If you haven't finished season three of House of Cards yet, what are you doing? You've had a whole weekend and a couple of days! Who needs work, friends or fresh air anyway?
We chatted with Mahershala Ali, who plays Remy Danton in the Netflix original series, about reactions to the new (and somewhat different) season three, his character's future and the crazy theory that the show will be ending after four seasons. Four seasons, 13 episodes each, 52 cards in a deck... You do the math!
Be warned, if you really haven't finished the new season (stop reading and go do it right now), there are some spoilers ahead!
Reviews for the third season of the political drama have been pretty split. Some people love the new pacing and story arcs, while others miss the devious plans and scheming they're used to seeing from Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and the rest of the cast.
"It's a very different season from the first two. Season three is very different from season two," Mahershala admits. "Some people are totally crazy about it and some people I noticed are like, 'It's not as action-driven in a certain way as perhaps the first season.' But I think you have to kind of pull back and make space for the story to continue to unfold because it's a living, breathing thing."
The biggest question of course for Remy, is whether his story is coming to an end. The season ended with the now White House Chief of Staff quitting his job and expressing his desire to get out of the political world. So is that it for Frank's enemy turned right-hand man?
"I don't know, honestly. I think for everyone, obviously besides Frank and Claire (Robin Wright), it's always kind of a year-to-year thing. I think they always have to sit down and look at what is best for the story and what continues to push things along." Mahershala adds, "And if any character fits into that plan, then that person would be there. If in some ways that doesn't push the larger story forward, this might be it for Remy. We just have to see."
One of the biggest moments from this season was that (passionate) moment of weakness between Remy and recently married, Congresswoman Jackie Sharp (Molly Parker). The pair has a pretty complicated past and the last scene we see them in together just makes things even more confusing.
Was this latest hookup the start of something new or was it some sort of strange closure?
"I think it's a goodbye, believe it or not. I think it's a goodbye because they have been struggling. Jackie has really kind of been working to create a life for herself, independent of Remy."
Don't really know how a final hookup doesn't make things more complicated...
"The reality is that as things stand, they can't be together. I think the stakes are higher for her than for Remy. She obviously can't continue on with an affair. What Remy wants would require her to get a divorce and leave her husband. I just don't think that that's going to happen. For their own well-being, just get away from each other."
With a great show that's literally dripping with symbolism, there has to be something with a name like House of Cards, right? As mentioned above, each season has 13 episodes and 52 cards equals a full deck. Will season four be its last?
"I've never heard that one," Mahershala laughs. "I think that they can keep going as long as it's working, whether that's four seasons or six seasons. I don't think they're going to run the show into the ground. I think that they're all smart enough to know and sense when it's time to wrap it up."
A good poker face or just keeping his cards close to the chest? Whatever the case, the way this season ends, it looks like this house of cards is about to collapse. And we can't wait for more.