Well anyone who says they saw that coming is a liar. I am of course, talking about the game changer that was episode 4. Predictability had set in. Season 3 had been a little, well…dull. The Underwoods had risen to the top, and having ascended to such heights found the only way to go was down. This was not good viewing. The whole appeal of the Underwoods is rooted in their evil charm. You love to hate to love them, and cheer them on subconsciously even as you gasp in horror at their apathy towards their fellow man. So seeing them thwarted again and again in the previous season made the whole season a rather miserable one. The likeable villain clutching to his pedestal wears thin after an episode or five, especially without the dark dry humour of the previous seasons to cut the sour taste.
I gave Frank the benefit of the doubt and tuned in to Season 4. Mainly because the worst show that features Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright is still worthy viewing. Claire was rebelling – so far so satisfying. Then just as Frank appears to have checkmated his queen into house arrest he goes and gets himself shot. As far as plot devices go, assassination attempts are pretty dramatic.
I was unsure for many an hour post-shooting whether President Underwood would live to kill another day. Would Claire fill his shoes in the oval office? What would happen to the election? HOW WOULD DOUG COPE?!
I like this sea of uncertainty. If I can predict the TV tide I get the sense I have been cheated – I don’t want to watch something I feel I could have written, but something that blows my mind (not my liver) out of my body, and into a state of entertainment ecstasy (or horror, as is the case with Game of Thrones).
The President’s near death experience has brought to show back to life. The Underwoods are reunited and all hell is about to break loose in Washington. Season 3 is dead. Long Live Season 4.
PS But it’s still all about Claire. Obviously.