13th Mar2016

‘House of Cards 4×04 – 4×06: Chapters 43-45’ Review

by Catherina Gioino


For the most part, everyone, even those who have never seen House of Cards, knows it’s about politics and the power plays behind every action. But most of all, they know it’s about trust and the loss of trust: it brings you into the middle of a relationship, tosses you some facts you know will become blackmail later, and then yanks whatever you thought was established from right under you.

Yes, it’s an emotional toll, binge watching this riveting series, but that was back then. There’s nothing against the quality of the series in this season, but there’s a certain pull factor, a certain “We can’t believe we tricked Netflix into pulling this off” that isn’t there anymore. The writing is amazing nonetheless of course, but what truly made it plan-cancelable was the novelty and creativity behind the idea and its format four years ago.

And so I feel that they need to get rid of some characters—or add some new and old ones—in order to grab our hearts and attentions. Knowing the possibilities laid out in front of them, the show’s creators did what would just destroy the status quo of a show that already has so little of it.

Trying to avoid spoilers as much as possible, someone gets shot, someone gets killed, and a few friends come back from the past to shake things up a little more. Leave your guesses aside, the two only new shots that were in the trailer—as we featured last time—were in these three episodes. All of our guessing has turned to these episodes, the two images very close to what we had figured.

In a rapid succession of events, we go from second-guessing why Frank would do something to seeing one of the more innocent characters yanked away. But to add insult to injury, we don’t even care that much about him considering the other set of events that occurred directly afterwards; our mourning time ruined by necessity of plot and continuation.

Taking a production aspect to the episodes, Robin Wright’s directed—episode 43 is very visually appealing. The lighting of the characters’ talking, the silhouettes and use of focus, the shadows and playing with camera angles: it all works together to provide some sort of comfort to the troubling world at large.

This set of episodes features the return of some characters from the past, and puts us deep into everyone’s thoughts and inner workings. Our paranoia of wondering what characters are made of is only heightened with the learning of everyone’s intentions throughout the series. As soon as we trust a character, we lose all sort of set proxy that we for them, an event changing everything. And the same can go for actually getting to learn where their intentions are.

It’s funny really: we anticipate so much, are underwhelmed by the actions the characters make instead, but yet find it somewhat relieving that, although we know what a certain character plans to do, we feel a certain kind of honesty since they revealed themselves.

We never know what the characters really plan on doing and these three episodes lay it all out on the table. If it’s one thing that the show has done well since it had started, it’s the succession of events to build anticipation. That uncertainty that we hold deep in our thoughts comes at the most suspending times for good reason: knowing that what we’re thinking is so much of a fat chance eases our minds, but knowing that it is still an option tears at our brains until we see the events unfold. If you’re going to watch any episodes of this season, you better make sure it’s these three.


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