Chapter 53


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Production number

Running time

Original airdateMay 30, 2017

Nielsen rating

Written byFrank Pugliese

Directed byDaniel Minahan

"Chapter 52""Chapter 54"


Chapter 53 is the first episode of Season 5 of House of Cards. It originally aired on May 30, 2017, along with the rest of the fifth season.


As Congress debates investigating Frank, he and Claire attempt to stoke fear of terrorism. Tom Yates continues his stay in the White House.


Claire films a commercial for the campaign, telling people to call in what they see if anything seems off.

On the congressional floor, chaos erupts as Frank enters. Frank steals the floor from a Congressman from Florida who is demanding that Congress looks into the allegations published by the Washington Herald. Frank, however, demands that Congress formally declare war on ICO. When the Speaker insists that Frank yield the floor, he insists that he "will not yield".

Later, Frank and Claire attend the funeral of Jim Miller, which is also attended by Will Conway and his wife. During the service, Melissa Miller claims that Frank is the reason why her father is dead, before whispering something in his ear. After the funeral, Frank tells Claire that she whispered she hopes Frank dies and Claire becomes President.

Claire, on Charlie Rose, defends Frank against Hammerschmidt, who says that the declaration of war is a diversion.

Meanwhile, Hannah Conway claims that the mother of Josh Masterson, the terrorist wanted, is a victim too, creating chaos for the Conway campaign. Claire speaks with Ms. Masterson, and asks that she tell her son to surrender.

At a burned-out convenience store, Claire addresses the press, saying it is being investigated whether or not Masterson was involved. While she is talking, a man calls her a "war whore" and throws paint on her.

The manhunt for Masterson heats up as the FBI closes in on a location on the Virginia border. However, it is revealed that Masterson has been held captive by Frank in an unknown location. Frank demands that Masterson be executed.

The next day, Frank tells the press that Masterson was killed and captured, though he "wishes" he had been taken alive.

Frank calls to speak with the Millers, but the mother tells him to stop calling and hangs up the phone on him. Afterwards, Frank and Claire greet people outside the White House, telling them they have nothing to be afraid of.