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The Best Episodes of House of Cards

Updated May 18, 2020 846 votes 163 voters 8.0k 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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  • Chapter 261
    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.
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  • Chapter 12
    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.
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  • Chapter 143
    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.
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  • Chapter 524
    Season 4 Episode 13: As the hostage situation continues, Claire secretly negotiates with Yusuf al Ahmadi. Frank confronts Hammerschmidt.
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  • Chapter 325
    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.
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  • Chapter 166
    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.
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  • Chapter 117
    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.
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  • Chapter 438
    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.
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  • Chapter 129
    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.
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  • Chapter 1710
    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.
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  • Chapter 511
    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.
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  • Chapter 4212
    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.
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  • Chapter 2113
    Season 2 Episode 8: The war with Tusk intensifies. Claire influences Tricia Walker politically and domestically. Francis has a show-down with Linda Vasquez.
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  • Chapter 3014
    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.
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  • Chapter 6415
    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.
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  • Chapter 6016
    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.
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  • Chapter 317
    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.
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  • Chapter 918
    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.
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  • Chapter 4919
    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.
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  • Chapter 5020
    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.
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  • Chapter 3921
    Season 3 Episode 13: In the midst of the Iowa caucuses, Frank and Claire must confront hard truths about each other.
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  • Chapter 4122
    Season 4 Episode 2: As Claire begins exploring a campaign of her own, she and Frank engage in backdoor political maneuvering. But this time they're not on the same side.
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  • Chapter 5323
    Season 5 Episode 1: Francis (Kevin Spacey) diverts attention from a congressional investigation into his political misdeeds with his most audacious declaration ever.
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  • Chapter 4624
    Season 4 Episode 7: Frank and Claire adjust to their new reality. The search for Frank's running mate begins. Frank starts a campaign to weaken Conway's strong support.
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  • Chapter 625
    Season 1 Episode 6: Despite an unpopular teachers' strike, Francis (Kevin Spacey) turns up the heat on his union counterpart. Meanwhile, as Russo (Corey Stoll) commits to sobriety in order to run for governor, Claire (Robin Wright) is forced to face up to the compromises demanded by her marriage to Francis.
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