House of Cards was the show that made Netflix what it is today, changing the way people watch television by bringing them to the laptops and mobiles and that too with a full season release at a time. The show, since it’s first episode over three years ago, is not your simple political drama, It’s a political-showbizz, hammering its way past all our defenses.
With multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations – not to mention a mandatory win for its lead Kevin Spacey – the US series has returned, picking up where the last left off with Claire (Robin Wright) having uttered the four words we never thought she’d say: “I’m leaving you, Francis.” Frank is fighting two completely different wars in the fourth season, for retaining his presidency against the mighty and rigid Heather Dunbar and of course, against the First Lady, who has gone rogue.
The show was thoughtful and meaningful throughout the three tremendously successful seasons but the fourth season seems to have stopped on all that thinking and ramming it’s way to the light at the end of the tunnel. The series follow the after-effects of the ideas that were being put to test in the preceding seasons, incidents, the things that happen when the mystery takes over. Season four is the most extrovert of all seasons, from attempted assassinations to threats of war, the show has everything and yet remains idealistic as compared to the current situation of America, with all the election fuss going on.
Both Mr and Mrs Underwood have added a layer to their characters in this season, when Frank is painfully damaging everything that comes in his way for better or for good, Claire eases past the obstacles, with a near perfect charm of her own. The show, if watched closely, has two halves. First part is about the breakdown Frank goes through and second part, well, not spoiling the final 6 episodes for you but it’s simply what Underwood does best, Gamble. By season’s end, events have never felt more fragile: edging closer to toppling… maybe even a complete wipe out.
Although, season four lacks the craft of season three when the writers tried to add depth to the characters and wrote-off some important ones, it is bigger than the rest of the seasons, if not better. The tension levels go through the roofs here, with a bag full of darkness. (Sometimes erring near the ‘soapy’ edges) The show looks to be far more interested in the Underwood marriage than it really needs to be. The connection between Frank and Claire isn’t as mysterious as the show imagines it is. She needs power, He needs power. Simple.
Cards has lost the grip on reality but it’s no surprise as the writers are known to peel off the skin from episode to episode. It all feels like a long drum roll before a not-so-conclusive conclusion. Maybe season five will be the end of this two part ending, as everything points in that direction.