If you're anything like me, you're all ready to hunker down and binge the brand new season of House of Cards... but also you might have totally forgotten what's even happened on this show.
It's totally understandable — the political epic has shocked viewers with so many twists and turns that it's hard to believe its only on its fifth season.
And since Netflix releases full seasons at a time, it's easy to gobble up all the new episodes in a week and then wait a full year for the next season drop. It's been nearly a year and three months since Season 4 was released, so if you watched it all when it came out, you probably forgot a lot of what happened.
But don't worry; I had to remind myself of all the crazy stuff that went down on House of Cards to prep for Season 5, so I can share my little refresher course with you all.
Here's everything you need to know about the show up to this point so that you won't be confused starting Season 5.
In the first season, Frank Underwood is a Democratic congressman from South Carolina who has his eyes set on the presidency and his wife Claire runs a clean water charity.
With the help of reporter Zoe Barnes and corporate lobbyist Remy Danton, Frank maneuvers his way into a cabinet position and orchestrates the murder of Congressman Peter Russo to ultimately become Vice President of the United States.
The second season begins with a show of how ruthless Frank can really be, as we see him kill Zoe Barnes in cold blood by pushing her in front of a subway train.
The rest of the season sees Frank manipulating his way from vice president to president. Claire learns President Walker is having issues in his marriage, and Frank draws POTUS's close ally, business tycoon Raymond Tusk, into an illicit deal with China.
As both of those things are brought to light in court, President Walker is left with no choice but to resign and Frank becomes president.
Finally President of the United States, Frank sets his sights on keeping the position that was given to him by default by announcing his candidacy in the 2016 election, facing off against special prosecutor Heather Dunbar in the Democratic primaries.
Meanwhile, Claire has Frank appoint her as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and tries to negotiate the release of a gay rights activist being held in Russia. However, Russian President Petrov convinces Frank to remove Claire from her position, leading to a split between the two.
The season ends with Claire announcing her intention to leave Frank.
Claire departs from DC and Frank to run for Congress in her hometown of Dallas, but Frank chases her and blocks her bid for the seat. To retaliate, Claire begins releasing information to Heather Dunbar to help her campaign against Frank and only agrees to stop if Frank agrees to make her his vice president.
Meanwhile, journalist Tom Hammerschmidt is threatening to expose all of the Underwoods' crimes with the help of Remy Danton and former President Walker. At Claire's counsel, Frank decides to distract from the exposé by declaring all-out war against a radical Islamic group threatening to execute two American citizens.
So that's where we're at as we start up Season 5.
Frank and Claire appear to be on the same page, running together for president and vice president and leading the nation into an international war. I have a feeling things are about to get crazier than ever now...