The sixth and final season is now available on Netflix

Credit: David Giesbrecht / Netflix

The final season of House of Cards is here.

Season 6 hit Netflix Friday with Robin Wright‘s character Claire Underwood officially taking over as the series lead. The shift comes after Claire’s husband Frank Underwood resigned last season and was later killed off following the sexual misconduct allegations brought against former lead Kevin Spacey.

Speaking to PEOPLE at the season premiere party in Los Angeles last month, the cast had nothing but praise to sing about Wright, 52, who also directed the series finale.

“She was working tremendously hard,” said Diane Lane, 53, who joined the cast to play Claire’s new nemesis Annette Shepherd. “It’s been a big year for Robin and I’m just tickled pink. It was the most fun to be directed by her and be part of the closure, the beautiful farewell that is going to be indelibly in people’s minds who watch it.”

'House of Cards' TV show Season 6 premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 22 Oct 2018
From left: Diane Lane, Constance Zimmer, Robin Wright, Patricia Clarkson and Nini Le Huynh
| Credit: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Constance Zimmer, who is returning to play Janine Skorsky, said Wright has been an “empowering force on the show from day one.”

“Just because that wasn’t the number on the call sheet, it doesn’t matter,” she said.

As for how the show moved on without Spacey?

“I mean, look, of course it’s going to be different when you lose a main character of a television show,” said Zimmer, 48. “But I have to say, the team that we have, this crew, this cast, these creators, showrunners, writers, has always been an incredible team. So going back, it was more a sense of excitement that we were going to be able to finish this story no matter what, and that was so empowering.”

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Greg Kinnear, who joined the cast as Lane’s on-screen husband Bill Shepherd, said working with Wright was “tremendous.”

“She’s warm. She’s a wonderful actress, and as you would expect — she brought all of those gears to the performance,” he said. “It was really great being directed by Robin Wright. I think she’s really talented and has just a great sense about it. In a way, that was a real highlight, to get to that last episode and see her, who’s been with the run of this thing from the get-go, having kind of kept the train on the tracks this season, but then standing there, in addition to wearing the uniform, and knowing the lines, and keeping the show together — to see her directing this thing into its final conclusion, which I think is an excellent episode, was so impressive and great to watch.”

Patricia Clarkson, who plays Jane Davis, praised the show for its ensemble of “powerhouse women.”

“Diane, myself, Robin,” said Clarkson, 58. “I mean, there are some really killer parts for women this year. And it’s what our own government, what our own Congress should be more reflective of. We represent 51 percent of this population and yet only 20 percent represent us in Congress. That has to change.”

The sixth and final season of House of Cards is now available on Netflix.