometimes not at all.
  • 17
    Season 5 Episode 5: With the fate of the presidency in Congress' hands, Francis (Kevin Spacey) steps into a familiar role, whipping votes while Claire (Robin Wright) is forced to reexamine her own ambitions.
  • 18
    Season 5 Episode 8: An elite gathering in the woods and an international incident provide the Underwoods with a chance to rise above their nature.
  • 19
    Season 5 Episode 12: Francis' (Kevin Spacey) almost certain political downfall forces Claire (Robin Wright) to pay the ultimate personal cost to remain in the White House.
  • 20
    Season 1 Episode 3: As a tragedy in his home district forces Francis (Kevin Spacey) to abandon the teachers' union negotiations on the education bill, Zoe's (Kate Mara) elevated public profile creates friction at the Herald.
  • 21
    Season 1 Episode 9: As Russo (Corey Stoll) hits the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, Francis (Kevin Spacey) pulls out all the stops to pass the watershed bill, even as Claire is undermining him behind the scenes.
  • 22
    Season 4 Episode 11: Frank ups the ante on the war on terror to counter Conway's public show of strength. Tom joins Claire on the campaign trail.
  • 23
    Season 4 Episode 10: As Frank deals with a new threat to his candidacy, Claire has doubts about their plan. Claire faces a difficult decision concerning her mother.
  • 24
    Season 1 Episode 13: As Zoe's (Kate Mara) investigation threatens to connect him to Russo's death, Francis (Kevin Spacey) goes head to head with a powerful billionaire in his quest to become vice president.
  • 25
    Season 2 Episode 10: With a military stand-off overseas and potential violence at home, Francis wants to finish off Tusk for good. Claire and Jackie Sharp collide.