Here Are All The Ways House Of Cards Could Write Kevin Spacey Out Of The Show

List Rules
Vote up the most plausible exits for the disgraced actor.

Kevin Spacey's sexual misconduct has finally gone public, thanks to actor Anthony Rapp, who alleges Spacey assaulted him when the Stark Trek: Discovery actor was just 14. Since then, Netflix and everyone working on House of Cards had done the good thing and cut ties with the sexual assaulter. But what does this mean for the show, in which for five successful seasons Spacey has played a central role?

Five seasons in, the House of Cards storyline had shown no signs of stopping: the series had already begun filming the sixth season when Rapp's allegations were announced. Spacey's character, Frank Underwood, was the one around which most of the entire show centered; he was the American president (though not anymore, as of the season five finale), he was the man that built the titular House of Cards, he was the one that delivered monologues to camera and broke all the fourth walls. So what does this villain's departure mean for Netflix's flagship of original content, and how can the show possibly go on?

It turns out there are a lot of ways House of Cards could write out Kevin Spacey. Fans across the Internet have come together to theorize about the future of the show. And here's the consensus: a House of Cards without Kevin Spacey, is not about to come tumbling down.  

  • 1
    42 VOTES

    Claire Could Kill Frank

    Claire Could Kill Frank
    Photo: Netflix

    After Claire turns to the camera and delivers that exhilarating line, "My turn" at the end of Season 5, you've got to start wondering if this is foreshadowing for the entirety of Season 6 being all about Claire's term as America's first female president. House of Cards is already an intriguing show; just imagine how much more politically intriguing it could become if it elected a female president before America did. Even before the Spacey debacle, most fans thought Claire was a far more interesting character than Frank anyway. As it turns out, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos thinks so too, as he recently confirmed that Season 6 will be all about Claire. Now it's just speculation as to how she's going to conveniently ditch her husband without showing him at all.

    One Redditor, S_fan, thinks that Claire should kill Frank much in the same way that Frank killed a dog in the very first episode of House of Cards:  

    "In the opening scene of the pilot a dog gets hit by a car in front of Frank's house and is suffering and unlikely to survive. Frank comes out and says something to the effect of 'something you need to put a maimed poor animal out of its misery' and ends the dogs suffering. Technically Frank's political career and even freedom is in as bad of shape as that dog life was. Maybe Claire decides to 'put him down'." 

    It makes a certain kind of sense and would serve as a nice bookend to Frank's tenure on the show.  

    42 votes
  • 2
    31 VOTES

    Frank Could Die Of Liver Failure

    Frank Could Die Of Liver Failure
    Photo: Netflix

    One Redditor pointed out that the show may have already been foreshadowing Frank's death long before Spacey's sexual misconduct came to light, referring to the poor health of Frank's liver, following him getting shot. Redditor kakallak pointed out:  

    "They already floated it in the last season. Frank Underwood is relying on number of medications pursuant to his liver replacement after being shot. Easy fix really, quite convenient." 

    Makes sense, actually. 

    31 votes
  • 3
    34 VOTES

    Frank Could Go To Prison

    Frank Could Go To Prison
    Photo: Netflix

    Spacey doesn't necessarily need to be on the scene for the house of cards he's built up to come crashing down. Could the show shift its focus from the Underwood presidency to the journalists uncovering the corruption within that could cause the whole thing to fall in on itself? Tom Hammerschmidt, one of the journalists in the show, has done a lot of deep diving into Frank's scheme to impeach former president Garrett Walker, so who's to say he won't publish an article that lands Frank in prison?  

    The actor behind Hammerschmidt's character also thinks this might be the case. Boris McIver has said that he wants to bring Frank down in Season 6:  

    "I hope that I get to bring the Underwoods to justice. Even if they are ultimately going to get pardoned anyway, which happens to most presidents. Even if it came down to them being publicly accused for their crimes and arrested. With Stamper being under house arrest for what he is being accused of, that is crazy! It would be nice if I were able to make it happen." 

    34 votes
  • 4
    39 VOTES

    Frank Could Die With No Context

    Frank Could Die With No Context
    Photo: Netflix

    Who's to say that the show will even address Frank's death in depth? One Reddit user certainly thinks this will be the case. As boxjellyblues speculates:  

    "Does it have to be justified? Just cold-open to Frank Underwood's casket draped in a flag and move on. This is a weird situation - everybody will know the real reason for Spacey not being in the show, so any extensive explanations are just going to come across as pointless filler." 

    This could definitely be the easiest, cleanest and most efficient way for the show to carry on without focusing on Spacey's sexual assault-related absence.  

    39 votes
  • 5
    36 VOTES

    Frank Could Go To A Mental Institution

    Frank Could Go To A Mental Institution
    Photo: Netflix

    One extreme theory that then again may not seem so far-fetched is that Frank has actually been a delusional mental case this entire time (as evidenced by his constant talking to us/himself and breaking the fourth wall, as well as his psychotic and murderous behavior). Writer Minou Clark summarizes the Internet theory thus: 

    "...Frank suffers from some kind of mental disorder that causes him to hallucinate. Frank often speaks in asides to the camera. These private asides could be him describing his feelings to a psychiatrist. That’s a bit of a stretch, but if Frank is simply talking to himself, that could also be taken as a sign of a possible mental disorder."

    Naturally, we wouldn't really see this occur in the new season, but Netflix could make use of flashback clips and previously acquired footage to spin this tale.

    36 votes
  • 6
    22 VOTES

    Doug Stamper Could Emerge To Dethrone Frank... Or Claire

    Doug Stamper Could Emerge To Dethrone Frank... Or Claire
    Photo: Netflix

    The presidency isn't the only point of interest in House of Cards. It's more like: sure, come for Kevin Spacey, stay for all the amazing characters that surround him. The series has always been way more than the Kevin Spacey delivering southern-accented monologues about "power" to the camera. To that end, Netflix is reportedly eyeing up a possible spin-off for Michael Kelly's character, Doug Stamper. Variety has reported that there are at least two possible spin offs in the works, though as of yet, it hasn't been confirmed just who these spins-offs will be about.  

    In order to make sense of Underwood's sudden disappearance, will Stamper play a big part? He knows practically more than Underwood does himself, and carefully manipulates the president behind the scenes. He's a diligent, right-hand man who originally served both Underwoods, but now that Will Stamper have Claire's back? Will he be insuring that no one challenges her position at the top of the Washington heap? Will his role increase now that Frank is out of the picture? Will we see more from him now that Frank isn't dominating his narrative? Time will tell!  Now that Frank's out of the picture, there is sure to be some manipulative political power player who will snake up behind Claire in an attempt to dethrone her.

    22 votes