In a shocking revelation to no one, Netflix has announced that House of Cards: Season 4 is on the way and it will arrive in 2016:
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) April 2, 2015
When it comes to original programming, Netflix has continued to grow its brand and they had a healthy spring with Bloodline, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the positive buzz on Daredevil, but House of Cards remains the streaming service’s marquee program. It’s the one that launched Netflix onto a new level and left other streaming services scrambling to catch up. The show has carte blanche to return as many times as it wants barring a massive defection.
That defection is unlikely to arrive next season, but it could be coming eventually if the show matches the quality of Season 3. House of Cards lost its way and sense of its characters last season, and the wildly uneven plotting led to a conclusion that was technically a cliffhanger, but a meek one. It lacked the raw power of the Season 2 finale, and I’m wondering if Season 4 can return us to the juicy, guilty, knife-twisting pleasure the first two seasons provided. I’m all for the show evolving, but Season 3 felt like a misstep rather than growth.
I also believe that House of Cards needs an end date. I thought Season 3 would be The Fall of Frank Underwood, but it was more The Hobbling of Frank Underwood. I don’t know if Season 4 should be the final season because I don’t know what showrunner Beau Willimon has planned, but I hope he has an endgame in sight. The machinations of Frank and Claire are interesting, but we can only watch them for so long before they go stale.
Netflix has no further details on the show’s return, but based on past season premieres, I assume Season 4 arrive in late February.