“That’s right, we don’t submit to terror, we make the terror” – Frank Underwood
I am of the opinion that by a certain stage of life we will all have at least one person we would really like to kill. I mean, you don’t even want some misfortune to befell them, because you want to physically put your hands around their throat and slowly squeeze. The pleasure of seeing that douche’s life flicker away gives us such immense pleasure. Of course, I am saying figuratively. House of Cards continues to give me that illicit pleasure because I see all my enemies cathartically, including those of the state, getting done in, some later than sooner.
This is a brilliant comeback after the lackluster S3 which tries to ground the story with depth and meaning which IMHO stifled the pace of the story. That and a lack of a worthy adversary for FU. S4 understands what the faithful fans want and gets back to the basics of S1 and 2. This is about sickening and hateful people never getting their comeuppance but coming real close. Plausibility is thrown out the window. This is all fcuking Shakespearean over-arching overtones and it is just incredibly satisfying!
This is no longer a game of FU and CU’s relationship anymore, but total partnership. Theirs is the ultimate tagteam, feeding from each other and unleashing a devastating power upon anyone in their path. If the first 3 seasons are about building up and tearing down the bridge that links FU and CU, this latest season is about Frank realizing he is nothing without Claire. Nobody stands a chance when both of them dance their political dance, maneuvering to gain the world without the world realizing it.
There are many scenes that are just implausible but that never made it less entertaining. The whole 13-episode series has not one single soul that is pure. It’s all different degrees of evil and narcissism. There are many missteps in S4: the demise of major characters don’t hit the groove and a lot of instances of Frank’s breaking of the fourth wall feel unessential. But none of them detract me from being entertained. I felt like I was watching stuff from an alternate reality. The writing is impeccable, filled with so many quotable lines. How not to fall in love with “<conscience> gives off a stench of consciousness. It smells like raw onions and morning breath.”
The timing of S4 is pitch perfect, especially when the US election fever is reaching a feverish high. Some of the events are very current and the political machinations move in a way not unlike ours. How do you obfuscate the masses when things don’t go in your Party’s favour? Feed the masses fear and they will lap it up like hungry dogs.
The final shot just before S4 ends is tantalizing and puts an evil glee on my face. If it is what I think it is, FU and CU has just reached a new level in their partnership and that means this alternate America is screwed. Of course, the unthinkable parallel of having Trump at the country’s helm doesn’t sound quite implausible now. But that is one scary alternative I don’t want to think about.
PS – the last sentence was written way before Trump is at the helm. It is going to be surreal watching S5 soon. Reel just became Real.