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House Of Cards:S4 – Breathe…Breathe…Breathe.

March 12, 2016 Leave a comment

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In one of the Season 4 episodes of HOUSE OF CARDS, Frank Underwood breaks the Fourth Wall (as he loves doing…) and informs us that “When a dog is bitten, either you put it so sleep or put a muzzle on it. I’ve chosen the muzzle – for now.” It is one of the many classic and clap-worthy moments jam-packed into the latest season of the Netflix political drama that one can’t help marveling at.

After a lousy Season 3, where I almost gave up on the show, HoC is back. And how!

First and foremost is the fact that there is no longer any pretense. It is clear that the proceedings are far removed from reality. They are more incredulous than ever. Brash and uncompromising. And yet, they also feel oh so familiar. It is almost uncanny that, being in the Election Year ourselves, we are seeing headlines play right in front of us…in real-life as well as on the small screen.

This is a Season that is so relentless that you long for respite. There are so many things the show talks about, so many characters it plays with, so many scenarios it plays out and so many times makes your jaw drop that it almost leaves you gasping for breath. And yet the high drama and entertainment quotient is never compromised.

Its all there in this Season. Promises are broken…remade…and re-broken. Loyalties are tested. Betrayals are witnessed. Shocks are delivered. And yet they hardly give the impression of a gimmick.

All because of an impeccable cast, some amazing story-writing and deft direction. Beau Wilimon’s script is taut and tense while the direction, especially the four episodes, directed by Robin Wright, are gut-wrenching.

And the characters!

People may find Frank Underwood as hammy at times, but here is a character who reminds me all the time of BREAKING BAD’s Walter White. The difference, of course, is that, unlike Walter, Underwood does not (d)evolve into something over time but remains true to his nature from the beginning. Underwood’s Machiavellian tendencies of a scheming politician work wonders for his character and play around with the audience’s gut feelings…more so in Season 4 than any of the previous ones.

Claire Underwood continues to surprise us throughout the season and the strength and resolve of her character is nothing short of being remarkable. She was…and remains…Frank’s backbone….both in good and bad times. What a trajectory she has been given in this season to traverse!

And what can one say of the remaining folks. From Remy Dalton to Jackie Sharp. From Seth Grayson to Cathy Durant. From Freddy to Meechum. And from Tom Yates to Heather Dunbar. They are all here. And then some! The ghosts from the past show up too. And will continue to do so, as the Underwoods march on, in pursuit of their quest.

But it is Doug Stamper who stands above everyone else as Frank’s flawed yet resolute Chief of Staff. What a wonderfully conceived character! And his fierce loyalty is something that makes us shake our heads in amazement. We all know that he has his own skeletons to hide but here is someone who is an absolute pleasure to watch, regardless of the miscalculated steps he takes and the mistakes he continues to make.

Season 4 of House of Cards has so many hidden pleasures that you will find yourself smiling and rooting for the wrong people, then scolding yourself for doing so…only to smile yet again. And the Season Finale has one of the most stunning endings I have seen in a long time!

When I started watching this season last weekend, I was hoping that I would not miss the show during the long break between now and the next season. Season 3 had almost pushed me into saying that the show had already reached its end of life. But this season has proven me wrong. The 12-month break is already beginning to feel as being too long. And it’s been only a few hours since I finished binge-watching the entire season. Here’s looking forward to meeting the Underwoods very soon again.

During one of the episodes, Frank uses the words “We are going to destroy them”. Well, House of Cards has almost destroyed the competition anyway as far as one of the “Most Riveting Dramas on TV/Cable” is concerned. And this is easily the best season of the entire series…thus far.

Mission Accomplished, President Underwood! Now let’s continue work on building that “collection” of yours.

Categories: Hollywood, Movies