That was fast: the third season of Netflix's semi-Shakespearean government drama House of Cards momentarily showed up online for long enough to freak out the entire Internet, but the company is in damage-control (read: joke-making) mode. It's a mode they're good at.
This is Washington. There's always a leak. All 13 episodes will launch February 27.— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) February 11, 2015
The company said an internal bug caused the full third season of the show to appear on the streaming service; props to The Verge for catching the error—if you want to spoil yourself ever-so-slightly, you can check out their post here.
House of Cards writer Beau Willimon got his licks in, too:
All in all, this probably amounts to a great marketing... happenstance, since it wasn't really a stunt or a planned change. It's one of those weird opportunities that requires companies with an upcoming product to think on their feet. Mission accomplished, guys.
The show was up for "at least 25 minutes," according to CNBC; it's back down now. You have to wait two more weeks for Frank & Co. to begin the back-stabbing extravaganza.
And also to reread Richard III, not to put too fine a point on it.