House of Cards Still Standing Strong
House of Cards Season Four | 4.5 / 5
Netflix | 13 episodes | Premiered 4/3/2016
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Joel Kinnaman, Elizabeth Marvel and Boris McGiver.
The fourth season of Netflix’s first original series is still standing strong amidst the multitude of new programmes that have entered the website’s catalogue since the first season debuted in 2013. Frank Underwood is the President of the United States of America, but his power is under threat from every possible direction: Heather Dunbar, Governor Conway, Tom Hammerschmidt and ICO. The fourth season has a bit of everything, but finishes on a devilish note which should set a definite tone for the fifth season. Absolutely gripping stuff!
During House of Cards‘ run, it has seen new Netflix programmes such as Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Making A Murderer, but it has still stood strong among these programmes that have acquired their own legions of fans. Netflix’s flagship programme had a fifth season announced, even before the release of the fourth season. I personally think that there will only be one or two more seasons left, before ending in dramatic fashion no doubt.
The end is terrifying. Claire acknowledging Frank’s monologue added dynamite to the explosive finale and places season five in a very interesting position as Claire is shown as equally conniving as Frank. (Maybe Claire will get some monologues next season?) By joining Frank in his ruthless stance to the obstacles that face them, will make the first episode of the next season widely anticipated by all viewers including Pres. Barack Obama and the Presidential nominees (Clinton and Trump). How they deal with a terrorist threat in the form of Islamic extremists will be interesting due to the clear parallels with the current threat posed by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Will the Underwood’s approach work? Who knows?!
The season spanned a plethora of issues that made for thrilling entertainment and enthralling storylines that all interconnected as threads in the web of politics. The Democrat primaries, Frank and Claire’s relationship, the attempted assassination of Frank, the deal with Russia, Claire for Vice President, the election campaign and the hostage situation with terrorist group ICO. To compact all of this excitement might seem overbearing when written in list form, but in drama form, it was effortlessly brilliant and addictive. Addictive is the key word that typifies House of Cards, the politics, relationships and conflicts all combine to form a programme that keeps you on the edge of your seat…and gripping the armrests too!
A favourite scene of mine seen the temporary return of Zoe Barnes and Peter Russo during one of Frank’s hallucinations during his time spent in hospital following the attempted assassination by Lucas Goodwin. *That white dress!* Not only did Kate Mara’s appearance add some sexiness to the proceedings, but the scene also opened Frank’s inner demons to himself and the viewer. Perhaps this gave an insight into his reaction to Hammerschmidt’s exposé later in the season.
House of Cards has remained one of my favourite current programmes; the stellar cast, fascinating storylines and expertly crafted episodes have all combined to create edge-of-the-seat viewing that is vital in the era of binge-watching. Spacey and Wright encapsulate the brilliant casting, not a single character is miscast. Each and every one of them are perfect for their respective roles. I particularly enjoyed the story concerning Claire’s run for Vice President and Frank’s running mate. Not only did this bring Frank and Claire closer together in a more powerful and menacing way, but it also created a situation for Frank to deliver one of his most devastating speeches to Cathy Durant, Secretary of State, and also opened the door to Thomas Yates and Leann Harvey, who both developed this season.