House of Cards: Chapter 40
March 8, 2016 1:14 PM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Claire has plans that don't involve being First Lady (including staying out of New Hampshire on the eve of the primary), but Frank and Doug cut them off. For now.

The cast undergoes a fairly major growth spurt with Ellen Burstyn as Claire's mother; Cicely Tyson as Claire's would-be predecessor in the House; Neve Campbell as Claire's advisor; and Sebastian Arcelus returning as Lucas Goodwin-slash-John Carlyle, newly ensconced in the Witness Protection Program.
posted by Etrigan (17 comments total)
 
A+++ for Cicely Tyson and Ellen Burstyn.

I'm several episodes in (I won't spoil!) and I just have to say this season is a VAST improvement on the previous one.

Although tbh, I think this show would be improved by the swift removal of most of the male characters.
posted by duffell at 1:32 PM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm several episodes in (I won't spoil!) and I just have to say this season is a VAST improvement on the previous one.

I agree. I'd rank the first season as the best and the third as the worst; this is at least as good as the second and better in parts.

This episode had a good dose of scheming and dirty tricks Frank and Doug, which are always their best moments.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:38 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ditto, we're 4 episodes in and pleasantly surprised by its quality. Probably best season so far.

Without spoiling anything, Lucas' return surprised and intrigued me. I didn't think he'd ever return.
posted by fizzix at 4:20 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Big "wahoos!" at our house for Ellen Burstyn and Cicely Tyson (ok, and Neve Campbell, too). So great to see older female actors getting good roles. Burstyn in particular is a biting addition to the cast.

Duffell: I think this show would be improved by the swift removal of most of the male characters. Yes! Starting with Doug. I hate that guy.

One question I keep asking is, where is Claire's secretary? Or any of her staff? There doesn't seem to be any staff at the White House. I suppose the Republicans were in power previously and gutted the executive staffing?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:17 PM on March 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Glad to hear the positive reviews. I'd been debating if I'd even continue watching after the last season, but looking forward to giving this season a try now.
posted by p3t3 at 6:25 PM on March 8, 2016


Last season I was just hate watching by the end of it, but this season is fantastic - I'm actually enjoying it*. Best season after the first, and I have 5 episodes to go.

*partly because there's a whole lot less of Doug Stamper. Holy crap I would actually be ok with quartering being legal again, because that dude needs to be quartered.
posted by littlesq at 7:23 PM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, this is definitely better than season 3, which I hate-watched. I'm tired of Doug, though, and could've done without both prison masturbating and Frank's dream of mutual Underwood destruction.

I had completely forgotten that Lucas was doing time.

Anyway, Ellen Burstyn forever.

(I just accidentally read some spoilers and ... huh. OK. My optimism is more cautious, now.)
posted by minsies at 5:11 AM on March 9, 2016


How often do people want to add an episode? I was thinking every coupla days, but of course anyone is free to adopt their own schedule.

(Currently on episode 10, probably will finish the season this week, eager to discuss... things.)
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on March 9, 2016


Binged the whole season - looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts. I started out the season thinking "ok, who's going to be the surprise death??"

I also agree that it was much better than Season 3.
posted by foxhat10 at 7:12 AM on March 9, 2016


Also, would LOVE to see Claire in a pair of sweat pants (without stilettos) and to LOOK as though she has actually NOT got the sleep that she appears to NOT be getting. I mean, come on!
posted by foxhat10 at 7:14 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Every few days works for me, but I'd be OK with a post covering the whole season, too (despite what I said above about spoilers, I don't mind them when I know I'm going to come across them).

I was actually surprised it took so long for this season to be included on FanFare (yes, I could've posted it myself but never got around to it), so I'm wondering if there's less interest this season because season 3 was so bad?
posted by minsies at 7:17 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm 10 episodes deep and I agree that this season is stronger than the last for sure.

I was actually surprised it took so long for this season to be included on FanFare (yes, I could've posted it myself but never got around to it), so I'm wondering if there's less interest this season because season 3 was so bad?

+1. I kept thinking, wow, people are really done with this show.

I was so jazzed to see Ellen Burstyn was going to be joining and she has not disappointed. It is weird that Claire doesn't have her own Doug Stamper. I guess that's kind of Neve Campbell's gig this season but she's not as ... entrenched as Doug.

The first scene in this episode/season was not my favorite but it seems like this season has a lot less sex than previous ones.

Also, would LOVE to see Claire in a pair of sweat pants (without stilettos) and to LOOK as though she has actually NOT got the sleep that she appears to NOT be getting. I mean, come on!

Maybe that's the deal with having an actress on the show who is *gasp!* almost 50 - she has to look on at all times. I don't know when it was (maybe episode 5 or 6?) when she appears to sleep in heels and a sheath dress and while it's probably not right, I ... kind of want to be her. I can't and we all play with the cards we're dealt but yeah.
posted by kat518 at 7:51 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, would LOVE to see Claire in a pair of sweat pants (without stilettos) and to LOOK as though she has actually NOT got the sleep that she appears to NOT be getting. I mean, come on!

Maybe that's the deal with having an actress on the show who is *gasp!* almost 50 - she has to look on at all times. I don't know when it was (maybe episode 5 or 6?) when she appears to sleep in heels and a sheath dress and while it's probably not right, I ... kind of want to be her.


I would guess that's a conscious choice by Wright and the producers -- Claire is never not performing, even in her most intimate moments, even when she's entirely alone. If she were ever to put on sweatpants, it would be because she needed someone to see her in sweatpants and no other reason. She long ago gave up comfort and convenience and basically everything for the role of "Claire Underwood".
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on March 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


Claire is never not performing, even in her most intimate moments, even when she's entirely alone.

Yep, very true so it definitely makes sense.
posted by foxhat10 at 9:50 AM on March 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just finished this episode- we had a late start too. I liked it a lot, and I was hate watching season 3 as well. This put Claire back to the Claire we knew earlier.

I don't mind Doug. I mean, I hate him, but that's his role. Fuck Doug. But he also feels like a necessary part. I realize I may be in the minority in saying that.

I do miss Frank talking to the audience. I hope that returns. Or they have it be even awesomer and Claire take over talking to the audience.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:42 PM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


(This is also one of the few shows I like to watch the whole credits. It really sets the tone of the show.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:44 PM on March 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ellen Burstyn is awesome, like a character straight out of Faulkner.

I so wish Claire had simply announced she was leaving Frank and let the chips fall where they may.

Meecham is like a lap dog in human form, which is to say he's creepy. Not that I'm lap dog-ist, but no human should be so obsessively and blindly devoted to another.

I'm encouraged by the return of Lucas. Maybe we'll see Frank's murders actually catch up with him now.
posted by orange swan at 8:59 PM on November 5, 2016


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