Review: House of Cards (Season 4, Episode 1)

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80%
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Great as always

House of Cards is back with an amazing plot full of promising twists.

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House of Cards is finally back for its fourth season on the popular Netflix streaming service. The public has been waiting desperately to know what will happen to President Frank Underwood after the final twist of season 3, when it was revealed that his wife is leaving him, after she realised that he is using her to forward his own thirst of power. The show, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, makes its big return with new manipulations, new ambitions and new characters that will surely increase the complexity of the story.

As Lucas Goodwin is released from prison under a new identity, posing a possible threat to the President, we join Frank Underwood who, despite his rising popularity among the American voters, is undergoing some difficulty linked to Claire’s departure during his campaign for presidency. The first lady takes refuge at her mother’s house in Texas and decides to run for a congress position in her district. When a leak on the couple’s marital relationship menaces Frank’s campaign at the Primary, the President and the first lady come to an agreement. Frank concedes to support her in her campaign, while Claire will publicly announce her mother’s illness in order to stop the gossip.

Spacey gives an amazing performance as the reckless Frank Underwood, highlighting moment of toughness as well as the inflexible nature of the character. The different rhythm and tone of Spacey’s voice highlight his impressive acting skills as the episode progresses. Meanwhile, Wright elevates her performance by adding a new dimension of sensibility to the strong and determined woman that is Claire Underwood, uncovering a new picture of the first lady that has been withheld from the audience until now. Newcomer Ellen Burstyn acts superbly as Claire’s mother and works well with Wright, rising the tension and coldness between the characters throughout the episode.

The production is as good as ever, if not even better than in the previous seasons, alternating between scenes with the President and scenes of the First Lady. One of them in particular was amazingly directed: a violent fight scene between Frank and Claire that happened to only be Frank’s dream. The plot as well is brilliant. As always, the show is not afraid to produce a ruthless story reflecting perfectly the political world of today, something with is more and more interesting as the primary elections in the U.S. are taking at the same time. From now on, Frank Underwood seems to have finally found his match in an opponent. One that could destroy all the work that he has done to become the President of the United states, his wife Claire. Also, Lucas Goodwin’s release could have an incredible potential in terms of the possible twists that could happen in the show.

House of Cards is available now on Netflix.

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