Before Season 4 drops, check out the threads you should be paying attention to in what could potentially be an amazing series of television.
The last House of Cards trailer has revealed a promising start after the amazing ending to season 3. The Underwood are going to battle with each other and it’s going to be spectacular. If you haven’t watched season 3, here’s your warning to stop reading.
At the end of the final episode, Claire walked out on Frank…for how long or how permanent that walk out will be, we won’t know until tomorrow. What we do know for sure is that they are going to battle. As many blows will be traded in private meetings and secret phone calls, the brawl will likely become visible in public. Yeah, there’s the expected press conference to explain their rift, but how will Frank balance the first blow and try to stay upright in his campaign will be very interesting. Frank won his first primary state against Dunbar, but he that was by the skin of his teeth. The lost of Claire now will be plenty of fuel in the fire towards their fight along with the ways he has disappointed her. How this resolves will be the biggest question hanging over the season.
New Bones In The Closet
Most of Frank’s loose ends have been tied up, or have they? If you’ve watched the original House Of Cards, you’ll know that Frank’s equivalent in that show, Francis Urquhart had a second mistress he ended up killing in their second series. In the last trailer, there was a screenshot in the trailer that made everyone think it was Kate Mara’s character Zoe Barnes. It’s actually Neve Campbell, who plays a political consultant. That’s the same role Francis’s second lover held as she helped him retool his campaign. Urquhart spilled too much and was too vulnerable with her so it wouldn’t surprise me if a similar thread popped up here. Sure, most of the American version bears little resemblance to the original show, but this would be an easy storyline to add in. Frank needs all the help he can get with Claire gone despite a refocused Doug Stamper…oh….
What Will Stamper Do?
If there’s a Francis Underwood pyramid of greatness, Stamper failed many tiers of that last season by being worthless and pathetic for Frank’s campaign. He was the most vulnerable we had ever seen him. While he was becoming likeable because of his moral dilemma, it was in direct confrontation with Frank, making him fall quickly from his graces. Unfortunately, any chance of Doug Stamper having some redemption or pursuing a better course died in the desert last season. I was hoping he would leave Rachel be and go on with his life, but he couldn’t let go or change. It was a very sad moment and no one was completely sure what he was going to choose. I expect to see a sharper and more resolved Stamper this season, however it’s hard to believe he won’t have a few moments of regret or torment from his decision. There’s a good chance this could come to play again considering more players may be coming up to run against Underwood.
This is very interesting indeed. Most of Claire’s pursuits were always in support of Frank or minor pursuits that didn’t interfere with his ventures. She’s clearly putting together something given a few of the choices shots from the trailer, like the President Petrov of Russia making another appearance. She could just screw with Francis the entire season, but I think if she is attempting to move on and has outgrown him, she will need a legitimate project or goal to achieve rather than just play tormentor. Although, she will do great in role as well…
The New Players
Like Neve Campbell’s character, the run towards President is an opportunity to bring in some fresh faces. Joel Kinnaman and Cicely Tyson join the fray as a presidential nominee and Texas congresswoman. I highlight them out of the new cast members because Cards has never failed to use new guest stars well. So I don’t have real speculation on their purposes or intents for the 4th season, but I would keep my eye on them.
The Old Players
We won’t know much on the new players until tomorrow, but we know where some of the old guard stands. Dunbar struck some blows to Frank’s campaign and will not be defeated easily. I’m not sure there is really any dirt on her, but she may get some backing from Jackie Sharp and Remy Denton. Their employment under Frank was always contentious so it didn’t take long for him to erode those relationships. They don’t really have dirt on Underwood, but they may have enough intel to cause him more damage. I can’t predict how they will interact with Claire. Her interactions with Frank will be pretty straight forward, but with the rest of the election field or previous allies will depend on her purpose this season.
Will He Be Re-Elected?
We already know that as powerful as Underwood is now, he’s limited to some degree from his darker actions by being in the White House. I’m quite certain that he will be able to tackle some of his opponents publicly, but how will he handle the more nefarious elements that would require getting hands dirty again? We have seen a steady decrease and change from the way he operated in the first season. His movements are going to be more scrutinized this season compared to the first 3. The news of a season 5 dropped a few days ago, so it’s doubtful that he won’t win this or next season. However, I would like to imagine he will face something that starts the wind down of this series before it gets weaker or out of hand.
While Season 3 was enjoyable, but very off kilter, it hopefully setup a powerful season 4. I’m hopeful that the battle between Claire and Frank delivers an excellent season and build up towards season 5. Losing momentum this season would be pretty bad and leave a bad taste in many fans mouths.