House of Cards Season 4 Review

****This Review Contains Spoilers*****

“House of Cards” season 4 starts off shortly after season 3 ended.  Claire has left her husband, President Frank Underwood because of irreconcilable differences and moral dilemmas.  So when season 4 starts, some time has passed and the relationship between Frank and Claire is extremely rocky.  They don’t speak.  They don’t live together and they spite each other.  They both imagine killing one another in some gruesome way but their failed marriage is only the tip of the iceberg of this fantastic season.  We are introduced to Claire’s sick and dying mother who is great at butting heads.  We are introduced to another governor running against Frank for the presidency and finally, the past comes back to haunt him in the White House.

Season 3 was a huge letdown.  It was very slow, and uninteresting.  I feared that season 4 would start the trajectory of the show’s downfall.  However, I think the show runners knew they botched season 3 because season 4 was immensely better and drew me in from the start.  The relationship between Frank and Claire was really fun to watch, but ultimately the two reconciled because they come to realize that they are both the perfect match for each other.  The biggest twist and turn in this season was the assassination attempt on Frank’s life.  Lucas Goodwin is finally out of prison and tries to expose the truth about Frank.  He ultimately fails and tries to kill him.  Lucas’ downfall was long needed as his story was starting to seem stale.  But I loved the assassination attempt story line.  It ultimately caused Frank and Claire to reconcile and carry on with their “Macbeth” scheming and murdering plots.

What I really like about “House of Cards” is how the events in the show and characters imitate what’s going on in our country.  Frank and Claire are doppelgangers for Bill and Hillary Clinton while other characters represent real political figures.  News anchor Charlie Gibson had a fun little cameo which was nice to see and the show finally addressed something lacking; terrorism.  Over the last year or two, America has been struggling with the terrorist group known as ISIS, and the show uses this group but changes the name to ICO.  The show, even though fictional feels incredible real and relevant to what’s happening today in the world and I appreciate this kind of real-world storytelling.  Joel Kinnaman was really good this season playing Governor Will Conway and was a great foil to Frank Underwood.

But the best thing to come out of this season was the past.  The truth is slowly coming out, and the death of Lucas Goodwin, Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo are surfacing back in Frank’s life.  In a great hallucination sequence, actor Corey Stoll and and Kate Mara partake in a twisted nightmare from which Frank cannot wake from.  It was a nice touch for this episode and it shows that this House of Cards will one day come crashing down.  Actress Neve Campbell was also really good as a new character here and she added a lot within the inner circle of the President’s staff.  Overall, this season had a whole lot more to offer from the lazy and tiring season 3 and after binge-watching the entire season, it’s safe to say that “House of Cards,” for now is once again on the right track.  The season finale ends with a fourth wall-breaker as Frank and Claire stare into the camera, offering up fear and violence for whoever stands in their way.  We’ll see how long this lasts before their inner web becomes untangled.

Grade:  A-

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