House of Cards (2013–2018)
4 user 14 critic

Chapter 56 

With a tight race and low voter turnout on Election Day, things look grimm for Frank. But he's got one more trick up his sleeve.


Alik Sakharov


Michael Dobbs (based on the novels by), Andrew Davies (based on the mini-series by) | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Francis Underwood
Robin Wright ... Claire Underwood
Michael Kelly ... Doug Stamper
Campbell Scott ... Mark Usher
Paul Sparks ... Thomas Yates
Derek Cecil ... Seth Grayson
Neve Campbell ... Leann Harvey
Joel Kinnaman ... Will Conway
Dominique McElligott ... Hannah Conway
Boris McGiver ... Tom Hammerschmidt
Korey Jackson ... Sean Jeffries
Jayne Atkinson ... Catherine Durant
Reed Birney ... Donald Blythe
Larry Pine ... Bob Birch
Curtiss Cook ... Terry Womack


With a tight race and low voter turnout on Election Day, things look grimm for Frank. But he's got one more trick up his sleeve.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

30 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kevin Spacey (Francis Underwood) mentions Al Gore when he is conceding the election to Joel Kinnaman (Will Conway). Kevin Spacey also appeared in a TV Movie called Recount (2008), where he plays the role of Ron Klain, a Democratic strategist, to uncover the voter irregularities that occurred in Florida during the 2000 presidential election (Al Gore vs George W. Bush). See more »


Leann Harvey: I'm having déjà vu. You ever get that?
Doug Stamper: Are you seriously asking me about déjà vu?
Leann Harvey: Never mind. It's gone. You never get déjà vu? Everybody does.
Doug Stamper: I don't.
Leann Harvey: Don't look so worried, Doug. You just felt familiar for a second.
See more »

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User Reviews

"If we fail, it's on both of us. I won't be able to protect you"
24 March 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Re-watching some of Season 5 recently, it is actually better than originally thought. My original thoughts being that the show "jumped the shark" badly at this point. After re-watching, it does have major flaws, all the episodes are patchy (some more so than others) and it is nowhere near the brilliant standard of what came before. There are a good deal of great things though, and all my problems with the season (which though still remain) are actually much bigger in Season 6.

"Chapter 56" is Season 5's fourth episode, and it is the epitome of the kind of episode that has many good things but some frustrations along the way as well. It is better than the (disappointing but certainly watchable) previous episode, being more involving in terms of pacing and more of a sense of progression. But the season's first two episodes were marginally more superior with their flaws not bothering me as much as here.

It certainly looks great, full of style, atmosphere and class classic 'House of Cards' style. The music complements well, not feeling too over-the-top or inappropriate. The direction shines in the more tense character interactions, namely Frank and Claire which was true for pretty much the whole of Season 5. Enough of the script is thought-provoking and is never really less than engaging.

There is plenty of political intrigue, the best of which having a thriller-like tension. Frank and Claire continue to be fascinating characters, that was never lost throughout Seasons 1-5 (it was sadly lost with Claire in Season 6) and their character interaction is both entertaining and chilling. The ending is a contender for my favourite of the season, it gave me more chills than that of "Chapter 53" (and that ending was a highlight of that episode). The pace is tighter here with higher stakes and the acting from all is terrific.

Sadly, there are debits with "Chapter 56". The rest of the characters have been far more interesting and complex before. Doug on a minor side not though has the right amount of intensity, though even the writing for him in prime-'House of Cards' had more cohesion. Back on target with regarding the characterisation mostly flawed, this is particularly true for Yates. For me he was a dull character that served very little point, the case throughout Season 5, and absurdly written and dumbed down too. Again, didn't get anything from his chemistry with Claire and the dialogue between them is quite melodramatic and silly.

Moreover, the storytelling has had far more freshness and suffers from some convolution in parts (inducing some head-scratching) and with some ridiculous character decision making (especially sex-related). The writing is mixed, great with Frank and Claire but especially weak with Claire and Yates.

In conclusion, pretty good but there was real potential for it to be much better than it actually was. 6.5/10

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