WARNING: This article contains spoilers from the first episode of House of Cards season five.
The action picked up straight off the bat from season four as the aftermath of the homegrown terrorist attack continued to play out, all the while President Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) and First Lady Claire (Robin Wright) carried on their deft manipulation of the media and the public to their own ends like so many chess pieces.
The result was an engaging watch as the episode also subtly brought into play other story strands that will be forming the fabric of season five.
Questions hang over the death of journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), who was murdered by Frank, as her former Washington Herald colleague Thomas Hammerschmidt (Boris McGiver) investigates all.
Meanwhile, political rival Will Conway (Joel Kinsman) and his wife Hannah (Dominique McElligott) are on the campaign trail in the hopes of taking down the Underwood administration and looking into the corruption that underpins the government.
The Netflix hit has always made for cutting satire but with Donald Trump now the American president, House of Cards is purely feeling like a parallel with the similarities more than apparent in the first episode.
Frank flouting the rules of Congress as he brazenly swaggered into the chamber is something we could all easily imagine the real US Commander-in-Chief doing, especially after Trump pushed past the prime minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic at Brussels last week.
Claire Underwood looks like she could be taking over in House of Cards
Claire and Frank Underwood for House of Cards season 5
I will not yield
Frank Underwood, House of Cards
The way he tossed a copy of the Washington Herald – featuring a damning article about him on the front page – into the air as he addressed was not too removed from Trump's bravado manner. “I will not yield,” he proclaimed as he continued to break in political convention.
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Not only that but the opener picked up on the panics and fears facing the world at large today from terror threats – homegrown lone wolfs and beheadings and anti-Underwood protests in the Middle East – to the encroaching powers of the authorities.
There was even a reference to something that sounded scarily close to Trump’s own "immigration ban" as Frank called for a change in policy, that he was warned it was perhaps too far-reaching even for the White House to implement.
House of Cards season 5 has apparent parallels to the Trump administration House of Cards: Most shocking moments Tue, February 7, 2017
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Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in House of Cards season 5
While Kevin is superb as ever, it is Robin who is slowly taking centre stage and gives a mesmerising turn. Claire is a formidable FLOTUS and you get the sense she will be the one superseding her husband.
Claire is a machiavellian schemer to the core, yet Robin’s performance remains subtle and nuanced. She never comes across as an archetypal witch or femme fatale – and that’s what makes her so powerful because no one ever sees it coming until it’s far too late.
From the opening episode, season five is shaping up to be a thrilling ride as you get the impression that the Underwoods are going to fall from grace at some point as the titular house of cards starts to crumble.
Could this be the beginning of the end for the Underwoods – or perhaps just Frank?
House of Cards season 5 is now available on Netflix.