House of Cards‘ generally excellent fourth season was nevertheless a bit unfocused and oddly paced, as if Beau Willimon was throwing all his remaining ideas at us before departing as showrunner. His first concept was a Frank vs. Claire civil war, which plays out the first four episodes, only to be interrupted by a shocking presidential assassination. Then the series revolves entirely around Claire’s ambitions while Frank is placed on the back burner. When he awakens, it’s as if Willimon is kicking off season 5 with little remnant of the Underwoods’ feud enduring on. Next, the spotlight shifts to the election, but as with Frank’s near-death experience, a hostage crisis suddenly postpones all the politicking in a terrorism-focused finale. The result is a 13-episode stretch with one too many sharp turns. And sadly, the ICO storyline that closes out the year is the least interesting of all.
Read the full review at The Celebrity Cafe.