Season five follows Frank and Claire Underwood (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in joyfully repulsive performances) as they conspire to become Mr President and Mrs Vice President of the United States.
The returning cast includes Neve Campbell, Michael Kelly and Joel Kinnaman, but noticeably not Mahershala Ali, whose character Remy Danton has appeared in all four seasons to date.
Remy was introduced as one of Frank’s closest and most loyal aides, but in season two he switched allegiances to work for Frank’s enemy Raymond Tusk.
Around the same time, he began seeing minority whip Jackie Sharp.
The pair split up in season three, but later rekindled their affair – overlooking the fact that Jackie had married in the interim.
At the end of season four Jackie left her husband and Washington to be with Remy, and Mahershala has confirmed that his character will not return for season five.
House of Cards: Mahershala Ali as Remy Danton
House of Cards: Remy Danton began an affair with Jackie Sharp in season two
The Oscar-winner said that Remy’s storyline had “run its course”, adding that the decision was made mutually with the show’s producers.
I didn't quit House of Cards
Mahershala Ali (Remy Danton)
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“I didn’t quit,” he told Deadline. “We had conversations because the character had run his course. There wasn’t really anything new to offer the show, and there’s a lot of people on that show!
“It’s not fair for me to say, “Hey, I want to do more,” because that might not work for the show. It’s a narrative that’s bigger than you.
“But I do want to do more in my career, and that kind of aligned with the character running its course, and with how the show was framed.”
House of Cards: Most shocking moments Tue, February 7, 2017
House of Cards: Here are Frank and Claire's most shocking moments.
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The most shocking moments in Netflix drama House of Cards
Mahershala Ali became the first-ever Muslim actor to win an Oscar Award for his turn in Moonlight
Mahershala added that “Remy wins, in the end”.
“He gets the girl, and he’s wanted to move out of politics for some time now; so as much as it was a trial by fire, or somewhat of a crucible, it’s one where he leaves on his terms, to some degree.”
Since leaving the series, Mahershala has won plaudits for his roles in Moonlight (which won him the aforementioned Oscar – the first ever awarded to a Muslim), Hidden Figures and Luke Cage.
He will be next seen in Alita: Battle Angel – James Cameron’s next blockbuster, Roxanne Roxanne – a biopic of rapper Roxanne Shante, and the second season of Netflix's Luke Cage.