frank underwood

Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood in the Netflix original series “House of Cards”

*Netflix…or a hacker…gave folks a quickie on Wednesday.

“House of Cards” fans got some unexpected afternoon delight when the upcoming Season 3 suddenly appeared online…16 days before it’s scheduled release on Feb. 27.

Social media went nuts, filling up with “‘House of Cards’ just pulled a Beyonce!” tweets and retweets.

But then, the party got shut down.

Several minutes later, the episodes were gone…snatched away by the streaming service as quickly and mysteriously as they had arrived.

And then this from the show’s official Twitter account:

So what to make of it all? Conspiracy theorists are still salivating. Was it a calculated publicity stunt or an old-fashioned, unintentional leak?

Some quick-moving fans did have enough time to see Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) in his new role as President of the United States. “You have to be a little more human when you’re the president,” he says to the camera, in an early scene visiting his father’s grave.

We sat down with Spacey last week, and while he wouldn’t give up any plot details about Season 3, he did have a lot to say about public reaction to his indestructible – and some would argue sociopathic – character.

He said: “I think that what’s been maybe the most interesting conversations that I’ve had with people who have watched the show, be they politicians or be they just people in the public or friends of mine, is that, ‘Say what you will about Frank and his methods. He’s very effective.’”

In other words, yes he may occasionally murder someone standing in his way, but the man got bills passed.

Below, Spacey compares Frank to two other famous U.S. presidents – the first, a certain White House veteran whose depiction in the current movie “Selma” has also courted controversy: [Warning, language NSFW]

“House of Cards” Season 3 will hit Netflix on Feb. 27…officially, at least.

Watch the teaser below: