Netflix’s House of Cards season 4, episode 4 gives viewers a wild surprise that may go down as the season’s most shocking moment.
Spoiler warning! If you haven’t seen House of Cards 4×04, now’s the time to stop reading.
While making a campaign stop in the fourth episode of the new season, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is shot at close range by Lucas Goodwin, a character from earlier in the series who has a hell of a lot of dirt on the President’s path to the White House. Namely, he can connect the deaths of Zoe Barnes, who Lucas was dating in season 1, and Representative Peter Russo to Frank.
In season 2 of the show Lucas Goodwin looked poised to expose the President after he killed Zoe, but Doug Stamper catches wind of what he’s up to and tricks him into committing cyber-terrorism, thus getting Lucas thrown in jail where he can’t spoil any secrets.
In season 4 Lucas is released from jail and goes to Presidential candidate Heather Dunbar to ask for help in taking down Underwood. This all happens without Doug finding out that Lucas is out of prison, but Dunbar takes Lucas to be a crazy person and rejects his pleas. So Lucas decides to take matters into his own hands by attempting to assassinate the President.
The attack on Frank, which occurs during a very rough campaign (just look at those gas prices!), is a serious one. Sadly, Meechum takes a bullet for the President and dies. Some viewers may’ve seen this coming because the showrunners gave us a couple of nice scenes between Frank and Meechum leading up to the assassination attempt. Surely Frank will be looking at that hand outline he drew with Meechum in the White House again if/when he recovers. Poor Meechum!
And yes, Frank is in very grave condition at this point. Over the remainder of episode 4 and going into episode 5, we learn just how bad Frank’s condition is and what the political ramifications are.
Episode 5 spoiler warning!
Claire has been at odds with Frank as she seeks elected office herself, and she recently told her husband she wants to be his Vice President. So she uses this opportunity — that is, Frank being unconscious — to worm her way into power at the White House. The opportunity is practically handed to her on a silver platter due to two elements: 1) Vice President Donald Blythe is acting President and this guy is clearly not suited to be the Commander in Chief, so 2) Doug asks her to convince Blythe to act on Russia the way Frank had planned. In this time of tragedy, Doug seems to have forgotten that Claire is at odds with Frank.
This is the beginning of Claire’s ascension in the White House. Damn, what will Frank think of this once he gets that new liver?
The meeting between Goodwin and Dunbar comes back to haunt the latter in episode 5 when Doug learns that the two had rendezvoused. Doug, by the way, had to make some concessions himself in order to learn that delicious nugget of information.
Election season: It’s a bitch!
‘House of Cards’ season 4 so far: A brief review
Can every season of House of Cards feature a Presidential election cycle? Season 4 of the Netflix drama may the most eventful season in the show’s history thanks largely to the fireworks going on between Dunbar, Frank, and Claire. The first six episodes of the show, which we had the opportunity to screen in advance, offer nonstop tricks, shifts, and surprises as the Underwoods try to secure their separate political futures.
Big blows play out in this show like they would during a stage play: There are plenty of scenes that make big impacts on the story, but they’re illustrated with silent explosions. For example: When Frank finds out that Claire leaked the photo of his father supporting the KKK (a twist that is coincidentally related to real world politics right now thanks to recent remarks by Presidential candidate Donald Trump), the scene plays out without big effects or music. It’s just two people having a conversation on primary day. Whereas a show like Scandal would make that a very dramatic scene filled with big music and depict people raging, House of Cards plays it like you’re observing an intimate stage play (and still a little raging).
All episodes of House of Cards season 4 are currently available on Netflix.