It isn’t very often that a show is able to surprise audiences after the initial few seasons. Season 4 of House of Cards, with its quick, understated drama, punch-packed dialogues and a taut narrative has managed to pull it off, making viewers want to watch all 13 episodes in one go. The season begins with Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) leaving, after tension between her and Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) reaches breaking point; she goes to her home district to run for Congress. The ongoing stress in the leading pairs’ relationship provides a much needed freshness from the ‘will they or won’t they’ narrative line of most soaps. The season sees Claire’s dissent into ruthlessness and corruption, something that was held typical to Francis in the previous season. The season’s focus on Underwood’s shortcomings—his dependence on his marriage or the enemies that he has managed to accumulate that culminate in an attempted execution—provides new layers to the narrative. The breaking of the fourth wall, where Spacey looks into the camera, continues to take the audience by surprise. Overall, season 4 is a gripper as we are made to be a part of a world where the first couple don’t fight terror, but make it.