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Robin Wright will replace Kevin Spacey in House of Cards. She deserved the lead all along.

Netflix has announced Robin Wright will replace Kevin Spacey as the lead in the final season of House of Cards, following the actor’s firing after recent sexual assault allegations.

About time.

Not only for a man to realise that such behaviour has consequences (hopefully you’re next, President Trump) but also because Claire Underwood, played by Wright, has always been the best part of House of Cards.

Image: Netflix

In fact, it's a move that many consider overdue and almost a shame that it took an incident like this for the show to realise the potential of its female lead.

Spacey may have been the star of the Netflix Original as President Frank Underwood, but Wright as his wife Claire consistently stole the show.

Not only was she his equal in strength, intelligence and manipulation, she was actually often his superior.

Image: Netflix
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She did everything he did - and more - and what's more she did it in heels. Always. Ever notice that aside from exercising, she never wore flats?

While Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood played an old, white ambitious man that although well done can be seen on at least a dozen other TV shows, Claire Underwood gave us something different.

She was smart, ambitious, sometimes cold, sometimes sentimental, manipulative, ruthless woman who wasn't afraid to ask for what she wanted in all aspects of her life, romantically or professionally.

Most importantly, she wasn't wholly good or wholly bad, she was clever and complex. She's the type of female character traditionally we don't see.

Listen: House of Cards season four and five recap. Post continues after audio.

Both in character and as a pair on screen, Claire/Robin made Frank/Kevin better. (In fact, let's not forget that it was looking at statistics that audience's liked Claire Underwood better than Frank that made Wright ask producers for equal pay.)

As Frank's wife, she was regularly needed to boost his popularity. So often, they liked him BECAUSE they liked her. And while Frank was often depicted as the master manipulator/villain in the terrible, terrible things the pair have done (still not over Peter Russo's death TBH), not only was Claire there for most of it, she's arguably done some of the worst things.

She's murdered, blackmailed and betrayed her way to the top, going from First Lady of the United States to United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Vice President and then President of the United States.

Image: Netflix
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We also can't discuss Claire Underwood's excellence without talking about her wardrobe (and her hair). Sorry, but it's true.

No-one does power dressing better. So sleek! So chic! So put together! Even in activewear!

The move to make Wright the lead of the series also makes sense in the narrative.

In the last episode of Season Five, we see Claire betray her promise to give a public pardon to Frank following his resignation as President in her first address as acting President.

Image: Netflix

When he calls her angrily to ask why, she refuses his call before turning to the camera to break the fourth wall as we've seen Frank do, to say "My turn".

She'd already replaced him.

One thing though - as the show's strengths have been in the rivalry and dynamics between the pair, without Frank they will need to introduce another character who is strong enough to provide genuine rivalry or competition to Claire.

As to how they'll explain the shift in Season Three, it's rumoured they're considering killing off Frank Underwood entirely.

“We were really excited we could get to an agreement… for the conclusion of the show,” Sarandos said on Monday at UBS’s Global Media and Communications Conference in New York.

When a show is successful enough to make it to multiple seasons, the creators and producers need to make sure they're making the changes to make each season worth watching. In my mind, the sixth and final season is already a winner.

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