Later this year the U.S. will hold its presidential election, choosing who will hold the highest office in the land for the next four years. Currently, the country is embroiled in election coverage and has been for the better part of a year. As winter drags on, many are looking for relief, for an escape from the endless cycle of stump speeches, debates, and soundbites.
And that’s where House of Cards comes in. Sure, it too is a political drama full of corruption and scheming — but at least it’s fictional and (conceivably) more entertaining. Relishing in the evil deeds of Frank and Claire Underwood doesn’t carry any real world ramifications. And thank goodness, because House of Cards is very effective at enticing its audience to rooting for the bad guys (almost as effective as a real politician).
However, as of the end of season 3, it was made perfectly clear that all is not well — in the White House or for the Underwoods. Frank and Claire aren’t just separated, they are at odds, finally pushing each other away in their relentless pursuit of power. That struggle comprises the bulk of the full trailer for season 4, pitting Underwood against Underwood in a merciless and vicious war for control.
This is a radical change of pace for the series; the Underwoods’ enigmatic relationship and solid partnership made them an amazing power couple. Working together, they advanced themselves all the way to the Oval Office in a few years, and with nary a vote cast. Watching Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright inhabit this marriage has been one of the most alluring aspects of House of Cards, yet somehow, watching their union fall apart looks even more enticing. That above poster’s design may be a bit boring, but watching Spacey and Wright spit cruel barbs at one another won’t be. One of the main criticisms of the series has been the relative ease with which Frank has achieved his goals. Now, the hint of real conflict, with someone who used to be Frank’s most trusted ally no less, feels like a needed breath of fresh air.
When the trailer isn’t circling the main event, though, it does offer a montage of fast cuts featuring returning players: Michael Kelly as Doug Stamper, Frank’s chief of staff, Molly Parker’s Jackie Sharpe, Mahershala Ali’s Remy Danton, and Lars Mikkelson as the Putin-esque Russian leader, Vikor Petrov. There’s also a glimpse of newcomers Neve Campbell and Joel Kinnaman. Given the short clips, there’s still plenty of intrigue surrounding both new characters. For her part, Campbell seems to be aligned with Claire, while Kinnaman appears to be a selfie-taking political adversary for Frank.
Whatever season 4 has to offer, it seems Frank will face more opposition than ever before — and that might just mean the most exciting season of the series to date.
House of Cards season 4 hits Netflix in its entirety on March 4th, 2016. Season 5 will arrive in 2017, only without creator Beau Willimon.