Emmy Episode Analysis: Kevin Spacey (‘House of Cards’) takes presidency, next Drama Actor?

Devious Kevin Spacey has taken the presidency as Francis Underwood on Netflix’s “House of Cards,” and now looks to scheme his way to a Best Drama Actor victory at the Emmys.

Exclusive: Netflix Emmy episode submissions for ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Orange’ …

SYNOPSIS: In Spacey’s submitted episode, “Chapter 26,” Frank finds himself in hot water: President Walker (Michael Gill) and Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney), once his allies, are conspiring to take him down after figuring out his shady plans. Frank counters by secretly meeting with Tusk at an opera house, promising him much success if he switches sides, but Tusk refuses.

Frank heads home in defeat, but his wife, Claire (Robin Wright), tells him to do whatever it takes to regain the trust of the president. So Frank rolls the dice by writing a letter that would allow the president to pin the entire looming corruption scandal on Frank. The gamble pays off, and the Walker instructs Tusk not to testify against Frank at a congressional hearing.

But at the hearing, Tusk eventually does as Frank suggested and turns against Walker, claiming the president was involved in dirty dealings with China. As a result, Walker decides to step down, clearing the way for Frank to become president of the United States. Frank is sworn in immediately after Walker’s resignation and back at the White House pounds the desk in his Oval Office in a moment of triumph.

Will Emmy voters elect Spacey as Best Drama Actor? Let’s analyze the pros and cons:


Spacey has a great arc in the episode, starting as a vulnerable vice president and navigating his way into the presidency. During the episode you feel for Frank, shake your head at him, and cheer his victory.

Francis Underwood is a master of manipulation, but Spacey finds a way, especially in this episode, to make us cheer him on. His voice-over monologue as he writes his letter to the president is a great moment for Frank and Spacey.

Current Drama Actor frontrunner Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective“) may be a recent Oscar-winner, but Spacey is a two-time Oscar winner. He can match anyone in this category on the level of celeb status and overall esteem.


“House of Cards” was the most buzzed about show last year, and now it may not even be the most buzzed about show on Netflix right now, as “Orange is the New Black” has stolen some of its thunder.

Spacey doesn’t get a big fireworks scene or a wide range of emotions to play. Just as Francis is about to snap, his wife remotivates him, and he goes back into his regular scheming mode.

Francis is a jerk. Plain and simple. It’s hard to root for the guy when he’s destroying so many in his path.

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Spacey currently sits fourth in our standings with 50/1 odds. Are we underestimating the newly sworn-in president? Make your predictions below.

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