House of Cards Season 4 Review

The second season of House of Cards is actually one of my first television reviews on this blog. I gave the second season a 9 out of 10, but over time I would probably reduce that score to a 7.8 out of 10. I did not even bother reviewing the third season because I was not very impressed, but I would certainly give it a 7 out of 10. I went into this forth season with low expectations but I am very happy to say that this season has been rejuvenation of sorts. It may not be as good as the first season, but it is definitely a step up from seasons 2 or 3.
That’s Part Of Being President– You Make Enemies
What I love about the season is that it was not afraid to take some risks with the narrative. There are some great callbacks to seasons 1 and 2 that I was very happy to see. Without delving into any spoilers I can say is that these callbacks added some much needed tension to the overarching plot. Other than these callbacks the plot takes some unexpected turns that I found incredibly compelling. I have never been as invested in this show as I have been during this current season. The plot also made great use of Claire, whose role has been expanding exponentially since the second season. Last season the show spent a good amount of time observing her urge to be taken seriously in the political world, and this season spent a lot of time seeing her prove her worth as a politician. In many ways she has become more ruthless than in past seasons, while Frank has actually become slightly less ruthless. Do not mistake my words, Frank is still very much a ruthless character, but the season explored a more vulnerable side to him as well. The supporting characters had some slight progress as far as their development, but Frank and Claire are certainly the standouts (as they should be). This season also introduced several new characters, but by far the most interesting of these new characters is Will Conway (played by Joel Kinnaman). This is character that goes down an interesting path, a fairly predictable one as well, that shows just how even the most noble of men can fall to the terrible clutches of corruption. I cannot comment too much on his character, but just know that he is someone worth looking out for during the season. Finally, this season sets up an exhilarating fifth season. I honestly do not know how long the show will keep going on for, but I do hope the next season is the last. The unresolved threads of this season are great enough to make way for a exhilarating final season of the show.
This Is The White House, You Will Call Me Mr President
As far as the seasons’ shortcomings, it does have a few. First of all, some of the secondary characters had their own little subplots that did not work for me. These characters are: Jackie, Remy, and Freddy. Freddy’s inclusion in the season the most bizarre because not only was he in it for a very short amount of time, but his actions did not feel earned. It felt like the writers needed him to do something uncharacteristically, and attempted to justify this behavior with lazy writing (I’m sorry if this is vague, but I am trying my best to avoid spoilers). The subplot involving Jackie and Remy is mostly forgettable because it did not really lead anywhere substantial, but there were some highlights. Another problems with the season is that it unfortunately peaks early on. Unlike season 2 it does not peak in the premiere, but in one of the early episodes something happens that elevates the show on a whole new level. That is not to say that every episode after that one is bad, but that was the standout episode of the season, and no other episode could quite compare. Also, even though the finale does a great job setting up the next season, I do wish some of the plot lines were resolved. It would give the finale a bit more finality instead of a “To be continued”-feel.
Closing Remarks
Before I share my final thoughts on the season, here are my top three episodes: Season 4 episode 4, Season 4 episode 6, and Season 4 episode 13. As you can probably tell, I throughly enjoyed this season. It does have some flaws that prevent it from being as great as possible, but it still remains a return to form for the show.
HouseOfCardsS4

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