House of Cards Season Five Episode Four Recap & Review

Low voter turnout on election day threatens Frank Underwood’s (Kevin Spacey) chances of winning. On top of these grumblings that Underwood is on the losing path, the administration receives word of a potential terrorist attack at a polling place.


These two situations frame the fourth episode of season five of House of Cards. The weighty resignation of Underwood’s almost certain loss shifts to a dead heat with the Tennessee incident.

Then it is up to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Meaning it is up to hired hacker Aiden Macallan (Damien Young) to manipulate Ohio. Conjure more “terrorist chatter.” And now we have Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) doing some real Doug Stamper-type stuff. It’s wonderful.

The episode essentially makes ruin of the American electoral system. It becomes, with one nudge of treasonous corruption, a satiric farce of democracy, with states running rampant with hysteria and filling lawsuits.

There isn’t much to discuss with episode four. It is an episode that promises the answer to the election but shoves it off for later. The Underwood’s planned dynasty is still in hiatus, awaiting the final pegs to fall into place.

With echoes of current electoral controversies, the episode makes compelling use of the system for its benefit. It is an uncomplicated portion of the series’ narrative, but it is by no means stagnant. Although the cliffhanger, now two episodes in the making, might be a tad over-drawn at this point.


As always, thanks for reading!

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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)


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